Are your mindmaps getting a little stiff? If so, try Coggle a shiny, feature-heavy, cloud-based concept mapping tool. Here’s the low-down on this free app:
Coggle Free is, well, free! This option includes basic functions – more on these below in the features section. All of these features are also available in both of the paid versions.
Coggle Awesome is $5 a month and includes an expanded number of features such as full-screen presentation mode, drag and drop support of very large images, and unlimited private Coggles. All of these features are also available in the organizational version.
Coggle Organizations is $8 a month per and includes all of the Awesome features plus a large number of added admin features. These include centralized cloud storage, enhanced privacy features, bulk export, and branding.
Look, Feel, and Basic Functions
Coggle is simply delightful to experience. Maps begin with a soft grey central node with white text. Hovering over this node displays two prominent plus signs. Upon clicking either of these a subtle fruit-colored branch organically flows in an unexpected, serpentine stream. This initial branch begs for connection with its pointed end cap – and creating a new connection is as simple as clicking the plus sign that appears when an end cap is hovered over. Alternately, the pointed end caps also allow users to add nodes with text, images, or video. An infinite number of nodes and color-family coded branches, sub-branches, and sub-sub-branches can be created from any point within a Coggle.
Right clicking on any element of a Coggle map – from the background to nodes to branches – produces responsive menus specific to the element. For instance, in the example below I clicked the “Rhizomes in Education” Node and got 4 options: Add Branch, Add to Discussion, Drag to Create Link, and Zoom Page.
Responsive Menu Feature
One great feature of Coggle is its shortcut commands. These can be used to format text within nodes, manipulate branches, add images, and more. A handy shortcut command cheat sheet is available from the Coggle design page.
Shortcut Cheat Sheet
Like many newer mindmapping tools Coggle caters to real time group work. Collaboration features include unlimited editing invites, multi-user same-time editing, version control, and embedded messaging. This last feature is especially robust since users can chat in real time, leave messages for one another, and even search messages for particular pieces of information.
Here’s a short tutorial on how to get up and started with Coggle:
I’m using Coggle this semester for my own PhD work. In particular I’ve been using it pretty heavily in my research into rhizomes. You can check out my Coggle if you like – note that this Coggle connects to a larger Coggle that I’m working on. As you can see Coggles can connect to other Coggles almost infinitely.
Coggle is a fantastic tool that not only produces useful, infinitely customizable, collaborative mind maps but also just feels good to manipulate with it’s beautiful color palette and pleasant animations.