Collaboration unusable!

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Hi MindJet,

We're potential returning users. We used to use Mind Manager 8, but abandoned it because the collaboration via Catalyst didn't work and at the time was also too expensive for our needs. Now reinvestigating it, I'm finding that the same flaws exist, rendering it unusable.

Bascially, collaboration breaks within the first couple of minutes of using it! I find it stunning that MindJet is building their business around collaboration, yet this is one of the most poor implementations of collaboration I've ever seen. As soon as you go offline, you lose the ability to work on the file, and when you come online again, it's not able to integrate offline changes, but basically forks the file into a new filename, thereby dropping a nuclear bomb on any collaboration you had hoped to do. In this day and age, ALL collaboration solutions out there are smarter than that. They don't have an Offline/Online paradigm, you just drop in and out, and when you're online, your changes get synced in. MinDomo, for example, allows you to suddenly drop off the planet for 10 hours, functionally it's the same besides some Undo functionality, and when you're online again, the changes simply get synced. EverNote works this way. Everything I know works this way.

It's therefore stunning that MindJet, with collaboration as now their main product, have such a fundamentally broken product. In fact, our company is working on an unrelated product that has a heavy collaboration component, and MindJet Connect is the model of what not to do. MindJet Connect has inspired us to do the exact opposite, and make a collaboration solution that is smart enough that you can drop on and off the internet at random and it NEVER needs babysitting. MindJet Connect is to us the nightmare scenario of how fundamentally flawed a design can be. It has motivated us to design the collaboration component before we design anything else, so it's fundamentally built into the data-structures.

Personally, I need some functionality of Mind Manager Professional 2012, so I'll upgrade my personal copy and return from FreeMind and then I'll manually sync my installations via Dropbox or JungleDisk. But there's no possibility of using MindJet Connect, and we won't be able to collaborate. I don't even know where to begin, this is not even Beta software. This is fundamentally broken, and it makes no sense. You guys really need to pull the emergency brake and fix this. Start with the philosophy that you need to be able to edit everything online/offline/whatever, and the software needs to be smart enough to sync all offline changes without any hand-holding whatsoever. The standard needs to be flawless sync with never a dialog-box to resolve conflicts, and never any offline/online modes imposed on the user.

Very bizarre. I can't understand how this software even works at your own organization. I really, really want this to work. It just doesn't.

Best,

Per
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Suriel Lopez

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Posted 8 years ago

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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
Hi again,

In fact, the standard we're holding for our own collaboration solution is that two collaborators need to be able to board two separate international flights without warning or even logging off, work for 10 hours, make major structural changes to the same document, and when they come online again, the software has to be smart enough to merge their work without a single question asked. We've actually taken this so seriously that it's now possible to merge changes made to a part of the document the other user has deleted, and it works. We've built collaboration into the core design.

This is the standard MindJet ought to hold.

Best,
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
We apologize that you are experiencing this problem. This issue is not indicative of how the program works. I have notified our support team and they are looking into this issue further. Could you please provide some additional information including which operating system and browser you are using. Thank you.
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
Hi,

I'm not using a browser, I'm using the application. I consider the browser version for emergencies or if I just have 5 minutes on someone else's computer, because it runs very heavy and is feature-limited compared to the application.

The thing is that collaboration sort of works when everybody is online on ultra-stable internet connections with unlimited data. However, please explain the workflow for working on a shared map while I'm traveling. I'm on 4G going through town, and the connection drops maybe 50 times during the trip. Therefore, the map goes offline 50 times. Then I'm on airport WiFi, which drops 10 times. Then I'm on international flight internet if I'm lucky, which is slow, or there's no internet at all for 10 hours, which forces me to either check the map out, locking everyone else from editing it for 10 hours, or it forces me to make and upload a new copy, thereby forking the file in two directions, which everybody to manually dig through the files and manually merge them, which on a large document can take hours or days because of the basic logical impossibility of doing this. OK, then I'm on 4G roaming internet in Zurich, which costs $2/megabyte. If I work on the map while connected, I'll spend $50 to $100 an hour editing the map.

Why is it that MindJet's collaboration needs so much babysitting? It doesn't make any sense. All other collaboration-based software, and there is a lot in this day and age, but let's take Evernote as an example, is based on *sync*, not real-time collaboration as the only possibility. Sure it works when everyone is online on T1 connections, which I'm sure MindJet is for testing. But that's a fantasy world that nobody lives in. Even in our office in Italy, which is on a business WiMax connection, I drop offline every 10 or 20 minutes or so.

Right now collaboration is such an impediment, and so poorly designed, and I consider it unusable.

I have to say, though, that you've made one improvement, which made me get my copy of MindManager 8 upgraded and I've started using it again, which is that I'm allowed to install it on all my devices. Previously, I dropped MindManager after having purchased copies for our team, and we all went back to FreeMind for the sole reason of being able to install on all your devices. I have about 5 computers I, and only I use. With your new licensing, I've moved my personal mind-map work back to MindManager, which as a pure mind manager is obviously a superior product. So well done, you've won a couple of customers back for that.

But I didn't buy it expecting that we'd be able to collaborate. If, by some miracle, you redesign collaboration, then we can look at it. For now, I'm merely syncing whole maps with JungleDisk to make them appear on all my devices, but obviously I can't have the file open in more than one place, so that can go wrong, and does go wrong. Still, it's less hopeless than the current collaboration implementation. I'm sorry for bashing it, but you have to be made aware, if you aren't already, that you're bound to be losing hordes of customers over this, most of whom you never hear from, but who simply try it, doesn't work, and they move on to MinDomo, which has excellent sync, but feature-combinations and a look that doesn't work for us particularly.

Best,

Per
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
Hi,

Actually MinDomo has near perfect sync, with the major exception that Undo is disabled when you're in collaboration. That's such a major flaw that we couldn't use MinDomo. During collaboration, it's possible to delete the entire map by accidentally hitting delete, and then it's gone... like, totally gone, obliterated into cyber-space. I spoke to the developers, and they didn't see that as the problem I saw it as. That was unacceptable. Otherwise we'd be tolerating every other design flaw with MinDomo and we'd be using that.

Best,

Per
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
I have recently started using Business Connect & I am facing the same problem of connectivity. Also the support provided by mindjet customer support team is very slow. When I post a support request i get the reply only after 24 hrs. due to which my work suffers.
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
The turn around for email submitted tickets to our support team is 2 business days. I have contacted our support team and someone will be reaching out to you shortly. Thank you.
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Suriel Lopez

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Re: Collaboration unusable!
We are facing a lot of problems through Mindjet Business Connect. Many times we are not able to add or delete users & their assess levels to the folders. Also we are not able to create folders many times.
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Henning

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Dear Support Team: I am facing the same problem with the iPhone App and Mindjet Mindmanager 2012. When I finish to work on a map and save it on the PC into Mindjet Connect, afterwards on my iPhone most of the time the map still has a grey lock attached to it. I cannot open it and save it under the same name.

And when it does not have the grey lock and I am happy, then i open the map on the iphone and it always asks me: "There is a newer version of this map on the server. Would you like to see the new version or the current one."
When I select "New Version" I get an error message "Unknown Error when checking out", then "Error. Map already checked out, it is opened in write-protected mode.
(sorry for the bad translation, I am using the German Version of the product).

So I am always stuck with the same problem.

In March 2012 there was CeBit fair in Germany, with a booth of Mindjet as suppart of the big Microsoft both. I showed this behavour to a sales representative of Mindjet, she saw the problem live, and promised me to inform the tech team to find a solution. Since then I have never heard of her again nor gotten any update.

Frustrating. I paid 199 EUR for the Update of Mindmanager 2012!!
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jerry.mings

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Personally, I would suggest not using Mindjet Connect. It appears that Mindjet has a real quality control problem. The product is released and then the testing starts. In my case, data was lost through the Mindjet Connect Map. I now just use it to post public copies of the map, no collaboration.

If I want to collaborate, I use Citrix so the team and work on the map. Then we save it to DropBox for further work.

Simply put, when a group works hard to get something done, they do not like it when the product is corrupted, or does not appear right.

Mindjet Connect needs some serious work. So does Mindjet 2012.

As a long time user, I sadden that this product has gone down hill so quickly.

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