Saturday, December 10, 2011

Creately – Draw Diagrams Online

This is a guest post by Nishadha Silva.

Creately is an online drawing tool built specifically to promote collaborative diagramming. Founded in 2008, it has come a long was as a start-up and was feature in leading technology blogs like TechCrunch and MakeUseof. It’s a great alternative to Microsoft Visio because of its low cost and easy accessibility. Below are few reasons why you should use Creately to draw diagrams online.

Advantages of Creately
  • Access diagrams from anywhere in the world – Because Creately is a web based application you can access your diagrams from anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access. In today’s working environment most people do some part of their work from home. Also people are frequently travelling meet clients, business partners etc. So this anywhere access feature comes in very handy.
  • Low Cost Alternative – When it comes to drawing business and technical diagrams the most popular software was Microsoft Visio and even a single user licence was around 600$. A single user access for Creately is only 5$ per month and educational institutes and open source products get huge bonuses. Since Creately was built with collaborative diagramming in mind you get lower pricing for team access. You can sign up for free as well, but then your diagrams are available publicly and you are allowed only 5 diagrams.
  • Support for Many Diagrams Types – Creately supports all the major business and technical diagrams like flowcharts, process maps, use case diagrams, class diagrams, Venn diagrams and many more. They even have drawing support for some complex diagram types like Gantt charts.
  • Online Collaboration – Project teams can work together to draw diagrams. You can chat and add your input when drawing diagrams and every revision is saved so you won’t lose any data.
  • Hundreds of Templates – There are hundreds of pre drawn templates which you can use to start drawing diagrams quickly. Their online diagram community is updated every day with user submitted diagrams and you can use any one of them as a template with one button click. A very useful tool for busy users.
  • Free Resources to Learn – Although it’s a product to draw diagrams there are many other articles so visitors can learn about drawing charts etc. How to draw various diagrams, common mistakes made when drawing various diagrams, things to do to make your diagrams more attractive and real life usage of diagram are some of the things that are discussed in resource articles.
Disadvantages of Creately
  • Flash based application – Although this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, if you are using a mobile device to access the application, then this could be a problem. Some mobile devices do support Flash, but Apple products don’t support them.
  • Cannot export Visio Diagrams – If you are migrating to Creately from Visio then you will have a hard time importing the diagrams you have already created.
  • Limited Language Support – At the moment Creately only supports seven languages, which can be a disadvantage for some users, especially Chinese users who are heavily into technology.
As you can see there are many reasons why you should try Creately. You can join it for free so you have nothing to lose. If you like the service and had fun drawing diagrams then you can go for a personal license or keep using it for free up to five diagrams. Try Creately now.

About the Author
Nishadha Silva is a software engineer turned Internet marketer. He loves social media and constantly looking for ways to increase Twitter followers and Facebook likes. When not involved in Internet marketing he loves to read, travel and try new delicacies.