Can you learn about mind mapping by investing in an inexpensive mobile app? Yes, but only up to a point.
Here are the pros and cons – and my conclusion.
Tablet and smartphone-based mind mapping apps enable you to create a basic mind map with a limited number of topics. They also enable you to experience the power of rearranging them until they make the most sense to you.
Mobile mind mapping apps also enable you to do some basic embellishment of your visual diagram, such as coloring nodes and assigning shapes to them.
Several of these apps integrate with desktop mind mapping applications. That means you can start capturing and organizing your ideas on your mobile device and then move them to the desktop for further development and refinement.
But it’s important to be aware of the limitations of these popular mobile mind mapping apps:
First, because of the limited screen size of these devices, they can’t easily accommodate more complex mind maps without forcing you to scroll horizontally and vertically.
One of the most powerful capabilities of mind mapping software for business is the ability to attach files, links, notes and other embellishments to individual map topics. The most basic and simple mind mapping apps don’t support these capabilities, but some of the more full-featured, paid ones do.
In many cases, when you create a mind map for your work, its hierarchical visual design is not the final destination of your information. If you were working on a desktop computer, you would have the option of outputting your information to a PowerPoint presentation, Word document and other formats where your data is still in editable form. With certain mind mapping apps, your options are very limited; you can only generate a non-editable PDF or image of your mind map.
Despite these inherent limitations, if you’re looking for a low-cost way to experiment with mind mapping, you may want to download one or two mobile mind mapping apps and give them a try. At the very least, you’ll discover if this type of visual thinking aligns with the way your brain works.
If you really like it, then you’ll be better informed to invest in a full-featured desktop program.
Recommended mind mapping apps
Are you looking for a comprehensive guide to getting started with this type of visual thinking tool?
Download my popular, free Essential Guide to Mind Mapping Software