Note: This post is old and out of date. Click here to read our updated Lucidchart review.
Disclaimer: This post is about LucidChart, a company that a friend of mine founded. I stand by everything I say in this post, but you should be aware of my bias.
We all know about the major productivity apps: email, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Because those are the most popular types of business software, they were the first ones to start showing up online. Google Docs and Zoho are leading the charge, but they seem to be ignoring one of the less popular - but still incredibly important - productivity tools. I'm talking about flowcharts.
For years, Microsoft Visio has been pretty much the only option if you wanted to make flow charts, org charts, or other types of structured drawings on a computer. It's a decent tool, but like almost all Microsoft products, it's quickly becoming outdated. There are a number of web-based options out there, and one in particular recently made a major push to challenge Visio's dominance.
Earlier this week, LucidChart released a new version of their web-based flowchart tool (also called LucidChart). Their previous version was arguably already the best option out there, but this new release takes it to another level. In terms of functionality, they were always on top as far as I'm concerned, but now the user interface is clean, fast, and intuitive. While it's far from perfect, I can't think of any productivity apps that are more polished than LucidChart.
Here are a few reasons you might want to try out LucidChart instead of Visio the next time you need to make a flowchart
- Price: Visio costs between $250 and $1,000 for one license. LucidChart is free, or $25/year if you need the full functionality of the paid version.
- Web-based: We've discussed the benefits of web-based software, but to summarize: there's nothing to install, it updates automatically and all your data is available from any computer.
- Collaboration: This is LucidChart's killer feature. Multiple users can all access a document at the same time. All changes are automatically pushed out to the other users so there's no syncing necessary.
- Ease of use: LucidChart isn't the most simple application out there, but it's much easier to use than any other flowchart program I've tried.
As I said at the top of the post, I'm biased because I'm friends with the guy that started LucidChart, but I really do think it's a great product. And since it's free to try (no signup required), why not check it out for yourself?