Whether you’re a business or an individual, creating professional looking diagrams can be really tough. Finding an app or program that can transform your ideas from head to paper can be an impossible task.
Creately was designed to put those worries to bed. Less expensive than the likes of Microsoft Visio, but with the same solution. Creately can be used as a cloud or desktop app and is designed for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Creately offer two types of pricing plans; online and desktop. Within those categories, you can choose from multiple solutions to suit your needs.
Both the online personal and team plans allow you to create unlimited diagrams and projects. With the Personal plan you can share these with up to 5 reviewers and collaborate with 5 people. Priority support is offered via email as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Team plans take things up a notch by allowing unlimited project sharing and collaborators, starting at $25 for 5 users. There’s a public option, but I really wouldn’t recommend it unless you just want to try out some features. Any diagrams produced on a public account are public access and you’ll be limited to what you can do.
The desktop personal and team options allow you to create diagrams that are stored locally. The beauty of desktop is that you can still collaborate with others online, if you wish. After the first year, you’ll still have access to your diagrams, you’ll just lose access to your online access account.
Both the personal and team plans are very similar. Essentially you would choose whether you’re an individual or a business, and receive the same benefits for a slightly different price.
One of it’s main features is that you can easily collaborate with others using Creately. Real-time collaboration means you can invite anyone to join your project via email. Changes can be seen as they happen, so you won’t have to wait until a draft has been saved.
Furthermore, Creately allows you to create inline comments and discussions. If a change requires further discussion, it’s easy for everyone who has access to get involved. You can even go back to a previous change or view an entire list of revision history in one place.
Templates are abundant with Creately. There are hundreds to choose from, including diagrams and shape sets. You’ll also be able to enjoy community made diagrams too, so if you’re not feeling creative, it’s more than likely someone else is!
When you first launch Creately, you won’t be faced with templates upfront, you’ll need to search for what you want. E.g. if you want to create a flowchart, start typing, and options will become available. There are limitations though, so try to be specific as you can be as there isn’t an intelligent search option.
If I had to be picky, what I’d like to see in the future is an option to scroll through templates without searching. Sometimes inspiration is all you need to get going, and Creately limits this a little with it’s search mechanism.
The editor itself is very intuitive. There’s easy to use options that allow you to share and collaborate with others. Although not the fastest tool I’ve ever used, the program is very responsive and does what you tell it to do.
Choosing objects and moving them to their destination is very simple. Often a quick action will appear if there’s a relationship between multiple objects, e.g. a line or arrow. I know it sounds really simple, but one of my favourite features is object resizing. If you type some text into an object, the object will resize automatically to fit your text – neat huh?
Importing Visio and SVG files is easy with Creately. Aside from the public account, all other accounts can do this freely. Once you’ve finished your diagram, you can export to JPEG, PNG, PDF, SVG, XML, and CDML (Creately’s own file format).
Although you may not find reason to contact Creately’s customer support, the option is there. You can reach them via support ticket if you need to, but there’s no direct telephone or live chat option.
Whiz on over to their help center to find absolutely loads of useful resources. There’s a complete guide to everything that’s included in the app, as well as a knowledge base and community forum.
My favourite part, though, is their videos. If you’re struggling to get some inspiration or aren’t sure where to start, you can browse a wide range of help videos to get you on your way. From shapes and libraries to drawing lines, you’ll be able to find something in their collection.
Creately is a diagram application that’s available on desktop or online. It offers real-time collaboration with other users, including comments, discussions, and a lifetime of revision history. It’s low cost approach makes it affordable for both individuals and businesses.
Compared to other diagram software, Creately is very reasonable priced and offers lots of options for this cost. It’s a simple approach providing exactly what people want, without too many features that could get confusing.
Whether you’ve used a diagram program before, or you’re an expert, Creately is a brilliant option. If you’re on a budget and you want an easy-to-use, feature-rich option, Creately will do the job well.