Create and Collaborate with Creately

Sometimes the easiest way to explain something to someone is through a picture. However, most diagram drawing apps are either easy to use, but limited in features or full-featured, but have a steep learning curve.

Enter Creately, a full-featured diagram drawing app with a user friendly, intuitive interface. In addition to that, Creately prides itself on being the picture equivalent of a document collaboration app, allows for easy co-working and sharing of diagrams.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Creately and examine some of its nifty features.


Creately Home

Creately Home

Overview

Creately is a user-friendly diagram creating app that allows for easy collaboration between both team members and clients. Creately offers a simple to use interface, complete with contextual toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, and a 1-click Create-N-Connect button. There’s also a large library of diagram templates for business, IT and design users. In addition to the templates, there are 1-click preset professional color themes, but also offer the options for more granular, detailed color adjustments.

Flowchart

Flowchart

Collaboration options include private workspaces and a built-in commenting feature that also allows for the creation of post-it notes. Creately also makes it easy to embed the diagram in a website or wiki, and automatically generates a short URL for you.

Collaboration

Collaboration

Creately offers business, educational, design, and IT templates, but it can be used by anyone anytime a diagram is needed to better explain a concept.

Pricing

Creately offers a tiered pricing plan. There’s plus for $4.95/month, pro for $9.95/month, and Team for $8.95/month. Creately also offers a limited free version that only allows public diagrams, includes a Creately watermark, and diagrams are limited to two collaborators. While the free version is very limited, it is a great way to test out Creately and see if it’s for you.  While you do save money with an annual subscription, monthly pricing is an option-and a smart one for freelancers and business teams who want to give some of the features that are unavailable with a free plan a test drive.

Plans and Pricing

Plans and Pricing

The pricing plans are comparitively low-priced-most collaborating diagram apps with this many features are much pricier and require a longer commitment.

Creately also offers special pricing for educational institutions and non-profits.

User Interface and App Usage

The first time you log into Creately, a mini-tutorial pops up that shows you the 3 things you should know before starting with Creately. They are: the beauty of drag and drop, ease of the context toolbar, and power in the side panels.

Choose a Template

Choose a Template

You start out by choosing a template-you can create your own diagram from scratch, but with Creately’s huge library (they even have a Justice League template) it’s more than likely not neccesary.

Template Settings

Template Settings

When you pick a template or blank sheet, you can add tags, a description, and choose the page size.

Toolbar

Toolbar

Creately has an incredibly inutitve, user friendly interface. Along the top is a tool bar, with both icons and text.

Get More Objects

Get More Objects

The left-hand side has a “Get More Objects” column, with a gallery of clip art images to choose from.

Right Column

Right Column

Along the right side are 4 tabs: properties, comments, share, and help. Properties is where you’ll find tags, a description of the image and page size. Comments allows you to add and respond to comments on the chart, and even includes a post-it note option.

Sharing

Sharing

The share tab allows you to invite collaborators, publish or embed the diagram, email it, share it on Twitter, or invite friendly to Creately. There’s also a unique, diagram-specific generated URL.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Creately won me over — I’m in love. I’m a huge fan of charts and diagrams, and use them both personally and professionally. I’ve found that most diagram drawing apps tend to either be easy to use and lack features, or full-featured, pricey, and complicated. There was a serious hole to fill and Creately stepped in and fills it beautifully.

Creately offers not just a user-friendly interface, a huge library of options and templates, but also humor in their templates. Their Justice League template definitely made me smile and was welcome during a long workday. The sharing and collaborative options are powerful. Creatley really works just like a document sharing or collaboration app — just with pictures.

Overall, we rate Creately at 9/10 I’m already planning projects and have a few ideas in mind about how this app can fit into my professional app toolbox.


Summary

raw, share and collaborate on online diagrams. Easy web flow chart, network diagram, mockup, wireframe, UML diagrams like Class, Sequence, & data flow and process flow diagrams.

9