Cerebrum

We all know that TheBrain is uniquely powerful in creating, manipulating and displaying interconnected information. But, there are many features missing that exist in other software.

I'm looking at the features that are available in MindManager 2019 for Windows:

  1. Integration with Outlook: Drag-and-drop, and two-way sync, plus add-in with menu to send selected item or folder to MindManager
  2. Topics (similar to TB Thoughts) can have different sizes and shapes, fonts, text alignment, distance from parent 
  3. Smart Rules and conditional formatting of topics based on triggers
  4. Task info: Start date, end date, duration, priority, effort, milestones, critical path  
  5. Custom fields
  6. Floating topics positioned anywhere on map background
  7. Layouts: Mind Map, Tree, Org-Chart, Timeline
  8. Relationship lines between topics can be positioned and shaped
  9. Callouts to topics
  10. Create Boundary to select topics and create group
  11. Traditional Outline view (not graphical)
  12. Apply numbering to topics
  13. Filter to show, hide or fade topics
  14. Sort branch independently, forward or backward order
  15. Specify layout for a branch 
  16. Insert and link range from Excel
  17. Insert, configure and format tables in notes
  18. Insert formula in topic to summarize custom field values in related topics
  19. Insert images, shapes and text boxes on map background
  20. Selectively display specific map elements
  21. Use Map Parts to quickly create several related topics
  22. Link and display Windows folders and files (similar to TB8 Virtual Folders)
  23. Schedule View
  24. Filterable Gantt View
  25. Icon and Tag Views (Kanban)
  26. Brainstorm mode
  27. Review mode
  28. Connect maps using hyperlinks and view all linked maps
  29. Create "Map Roll-up" to display topic or branch in external map
  30. Connect to external databases: Access, SQL Server, MySQL; display database structure and relationships; create editable, link-able, sync-able topics based on database records
  31. Macros using WinWrap Basic with MindManager object model
  32. Export interactive HTML5 map, or publish on Mindjet-hosted website or on own website
  33. Integration with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Sharepoint
  34. Zapier integration

There are many TB10 features that are missing in MindManager but there are plenty of ideas for future development.

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sibleyd
Mindmanager is useless for organizing massive numbers of files. Yes, it has attachments, but the file becomes huge and unwieldy and eventually unusable with numerous attachments. It simple incorporates the attachments into the file rather than into a database designed to hold massive quantities of files. Yes, you can have multiple attachments per node but it is done much less conveniently.  You can divide your mind map into a group of smaller mind maps so the mind map files are smaller and more manageable but then you are constantly loading and closing mind maps and must keep them all organized.

My point is you are comparing apples and oranges. Some features from programs like mind manager, Free Plane, and One Note could and arguably should be incorporated into Brain, but Brain has incredibly useful functionality that those programs simply do not have. I find that many features of Mindmager are time wasters. I do not need to be spending time on making a pretty map. I need to efficiently store and retrieve information which Brain excels at. The cloud and Synch abilities are strong points. 
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enkidu
sibleyd wrote:
I do not need to be spending time on making a pretty map. I need to efficiently store and retrieve information which Brain excels at. The cloud and Synch abilities are strong points. 


We are obviously at opposite ends of the user spectrum :-)

We've had this debate before on this forum - TheBrain "suffers" from having a dual user-base :

- those who see it as a database (apparently mostly to stock and index files, which beats me, because any operating system does that, no need for an app)
- those who see it as a mindmapper (which is its declared market positioning by the way)

TheBrain's SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE is that it allows us to link almost anything : files (any type), websites, folders, "thoughts".

NB1 : to do this it necessarily needs an internal database, but it is not a database
NB2 : it is not a drawing tool (there are enough of those around), all the user does is choosing data and linking it

Once the links are established, we come to SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FAULT : too basic visualisation of the mapped data

Of course, we can import / index any amount of files, and run reports. But where is the added value in that ?
As data explodes in quantity and diversity, data visualisation is not an option for nerds, it is essential.

cheers
enkidu
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Cerebrum
sibleyd wrote:
My point is you are comparing apples and oranges.
My point is that there are several features in MindManager that are missing in TheBrain and I think that it would be nice if TheBrain had some of those features, a few of which were available in TB8 but are not in TB9/10: Drag and drop from Outlook, Virtual Folders, tables in Notes, and the ability to rearrange thoughts in Expanded View. 
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Some features from programs like mind manager, Free Plane, and One Note could and arguably should be incorporated into Brain
So you agree with my point. 
🙂
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Brain has incredibly useful functionality that those programs simply do not have.
I agree.
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zenrain
I would also like to see TheBrain start to incorporate new and innovative ways to not only store large amounts of data, but also represent it in a way that provides more flexibility and more contextual information based on the way the data is displayed. Both in the layout and the ways the thoughts are presented when a certain area is activated. 

Although it might be difficult to implement some features because of the flexibility of the plex, I think that audiences with both large and small brains would benefit from a more contextually adjustable and visually flexible display of the data represented in the plex.
macOS 10.14.5
TheBrain 10.0.51
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enkidu
I have just come across the ultimate argument to convince even the most hardcore data mapping / visualisation skeptic :

http://www.wineandcheesemap.com/

enjoy !
enkidu
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zenfrog
enkidu wrote:
I have just come across the ultimate argument to convince even the most hardcore data mapping / visualisation skeptic :

http://www.wineandcheesemap.com/

enjoy !
enkidu


Awesome find. 
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Cerebrum
Very cool, but I'm not getting the joke about "the ultimate argument". ðŸ˜§
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zenfrog
I use iMindMap to create pretty MindMaps that can be used for talks or presentations. Or to summarise an idea for myself. 

Usually upload the end product to Evernote; sometimes link to The Brain. 

Totally different task to information management or retrieval which is what the brain is good at - a regular mind map is fine for communicating an idea. But thats it, really. 

The Brain is unique - not found anything else like it anywhere. 

I think MindManager is Ok in business for very discreet needs; to help folk to visualise - those that don't visualise easily maybe?
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bot__bot
Now that TB has JSON export, I imagine it wouldn't be very hard to write a tool that converts TB's exported JSON to either Graphviz's DOT file or yED's GraphML file.*

It would then be possible to use Graphviz / yED to do automatic layout.

There will be a intermediate step to be sure. But it could generate much nicer visualizations.

(Or even convert to Scapple's .scap file which is just XML - although it requires manual layout)


 
* although, kinda off-topic, last time I tried to deserialize TB's JSON export, I found that it's actually not strictly correct JSON (mostly I think due to lack of comma at the right places).
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