The Difference Between Mind Mapping and Linear Note Taking

Last updated on September 10, 2021 by

Note-taking is indeed an essential way for us to use in able to add new facts into our long-term memory. Some students are good at it and some are not, while others have decent note-taking skills yet they don’t excel at class. For it to be effective you must know the type of note-taking that is suited to how your brain works. The most common type of jotting down notes is linear note-taking and the other one is through the use of mind mapping. So to access which one will fit your needs then check out the rest of this post.

What is mind mapping?

Mind Mapping is the visual organization of information through the use of a mind map. This method was popularized in the 1960s and it starts to increase its popularity since then. Its effectiveness was proven when well-known psychologists learned that a human brain needs both logical and critical sides to work together to achieve optimal learning. Since mind maps are made by combining images and words, thus force the brain to use both the right and left sides that is significant for a better understanding of thoughts.

what is mind map

Advantages over traditional note-taking

  • It contains numerous mental triggers for better memorization of information. Some of which include images, colors, two-dimensional structures, and icons.
  • It’s more fun since it feels more like doodling than doing the work.
  • Provides a better overview of the topic.
  • It allows you to go back and input more info into your notes.
  • Creates lesser yet more essential notes.

How to do mind mapping?

Mind mapping notes are easier to do since fewer words are needed to be transcribed. Just make sure to place the topic at the center-surround it with a subtopic which you can add branch out later on to add the more necessary information.

mind mapping notes

There are two ways to create a mind map, one is by using the traditional pen and paper. Or you can utilize the modern way of doing it which is via mind mapping tools that are further elaborated later on this content.

What is note-taking?

Linear note-taking is the commonly used method of jotting down information, whether at school or work. It is also referred to as traditional note-taking. According to scholars of the University of Reading, linear note-taking consists of headings for the main topic. And then subheadings for the main points on which are further elaborated through the use of bullets and numbering. Most students utilize linear notes then to summarize what they read or most of the time transcribing what it’s being discussed.

note taking

Advantages of using linear note-taking

  • Effectively organizes materials.
  • It is chronological, as it will reflect the order point’s show.
  • It’s neat and easy to do.
  • They’re dated so it’s easier to get back on it later on.

How to do linear note-taking?

There are times when in lecturer provides handouts that contain some keywords for a certain topic. In this case, all you need to do is to add points about that keyword through the use of bullets or numbers.

While if you’re taking notes directly from a book that you read or as it was discussed, then you need to write the important keywords from a certain topic. You can then add more points on each keyword to further elaborate on it. Just repeat the steps until the lecture is done.

Similarities and Differences

When comparing mind mapping notes and linear note-taking there are some differences and there’re similarities as well.


  • Mind maps accurately reflect the process of how your mind goes through as you adds new information.
  • Mind mapping has benefits on all types of students especially those visual learners.
  • The use of a mind map would help you focus more since all of the ideas are all on one page.
  • Linear note-taking suits better on analytic and rational thinkers.
  • It seems to be the go-to way of note-taking for students who wants a quicker way to jot down notes.


  • Both are effective ways to write down important facts about a certain topic.
  • Can be used on both classroom and business set-ups.
  • Both can be done through the use of the traditional pen and paper or modern applications.

Best Mind Mapping Tool for taking down notes


To add more fun in making mind mapping notes then this is the tool that you can rely on. GitMind is a mind map maker that is available on both online and desktop versions. This tool is packed with readily available templates that you can utilize instantly. It also comes with a built-in editor for creating your mind map with the theme that you prefer. Moreover, this tool also has a share function that allows you to easily collaborate with your classmate or colleagues.

gitmind app

To make your mind mapping experience more convenient, GitMind is now also available on mobile platforms like Android and iOS. This would provide more flexibility as you can jot down your mind mapping notes anytime via your mobile device.



Know you can easily take down notes without any dilemma on what to use note-taking method to use. Both of the ways provided above are effective, it just depends on your personal preferences.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on September 10, 2021

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