Sometimes users ask us whether they should use Docear or Freeplane, and what exactly the differences are. Well, Docear is based on Freeplane, extended by some additional functionality. Namely, we added some special PDF management capabilities (import of PDF annotations), reference management (based on JabRef), the workspace concept, and some online features such as backup. Although, the latter two features (workspace and backup) soon will be available in Freeplane, too. That means Docear can do everything Freeplane can do, and a little bit more. This might sound like you should always use Docear but that is not true. There are some good reasons (for some people) to use Freeplane. Namely, if you don’t need Docear’s special features we recommend using Freeplane. This gives you three advantages. First, you don’t get annoyed by features you don’t need. Second, and more importantly, the start-up of Docear is very slow because we start all the program code from Freeplane plus JabRef (reference management) plus the other features. That means, Freeplane is much faster. Third, the Freeplane team is highly active and releases new versions of Freeplane very often. We update to Freeplane’s source code once in a while which means with Docear you might not always have the latest bug fixes which are already included in the latest Freeplane version.
In short: if you need Docear’s features, use Docear. If you don’t need Docear’s features, use Freeplane because it’s faster and usually contains less bugs.
Posted in: Other Mind Mapping Tools