Showing posts with label Flowchart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flowchart. Show all posts

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Twelve Good Tools for Creating Mind Maps & Flowcharts - Updated

Earlier this week I published a video about a neat new service called Transo that lets you turn your notes into a mind map with just one click. Creating that video and writing the corresponding blog post got me to revisit a list of mind mapping tools that I published a couple of months ago. Here's my updated list of mind mapping and flowchart creation tools.

Transno is a service that lets you write notes and outlines that can then be turned into mind maps and flowcharts with just one click. It reminds me a lot of the old Text2MindMap service that I used to use. Transno is better because it offers a variety of mind map and flowchart styles while Text2MindMap only offered one. Transno also supports collaboration by letting you invite others to edit and add to your notes. In the following video I demonstrate how Transno works.

Canvas by Google
Canvas is a new drawing tool from Google. Canvas is a great alternative to Google Drawings for iPad and Android tablet users. Canvas lets anyone create a drawing in his or her web browser by simply going to Once there you can start drawing on a blank canvas. There are four drawing tools that you can use to draw in a wide array of colors. Watch my video that is embedded below to see Canvas in action.

Google Slides & PowerPoint
If your students have a computer in front of them, they probably have access to either Google Slides or PowerPoint or both. Google Slides and PowerPoint have built-in tools that students can use to create flowcharts. The following videos demonstrate how students can use Google Slides and PowerPoint to create flowcharts. As you'll see in the videos, you can make the flowcharts interactive through the use of linking in PowerPoint and Google Slides. is a mind mapping and flowchart tool that I've been recommending for more than a decade. It has evolved overtime to keep up with the needs of students, teachers, and other users. Creating mind maps on is an easy process of simply clicking on the center of your screen then entering the central topic of your mind map. The next step is to add "child" topics or bubbles that are connected to the central topic. Those are added by clicking the "+" that appears while holding your cursor over an existing bubble.

Padlet offers templates for creating flowcharts and know, want, learn charts. Unfortunately, you can only make three Padlet walls before you have to either delete one to make a new one or upgrade to a paid plan. The upside to using Padlet is that it's designed for collaboration.

This is a mind mapping tool that was a commercial project for a few years before going out of business then coming back as an open-source project supported by Tobias Løfgren. The way that it works is that you type a linear outline and Text2MindMap will automatically generate a corresponding mind map. To use it simply go here, clear the existing text and replace it with your own text. Every line that you type in your outline becomes a node in the mind map. You can create a branch from a node by simply indenting a line in your outline.

Post-it App for Android and iOS
The Post-it mobile apps for Android and iOS let you take a picture of physical sticky notes and then sort them on a digital canvas.

MindMup is a free mind mapping tool that can be used online, with Google Drive, and on your desktop. MindMup works like most mind mapping tools in that you can create a central idea and add child and sibling nodes all over a blank canvas. MindMup nodes can contain text and links. When you're ready to save your MindMup mind map you can save it to Google Drive, save it to your desktop, or publish it online. If you publish it online, you can grab an embed code for it to post it in a blog post or webpage.

Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping service that is very easy to use. To create a Coggle mind map just sign-in with your Google account and click the "+" icon to start your mind map. After entering the main idea of your mind map you can add branches by clicking the "+" icons that appear next to everything you type. To re-arrange elements just click on them and drag them around your screen. Coggle is a collaborative tool. You can invite others to view and edit your mind maps.

Google Drawings and Google Jamboard
Both of these free Google tools can be used to create mind maps and flowcharts. Drawings has more features than Jamboard. The upside of Jamboard is that it's probably a more intuitive tool for new users. Demonstrations of how to use both tools are embedded below.

Spider Scribe is an online mind map creation service. Spider Scribe can be used individually or be used collaboratively. What jumps out about Spider Scribe is that users can add images, maps, calendars, text notes, and uploaded text files to their mind maps. Users can connect the elements on their mind maps or let them each stand on their own. You can embed your interactive SpiderScribe mind map into your blog or website.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Flowcharts Explained by Common Craft - And How to Make Them

Common Craft has released a new explanatory video all about flowcharts. The new video explains what a flowchart is, why they are used, what they can be used for, and the structure of a basic flowchart.

Applications for Education
After your students learn what flowcharts are and what they are used for, have them try making their own flowcharts. They can make flowcharts on paper or use a digital tool. The benefit of using a digital tool to make a flowchart is that students can invite collaborators to work on make the flowchart as good and accurate as possible. Here's an overview of how to make a flowchart in Google Drawings. An overview of how to make a flowchart with Padlet can be watched here.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Think Kit - A New Way to Create Diagrams on Your iPad

Think Kit is a new addition to Paper, a popular and free iPad app for sketching notes and drawing. Think Kit offers tools for creating diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps. Within Think Kit you will find a Diagram tool for drawing straight lines, connecting lines, and drawing shapes. The Fill tool in Think Kit allows you to color the shapes in your diagrams. Think Kit's cut tool makes it easy to cut and move shapes in your diagrams.

Applications for Education
Using the Think Kit tools within Paper could be a good way for students to develop mind maps as they brainstorm story ideas. The app is also good for building flowcharts to show an understanding of a process like solving an equation.

Diagrams created by using Think Kit in Paper can be exported to PowerPoint and Keynote to use as part of presentation.

H/T to The Next Web.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Turn Your Mind Maps Into Presentations With LucidChart's New Presentation Mode

Lucidchart is a good tool for creating flowcharts, mind maps, and graphic organizers. I've been recommending it for a couple of years because it can be added to Google Apps for Education accounts at no cost.

This week LucidChart introduced a new presentation mode that enables you to turn your diagrams into slide presentations. When you enable the presentation mode you can select elements in your diagram to become individual slides. You can re-size each element to make it fit your slides the way that you see best. When you're ready to present just click the presentation button and you can flip through the slides just like you would in PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote. Watch the video below for a demonstration and you'll notice there's a little bit of Prezi elment to LucidChart's presentation mode too.

Applications for Education
LucidChart has always been a good tool for high school and college students to use to organize ideas around a key concept. The presentation mode will make it easy to take those ideas and flip them into an organized presentation.

Presentation mode is a premium feature of LucidChart. But remember that K-12 teachers and students get the premium features for free when they apply for a LucidChart education account.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Try Lucidchart for Collaborative Chart Creation

Lucidchart is a collaborative chart creation tool that I reviewed a few years ago. Since then Lucidchart has continued to update with new features.

Lucidchart is an easy tool to use to create flowcharts, mindmaps, and graphic organizers. Lucidchart offers a simple drag and drop interface for creating flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. To create with Lucidchart just select elements from the menus and drag them to the canvas. You can re-size any element and type text within elements on your chart. Arrows and connecting lines can be re-sized, repositioned, and labeled to bring clarity to your diagrams.

Lucidchart now offers Google Drive integration through a Chrome web app. If your school uses Google Apps for Education, you can add Lucidchart to your domain. Both of these options make it easy for students to save and share their work online.

Lucidchart charges business customers, but makes all of their tools free for teachers and students.

Applications for Education
Watch the video below for an example of how to create a Lucidchart graphic organizer for students to use. Click here if you cannot see the video.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Connect a Sketch - Build Flowcharts from Existing Images

Connect a Sketch is a free service intended to help people take their existing sketches and images and arrange them into an online flowchart. Creating a flowchart is just a matter of uploading JNP and or PNG images then arranging them into a sequence you want. You can then add connecting lines between your images. If you have a new element to add to your sequence you can go back and edit your sketch.

Applications for Education
Connect a Sketch was built for developing prototypes for industrial applications, but the service can just as easily be used for arranging any series of PNG and or JPG files into a sequence. Students could use Connect a Sketch to arrange images from news stories into a sequence, diagram a story they're writing, or show the steps for solving a problem.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Collaborative Flowcharts is a new mind mapping web application. Like other mind mapping and flowchart programs, Flowchart allows users to export their work into other formats like PDF files. Flowcharts can also be exported as html for embedding into blogs and wikis. One feature offers that a lot of free mind mapping tools do not offer is the ability to include your own images as a part of your flowchart. The feature that Flowchart is promoting heavily is the ability to collaborate with other users in real time. Other mind mapping tools allow collaboration between users, but Flowchart allows users to watch changes as they are happening without refreshing your browser window.

Applications for Education
The real time collaboration aspect of Flowchart could make it a very useful tool for classrooms. Students can collaborate and brainstorm online in real time. The option to add images to the flowchart makes a useful tool for starting a conversation around an image or a document. is still in beta, but head over the website and watch a demo or sign up for a beta invitation.