Mindjet has launched an updated version of its mindmapping software. MindManager 8 allows users to create diagrams of their ideas, encouraging them to think in a more free-form, creative manner.

Starting with a central topic, MindManager 8 lets users insert branches that contain sub-topics. Data, hyperlinks and images can all be embedded into a map.

MindManager 8 includes a Mindjet Player that transforms maps into interactive Adobe PDFs or Flash .SWF files. These are display in an embedded browser window so users can view web pages and PDF documents without leaving te program.

MindManager 8 also includes the option to view and edit attached Microsoft Word, Excel, Project and PowerPoint files from within this embedded browser.

A Database Linker allows real-time information from spreadsheets to be incorporated into a mindmap. It is also fully compatible with MindManager Web - a separate, web-based applet that allows users to create mind maps online as well as allowing colleagues access and the capability to edit the map themselves.

See details of MindJet's online service here.

"Mindjet has addressed one of the biggest hurdles facing mind-mapping technology today: the inability to share fully functional maps with people who do not own the product. Mindjet Player and MindManager Web will help many more individuals and organisations see the benefits of using mind mapping for getting information work done faster, better, smarter," said Mark Levitt, program vice president, Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 strategies at IDC.

MindManager 8 costs £199 for a single licence, or £99 for those upgrading from a previous version.

See our review of MindManager 7 here.