Sick of drawing circles on the board to illustrate Boolean? Lines and boxes got you down? Creately (http://creately.com/) is your one stop diagram tool. From wireframes to flow charts, Creately helps you creatively create a multitude of diagrams. While newer versions of Microsoft products have some diagram tools, Creately is substantially more robust in terms of types of diagrams, shapes, images, connectors, etc. Additionally, one really nice feature of Creately is its collaborative capabilities. Not only can diagrams be shared and developed by multiple people, but Creately also allows for notes and comments. After a diagram is created, there are several ways to use it. PDF, PNG, and JPG downloads are available as is code for embedding online. I could see Creately used many ways in academia, but specifically in the library it could be used for:
- Administration (organizational charts, project and workflow management)
- Instruction (venn diagrams, mind maps)
- Technology (database/ dataflow diagrams, website wireframes)
- Research (data representation, presentations)
Creately tools are available through a variety of ways including a web based program, a downloadable program, as a Google App, or as a plugin through JIRA, FogBugz and Confluence. I looked at the web based version. The web based program has several pricing options including a limited free version. The free version allows a user to have any 5 diagrams saved online with a maximum number of 3 collaborators. The web based Creately prices are listed here: http://creately.com/plans. When contacting the company, I was told that there was a 50% educational discount for all of their products. To receive the discount email: firstname.lastname@example.org.