While staring into the deep abyss of online programs, both free and paid, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Selecting the best flowchart software tools should be dependent on your needs — not just picked from a hat. All process flow software (the ones that know what they’re doing anyway) use the same set of symbols and rules, but not all software is built the same.
We’re going to go over our top ten choices for the best software in this category — the pros and cons, as well as their prices, to help you navigate the options and choose what works for you. If you’re a bit confused on just exactly what is process mapping or how to create a process map we’ve got a crash course available for that as well!
And if you need a refresher on those process map symbols, we’ve got you covered.
Best process mapping software and flowchart tools comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)
In the following table, we’ve laid out our top ten list of the best software for flow diagrams. We start out with the best at number one and continue on down to ten. That doesn’t mean number ten is a stinker — it just ranks lower — but it did make the list after all…
|All-around diagramming/site planning
|$10.79/mo per user
|Price for tools available
|$9/mo per user
|$8/mo per user
|$5/mo per user
|$15/mo per user
|Best free tool
|Free for online use
|$8/mo per user
|Best diagrams with AI
|$10/mo per user
|$9.95/mo per user
|$2.99/mo per user
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What is the best flowchart software? Here’s our top 10 list:
Flowcharts are a powerful tool and useful in many situations. A simple flowchart maker free of unwanted extras is critical to preventing overcomplication and the best flowchart software is the one that gets the job done with ease. We’re here to help you decide which is right for you (and we also have you covered if you need a run down on flowchart vs process map differences).
1. Slickplan (best flowchart software 2023)
Slickplan is a web-based tool that can be used to create flowcharts, sitemaps and other types of diagrams. It’s easy to use, even for people who aren’t familiar with flowcharting. Whether flowchart vs. process map (process maps being one of the many types of flowcharts), or anything in between, Slickplan does it all.
Our flowcharts can be used in a variety of ways from documenting a process, brainstorming ideas or mapping out an employee directory and more including all the bells and whistles you need to make a flowchart. Diagrams built-in Slickplan can be made as standalone projects or part of a large project in a sitemap. Collaborative project editing in real time is super easy and fast which allows users to save time by eliminating the need to share files back and forth to get it right.
Slickplan’s diagrams of course can be exported when needed and links to a number of tech stacks including Figma, WordPress, Sketch, Trello, Slack and many (many) more.
Diagram Maker is simple to use and can create amazing flowcharts with little effort.
The videos in our Help Desk offer complete walk-throughs of the entire product allowing anyone to make beautiful and functional flowcharts. And if you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of diagram template options.
The price also includes use of all other tools (Sitemap Builder, a place to discuss and store mockups, plus an extensive content planning tool). So while you’re getting great pricing on top-tier diagramming with collaboration built in, you also have access to all of the other tools we offer. This will be especially useful to those who aren’t stopping at diagrams and have site/app planning tasks to complete.
If you just need a flowcharting tool, Slickplan may not be your first choice since it comes priced with other tools as a package.
A free 14-day trial is available that includes the Diagram Maker after which pricing for Pro accounts starts at $31.49/month when billed annually.
2. Lucidchart (Excellent process flow diagram creator)
Lucidchart has a great list of intuitive features for making flowcharts, but its ability to co-mingle with other useful apps puts it close to the top of our list; it integrates with Microsoft Office, Google Drive and various project management platforms, to name a few.
While there is a free plan that allows users with smaller projects to work out their flowcharts, the paid versions offer the full list of features.
Some items we really like are conditional formatting, data linking, diagram templates and version control. Team collaboration and the ability to call attention to the position you’re working to others are possible when you get into the paid plans.
Another big plus is the addition of tools for building wireframes.
One major downside is the pricing, since it’s per person, it can quickly add up depending on the size of the team. The pricing is pretty fair otherwise but may be a deterrent for bigger teams.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a free option, theirs is limited to a certain number of symbols and flowchart documents, although that’s pretty standard.
A free version of Lucidchart is available with limitations and individual accounts begin at $7.95/month. Teams begin pricing at $9.00 per user per month after which comes their Enterprise level.
3. Miro (Interactive flowcharts)
The simplicity of Miro’s drag-and-drop functionality makes it a solid flowchart app choice.
Real-time collaboration lets guests securely enter the workspace and make changes as needed without the need to add them as paid users. The free version of this online flowchart maker lets you invite others to join to edit or for a view-only perspective.
Miro doesn’t stop at flowcharts though; mind mapping, wireframes, Scrum events, flowchart templates, meetings and workshops along with anything you can think to do with a whiteboarding app add to the value of this product.
A long list of features like video calls, single sign-on, dedicated sign-on for viewers without any login credentials and a fair price. There are also mobile and tablet versions for iOS and Android, a Windows desktop version, Intel-based Macs, M1 Macs (no mention of M2 although the iPadOS version did work on an M2 iPad Pro, so it likely works on M2 Macs), and finally versions for 32 and 64-bit interactive displays running Windows.
The big hurdle for Miro’s newer users is the learning curve to get the most out of the app. Once you get the hang of it, it’s great; it just may not come as naturally to everyone.
The free tier of service allows for unlimited users to edit boards with sign-in credentials.
The $8/per person/per month Starter tier offers the above plus allows visitors to view without any login credentials. The $16/person/month Business tier expands on that and the Enterprise plan of course is their most robust.
4. Creately (Top flowchart software for online and download)
Creately is a classic drag-and-drop flowchart maker that allows users to import from any source straight into the project. Sounds simple but that leaves the options open to a lot of things. And it always seems everybody is using different apps, and this one brings a lot of them together.
Offering an online tool and software downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux, it includes flowchart elements to design just about any type of diagram project you could need.
One key element we noticed is that Creately allows you to easily assign exactly what everyone should or shouldn’t have access to. It gives you visual clarity of all roles and what each person can and cannot do to each project.
Pros include a per-item change history (more specifically, and undo/redo button for individual items rather than a whole project undo/redo button, which of course is offered too), 70 types of diagramming standards with templates, hand drawing and markup options, and built-in Kanban boards.
Pricing is also a big plus here as even the smaller paid option includes multiple users.
But, if you need unlimited users, the price goes up significantly and if you want the entire feature list, you’re immediately in the enterprise tier of service for this diagram tool.
Creately offers a free tier that allows multiple users to collaborate. Pricing when billed annually (for a 40% discount) comes out to $5/per user/per month allows users to build with a more extensive set of tools. A Business tier with a flat rate of $89/month for unlimited users; again annual billing. There is an Enterprise option as well with custom pricing available by contacting the company directly. If monthly pricing is your thing, they’ve also got you covered.
5. Microsoft Visio (Best flowchart software for Windows)
Part of the Microsoft family of programs, Visio is a visual workspace with an intuitive interface allowing users to make many types of flowcharts, from organizational charts to business process charts and beyond.
Visio includes plans that offer web and desktop versions making this a great choice for those who need to work without an internet connection or prefer the whole operation stays on their local device.
They also offer a one-time purchase option that can be used without the need for internet.
Visio is of course a great choice for those who are deep in the Microsoft suite of applications and services. Integrations with many popular services to help smooth the transition between handoff points in workflow. Visio files can be exported to a laundry list of other programs but are best used within the system of apps from Microsoft.
Not everybody is as invested in Microsoft and those looking for ease of use may find this to be a big undertaking.
Additionally, if you’re looking for the one-time charge style of purchase, the price may be a major deterrent; the online edition may be the better route especially if you don’t need it forever.
The cloud-based version of Visio is $5/per person/per month but contains about half of the available features offered while the $15/per user/per month level opens the taps completely.
The pricing here does have one caveat, discovered in the editing of this article. The US English version, a one-time purchase, is $309.99 for Standard and $579.99 for Professional. Alternatively, the international English version pricing is $369.99 and $719.99. So it will depend on your location and language it seems. So be aware of which pricing page you’re on.
6. Draw.io (Best free diagram software)
Draw.io is the go-to app for those that need complete control over… well… just about everything.
There’s a web app version, an API, a desktop version and just about every customization you can think of. Known as both Draw.io and Diagrams.net, it’s available in the Atlassian Marketplace ecosystem and built for Jira and Confluence.
This open-source product is extremely customizable and connects to many other products with great ease.
The main problem is the confusion regarding what’s free and what’s paid. Many sources say free, but their site also has some (fair) prices listed.
The weird part is that you can freely enter the web app and start making diagrams and flowcharts without restriction. The confusion is the con. The free part is nice.
Pricing is a bit confusing. If used with Confluence, the pricing page gives examples for team sizes, but you need to contact them to get the exact price for your team size. The app.diagrams.net link is that version that just opens right up and seems to just be free.
7. Gliffy (Atlassian Marketplace runner-up)
Also in the Atlassian Marketplace, Gliffy is a versatile online flowchart maker that allows users to create anything from process maps to org charts and anything in between.
Gliffy diagram software includes some templates but the list does feel a bit limited. Integration with Confluence is an added bonus for those who prefer that route.
Availability in the Atlassian Marketplace makes this especially useful for those in that system. This software allows support for integration to monday.com and has an extensive help desk/knowledge base.
This software has a few reports of bogging down the browser when charts start getting bigger which can be problematic for those with larger needs.
Additionally, while integration with monday.com may be useful to some, the lack of any other direct integrations isn’t ideal for many. However, using this with Confluence does allow for integrations to connect to one another.
Gliffy’s pricing begins at $8/per user/per month for up to 9 users and $6 per user for 10-50 users. Anyone needing more users will fall under enterprise pricing. Gliffy for Jira and Confluence pricing allows up to ten users for a flat rate of $10/month, or for 11+ users, $3.80/user/month.
8. Whimsical (Top diagramming app with AI)
Whimsical is a diagram, whiteboard, wireframe, and an app capable of creating Google Docs-like all in one single place. Creating beautiful work quickly and efficiently all without clicking to another app or device.
Speed is the name of the game here and they’ve got it down pretty good. With tons of functionality, integration to GitHub, Notion, Figma and Slack, as well as a list of templates to use, their free tier packs quite a punch. For those who need quick and simple but stylish, this may be the choice for you.
The big pro here is the free tier is actually pretty amazing. For as much as it includes (generous helpings of the word unlimited and 100 AI prompts for mind maps) it’s a great choice for those learning to make flowcharts and seasoned pros alike.
If you’re looking for something with heavier integration into other apps and services, the party bus lets off a little early in this department.
The Starter tier is available for free, and a more feature-filled options start at $10/per user/per month.
9. SmartDraw (Best list of integrations)
The folks at SmartDraw have put all their eggs in the same basket (in a good way) by focusing solely on flowcharts.
They integrate with a pretty decent list of apps and services like AWS, Visio, Google apps, Confluence, Jira and Microsoft Office to name a few.
The resulting product is a very professional setting with fewer flashy colors and more “serious” tones. Not always a bad thing, especially for those that prefer a more toned-down look rather than the potential distraction of neon pink and green symbols.
Professional look and feel with a solid build. integration to many apps and services at a fair price. Collaboration with paid teammates and of course an open API.
If you’re newer to making diagrams, this is likely not the choice for you as it is geared more towards people who come with experience on hand. Pricing will also be a detractor for people if your team is really large.
Single users can take advantage of all features for $9.95/month when billed annually. Teams of 5 or more are $8.25/per user/per month, also billed annually, and if you want your entire organization onboard, it’s $2,995, billed annually.
10. MindNode (Mac flowchart software)
For the macOS/iOS folks out there, we’ve got something just for you. MindNode is a diagram software available to download on iPhone, iPad and Mac and offers a sleek design with zero lag.
Although feature-wise, it lands in the no-frills zone, it does feel comfortable and familiar.
That said, the tutorial at the beginning is not helpful at all, and it did take a little playing around to get the hang of how the tool works.
The 14-day free trial is a good playground to try out paid features, but this is more likely to be used in a more casual setting. Internal use flowcharts, mind mapping and the like.
Once you become familiar with how to map out a flowchart, the rest is a breeze. There is an option to share the MindNode files in their internal service called MyMindNode, which allows the flowchart creator to send it to the cloud and pass it around to other users of the app. Users can also import files from multiple sources.
The drawback is the lack of collaboration. This isn’t for lack of trying either. The folks at MindNode did attempt to use iCloud to allow "near real-time collaboration," but due to some lag and a few other issues, the feature failed and MyMindNode was born.
There’s a free editor (with somewhat limited function) and full-featured versions, which come with a 14-day trial and are priced at $2.99/month or $19.99/year. They can be paid through an Apple ID account and are available to Family Sharing accounts.
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Which is the best flowchart tool or process flow software for me?
Finding the right flowchart app for your needs depends heavily on what you need to do with it, what your expectations are in terms of collaboration with a team and clients, and your personal taste.
It may take some trial and error, but we urge you to look at what you’re working with now, what you like and don’t like about it, and we’re confident there’s a flowchart maker software out there for you that can tick all the boxes.