How to Create Flow Charts in Google Docs

by Julius Vandersteen
Make a flow chart with the online Google Docs service.

Make a flow chart with the online Google Docs service.

If you have a complicated process that you want to describe, map out and control, create a flow chart to help people understand and modify the actions. Instead of using business planning software on your computer, your company could use Google Docs, an online service that you connect to with a browser over the Internet. For example, your flow chart shows the different categories of an incoming customer service call, and how people in your company handle it, based on whether it is a complaint, an inquiry, or a request for a volume discount on future sales.

Visit the Google website at google.com and then sign in to your account.

Click the "More" drop-down menu, and then click on "Documents."

Click the "Create New" pull-down menu, and then click "Drawing."

Click the "Untitled Drawing" text box and type a name for your flow chart.

Click "Insert" from the menu, and then click "Shape." A window containing various shapes for your flow chart steps appears.

Click on a shape, such as a square, triangle or circle.

Draw a shape in the Drawings window with the selected Shape tool, and release the mouse when you have made it the size and shape that you want.

Double-click the shape. A text box appears. Type text in the box, such as, "Customer calls."

Click "Insert" from the menu, then click "Shape," then draw another shape, and then type text for it. For example, type "Customer is Angry About Broken Product."

Click on one shape and drag it to where it needs to go in the flow chart. You could place one shape at the top, with three shapes below it for three possible steps in the process, such as "Customer Requests Refund," "Customer Needs Instruction" or "Customer Wants Volume Discount."

Click the "Connector Tool" button, which is marked with a diagonal line.

Click on one shape, and then click on a second shape to draw a line connecting them with the connector tool. Continue in this fashion to draw connections between different sections of the flow chart.

About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images