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10 Best Workflow Diagram Software To Help Chart People & Processes [2022]

In any organization, you’ll need to understand many complex processes. From marketing and accounting to production and HR, workflows need to be documented for a wide range of purposes. Visual data tends to make concepts much easier to understand.

We’ve moved on from the days of manually-drawn flowcharts, thank goodness. Today’s workflow diagram software offers advanced features needed to visualize even the most complicated business processes.

In this article, I’m reviewing the top choices in the world of workflow diagram software. I’ll show you what each tool can do and what it’s best for. 

Best Workflow Diagram Software List

Here’s my list of the best workflow diagram software:

  1. SmartDraw

    Best for getting up to speed fast with templates

  2. Lucidchart

    An intelligent diagramming application used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies

  3. Mindmeister

    Best for collaborative mind-mapping

  4. EdrawMax

    Best for an all-in-one online diagramming tool

  5. Creately

    A data-connected visual workspace for brainstorming and planning

  6. Microsoft Visio

    Best for visual collaboration for teams

  7. MindManager

    Visual productivity tools and mind mapping software for structuring plans and processes

  8. Gliffy

    Best for enterprise-grade diagramming

  9. Cacoo

    Works for every kind of diagram, from flowcharts to wireframes

  10. Cardanit

    Best for decision modeling and business analysis

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best workflow diagram apps? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for ease of use, with a highly visual interface that makes it simple to create flow diagrams
  2. Usability: I’m seeking flowchart software that any team member can use without special design or software skills
  3. Integrations: I look for flowchart tools that work well with mainstream business applications
  4. Value for $: I expect the per-user cost to be affordable for organizations of any size

Workflow Diagram Platform Key Features

  1. Choice of graphical elements: a large variety of objects such as shapes and connectors, plus the ability to add your own images
  2. A template library: a good selection of robust templates that can be used to accelerate workflow building
  3. Collaboration tools: features such as commenting and simultaneous editing that support better team communication
  4. Easy exports: the ability to share and export diagrams in a variety of popular formats
  5. Presentation tools: features that allow workflows to be presented to colleagues and clients in a professional manner
  6. Design tools: auto-snapping of shapes, grids, ratio aspect size adjusters, and similar options
  7. Intelligent formatting: a software engine that makes it easy to build and draw workflows without coding
  8. No-code implementation: the best tools include drag-and-drop functionality so that anyone can use the tool easily

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Workflow Diagram Software

Here’s a brief description of each workflow diagram software solution to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

1

SmartDraw

Best for getting up to speed fast with templates

SmartDraw is an established workflow diagram and charting tool. Using predefined templates, you can create infographics, network diagrams, mind maps, and org charts. Key benefits include customizable extensions, document retention, single sign-on, and team collaboration features.

You can also build diagrams using automated sizing, spacing, color schemes, and alignment. Plus, you can automatically reshape diagrams with the formatting tool by adding, moving, or deleting structure formats. You can also translate data sources into class diagrams through VisualScript SDK.

This tool integrates with third-party applications such as Trello, Jira, Outlook, and Confluence.

SmartDraw costs from $0.49/user/month. A free evaluation is available.

Free evaluation

From $0.49/user/month

2

Lucidchart

An intelligent diagramming application used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies

Lucidchart is a cloud-based workflow diagramming solution. This centralized platform helps you create flows of business processes, then share process maps with colleagues. Key features include feedback management, graphs, data import, and customizable templates.

You can also use the software to build organizational charts and upload employee data, identifying the requirements of various team members. Critical documents can be managed by configuring user access and providing view-only licenses.

This tool integrates with popular applications such as Slack, Salesforce, GitHub, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Lucidchart costs from $7.95/user/month. A limited free version is also available.

Limited free version

From $7.95/user/month

3

Mindmeister

Best for collaborative mind-mapping

MindMeister is a collaborative mind-mapping tool that helps you manage innovation pipelines. The tool supports brainstorming, visualization, and idea ranking, plus idea ranking and status tracking.

The software allows you to visualize mind maps through presentations, then export them. Team members and other stakeholders can hold online brainstorming sessions where everyone inputs ideas. The task manager offers a drag-and-drop interface and supports Kanban boards.

This tool integrates with platforms such as Google Workspace, Dropbox, and Microsoft Teams.

MindMeister costs from $2.49/user/month. A limited free plan (up to 3 mind maps) is also available.

Limited free plan (up to 3 mind maps)

From $2.49/user/month

4

EdrawMax

Best for an all-in-one online diagramming tool

EdrawMax is an intelligent diagramming tool that offers over 280 diagram types, from flowcharts to circuit diagrams. The software allows you to build a real-time synchronous cloud workspace to keep everyone on the same page. Thanks to the drag-and-drop interface, it’s easy to get started with workflow designs.

The package includes over 1500 templates and 26,000 symbols, plus a range of user-generated charts. Edraw Max allows you to export visual plans easily, either publicly or privately. Users can also share ideas through the EdrawMax online community.

This tool integrates with platforms such as Google Workspace and Dropbox.

EdrawMax costs from $8.25/user/month. A free trial plan is available.

Free trial plan

From $8.25/user/month

5

Creately

A data-connected visual workspace for brainstorming and planning

Creately is a cloud-based work management platform based on a smart visual canvas. You can use it to brainstorm, plan projects, or capture knowledge. The software combines diagramming with visual collaboration and workflow features.

Creately also supports wiki, note-taking, and project management in a no-code environment. Team members can model and build things their own way according to their business needs. They can also create custom databases with the same items visualized in multiple contexts.

This tool integrates with Confluence, Slack, and Google Drive.

Creately costs from $4/user/month. A limited free trial plan is also available.

Limited free trial plan

From $4/user/month

6

Microsoft Visio

Best for visual collaboration for teams

Microsoft Viso is a diagramming tool that forms part of the Microsoft 365 software suite. It allows teams to connect charts and diagrams to real-time data, as well as automating workflows. A library of pre-built templates, shapes, and Viso files is included.

Visio is perfect for creating organization charts, engineering designs, floor plans, and other visuals workflows. Using Microsoft 365, team members can work on diagrams simultaneously. Diagrams can be viewed in Microsoft Teams or using the native Visio Viewer (available for iOS devices.)

Microsoft Visio integrates with business platforms such as OneDrive, Lucidchart, Microsoft Office, and iServer365.

Microsoft Viso costs from $5/user/month. A one-month free trial is available.

One-month free trial

From $5/user/month

7

MindManager

Visual productivity tools and mind mapping software for structuring plans and processes

MindManager is a visual mind-mapping tool that helps teams plan and communicate ideas. You can visualize data and information from any source and in almost any format. Using interactive diagrams and maps, you can share ideas for business strategy.

Workflow diagrams can be turned into high-quality presentations that will engage and impress any audience. MindManager makes it easy to capture, structure, and organize all kinds of information. You get a 360-degree view that improves understanding and enhances communication.

This tool integrates with applications such as Trello, Evernote, and Todoist.

MindManager costs from $8.25/user/month. A fully-functional free 30-day trial is also available.

30 days free trial

From $8.25/user/month

8

Gliffy

Best for enterprise-grade diagramming

Gliffy functions as a diagramming tool, a flowchart maker, or a wireframing app. You can create diagrams easily using drag-and-drop shapes, templates, and themes. Diagrams can be shared via URLs or using embed codes.

Gliffy supports real-time collaboration, with built-in controls over who can view, edit and comment. You can track changes and access previous versions through the revision history. It’s also easy to import and edit old diagrams or export new creations.

This tool integrates with project management tools such as Monday.com

Gliffy costs from $6/user/month. A two-week free trial is available.

Two-weeks free trial

From $6/user/month

9

Cacoo

Works for every kind of diagram, from flowcharts to wireframes

Cacoo is an idea management solution designed to help organizations create diagrams and wireframes. Managers can share mind maps, layouts, organizational charts, and unified modeling language diagrams.

They can also collaborate with colleagues using video calls or chat functions. Supervisors can add comments or provide feedback on diagrams in other ways.

Anyone can use Cacoo without design or coding experience. Teams can work with images (jpeg, png, svg), data, notes, or charts to get their ideas across.

This tool integrates with third-party applications such as Confluence, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Box.

Cacoo costs from $5/user/month. A 14-day free trial is also available.

14 days free trial

From $5/user/month

10

Cardanit

Best for decision modeling and business analysis

Cardanit is business process management software designed to help you map processes and model decisions. The platform features an intuitive visual editor to provide a clear view of complex business processes. A cloud-based solution, Cardanit allows you to access workflows from anywhere.

The automatic layout option organizes workflows at the click of a button. This results in orderly and readable diagrams, ready for sharing with colleagues.

There are no known current integrations.

Cardanit costs from $13.89/user/month. A free 30-day trial is available.

30 day free trial

From $13.89/user/month

Need expert help selecting the right Workflow Management Software?

We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Workflow Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.

It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

The 10 Best Workflow Diagram Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
SmartDraw

Best for getting up to speed fast with templates

Free evaluation

From $0.49/user/month Visit Website
2
Lucidchart

An intelligent diagramming application used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies

Limited free version

From $7.95/user/month Visit Website
3
Mindmeister

Best for collaborative mind-mapping

Limited free plan (up to 3 mind maps)

From $2.49/user/month Visit Website
4
EdrawMax

Best for an all-in-one online diagramming tool

Free trial plan

From $8.25/user/month Visit Website
5
Creately

A data-connected visual workspace for brainstorming and planning

Limited free trial plan

From $4/user/month Visit Website
6
Microsoft Visio

Best for visual collaboration for teams

One-month free trial

From $5/user/month Visit Website
7
MindManager

Visual productivity tools and mind mapping software for structuring plans and processes

30 days free trial

From $8.25/user/month Visit Website
8
Gliffy

Best for enterprise-grade diagramming

Two-weeks free trial

From $6/user/month Visit Website
9
Cacoo

Works for every kind of diagram, from flowcharts to wireframes

14 days free trial

From $5/user/month Visit Website
10
Cardanit

Best for decision modeling and business analysis

30 day free trial

From $13.89/user/month Visit Website

Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. iGrafx

    Best for performing process modeling and improvement

  2. ClickCharts

    Best for versatile diagram drawing and editing

  3. Stormboard

    Best for brainstorming ideas for possible workflows

  4. Samepage

    Best for a mobile-first workflow diagramming solution

  5. Diagrams.net

    Diagramming for teams that emphasizes security

  6. Apache OpenOffice Draw

    An established open-source drawing solution

  7. MyDraw

    Advanced diagramming software with multiple applications

What is the best software for workflow diagrams?

You have many options when it comes to choosing workflow diagram software. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, plus many are designed for very specific applications.

To decide which software is best for your circumstances, you should take some time to review all the options available. Consider the range and depth of features and balance these against the cost. Many workflow diagram applications offer free trials, so you can try the software risk-free.

How do you create a workflow diagram?

Here’s a simple process for creating a workflow diagram:

  • Step 1: Define the starting point of the process and add a workflow symbol to represent it.
  • Step 2: Add symbols for each step in the workflow.
  • Step 3: Continue doing this until the whole workflow is complete.
  • Step 4: Share with colleagues and get feedback.
  • Step 5: Make revisions to the workflow as necessary.

What do you think about this list?

Do you agree with my choices for the best flowchart software, or did you draw different conclusions (pun intended)? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest thinking from authority figures in this niche. 

If you’re on a tighter budget, you may also want to check out our article on the 10 Best Free Workflow Software For Small Teams. And to help you get new ideas off the ground, we’ve reviewed the best mind-mapping software tools, too. 

We add new content for digital project managers regularly, so be sure to check back often to stay up to date.

Related Read: What Is Mind Mapping? (+ How To Do It & Best Software)

Related List of Tools:

By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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