Part of my white board experience comes from a father and family of engineers. Engineers love white boards because it enables them to flesh out ideas, processes, flowcharts, math, and anything else of complexity which also requires a visual component. I’m a child of the digital age so here’s how I do the same thing on my Mac.
Thinking In Diagrams
My Mac is blessed with three or four diagramming apps; some expensive, some cheap, all with slightly different capabilities, but all do one thing very well.
Diagramming apps help you to simplify what is complex, visualize processes and workflow. In short, a diagram helps you to think better.
DiagramPainter is a good example of a Mac-based diagramming app and it could be the best value around.
At the simple, beginner level, diagramming apps let Mac users create org charts and flow charts.
More advanced uses include processes, mind mapping and brainstorming, and become an effective and inexpensive way to workflow and troubleshoot a complicated process.
Here’s a quick look at DiagramPainter in action.
Toolsets of symbols and functions are displayed in the lefthand sidebar. Select a symbol or graphic and drop it onto the screen.
DiagramPainter lets you move and connect any screen symbol, graphic, or text. Each component has properties which can be adjusted for color, size, position, and more. And, you have full control over fonts (size, color, alignment, etc.).
Tools are easily learned so it doesn’t take much to go from a simple organization chart to a complicated process drive flow chart, but the app doesn’t blaze any new ground on functions or capabilities.
What’s really good about using DiagramPainter is the cross platform capability (it runs on Windows, too), and a finished diagram or flowchart can be exported as a graphic file and dropped into almost any Mac app that accepts graphics.
I still have to laugh at DiagramPainter’s use of the floppy disk for the Save button in the toolbar. When was the last time you used a floppy disk on a Mac?
DiagramPainter falls into the mid-range of Mac diagramming app, but could be more useful in an office environment which mixes Macs and Windows PCs.