Best flowchart software: Top Data Visualization Solutions

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The most effective flowchart software offers a straightforward and uncomplicated method for the management and organization of workflows, ideas, and projects. Flowcharts are a method that can be utilized to visually show the sequential, logical progression that is involved in a process. Flowcharts have a wide range of applications and can be utilized for a variety of processes, including software processes and business processes. They are frequently printed up and hung up on the walls of the location to act as a reminder of the phases in the procedure or as an instruction manual. The ideal flowchart builder should be simple to use, provide all pre-made flowchart shapes, and have functionalities for live collaboration and sharing of flowcharts. Flowchart software may not seem like a high-priority investment; nonetheless, not only is it useful for fostering creativity and brainstorming in the workplace, but it is also likely to be purchased for a much lower price than a traditional whiteboard. Of course, not all flowchart software is the same, but the ones that are considered to be the finest will all have certain key elements in common, such as fundamental templates and preconfigured items. In addition, for teams to get the most out of it, you will probably also require it to support sharing and collaborative work. There is a possibility that flowchart diagrams are not included in the list of required skills for a DPM position. However, if you can diagram things and make use of software that creates flowcharts, you will be able to execute your job more effectively. However, how? Flowcharts can be used for a variety of purposes, one of which is to illustrate the flow of a process. You must be able to navigate the operation of your team sequentially to be a successful project manager. As a result, you are going to have queries along the process, such as who you should get in touch with once this team is finished. What will happen if the team is running behind schedule? Alternatively, how do we know when to activate the disaster recovery plan? Although the strategy for the project can provide answers to some of those issues, that is not the case for the remaining questions. You will be able to respond more quickly to various decision-making circumstances if you document them using a flowchart for the entirety of your project. In addition, when you do a project that is comparable in the future, having this flowchart as part of your documentation will be of assistance to you. Therefore, in the spirit of self-centeredness, let’s go through some tools that will assist you in the design of flowcharts and make you a superstar! As a result, we have compiled a list of the eight most effective flowchart software applications for you to consider, evaluating each one based on a variety of criteria, including template choices, cloud connectivity, groupware options, and pricing. By the way, why don’t you take a look at our list of the best mindmap software and have a look at our list of the best free sketching software?

Cacoo

Cacoo was initially developed in 2004 by the Japanese business Nulab. This website has been in development for almost ten years, but its mission statement has remained the same: to assist users in the building of process diagrams in a matter of minutes. The flowchart templates included in this program may not have as much variety as those included in other apps, but it still includes the fundamental ones such as organization diagrams, floor layouts, and network charts. Cacoo offers, in addition to its usual pricing, provides educational programs with prices that are more affordable for both students and teachers. It is a web-based application that can connect to a broad variety of cloud storage and collaboration services, such as Google Drive and Docs, Confluence, Adobe Creative Cloud, Box, and Dropbox. In addition to material that is stored and delivered via the Cloud, Cacoo also collaborates with TypeTalk, which is another product developed by Nulab, and Slack to enable an information flow that notifies other members of a team whenever a diagram is updated. Even while it may have a smaller number of templates than other competing applications, it has all of the most important ones, such as network diagrams, organizational charts, and floor layouts. System designers, software developers, project managers, and business administrators will find the feature set to be the most useful aspect of the product. Pricing is competitive, and if you contact Nulab directly, you may find out about the alternatives available for larger team groupings. In addition, there are instructional plans for both the pupils and the teachers. Trials of Cacoo are available for 14 days, and those interested can sign up for a free plan that enables the creation of up to six diagrams but restricts the sharing possibilities available to them.

Pros

  • Outstanding cloud connectivity
  • Ties into Slack
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Few options for templates

Draw.io

Draw.io is a cheap flowchart tool that also has the added benefit of being simple to use. Those who are looking for such a tool should look no further. The layout is in the form of a visual grid, which is helpful when producing charts. The functionality of the tool includes a shape library, a large number of templates, and interfaces that allow users to drag and drop elements. Draw.io is free to use for individuals, however, users of Confluence are required to pay a nominal price each month to access the platform. The absence of cloud storage and collaborative tools is a major drawback of the service. Here are a few drawbacks and criticisms: The software could need additional shapes and templates to choose from; arranging the shapes could be a little tricky; and the “snap to place” was awkward in the internet version, which requires Chrome to function.

Pros

  • It features a drag-and-drop interface that is simple to use.
  • You can keep track of changes and roll them back.
  • For import and export, it supports several formats
  • Both online and offline usage of the utility is supported.

ConceptDraw Diagram

The three distinct products that makeup ConceptDraw Office are combined into a single suite of apps known as ConceptDraw Office that is aimed to facilitate corporate planning and increase productivity. This comprises specialized software platforms for the creation of diagrams and mind maps, as well as platforms for managing projects. The ConceptDraw Diagram product is a very adaptable business graphics and diagramming product that comes with thousands of stencils and hundreds of templates that are all ready to be used. However, if you want greater flexibility, you can develop any stencil pieces from scratch and then include them in a design. This option is available to everyone who wants it. After then, the tree and chain connection modes offered by the ConceptDraw Office software can be utilized for these user-defined elements. ConceptDraw Diagram is completely compatible with Visio in terms of its stencils and drawings, and it can be installed on either the Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac operating systems. You also have the option of purchasing the Concept Draw Office bundle, which provides significant savings across all three primary products (Diagram, Mind Mapping, and Project). There is a user discount available for both the five and ten-user license packs, and there are also discounts available for both teachers and students. Those who are interested can do so by taking advantage of the free trial that is offered.

Pros

  • amazing collection of templates
  • macOS and Windows
  • Visio compliant

Cons

  • Expensive

Creately

It’s not just for flowcharts because it’s not just for flowcharts. There is a large selection of templates available, and you may test them out on the website before you commit any money. The user interface is clean and well-organized, which makes it simple to get around. You have the choice of searching for pre-designed diagrams related to your line of work or coming up with your design by selecting from more than 50 different shapes and a wide range of color possibilities. The cloud-based version comes with a free plan that only allows users to store up to five documents, but it also offers affordable personal plans. There is also the option of a team cloud plan, which provides access to an unlimited amount of documents.

Pros

  • Windows application as well as online availability
  • Inexpensive
  • Free public version

Cons

  • Cancellations by email only

Edge Diagrammer

Pacestar Software, with headquarters in Arizona, offers four different diagram design tools, with Edge Diagrammer being the most flexible of the bunch. Block diagrams, flowcharts, organizational charts, family trees, data flow diagrams, and a great many other conventional diagrammatic forms may be generated quickly and easily with Edge Diagrammer. In addition to the functionality that is provided as part of the standard package, Pacestar also provides several free extension packs that offer support for an even greater variety of various diagramming approaches. Although it has extremely minimal hardware requirements and will work on any full version of Windows beginning with XP and moving upwards, one of the restrictions of this product is that it is only compatible with the Windows operating system. Drawings made using Edge Diagrammer can also be viewed with the help of a free software application for Windows that can be distributed to anybody. Although there is no doubt that this software is powerful and efficient, it does not take into account the flow of information or its dispersion within a broad operation. Therefore, if you wish to utilize this, you will require additional software to manage the files that it generates. You can get a trial version that gives you access to the complete features and capabilities for thirty days if you are interested in testing it out.

Pros

  • Free extension packs
  • Free file viewer

Cons

  • Only on Windows
  • No groupware functionality

Edraw Max

Edraw Max is yet another alternative that is compatible with multiple operating systems and runs natively on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Edraw Max is a piece of software that was developed by the Shenzen Edraw software firm. Its primary purpose is to allow users to create flowcharts and organizational diagrams that have a professional appearance. Additionally, it includes templates for 280 various kinds of diagrams. Edraw Max is a cross-platform application that is compatible with Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. This software is designed for experts, which means that it gives you the ability to create anything from straightforward flowcharts to in-depth diagrams. The user interface of Edraw Max can be fairly difficult to understand at times, and the learning curve is steep. Despite this, after you have mastered the software, you will discover that the instrument has a lot of capabilities. However, there are no options for collaborating with others or sharing content. The price of a license for one year is $99. This comes out to approximately $8.25 each month. If you have a unique requirement, you may not require all of the power that Edraw Max offers; however, the same firm develops specialized software for Mind Mapping, Infographics, Organization Charts, and nine more distinct types of diagrams with specific requirements. In concept, Edraw Max is capable of performing any of these tasks; nevertheless, new users may find the breadth and depth of this program’s capabilities to be a little overwhelming at first. Those that persevere through the initially difficult learning curve claim that once mastered, this is an excellent application for fast and efficiently developing professional-looking schematics. Those who are successful in this endeavor are referred to as “masters.” There are a few distinct pricing choices available, with licenses being sold either on an annual basis or for a one-time fee, depending on your preference. Incorporates programs like PowerPoint. Additionally, they offer OEM partners a novel integration option in which they can incorporate Edraw technology into their products and then sell the resulting package to customers under a sublicense. Additionally, you may export your designs into several well-known file types, including Visio, PDF, Word, PPT, JPEG, HTML, and more. Edraw Max offers a free 30-day trial and monthly prices beginning at $8.25.

Pros

  • Supports 280 diagram types
  • Native on Windows, Mac, and Linux 

Cons

  • So powerful it might put off new users
  • No groupware connections

Gliffy

Gliffy is an easy tool that can be used either online or within Confluence for the creation of a very wide variety of chart styles. It also stores charts that you produce in Google Drive if you make use of cloud storage services. Because of its user-friendly interface, Gliffy is an excellent flowchart creator for novices. The assortment of flowchart templates and shapes included in the program is more than adequate to meet the requirements posed by end users. In addition, the forms may be moved into position with the simple click of a mouse, which helps save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent modifying the diagram’s components. Through the use of the revision history tool, project managers will have an easier time locating problems within the plan. Installing a version of Chrome that can function without an active Internet connection enables you to use this online software application even if you do not have access to the Internet. This is a really useful feature. Gliffy also supports Confluence and JIRA Cloud, but the company is also hard at work developing its unique cloud solution, which will be marketed under the name Gliffy Project and released shortly. There is also a cool option that gives you the ability to share your diagram with others by giving them a personalized URL that leads to their design. You also have the option to embed the picture in another location. Although it has a high score for ease of use and a gradual learning curve, this software scores poorly in terms of the amount of object modification options that it provides.

Pros

  • Online and Chrome app
  • Supports Confluence and JIRA 
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

  • Limited object customization

Lucidchart

Lucid Software claims that more than 15 million people are using their product Lucidchart. Based on these data, it is clear that this is not a solution catering to a specific subset of the market but rather one that is quite widespread. The intelligent diagramming application known as Lucidchart also includes features for data visualization and collaboration. It was developed to assist businesses and teams in the process of improving and better visualizing their processes and systems. Any kind of flowchart may be quickly created with Lucidchart, whether it be a process map, data flowchart, BPMN diagram, entity relationship diagram, swimlane flowchart, cross-functional flowchart, or any of the hundreds of other flowchart types available. Because Lucidchart possesses such a comprehensive assortment of features and capabilities, the software provides a function called “Feature Find” that enables users to do a speedy search for any specific tool or feature. Lucidchart supports the workflow integration features of Confluence, JIRA, and JIVE, in addition to the Google Cloud and apps, for users that require these features. Additionally, it is compatible with Microsoft Visio. The diagramming application Lucidchart has been around for some time and is well-known for its popularity. It is stated on the company’s website that more than 99% of the companies that make up the Fortune 500 use Lucidchart. This program supports over a thousand distinct diagrams, so users can select the one that is most appropriate for accomplishing their objectives. Lucidchart, much like Miro, has an extensive number of connectors with a variety of other systems, including Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Slack, and Atlassian. Lucidchart is accessible on any computer or mobile device. The price per user per month for access to this application is $7.95. The fact that there is no time limit on the free trial is an important detail to take into account. Instead, diagrams are limited to a maximum of sixty objects, which is adequate for investigating the potential of the system. Amazon, Adobe, DocuSign, Cisco, Red Hat, and Wells Fargo are some of the companies that Lucid has convinced to become customers. And it may be beneficial to your company as well.

Pros 

  • Online app that works with any OS
  • Integrations with other services
  • Inexpensive per seat

Cons

  • The free plan is limited

Terrastruct

 Have you ever used alternative diagramming tools that generate static graphics for your software architecture and found them to be insufficient for anything more complex than the simplest designs? The solution to that issue is Terrastruct, a specialized flowchart program that facilitates the planning and documentation of software designs through the use of a diagramming tool in software architecture use cases. Terrastruct adopts a novel strategy by allowing you to drag and drop diagrams to layer your models, allowing viewers to move up and down in abstraction levels. I would recommend giving Terrastruct a try if the design you’re working on is complex and the diagrams from other tools end up being either too messy or you’re forced to oversimplify.

SmartDraw

As is the case with Lucid, SmartDraw can reel off an amazing list of blue-chip corporations that have been license holders ever since the company was founded in 1994. At least half of the Fortune 500 companies that are publicly traded are among these, in addition to more than 250,000 public and private businesses located all over the world. Because it was first released in 1994, SmartDraw holds the title of being the most established platform in this selection. The software is slightly more difficult to use, and there is a price increase. To tell you the truth, the user interface is a little bit old. Over 4,500 different templates can be found in SmartDraw. The artificial intelligence algorithm of this software will use keyboard keys to determine the shapes and elements that are most appropriate for your themes once you have selected the template. This will save some time! The first user of the package will be charged $9.95 per month. The SmartDraw product can either be utilized in an online setting or as a stand-alone application running on Windows. It supports team collaboration tools like Confluence, JIRA, and Trello, as well as Google’s GSuite of productivity apps. In addition to this, it is fully compatible with Microsoft Visio, meaning that it can import and export diagrams as well as stencils with the Visio application. This capability is only available in packages that support multiple users. The templates included with SmartDraw are where the majority of the program’s sophistication may be found, rather than in the application itself. Those who are involved in the construction of really intricate diagrams, as opposed to those who generate many basic charts, are probably not the best candidates for using this software.

Pros 

  • Works with Confluence, JIRA, and more
  • 70 chart types

Cons

  • Only on Windows
  • Expensive per seat

Miro

Flowcharts, mind maps, process diagrams, project workflows, and technical diagrams may all be created with the help of Miro, an application that is completely free to use. When designing complex processes, it offers a selection of templates that may be customized to meet a variety of requirements. The visual platform that Miro provides was designed with hybrid work in mind, and it offers extensive tools for ongoing education, including the Miro Academy, online events, and a community forum. On a Miro board, you and your team may work together to create visually attractive flowcharts using a comprehensive library of shapes and icons? The bonus is that you can do so using the built-in communication options, which range from notes and comments to videos and reactions. The flowchart templates offered by Miro are fantastic for use in team brainstorming sessions, one-on-one meetings, and product UX & design. Miro is a tool that we use at The Digital Project Manager to map out content clusters and to visualize content workflows from the beginning (brainstorming ideas) through completion (publishing the content on our site). Miro is compatible with a wide variety of services, including Slack, Dropbox, Google Suite, and Sketch.

Microsoft Visio 

Visio is a business product that has been around for a significant amount of time and is utilized by a great number of businesses. Users can design a variety of diagrams with its assistance, including flowcharts, workflows, and even straightforward family trees. You can design your diagrams quickly and easily with the help of Visio’s pre-made templates. If you want greater control over the look of your diagrams, you can also import pictures or files created in Microsoft Word. Visio is an excellent tool for creating flowcharts; but, it requires downloading, and it does not have any built-in features for collaborative working. Multiple team members can work on diagrams simultaneously while using Visio flowcharts. You can link your flowcharts and diagrams to live data so that shape formatting changes follow changes in the underlying data. You may edit your flowcharts wherever you are and in any browser thanks to the software’s web version. We emphasize variety in the Usability and Features portions of our rating criteria. 

Pros

  • It offers cutting-edge forms and templates.
  • You can work together with the team using the tool.
  • You can work remotely with Visio online.

Canva 

Canva is without a doubt one of the most prominent design tools available, as it has an interface that is easy to use and features that facilitate collaboration. Flowcharts of a somewhat simple kind can be created with it, but anything more complicated is a bit of a stretch. A monthly fee of $5 is required to maintain a PRO account.

Pros

  • More than 50,000 templates are available.
  • Charts and graphs of various types can be made.
  • It provides tools for modifying photos.
  • For printing business cards, invitations, posters, and other items, you can make your unique designs or choose from a selection of pre-made templates.

Visual Paradigm Online

The application Visual Paradigm Online makes it simple for you to build flowcharts and other types of diagrams. Beginners will benefit from its extensive selection of instructional videos. The fee for using the tool is $4 per user each month.

Pros

  • There are team collaboration elements in Visual Paradigm.
  • You can use it to design agile software.
  • It offers tools for project management and corporate architecture.

Zen Flowchart

It has been said that Zen Flowchart is the easiest flowchart builder to use. Users laud it for the comprehensive set of capabilities it offers as well as the astounding simplicity with which it may be utilized. The most recent version of the application includes new features such as live collaboration and a powerful comments system. In addition to flowcharts, users of the application can also construct mind maps, wireframes, and whiteboards, thereby satisfying all of their diagramming requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Software Is a Flowchart?

Flowchart software is a specific kind of computer application that is utilized to design and document the procedures that are utilized in a variety of different fields of business. 

How Should One Go About Selecting the Very Best Flowchart Software?

A decent flowchart program should fulfill the following 5 primary requirements:

  • It should have an easy-to-understand and straightforward UI. Learning how to make use of it shouldn’t take up too much of your time.
  • Functions: A capable software ought to be equipped with all the necessary tools for creating flowcharts of any kind. Templates, a shape library, and a drag-and-drop feature are examples of fundamentally necessary functionalities.
  • Integrations: For you to be able to share your work, it should either offer an Export capability or readily integrate with other programs.
  • Consideration: The cost of the software ought to be affordable.

What does the term “flowchart software” mean?

If you have ever been required to give a presentation at work, then you are aware that presenting something visual not only improves the likelihood that your audience will comprehend what you are saying but also shifts the focus away from you. The most crucial benefit of using this flowchart software is that it will save you a significant amount of time and effort, both of which you will be able to use toward perfecting your delivery.

How to select the most suitable flowchart program for your needs

Even though graphic designers are likely to make use of these tools, the vast majority of people who create flowcharts do not have formal training in graphic design. Because of this, they require a tool that does not require any artistic ability on their part but can quickly produce results that seem professional. When designing an application, it is important to strike a balance between providing the operator the freedom to do whatever they want and guiding their efforts in the direction that will ultimately lead to success. The majority of design software achieves this delicate balance by providing the user with pre-made templates that prevent them from using an excessive number of fonts or trying to include an excessive number of elements in their designs. If the operator possesses graphical talents, these limitations may appear to be an impediment; yet, for those who are less confident, these limitations may provide the exact structural support that these individuals want. Before selecting your selection from our list of the finest flowchart software, you should give some thought to the following primary aspects, which are as follows:

Templates: How many of them does the application have, and are any of them specifically designed to meet your requirements (in terms of coding, game logic, command structures, and so on)?

Objects: Nearly every software will come with a selection of prefabricated items, and it is important to evaluate both the quantity and the quality of these objects. The ability to define your graphical elements will be very significant if the library does not have the precise graphical components that you require.

Groupware: The distribution of a diagram and its maintenance in a centralized location is both vitally crucial aspects of the process that follows the construction of a diagram. Certain apps allow numerous users to collaborate on the same design at the same time, which could help document a particularly challenging procedure.

Test: Because some of these products can be costly or require continuous licensing, it is beneficial to test a trial version before investing corporate cash in purchasing the tool. Because some of the software on this list is designed to work only on Windows or Mac computers, we have highlighted the programs that are compatible with several operating systems. In the end, we have also examined each program’s connectivity possibilities, including whether or not it is compatible with the cloud.

What are some uses for flowcharts?

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth introduced the first “flow process chart” in 1921 as a means of presenting every aspect of a project where each step in the process is reliant upon or impacted by every other step.

What is software for flowcharts?

A tool or app called “flowchart software” can produce a sequential diagram, frequently made up of connected objects, that depicts the hierarchy, order, or structure of a concept or plan.

What kinds of flowcharts are typical?

Process flowcharts, data flowcharts, and business process modeling diagrams are the three main forms of flowcharts.

 

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