I wonder how many MindManager users simply accept this?
I've decided to blog about the problem, not as a threat or to divide the MindManager community, but in the hopes that the MindManager community might pool its resources to encourage (and help) MindJet improve the product we use and care about. If this blog has any clout at all, I want to use it to raise awareness inside and out of MindJet about how to help make MindManager, one of my favorite productivity tools, even better.
As I searched for a solution to this problem on the various MindManager forums and the Yahoo MindJet user group I quickly realized that several others are having this problem, too. Some users have proposed creative solutions - few of which have made any positive impact for me or my clients that use MindManager. I've even spoken with Mindjet evangelist, Hobie Swan a few times about this and he's assured me that MindJet support is aware of the complaint by "some" users but that the solution was elusive. (Just how many "some" is, I do not know. I suspect that part of the reason this has not been fixed already is that they may perceive "some" to be a very small number. Hopefully this blog post will help those affected by this issue to speak up.)
In April, I decided to mind map David Allen's entire RoadMap presentation on my Tablet PC in ink mode. (I even built an extended battery for the mind map process.) For the most part, the ink-capture process worked well and I was able to live with the high-cpu issue because MindManager was the only application open. Once I saved the map, however, I could not reopen it without my CPU utilization jumping to 100%. I have no idea how many productivity ideas are locked in the maps I drew in MindManager that day. I don't plan to show off pen mode until I can find a way to open my maps again.
MindJet and its customers can work together.
MindJet has already demonstrated that they do listen to their customers though they may not be quick to respond. I know this personally. I lead a year-long campaign to get MindManager to implement Lotus Notes doclinks in MindManager. It took almost a year to get the attention of the right people inside of MindJet. In the end MindJet delivered and we now have a powerful tool to offer to corporate clients that use Lotus Notes and MindManager. Unfortunately, I cannot wait a year for a solution for the CPU utilization problem. Neither, I suspect will "some" of the people affected by the high CPU utilization problem.
I know that many MindManager users read my blog and that many of those users started using MindManager as a result of reading my blog. I feel a certain responsibility to the MindJet community to help improve the quality of a product that I enjoy and recommend frequently.
My proposed solution in two parts:
MindJet: BE TRANSPARENT. More than one unhappy user has posted in the various forums about their problems with high CPU utilization in MindManager. I've yet to see much discussion from MindJet, just unhappy users. Seems like a missed opportunity here. (To me, 30% CPU utilization at idle is unacceptable. 1% is. Look at my screen shot - I often see 80-100% CPU utilization at idle.) Acknowledge the problem publicly, tell us what you are doing to resolve the problem and, if needed, tell us, your loyal customers, how we can help. Engage in conversation. I'm not looking for a press release or a tech note, but an open and honest discussion: "We feel your pain, here's what we know and here's what we commit to do to fix it. Here's how you, our loyal customers, can know we are sincere..."
MindManager users: BE PERSISTENT. I've read the posts in the forums asking for help and I've seen several generous individual s attempt to offer solutions. This is what a web "community" is all about. Let's kick things up a notch and use our blogs to increase awareness and attention on the features and issues that we, as customers would like to see. Ultimately, the blogoshpere is probably not the place to resolve bugs from a technical standpoint, but it may be a good springboard to increase awareness until someone emerges to take ownership of the problem.
I suspect that this blog will be circulated widely. If you've experienced the CPU utilization issue I hope that you will make a post here on my blog to help MindJet know.
So, do I plan to dump MindManager as a productivity tool?
Not if they can find a fix for this problem. In fact, I'll become an even more loyal supporter as a result.
Let's see if MindJet listens.
I expect they will.
[BTW: I did not do this in a vacuum; I recently let Hobie know that I would be covering this subject on my blog. A fellow productivity blogger himself, Hobie encouraged me and thanked me for my help raising the awareness of MindManager as a productivity tool. He assured me that if I blogged about this issue, he would see to it that others inside the company would read it. I hope you will add your comments and spread the word. I think MindManager is an awesome tool and I want to see it improve.]