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I'm looking for an application where I can draw workflows, a bit similar to a flow chart diagram but more loose with the rules. For instance, a typical workflow to ask a question here is:

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I would like each of the above item to be enclosed within a rectangle. Any suggestions?

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7 Answers

You could use Altova UModel, but I think UML would be too strict for your needs...

alt text

And it's not free... UML knowledge isn't really required to use it, although it does help a bit. (It can do reverse engineering, which can be useful sometimes.)

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Visio, Word, PowerPoint, even Excel can do what you want.

I created this simple flowchart in Visio in less time than it took to create the screenshot and upload it:

flowchart

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It makes more sense using a mindmap - FreeMind is your friend. Free, open source, and cross-platform.

enter image description here

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And it exports to many, many different formats, all ready for you to use with almost anything, and communicate your workflows/ideas with anyone. –  caliban Sep 9 '09 at 17:28
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Also maybe Diagram Designer (3 cows on tucows.com):

Includes a customizable template object palette, spell-checker, simple graph plotter to plot mathematical expressions and an advanced "pocket" calculator with equation solver. It uses compressed file format for minimizing drawing file size.

enter image description here

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Just to pipe up with some more options... Dia is a free application that runs on a handful of platforms.

Two browser based options would be Gliffy.com and flowchart.com.

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Dia is a textbook example of software usability disaster... –  Quiark Sep 28 '09 at 16:06
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've just tried Firefox Pencil and Balsamiq Mockups. I can use their existing widgets to meet my needs.

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MindMeister is a free online mind mapping web application. You can use "mind-mapping" software to map business or programming logic pretty easily, so I would give that a try. From the looks of it, it seems that the free edition would do basically everything you need.

Disclaimer: I have never actually used that site

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