Moving toward cloud computing means abandoning as many of your desktop-based applications as possible. Maybe you’ve even decided to invest in a Google Chromebook or Chromebox. Whatever the case, the variety of online flowchart tools make it easy to create and to share your solutions, algorithms, or process operations.
You might remember when I covered online PERT chart tools like Gliffy, Draw Anywhere, and Cacoo. Most of these can also be used for creating flowcharts, just like how you may be able to adapt some of the Gantt chart templates for this purpose as well. The diagramming process shouldn’t be time-consuming and frustrating, because that would effectively nullify the benefits of a good flowchart in the first place. So, let’s have a look at some great tools that get the job done quickly, easily, and beautifully.
The first of our online flowchart tools is one that we have highlighted before. It’s called Lucidchart and they say that they are “diagrams done right.” This online tool utilizes a drag-and-drop interface, so there is virtually no learning curve whatsoever. As an added bonus, Lucidchart can integrate with Google Drive and it can installed for your domain through Google Apps as well.
All of the flowcharts and other diagrams that you create with Lucidchart can then be shared and your team members can collaborate on them. There’s a free demo and, beyond flowcharts, the tool can also be used for mindmaps, wireframes, UML diagrams, and more.
The main function of Mindomo is for mind-mapping, but it can easily be adapted to the purposes of a more conventional flowchart. As with Lucidchart, the diagrams that you create with Mindomo can be shared with the people who need to access them and they can then collaborate on the charts to help you grow and develop them.
In additiion to the desktop-based interface, Mindomo is also available as an app via iTunes for your iPad or via the Google Play Store for your Android device. This gives you the same functionality as the online version, except you can mind-map on the go, even while offline.
Well, that just makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Did you know that Flowchart.com is one of the online flowchart tools that you can add to your web-based arsenal? Offering real-time collaboration among multiple users, Flowchart.com has been optimized to work across a variety of browsers without the need for any local installations. The utility comes with a huge variety of clip art images that you can use as you see fit and there’s even a scripting tool to expand the functionality.
While the created flowcharts can be saved as PDF or PNG files for easy sharing, what’s cool is that the flowchart creation can be recorded and played back in video form. This way, your flow chart is dynamic, rather than simply being displayed as a static image. How cool is that?
SlickPlan Online Flowchart Tool
Creating your flowcharts with SlickPlan is meant to be an “easy” and “breezy” experience, thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The one-click undo lets you backtrack with ease too. If you’re looking to share these diagrams in the context of business, it also helps that you can include your company logo, tagline, and colors. It’s possible to use your own custom URL and then the content can be shared across social networks. The integration with Basecamp is particularly noteworthy, since you may already use that to manage your projects.
Yes, you could sign up for an account with Bubbl.us, but it’s great that you can just as easily navigate to the website and “start brainstorming” right away. There’s no hard sales pitch or any fancy landing page. As far as online flowchart tools go, this one is one of the cleanest and easiest to approach. You start with a central point and then the keyboard shortcuts let you add a parallel item (tab) or a “child bubble” (ctrl+enter).
If your browser is set up to accept cookies, you can return to Bubbl.us and your diagrams are saved for further editing. Of course, it’s in your best interest to use the export function just in case.
Image credit: atm2003 / Fotolia