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Nova-Mind v4 Ιουλίου 23, 2007

Posted by PPKP in Non-Greek, Tech stuff.
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I recently referred to Nova-Mind, in a post about the GTD methodology. Back then I rumbled about how notoriously bad Novamind’s interface is. Today I upgraded to v4, which sports a totally re-designed interface — thank God. This is much, much better. Functionality-wise, there are no huge differences, although I hate how they took away the project management features and left them only for the terribly expensive Platinum edition. I got the Pro one, which is still much more expensive than what I had paid for the previous «Pro» (or whatever it was called back then). Overall, Novamind’s pricing policy went berserk with version 4, which is a real shame. I wouldn’t have upgraded under these circumstances if it wasn’t for the new interface. They do have an upgrade pricing policy, but still.

Anyway, w.r.t. the software itself: Nicely done.

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1. Joe - Ιουλίου 24, 2007

I decided to go with the Platinum version – I am a business user, and thought their previous product was pretty much under priced considering the quality of the output and the powerful features. I do agree that the old interface did leave a lot to be desired, but the power was there – I took the time to learn it, and used it extensively in my business.

I don’t see what they have done with Pro as removing features from a previous «pro» – they only essentially had one product before – now they are producing three. So the mix of features is bound to be different in the different versions. Sure the project management features are going to be in Platinum, but they have said that they are going to be redoing them and adding various new features and reports etc. I would much rather have a more powerful version in Platinum than just the old version in Pro. Their logic seems to be to put those specialist functions in Platinum and really put the effort in to make them the best – just my take on it – and that is something that works well for me.

I really don’t know how you can say that it’s functionally the same – what about the templates, themes, styles, document view, ability to select branch boundaries, a common interface for branch and graphic settings etc? All those are completely new, and powerful features. It makes it so much easier to produce really nice looking consistent Mind Maps. For me, there is a lot of value in that – not all of us are artists, and having something like that makes it easy to both see what you can do with the program, and be able to actually do it yourself. They have had excellent examples up on their web site for a long time – now anyone can see how to make Mind Maps like that easily themselves. Very powerful.

Also am looking forward to the presentation system in Platinum. They haven’t said much about the details, but I would have been happy to pay for Platinum without that – having a complete dedicated presentation system thrown in is a huge bonus.

Anyway, just my $0.02 – try it for yourself and make up your own mind.

2. PPKP - Ιουλίου 24, 2007

Joe, thank you for your comments. I don’t have hardcore requirements, I am mostly using NovaMind for planning my own work and brainstorming in the context of projects w/ my colleagues. I would like to start this reply by pointing out that I did not have problems with the features of the previous versions, but rather with the interface — and only that. Being in love with Mac software simplicity and ease of use, starting to use NMv3 was pure pain.

I see your points on the new features; I was mostly referring to things of «every-day» use for me, from a first look at it. As I upgraded just yesterday and this is a premature comment on the first feeling, there are definitely things to be discovered. Themes and styles are not something that makes a huge difference IMHO, but I understand they may be important to some users.

Regarding taking away features, they actually had 2 versions before, now they have three indeed. I don’t see why the project management features should be removed, this is not common practice for sure (i.e. removing features). The presentation features coming up sound very, very interesting indeed.

Thanks again for your insight.


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