Some time back, we shared a number of resources that let you create PERT diagrams. These were all really great tools, but they came with one fault: they all required you to download and install something on your computer. There are all sorts of fantastic web-based tools for just about everything else, from email to document collaboration, so why not do the same with PERT charts?
As a quick refresher, PERT stands for Project Evaluation and Review Technique and the associated charts map out how a project will be completed when time is at a premium. Using one of the five tools listed here, you can now satisfy all your PERT chart diagramming needs online.
Creately PERT Chart Template
Designed primarily for team collaboration, Creately is an online utility that allows for “smart” diagramming. There hundreds of different features that you can use, including curvy connectors and pretty shapes, but the easiest way to get started is to use the PERT chart template. That’ll give you a good idea of how the system works and how you can create your own PERT charts using it. Creately has a free option, but you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan (starting at $5/month) to really get the most of what it has to offer.
What you’ll find with most online PERT chart tools is that they’re meant to be used for more than one purpose. That’s the case with Gliffy Online. It’s the most widely used online diagramming application, so people are using it for PERT charts, flow charts, SWOT analyses, wireframes, technical drawings, and more. As with Creately, the interface is drag-and-drop, making it a breeze to use. There is a small free plan again, but the $4.95 standard plan is probably a better idea.
I know I’m going to start sounding like a broken record here, but Cacoo is a very similar web-based application as Gliffy and Creately. It’s an online diagram tool that has free and paid plans (starting at $4.95 per month). You can use it to create the PERT chart you need, as well as all sorts of other diagrams. Going along with the regular shapes and lines are stencils, aligning functionality, and freehand options. And yes, real-time collaboration is definitely at play here as well.
Not to be confused with Draw Something, Draw Anywhere is a much more utilitarian-style online diagram creator in approach. The focus is more on flowcharts and network diagrams, but you can see how the web tool is easily adapted to make PERT charts. As before, everything runs on the web, so you don’t have to install anything locally. There’s a 30-day free trial and then plans start at $30 per year for a single user.
Lovely Charts: Online Edition
One of the more interesting things about Lovely Charts is that it comes in multiple versions. In the context of this list, the online edition is where you’ll get your online PERT chart tool. It’s simple, but effective with drag-and-drop functionality and easy object continuation. Beyond that, there’s a more robust desktop version, plus a mobile version for the iPad. The online version is 29 Euro (about $36) a year, making Lovely Charts the cheapest paid version on this list.
The whole point of PERT charts is to help you save time and figure out a way to do things more efficiently. While it would be great to see some good online PERT chart tools that easily integrated with existing paradigms like Google Docs (Google Drive) and Basecamp, the above cloud-based web utilities are a good start.
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