Improve Sharepoint and Outlook Integration

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I've used Mindjet for brainstorming and project planning for at least 5 years now. When I was initially exposed to it, I fell in love with it--particularly how customizable it is for each project as well as its integration with other tools.
However, I have become increasingly frustrated with the marketing promises of integration with tools like Sharepoint and Outlook but the failure to mention the caveats of those integration. Mindjet fails to connect with Outlook 64; it only connects with Outlook 32. Mindjet fails to connect with Sharepoint through Outlook365.
Sure, you've added features like Mindjet Tasks, but this has three problems: (1) you are telling your customers that they have features like Outlook and Sharepoint while many of your customers cannot integrate; (2) Mindjet tasks creates a secondary task management system which complicates a person's life by causing them to look at too many systems (like the GTD system asserts: more than 1 system is too many systems); (3) Mindjet tasks is pretty crappy.
Please stop telling your customers that you are delivering something that you are not. And please give your customers what they are asking for: Outlook 64 and Sharepoint (Office365) integration.
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Garland Vance

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Posted 6 years ago

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Thorsten Preisegger

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I fully support your position. Mindjet has not yet delivered satisfactorily with regard to Outlook and Sharepoint integration.

The missing Sharepoint (Office 365) functionality should be implemented asap.

Mindjet 11 should be able to generate multi-map analyses instead of just being able to generate reports (markers and tasks) on the basis of individual maps. The current functionality is simply useless for any serious professional using multiple linked maps with tasks and other important information distributed over all maps.

And those multi-map aggregated task reports should be fully syncable (2-way) with Outlook and Sharepoint.

Another new task system like Mindjet Tasks which does not fully interact with the common systems like Outlook and Sharepoint is simply not acceptable for a person trying to be efficient.

And I still believe Mindjet is an innovative company which does seek to satisfy its customers. Because the product, except for the mentioned shortcomings, is really great.

But please, Mindjet, take our complaints seriously and change the current situation.

Thanks.
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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Garland & Thorsten,

Thanks for your feedback. These items that you mention are all in our list of future improvements. If I could wave a wand and have them here for you today, I would!

Garland, I've spoken with our marketing team already to discuss your complaint about being misled. Since the website redesign, it's been harder to find our product's system requirements which state which versions of SharePoint and Outlook we support. The page is being redesigned again and they now have this piece of information to aid in the design, thanks!

Regarding 64-bit support, that is a major undertaking. Our team has to carefully consider when we'll do this as it will take considerable cost and time. Up until now, the demand for 64 bit has been present but low.

I've seen a recent uptick in requests for Office 365 / SharePoint access. I'm raising its priority and will start discussions with our team to see what we can do here.

Thanks again for your feedback, I appreciate your concerns and needs.
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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Thorsten, can you elaborate further on what you're talking about when you request multi-map aggregated task reports?
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Thorsten Preisegger

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Michael, thanks a lot for your quick answer. I very much appreciate that Mindjet is considering our concerns.

Regarding the multi-map aggregated task reports: I have a central mind map which links to my different client and project mindmaps. In every individual map there can be some tasks. As far as I know, it is not possible right now to get an overview of all tasks that are within individual but linked mindmaps. I can only get an overview of all tasks within each individual map. So I never get an overview of what needs to be done.

If I could automatically sync all Mindmap tasks (of all linked maps) and their current status with Outlook or Sharepoint, then I could have an aggregated task report in Outlook/Sharepoint. But not even this seems possible right now. I would have to enter each mindmap and manually sync the tasks with Outlook. For Sharepoint (but not SP 365), it seems you have already implemented an automatic sync upon opening and closing each map.

It would be also important that the sync functionality includes the option to sync additional information (such as tags,categories) of the synced item.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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If all your tasks across your various maps are synced with outlook, why can't you pull an outlook query into your summary map? You could also do that with SharePoint (albeit not hosted on Office 365 yet) or you could do it in Mindjet Tasks. We don't yet offer a utility that reads links or selected maps and rolls the 'tasks' into a summary map. That's something that we're looking at for the future.
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Thorsten Preisegger

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Ok, thanks for your reply. How does pulling an outlook query into my summary map help me?

Wouldn't it just pull the current status of the outlook tasks into Outlook, independently of whether those tasks already exist in Mindmanager or not? And it wouldn't really perform a sync with MindManager, so I would have to perform a manual update in each map individually, right? And if I changed a tasks within MindManager, the query would not update the Outlook task, right? And how would I import the tasks which I entered off-site in Outlook and which are not yet in MindManager? This would have to be automatic, MM would have to recognize which tasks are new with respect to all linked maps.

Those needs are not new. Actually they were addressed by the Add-In "ResultsManager" some time ago. The add-in only works until MM 9 and is no longer functional in MM 2012 and Mindjet 11. However, it shows that my request is not exotic in any way and probably addresses the needs of many users.

And it shows that it is not exceptionally difficult to implement.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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If it doesn't help you I may have misunderstood your problem.

Let me see if I can restate it...

You're looking to get a summary of tasks in a map based on a set of other maps. If a user updates the status of a task in either place, it should be updated in both places.

Is that right?

If so, the reason I suggested Outlook tasks was because you could send all the original tasks in the maps to Outlook. Then you can use the queries to make a summary map. If you have topics edited in your summary map or the project map itself, the changes will ultimately get reflected in both places when the map is synced.

This could also be done with Mindjet Tasks or SharePoint. Btw, you say our Task system is pretty crappy. Can you elaborate? What's missing? What could be better?

Your request, as I understand it, is not unique. And, yes, our partner used to offer this type of capability with ResultsManager.

Thanks for your input.

Michael
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Thorsten Preisegger

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Michael, thank you for your explanations.

You are saying that editing either the summary map or the project map itself, the changes will ultimately get reflected in both places when the map is synced. With regard to Sharepoint or Mindjet Tasks, I follow you. However, with regard to the Outlook Sync, my understanding is that an update in/from the project map will only happen when I actively trigger it from within the individual map. Is this right?

If this is right, then only the Sharepoint/Mindjet Tasks functionality makes sense to me. And that is why I would love to see Sharepoint 365 implemented.

I never said Mindjet Tasks was crappy, this was a statement made by Garland. I just would prefer to continue using the Outlook/Sharepoint system for tasks as my colleagues and me are used to the whole workflow. I do not see the point in changing the workflow or even using a second task system in addition to the current one.

In my first statement, I mentioned that the individual item properties should be synced and shown in a summary map as well (such as tags, colors, etc). In MM 9 (in combination with ResultsManager), I always assign contexts (tags) to my tasks which are synced with Outlook categories. This enables me to efficiently act on the tasks. I believe this point is very important.

Actually, I like your marker index functionality a lot, it is a pity that it is limited to the individual maps. It would be great if you could apply it on a set of linked maps and get a summary map.

Thanks for your feedback.
Thorsten
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Andreas Damke

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Actual situation / development ? Any news ?

Andreas