Product Reviews

Recombinant Mind Maps

Kutchka Templating extends a brainstorming tool

Kutchka Templating is an add-in for MindManager (which I looked at in Developer Central #3, http://www.mcpmag.com/newsletter/article.asp?EditorialsID=67). Perhaps the best way to explain Kutchka Templating is to say that it enables you to easily produce recombinant Mind Maps. You can load two or three (or a dozen, for that matter) Mind Maps, and then use Kutchka to pick and choose the branches that you'd like to combine into a new map. The branches come over complete with all their information, notes, icons, and so on.

Kutchka also allows you to assign simple predecessor/successor relationships as you add branches. This lets you turn a Mind Map into sort of a rough-and-ready dependency chart. Automatic hyperlinking lets you proceed through a list of tasks in the order that they're linked.

The basic Mind Map is an excellent tool for brainstorming. What Kutchka Templating brings to the table is a way to take chunks of past brainstorms and re-use them, and a way to adapt Mind Mapping to process-oriented projects by adding the notion of flow. After spending a few minutes with the tutorial, I didn't have any problem using its capabilities, which are well-integrated into the MindManager shell. All in all, a nice little addition to the native capabilities of MindManager.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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