What's the best project diagram tool?

From time to time I find my self needing to make a visual aid to help illustrate how much integrates into an application and how. But every program I’ve come across to draw a mind map or tree diagram lacks both ideal functionality and illustrative purpose.

I would like to be able to draw a tree mind map on my mobile device quicker than a pencil and with depth to show both front end and back end aspects of each part. To me this is like two sheets layered over top each other so it’s 3D. The foreground sheet represents the visual and the see through layer to the background sheet shows the relations to the back end logic. It would be cool to be able to slide in a few more transparent sheets in between if need be for protocol hand shaking and such. To me this sounds just like layered blueprinting.

Does anyone know of a tool that would make this relatively effortless? The apps I’ve seen are poorly lacking and take too much effort to be worthwhile.

I’ve been considering all sorts of things. Google Drawing is beautiful but way too time consuming. The tree command line tool is great if I draw one tree by making folders and file names but this addresses just one layer. As tree is quick I’m considering just making several separate but related trees to expedite the process.

But if I could 3D draw circles/rectangles and scribble object model names, draw lines for relations, and pull in or push out the 3rd dimension of depth to continue drawing relations on my iPad/iPhone this would be ideal.

Anyone have some good recommendations with pros/cons?

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I’m trying out Lucid Chart. It looks promising.

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I know the railroady gem is the best tool for generating scalable vector graphs of a Rail’s application model structure and showing their relationships. So this is useful.


I think I’m in love with how easy the UML charts are made with this via their website. I think I give this my solid recommendation! I’ll let you know if anything changes.

I’m still open to suggestions and tips as I’m no expert in diagram design.

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Also check out this thread on EF:

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I’m using Lucidchart quite often for BPMN. It’s automatic integration with popular tools like jira would be a pro.


Your best option is to use a online diagramming tool. My recommendation is Creately online diagramming and collaboration software. You can draw any diagram type you mentioned above + there are 1000s of examples and templates for many scenarios which can be used freely.