#14 - Go with the flow

Who's a freak for flowcharts? I know I love 'em. They can make concepts easy to grasp and solutions easy to find. When describing complex relationships or presenting a variety of choices and outcomes, they're wonderful at keeping important points from getting lost in translation.

Mind maps (an offshoot of the same idea) are similarly useful, though I think they work better for the creator than the reader. They're good at uncovering the relationships between multiple ideas and are not restricted to linear concepts like time and work flow.

So, here are some web-based tools that I've used for projects in the past (I just hate installing stuff):

Gliffy (flowchart)

Bubbl.us (mind map)

Flowchart.com (flowchart, duh)

mindmeister (mind map)

Discovery Exercise:

  • Choose at least two of the above (one flowchart, one mind map) and set up an account.
    • Note that flowchart.com will have you request an invitation which should arrive within the day (mine took 15 minutes).

  • Explore the differences between mind maps and flowcharts, and consider using (or at least testing) one of these tools with a real project that you may have coming up.
Enjoy, and leave a comment here with your thoughts on these or other similar tools.


(originally posted on Explore...Discover...Play: Learning 2.1 and used here under a Creative Commons license)

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