YiamCross
I just downloaded PB to a Mac I'm using because I can't find a version of OneNote that runs on OSX. I was hooked by the claim on a google result that it's better than OneNote and I can confirm, as a recent conver to to onenote, that it is no way comparable. For a start it takes forever to start up. By the time it's ready to go any idea will have been long forgotten.

With onenote in the unlikely case that you don't have it running you just click the icon in the taskbar and there's a blank note. Get the idea down & sort out where it fits into the scheme of things later. No waiting for the package to grind into life, create some new file, worry about filenames and frankly that's about where I gave up with PB. I don't have time to read the manual to work out how to use it, One Note is just so intuative and it comes with a quick & easy notebook which gets you going in minutes. It's always there and it is just so useful.
I have used Mindjet's Mindmanager for years as well as mindmapping software on pocket PC and I have to say this is the most opaque bit of software I've come across in a long time. The people who wrote it probably understand it and those who have nothing better to do than plough through manuals or attempt to comprehend the very trendy but completely uninformative videos might come to find a use for it but the rest of us will just get on with doing what we want to do using tools that don't get in the way.
i was particularly entertained by the message, when at last my download managed to fire up (I still haven't worked out how to start it up intentionally) that my trial of the pro version had expired. In less than a second! Maybe it's just becuase I have the free version that it's not much use. Good luck.
Oh, and sorry, I should be telling everyone how I'm using PB? I'm not. Fortunately my PC will be repaired soon & I'll be able to get back to OneNote. Good luck y'all.
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Dryopithecus
It appears if you don't run PB under administrator account, it will expire the first time you start it. This is true on both Windows and Linux (at least it's the case on my machine). If you use Vista, try "Run as Administrator".

IMO, nothing is comparable to PB. While a OneNote or MindManger document is just a document, a PB brain is a knowledge platform.

You can put numerous ON or MM documents in a PB brain, but you can't put a PB brain into a ON or MM document. In fact, one of the major purposes of PB is to organize all your documents.

And I don't think PB is "better" than OneNote, I believe they are designed for difference purposes.

(sorry for my English)
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zenrain
Since you seem to be looking for a Personal Information manager for the Mac that's similar to OneNote, I'd recommend you look at VoodooPad, Together, or Yojimbo.
Together and Yojimbo are a bit more of a file repository that allow searches and Notetaking features. For notes, VoodooPad is like a wiki for your desktop, and comes highly recommended from a lot of sources. I also hear MacJournal is good.

Hope this helps.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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YiamCross
Thanks for the info, I've downloaded a copy onto my PC where the trial version seems to be working fine. Probably just a Mac thing, I've never been a fan of the damned things.
I'm beginning to get a handle on PB now but my initial thoughts are:
Nothing on the PB website has really helped to understand what it's all about. I've used MindManager for years & remember it was very easy to get to grips with. For a start they include mind maps explaining what it is, how it works and how to get going with it. If PB is so good at expressing complex thoughts intuitively, why is all the documentation in conventional sequential text format like any other weighty tome I might find in a library?
I don't have time to spend hours & days researching a lot of written information or viewing videos to find out what this is all about. What I want from a mapping package is the ability to get thoughts down quickly before they're gone then have the ability to organise them and reorganise them as I review them and see connections & new relationships as I progress. I also want to be able to condense information into related key elements which are quick & easy to review with the ability to dig down for detail as required. I don't want to have to spend hours writing a detailed text document nor do I want to  have to wade through reams of sequential text to find one small item of information. Same with video, it's a great way of telling a long story but a terrible way to store and access reference data.
As I say, if this program is so great for recording complex concepts and seeing new relationships and fresh ideas that wouldn't show up any other way, why isn't all the relevant documentation as to how to use it and how it works one big PB map?
One of the mysteries of life, I guess, though I suspect it's down to a business run by techies who know the package so well it's obvious to them but can't understand how someone new to it might struggle to get to grips with how it works, what it can do and how to use it.
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Dryopithecus
I agree that the tutorials should be better.

Actually most of the features of PB are very easy to handle. The tricky part is how to use these basic features to organize all your thoughts. Just too many possible methods. I don't think I can one day really master my PB brain, even if I spend years to study it, just like I don't think I can really master my real brain.

IMO, the major advantage of PB is the ability to organize tens of thousands of thoughts.

The PB users always enjoyed telling people how big their brains are. Take a look at this thread: http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=1897420

I can't imagine how to organize my 40,000 PB thoughts with MindManager or OneNote.

But I believe many will agree with me that PB is not good at quickly mapping out ideas. Usually I use OneNote, FreeMind or MS Word documents for temporary ideas, which are stored as "internal attachments" in my PB brain.

(sorry for my English)
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bookeater
Quote:
YiamCross:
I was hooked by the claim on a google result that it's better than OneNote and I can confirm, as a recent conver to to onenote, that it is no way comparable.

You right ON and PB are incomparable. They do quite different things and if both combined can give excellent tool for management/organisation of information (in PB) and its seamless storage (in ON). I can only wish this cooperation was further developed between these two programs.
And yes truly a bit more intuitive menu would be helpful for those not wishing to read tons of manual

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keenable
Choosing software that's supposed to give a boost to your thought processes and organizational challenges gets personal immediately.  If an interface doesn't help you, it's just a toy. 

I have two main personal uses for my Personal Brain Pro:

1.  I keep many lists and use many organizational software programs.  My PB is a meta program, helps me group and connect links to stuff outside the brain.  I use it as a desktop, but like that it's a second desktop, a button away from my traditional one.  And as the mouse control is unaffected, I can toggle between PB and my desktop without missing a beat.

2.  PB is associative.  If you take the time to link related ideas, you can infer missing pieces, inventions that need inventing, ideas you hadn't thought of.  This is the boost PB promises and delivers.

Most of my stuff is in a traditional MS Access database, far to large to "transcribe" into PB.  When PB has an upload function for MS Access it will be perhaps the only software I need to assist my thinking and organizing.

Finally, I think we all must assess how much time we spend experimenting with software designed to assist us.  I like to let PB grow on me over time, and it has.
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zenrain
Wow. What he said.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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shakennotstirred
I would disagree somewhat that programs such as OneNote or Evernote are incomparable.   PB as well as these other programs have, at their core, the ability to organized lots of different pieces of your information.   However, Evernote and to some extent OneNote are better at quickly capturing random notes and pieces of information without interrupting your workflow, where PB is much better are organizing and visualizing relationships between that data.  I would actually love PB to have the ease of data capture that Evernote provides where information can just get dumped into a central part repository for later categorizing with a single click, or by forwarding an email from a smartphone or another computer.
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crbnblu
In reading this thread I just wanted to echo how marvelous it might be if all the PB documentation were actually in a brain -- though the thought might be a bit too radical.
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gasminder
I'd also reinforce the idea that if PB is so great at managing knowledge then the documentation should be in a brain. Why not? Flashy videos are NOT HELPFUL.

I've tried PB several times, finally licensed it; have created several brains in an attempt to get it to the useful stage. I have never been able to "get over the hump" where it becomes a useful tool rather than a time-consuming toy.

One other complaint - the licensing has never worked right for me and the usefulness of a knowledge management tool is directly proportional to how easily I can access the knowledge. I work on multiple pc's both at home and at work but my life is not "compartmentalized" - meaning I may need the functionality of either work or home at any time. I use a jump drive install but that is NOT a convenient solution for me. The current price point is absurd to get to a multiple license point for a personal tool. Even that though would not be as useful a solution as an online "synchronization" al la Opera or as many of the web-collaborative mind-mapping tools now allow.

Finally - I am also a long-time Mindmanager & OneNote user and tried PB because I don't think either fulfill the need I was searching for here. I suspect PB could be it but I need more useful help to get there.

PS - If you have been a Mindmanager or Freemind user, check out XMind. IMHO it's better than freemind, comparable to much of the usefulness of MM and is opensource or low-cost for the pro version as opposed to MM's descent into corporate hell.
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Darkstar
Gasminder--- I can understand your problems well. I am lucky enough that I just take a brainzip between home and work. When I get done at work, zip, and that gets copied over to the home machine. When I've done any work at home, zip, then that gets moved over to the work machine when I go back to work. Been okay, but I occasionally eye other solutions to the issue, such as an online sycn solution. But it is all a matter of trade-offs.

How many use stations do you need? I thought PB allowed for 3 active installations per license, allowing you to do home, work, and a mobile laptop?
-Darkstar
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