Earlier this week, SmartDraw.com announced the availability of the newest version of its flagship business diagramming and mapping software, SmartDraw 2008. It offers numerous improvements that are designed to help businesspeople create charts, graphs, diagrams and mind maps more quickly and easier than ever.
In general, this new version of SmartDraw can do much of the heavy lifting of drawing business diagrams for you, and focus on your content instead. Case in point: If you're using SmartDraw 2008 to create an organizational chart, you can click on buttons that say "add employee below" or "add employee to the left," instead of dragging and dropping new rectangular boxes to your diagram.
You can now create numerous types of charts and graphs in SmartDraw 2008, including those cool USA Today type of charts, where different sized images are used to represent data points.
Of biggest news to the readers of this blog are the enhancements to SmartDraw's mind mapping capabilities. Topics can now be added using keyboard shortcuts, and you can quickly switch between map and GANTT views of your information. In addition, in SmartDraw 2008, you can create decision trees and cause and effect diagrams.
If you need an all-purpose business diagramming tool, but only rudimentary mind mapping capabilities, then SmartDraw 2008 is worth a look. In the arena of business diagramming, it's the best, in my opinion. But in the area of mind mapping, however, it's strictly a lightweight application.