Posts Tagged ‘ink’

MindManager and the iPad or iThoughts v Ink Mode

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A friend @ibl let me have a little go on his iPad today.

I was impressed by:

  • Screen quality particularly when playing a video to a group of ten people.  Sound was good enough as well.
  • Stroking the applications – they purred!
  • Lack of multi-tasking was balanced by the immediacy of moving between sleeping applications.
  • He signed on to his office PC via GoToMyPC via 3G.
  • iThoughts was easy to manipulate and the virtual keyboard was easy to type on.

Not impressed:

  • He had a special stylus which mimiced your finger but the ink to text in the application we tested was not as good as Windows 7 or MindManager.
  • The form factor was too light, slim, cool & smooth. You would not loose weight or build muscle tone with iPad! 🙂

iThoughts v Ink Mode on a Tablet PC with MindManager

Well as I said the moving around and creating topics with iThoughts was as good as and almost as  fluid as using MindManager in Ink Mode.  The virtual keyboard was good but I don’t think this is as easy one handed as writing with a pen.  So for me ink mode in MindManager still wins for quiet use at meetings.  In a crowd mapping at a conference the iPad is as good.

So Mindjet please step up to the iPad and create an ink version of iThoughts.  The ink to text conversion could even be done on the Mac or PC.

Meanwhile I will have to wrestle with £700 on an iPad versus trading my HP 2730p up to a HP 2740p Tablet PC with touch screen, SSD and 8GB ram!

Using a Tablet PC with MindManager in Mouse and Pen Mode

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I have recorded two videos showing how you can improve your use of MindManager on the Tablet PC.

Using MindManager Windows in Mouse Mode with a Tablet PC

Using MindManager Windows in Pen Mode with a Tablet PC

I use both modes in different situations.

At a meeting or an event I will use ink mode to record speeches and discussions.  It is a very fluid method of mapping and you can keep up with the content.  I always convert the ink to text topic by topic after the event.  The convert all option is very good – 95% accurate – but just one topic of gobbledegook text can give you a real headache trying to remember what it was.  Surprisingly I can nearly always read my own handwriting.

I cannot keep up with meetings in mouse mode. There is a delay while ink is converted to text and the distraction of any typo’s which I immediately want to correct.  I use this mode for editing existing maps when I have my Tablet PC in the “slate” configuration.  It is also useful when presenting.  I find it easier to point at my PC than regain control of the mouse.  With a good extension lead or a wireless beamer you can even wander around and present with the Tablet PC.

What are your views and uses of the two different modes?

What would you like improved?

Here are a couple of things I would like:

  • When ink is converted to text it retains it’s colour. At the moment it reverts to the topic default.
  • When sketches are converted to images (e.g. export to Word or Web) the quality is the same.

Using MindManager on the Tablet PC in ink mode

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Michael Deutch has written this blog recently:

Touch Me: 10 Resources to Learn More about MindManager’s Touch Capabilities

To prompt discussion about using MindManager on the Tablet PC. For some reason that neither Michael or I can work out my comments are not being published. I have tried from different PCs & browsers. So here is my positive and critical criticism of this mode:

Michael, thank you for referring to my efforts with the Tablet PC and MindManager above.

I have to admit to being someone who has used MindManager Ink mode a few times a week since 2005 when MindManager X5 Tablet became available. It has gone through 4 versions of HPs Tablet PCs currently a 2710p but the TC1100 was the best!

I use it in these three modes:

First: for personal brainstorming. Often standing up and away from the office desk.

Second: for personal note taking and often producing the minutes at meetings.

Third: for recording and publishing events on the web. Frequently I work with teams of people like Maurice mentioned and linked in your blog, to produce a comprehensive record of public and private events. These range from individual speakers, to management meetings, to two day annual conferences, to a rock festival. Using MindManager for three days in a field and in the dark later in the day must be one of the extreme uses.

Using MindManager ink mode is much less instrusive to the meeting than using a keyboard and a more fluid recording process.

MindManager ink mode is a core tool for ConferenceREACTION and the web export is used to produce all the web sites.

BUT MindManager ink mode has been frustrating me since 2005. Why?

1. The eraser on the end of my stylus does not work in MindManager. It does in all other applications.

2. The colour of the ink is not the colour of the converted text. It becomes the default colour.

3. The ink to text conversion was comparatively good on release in 2005. Better than XPs TabTIP but Vista overtook it and Windows 7 streaks away into the distance.

4. The conversion of ink to graphic images is poor. Primary concern is the conversion of sketches but it also applies when you want to put an Ink mind map in a document or on a web page. Borders appear around the ink and there is a granularity not present in the native MindManager map.

5. The clicking the ink colour tool does not return the stylus to ink mode from eraser mode but clicking the ink thickness tool does.

6. The lasso tool (ink dragging) is often sluggish taking several seconds to settle into the new position.

7. The high CPU usage of MindManager in general and the extreme CPU usage e.g. > 60% CPU time when the stylus is applied to the screen. Not good for someone who inking all day! This halves the battery life of Tablet PCs.

8. That there has been no significant development of ink mode since 2005!

9. I would like the mode to be associated with the map. That is when I change from a map I am editing in ink mode to a map that was previously being edited in mouse mode I want the the mode to change to mouse mode.

Despite all the above I will continue to use MindManager Ink mode because it does a brilliant job. You can just do it in pictures.

Ink to Text – What is the best strategy in MindManager?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I tried a new strategy this morning. I have been going through topic by topic using the 5 drop down choices or editing the topics to correct any “anomalies”. This works well on the single screen of my Tablet PC.

Yesterday I inked two speeches or presentations. I delayed my ink to text conversion until I was back in the office this morning. In my large extension screen situated above my Tablet PC screen I had the ink map. I saved a copy to a new file e.g. meeting_text.mmap and opened it as another window in MindManager. MindManager is now stretched across both screens and I used Arrange View to split the maps across the MindManager work area. In the Tablet PC screen I automatically converted the ink to text using the Accept All option. I was then able to scan the ink and text comparing good and bad conversions, editing any bad conversions as I went around the map.

I think the new strategy was quicker but may be prone to the occasional missed anomaly.

What do you do?

Forget the Text. Just use Pictures. MindManager and the Tablet PC does the job

Friday, January 16th, 2009

On Wednesday evening I went to a presentation by Mike Pounsford of Couravel at the VizThink London meeting organised by my friends at Cognac the Big Picture company. Mike took us through his companies process for visually facilitating the communication of business strategy. More on this in my next blog.

Mike challenged us at the end of presentation to split into three groups and discuss three issues. The group I joined discussed this. Here is your Sunday paper question:

What do these sketches represent individually and collectively? (click to see full size)


How did l do this? With an HP TC2710p and MindManager 8 (but you could do this with MindManager X5 Tablet and a TC1000 four years ago). The map is the record of a 20 minutes discussion between six people. For each phase of the discussion I created a topic and inserted a sketch using gestures. As I became more comfortable with what I was doing I used different pen colours. I did not contribute to the discussion very much.

At the end of the discussion I converted them to floating topics and placed then randomly on the map but so that the map proportions would match the projector screen. When we presented our conclusions to the other attendees we had a graphic artist’s picture of our conclusion on a Flipchart sheet and these on the overhead projector, showing how we got there.

I occasionally use this sketch functionality in MindManager but my feeling is that I am under exploiting the opportunity.

MindManager Technical note:

I and others have been disappointed by the rendering of the ink writing or sketching when exported to images. When I export direct to png, jpg or gif, the ink and sketches are not of the same quality as on screen. See below. Here are two ways to improve it:

1. Save to bitmap. Do not resize. Open bitmap in Paint or similar resize and save in png or jpg. Gif will give a smaller file size but not the quality.

2. Use the Windows Tablet PC snipping tool or similar to cut the picture out of the screen and save as png or jpg. Then resize in your picture editor. This is what I did for the above.

Something for you to sort out properly Mindjet!

Using the MindManager Sketch Tool for the Tablet PC

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Since MindManager version X5 there has been a Sketch Tool which Tablet PC users (or graphics tablet users with Vista) can use to add sketches to their maps. I often use this to make representations of speakers flip charts and slides when there are graphs.

At last week’s Ecademy London presentation on using body language and your voice to influence (or at least not give the game away) I used the tool to make a few cartoons.
Click the map to see the big picture of this presentation by Richard Newman and Christian Billet of UK Body Talk on Can You Walk the Talk?.

You won’t be able to see that there is some degradation of the sketch in conversion from the Ink to being part of the image map jpg but there is. If a higher quality sketch is required employ someone like my friend Simon Ellinias (see below) and use a drawing package like ArtRage2 export to jpg and include in the map.

Its easy to use the sketch tool in MindManager. Just make a triangle gesture in ink mode and the sketching window appears. If you were focussed on a topic it will a sketch in the topic otherwise a floating image. Once your sketch is complete you can resize it by selecting the topic and right clicking to get the resize option.


Please note Simon and I were talking about Tablet PCs when he drew this particularly second hand TC1100s. I was holding a TC 2710p at the time. Both are excellent mobile Tablet PCs.