Trying out Coggle

Some of the decoration in the new study hall. The note on the side of the glass says "I failed the exam", and he has a knife in his eye, so that bodes well for the second year!

Some of the decoration in the new study hall. The note on the side of the glass says "I failed the exam", and he has a knife in his eye, so that bodes well for the second year!

New Year, new study area! Right now, I’m sitting in the second- and third-year study area, called “The Anatomical Study Hall”. Although I miss the comfy chair I used to bogart, it’s a major upgrade from last year’s morgue adjacent study hall, as this place actually has windows! Last year I felt like I' walked into a casino or Ikea, because you would completely lose track of time in there. Whether having a sense of time passing is a good or a bad thing, I have yet to find out. However, what I have uncovered for you, my dear readers, is a new study tool!

Coggle is a free mind mapping tool I’ve been trying out for the Animal Nutrition block we just started last week. When signing up you have the option to upgrade from the “free forever”, to either a $5 or $8 per month plan. However, I’ve found that the free version has more than enough customizability for most users.

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Pros:

As you can see from the image above it has a pretty intuitive and simple user interface. You just click create diagram, and start branching out, just as you would with a regular mind map. What I like about this tool is that you can change your mind about the layout at any time in the creation process.

Mind mapping is also a great way to get a general overview of each subsection of a topic. If you’re a visual learner, being able to picture which branches are connected to one another can serve as a great memorization tool.

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Cons:

If you’re anything like me, and struggle with abbreviating your thoughts, mind mapping may not be for you. There were times where I caught myself creating branches so wordy that you couldn’t view the entire mind map all at once, and still have the branches be legible. A way to combat this is to create several, smaller mind maps, perhaps one of each chapter, instead of one for an entire topic.

Another minor grievance I have after trying out Coggle is that when you try to add images to your mind map, they become so tiny and pixelated that you can hardly make anything out of them. This is of course an incentive to upgrade to the paid version, where you can upload larger image files, meaning, if you can manage without adding illustrations, this won’t be an issue for you.

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Instead of me going on about what I think about the tool, go ahead and give it a go. Play around with it for 5 minutes or so, and get a feel for it. Visit the Coggle website by clicking here, and let me know what you thought in the comments below!