Thursday, 26 February 2009


Here's where I turn into a Luddite again. But it's not primarily because I'm a Luddite that I don't think I'll be making much use of Mindmeister. More importantly, I am a text-not-image person and I don't think visually. I never make spider diagrams; I make lists, and only rarely even colour-code them. Mindmapping just doesn't suit my learning style, and I doubt this is going to change just because I can now draw the diagrams online.

In any case, I am not yet convinced of the advantages of drawing mindmaps electronically. If you want to share them with friends and colleagues, that's another matter: the benefits of sharing things online are obvious. But if you're working by yourself -- either because it's an independent project, or because you're doing some preliminary work prior to the shareable part of the task -- is Mindmeister really so much better than pen and paper?


  1. It's a good point, and when I'm brainstorming, I probably would use the older technology. But I think collaborative mind-mapping might be a good teaching tool, and also, because you can export as an image file, it can be a visually pleasing way to present complex information (see my own overview of the Polish locative case).

  2. I agree that doing it electronically is just too slow and clunky and distracting. But if I wanted to have a 'neat' version or one to share I might consider it.

    That might be a useful idea for teaching, getting students signed up to it and to have them submit mind maps of seminar readings. Again, the on-line version would facilitate sharing, not necessarily creation.

  3. I'm with you 100% on this. Having missed Bill's introduction yesterday, I instead patiently watched the site's tutorial video. This made it quite clear how to use the application, but left me just as confused as to why I would wish to use it. I find ‘thinking visually’ a sure route to confusion (just the hint of a diagram will turn me off any article); indeed, I’ve been known to counsel students against it in lectures, or at least to move on from it as soon as possible in their thinking process, as I suspect that a failure to develop a keen sense of linear verbal reasoning often manifests in a failure to construct logically persuasive arguments.

  4. Hah! I keep telling my students the exact opposite. Use mind maps to get your thoughts down, and then use the map to linearise it for writing up.

    I also use mind maps occasionally to keep notes of an article I'm reading. But everybody has different learning styles, some are more visual, others aren't.