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Mind Mapping Tools - Pen and Paper Versus the Computer - What Are the Pluses and Minuses?

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Mind mapping is a very useful technique to enhance your creativity and organise your ideas, but what mind mapping tools do you need exactly? There are really two major ways you can go for mind mapping tools.
You can use the traditional method of pens and paper, or you can use the modern method of computer software.
This article will outline the pluses and minuses of both.
Firstly I will start with pen and paper and then move on to mind mapping software.
Pen and Paper This typically involves using a blank piece of blank unlined paper and some coloured pens.
Advantages 1.
It is relatively inexpensive.
Pen and paper are everywhere at pretty cheap prices.
2.
There is no need to learn software Disadvantages 1.
It can look very messy and unprofessional unless you are a good artist and really take your time.
2.
It is very difficult to edit.
If you want to change the position of a branch then you may need to redo the whole mind map.
3.
You will often run out of space.
If you really want to let your mind go then you will likely come up against the edge of the page.
You can try using much larger pieces of paper but this can become unmanageable.
Computer Software This is a more recent development, and certainly seems the direction which mind mapping is heading currently.
Advantages 1.
It looks very professional.
You don't need to be artistic or figure out how to space all of your branches.
If you want to show it to anyone you will be very proud, and not embarrassed.
2.
It is very easy to edit.
You are able to change the branches around and what is written on them.
This can be especially useful when you are organising your thoughts after a solid brainstorming session.
3.
You can link documents and files to the branches.
This is a fantastic feature.
It adds yet another dimension to your mind mapping.
You can have shortcuts to your relevant files and websites right on your mind map.
4.
You can make much larger mind maps.
You are not restricted by the edge of the paper.
You can just keep going and going.
The means your creativity and thoughts really have no boundary.
5.
You can make a branch into its own separate mind map centre.
This can really allow you to focus in on a subtopic and create many more ideas around it.
Disadvantages 1.
You need to learn a new piece of software.
This will vary in complexity from mind map software to mind map software, so you will need to work out the right one for you.
  2.
It costs money to buy.
I know but so do most things which are good these days.
For me it was well worth it.
I use it all the time and it has definitely added great value to my life.
Conclusion They both have pluses and minuses but for me, I prefer the computer software because of the advantages outlined above.
I would also like to point out that some of the advantages of the software are not be available on some mind mapping software packages.
If you want more information on mind mapping software you can check out my blog.
As far as mind mapping tools go for myself, I used to mind map on paper, but now I exclusively mind map on computer software.
Ultimately each of us have our own preferences, and it is up to us to choose.
Happy mind mapping!
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