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Try Coggle for concept maps

November 26, 2013


Coggle is an easy-to-use concept mapping tool developed by recent Cambridge graduates James Crosby and Andy Pritchard. The site has been available since March in”Beta,” which means the developers don’t promise it will always work. On the up side, they do promise to keep Coggle free forever.

After logging in with a Google account, Coggle provides a canvas where you can build a two-sided tree. Start with a central idea in the middle and then add branches on the left or right. It’s easy to drag branches around and rearrange them. The nodes are text by default, but you can incorporate other information:

One of the best features is real-time collaboration. You can share a Coggle with predefined group, with specific email addresses, or by sharing a private link. You can also share offline by exporting your Coggle to a PDF or PNG file.

Coggle is a cross-platform tool based on HTML5, and it works reasonably well on an iPad. It also saves versions, so you can go back to an earlier stage if you mess up. You can also copy someone else’s Coggle as a starting point for your own.

coggle sampleI found it pretty easy to create an example (at right), including a few advanced nodes. It’s a bit quirky here and there, but in general I like the tool and I’m going to keep an eye on Coggle as it works its way through the beta phase of development. To learn more, see the review in PCWorld. See also Best tools and practices for concept mapping.

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