Over the years I’ve used that whiteboard to flesh out ideas, document processes and procedures, and make a few flow charts to solve some problems. It’s like thinking with your eyes. Mac users should rejoice because there are a dozen or so very good whiteboard-like diagramming apps available, each of which can help you visualize what you think, right from the keyboard, trackpad, or mouse.
One of my favorites is called Shapes and I’ve written about it a few times, but there are others including a simple diagramming app called simply, SimpleDiagrams. The claim to fame here is, well, simple diagrams, where you can sketch on the screen, drop in a gazillion shapes from the library, and be on your way to solving problems, processes or setting up a workflow, or, just sketching out an idea without much of a learning curve.
SimpleDiagrams has more than 500 pre-drawn shapes, but lets you build your own custom library of shapes, or download additional libraries of shapes. Diagrams can be saved and exported as an image PDF, PNG, or even the new-fangled SVG format.
For the most part, Mac diagramming tools are intuitive and easy to setup and use with little more than some trial and error to get an app to work for you. SimpleDiagrams is a visual way to think of processes, solve problems, sketch out a workflow, even build an org chart.
Unlike Shapes and other diagramming apps for the Mac SimpleDiagrams uses shapes that appear to be drawn, almost cartoon-like, instead of the rigid pixel perfect shapes and tools that are the norm. That makes the app more user friendly but that comes at a price. Most Mac diagramming apps range in price from a few dollars for the simplest to $10 for my favorite, Shapes, to $20 for another popular app, Diagrammix. SimpleDiagrams, while simple and attractive is more than both combined, but does come with a try-before-you-buy option.