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Create a new node with a single click, or link separate nodes easily with smart connectors. Your flowchart is just clicks away!
Your content is what matters most, so we put that front and center. No sidebars. No floating icons. No distraction.
Minimal & intuitive interface
To make flow charts more accessible, we stripped away all complicated and unnecessary features from our flow chart creator. The result is a thoughtfully simple, yet fully capable interface.
Customize your chart with simple styling options: pick a node color, style your texts or your lines. Get creative with our flowchart maker!
Download your flow chart as a PNG file or publish a live document which automatically updates any changes you make. Sharing your work is that easy!
“This is so simple, so timely and so beautiful.”
“Just signed up and upgraded. So clean, easy to use. I can see a bunch of uses for this. Love it! ”
“Amazing UX! I've always been frustrated by flowchart tools. This one is a pleasure to use. Will be using this from now on. In fact, I'm using it right now! ”
“Perfect for jotting down rough ideas and planning. Really easy to use with that amazing UX! ”
What is a Flowchart?
In simple terms, flowchart or flow chart, is a type of diagram that describe processes. These diagrams compose of blocks, often rectangular, connected by arrows. The blocks contain information of a step in a process. In such way, flow charts help keep the information of a process clear and concise.
It's not clear who was the original inventor of flowcharts, but the first standardized documentation on flow chart was first introduced by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. In 1921, the couple presented the graphic-based method in a presentation titled: “Process Charts: First Steps in Finding the One Best Way to do Work”, to members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Learn more about Flowchart's History, Tutorial, Symbols, Tools, Flow Chart Creator, Flowchart Makers, Flowchart Softwares, Examples and much more in our Introduction to Flowchart.
Flowchart Symbols & Components
Flowchart is a very intuitive method to describe processes. As such, in most cases, you don’t need to worry too much about the standards and rules of all the flow chart symbols. In fact, a simple flowchart, constructed with just rectangular blocks and flowlines, can already get most jobs done.
However, if you want to get technical and precise, there are preset rules and standards you can follow. Specifically, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) set standards for flowcharts and their symbols in the 1960s. Afterwards, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted the ANSI symbols in 1970. In general, flowcharts flow from top to bottom and left to right.
For a full list of flowchart symbols, read our Guide on Flowchart Symbols
How to create a flowchart?
Step 1: Map out major steps
Start with a piece of paper, or a flow chart creator like Zen Flowchart. Next, draw several major blocks that represent the most important steps in your process. Don’t worry about the details for now. Flowchart is actually a great tool for brainstorming, which means you don’t need to have every detail of the chart worked out before drawing the diagram. In most cases, you can start with the starting block, and continue working your way through the end of the process. Because flow charts are read left to right and top to bottom, start your first node at the top left corner of your workspace.
Step 2: Key in details of your flow chart
Fill in the remaining steps. We recommend working in the natural order of the process. An optional step here is to style your chart with different shapes and color to make it easier to follow.
Step 3: Test your result
Work through all the steps in your chart to make sure they are clear and exhaustive, and that there is no open-ended node remained. When there is a decision point, make sure the options cover all possible scenarios.
Step 4: Gather feedback
Share a draft of the flowchart and get feedback from the intended users. If the chart is meant just for yourself then you can skip this step. But if the chart is meant for a team or a group of people, then it’s important to get their feedback to make sure that your flow chart is accurate and helpful. If you use a free flow chart creator like Zen Flowchart, then simply share the document's link to your colleagues.
Step 5: Publish using a flowchart maker
Flowcharts should be made easily accessible to all parties involved. So make sure you publish your work in the right place. Our online flowchart maker Zen Flowchart has a handy publishing feature, which allows you to publish and share your flowcharts. Any future updates you make to the document will automatically be updated.
About Zen Flowchart - Free & Online Interactive Flowchart Maker
Zen Flowchart is the simplest online software to create flowcharts, flow chart, org charts, process charts, sitemaps, and more. With a minimal and intuitive user interface, creating diagrams with our online interactive flowchart maker is very easy and delightful. Our simple online flowchart software also has Export and Publish features, which allow users to easily share their work. Try our free interactive flowchart maker now!
How to use Zen Flowchart?
At Zen Flowchart, we pride ourselves in having the most intuitive, easy-to-use flow chart maker on the market. And as such, we hope you’ll be able to create flow charts with our tool without much help.
However, here’s some quick pointers on the main features to get you started. Let us know if you have any issues by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Create a new node: Create a new node by clicking or dragging the “New Node” button, or hover a node and click on the “Add node” button.
2. Connect 2 nodes: Hover over a node and click on a node connector, then drag the arrow to another node connector.
3. Add text on flow lines: Double click on a flow line to add text.
4. Delete objects: Select a node and click on the trash icon or press Delete on your keyboard.
5. Keyboard shortcuts: Read this short article for full keyboard shortcuts and tips in using Zen Flowchart
Our approach to flowcharts
At Zen Flowchart, we believe that flowchart is a powerful tool which can help people design and document their processes.
We also think that current flow chart creators can have a high learning curve which prevent new users from accessing it. So in designing Zen Flowchart, we wanted to create a software that is highly intuitive and can be used without training. To do that, we made some radical changes to our product:
- 1. Firstly, we start with a single rectangular shape. We believe that in most flow chart use cases, having one type of shape is enough.
- 2. Boundless workspace: as we leap into the digital age, we did away with the concept of page and page size. So you’re free to design your flow chart in whichever way you prefer.
- 3. Focus on Publish feature: flowcharts are often meant to be shared among teams, so we designed the Publish feature so you can easily share your work. The published document update any changes you make, so you don’t need to reshare.