Written by Michael Woodman

Coggle is a free cloud-based concept mapping program – unlike most programs of this sort, it makes a feature of its simplicity. Coggle focuses on allowing users to collaborate quickly and easily on maps by removing what it describes as ‘clutter’ and ‘unnecessary information’; it has a deliberately minimalistic design.

  • Coggle is entirely web-based: there is no software to install, and you can log in and continue working on any PC, Mac or tablet. Many of the usual features are available, (e.g adding branch images, keyboard shortcuts for quickly getting ideas down, dragging and dropping branches to modify map structure, etc).
  • Coggle is free, though it is worth remembering that free accounts don’t include more than one ‘private’ map – every map you create after the first one will be searchable and discoverable on the internet.
  • Coggle is designed for collaborative working. You can grant other people permission to view and/or edit your map. And you can then chat with those people using a ‘comment’ feature. These conversations take place within specific branches, and, in free versions, Coggle will remember up to 2 weeks of your conversation history.
  • As well as visiting the Coggle website to access your map, you can install Coggle as a Google Chrome Plugin, which features Google Drive integration so that you can save your Coggle maps in your Google Drive. This is really helpful, especially if you already use Google Drive as part of your filing system.
  • Export your map to a list view. When planning an essay or report it can be helpful to change you map into a list of headings. To do this with Coggle, you first download the maps a ‘plain text’ file and then open that file with a word processor (e.g. Word or Google Docs).

Coggle doesn’t have as wide a range of map-building features as some other programs but is a great simple concept mapping tool – and stands out for its collaboration features.