Process mapping is a crucial element in executing efficient and smooth workflows and business processes.
Whether used in the brainstorming phase or throughout development, process mapping reduces bottlenecks and optimizes operations by visually conveying a series of steps in a workflow or procedure. You can even use process maps to relay a communication chain or org chart!
Sometimes referred to as a workflow diagram or flowchart, process mapping can be done in multiple ways and with different types of software to add more complexity, functionality, and value to your map! And with so many ways to build this necessary resource, it can be difficult to find the right software for the job.
But that’s what we’re here for. 🙂
Read along as we dive into everything you need to look for in your next process mapping software and a detailed comparison of the top tools on the market, including key process mapping features, pros and cons, pricing, and more.
What is Process Mapping Software?
Process mapping software is highly visual and collaborative by design, with features to help project managers easily build diagrams and charts to streamline processes, solidify timelines, and oversee progress every step of the way.
Think of your process map as a detailed flowchart that breaks down your project timeline, milestones, and key resources into clear, actionable steps. Major elements of a process map include the input, output, and strategy required to make your vision a reality.
This means that your process mapping software needs to be able to support these components and make them accessible to every member of the team—plus stakeholders, clients, and across departments. And since process mapping is visual by nature, your typical task management software isn’t going to cut it. Instead, look for a tool that can tie process mapping and task management together!
Digital whiteboard software and mind mapping software are some of the most popular forms of process mapping tools, but the right tool for you will depend on your team’s unique set of needs, projects, and of course, budget. 😳
What Should You Look for in a Process Mapping Tool?
Since process mapping tools can come in different shapes and sizes, it’s important to know the key features to look for. There’s no single way to create a process map, but whether you swear by whiteboard project management or use diagrams to develop your thoughts, there are a few non-negotiables to be aware of.
Before you hand over the company card, make sure your next process mapping tool checks all of these boxes:
- Highly visual
- Tons of collaboration capabilities
- Timeline management
- Instant reporting and insights
- Milestones, task dependencies, and relationships
- Automation features
- Multiple integrations
The 10 Best Process Mapping Tools
The search for efficient process mapping software can be a daunting one. And with so much on the line, it’s a big choice to make! Instead of letting decision fatigue take over, use this detailed list to guide your research.
Compare the top 10 process mapping tools for any team or budget, plus, their key features, pros and cons, and ratings.
ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform with hundreds of highly visual features to centralize your work across apps into a single, dynamic workspace. Its collaborative Whiteboards feature and Mind Maps are perfect for process mapping, with live detection, automatic updates, and the ability to turn any object or node directly into an actionable task.
Plus, ClickUp offers a vast Template Library to help you build workflows and process maps with ease and efficiency! No matter the size of your team or industry, ClickUp is the only process mapping tool designed to align with the way you want to work.
ClickUp key features
- A detailed online Help Center, webinars, and support to help you use the platform to its fullest extent
- Over 1,000 integrations to bring all relevant data and information into one platform
- Over 15 customizable workflow views to manage tasks from every angle
- Collaborative Whiteboards to develop ideas in real-time alongside the team
- Reporting and Dashboards for an instant high-level overview of your work
- Tons of visual collaboration features available on every pricing plan
- Custom task statuses to visually convey progress
- Intuitive Mind Maps to build out processes
- Not all views are available in the mobile app—yet
- Its rich set of features can create a learning curve for some users
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7 per user, per month
- Business: $12 per user, per month
- Business Plus: $19 per user, per month
- Enterprise: Contact ClickUp for custom pricing
ClickUp ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (5,670+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,540+ reviews)
Lucidchart is a web-based diagramming and visual collaboration software for users to create and edit a wide range of diagrams, including process flowcharts, network diagrams, wireframes, and more. Diagrams can be quickly and easily created using its user-friendly interface and prebuilt shapes, templates, and symbols.
Also available in Lucidchart are real-time collaboration features for multiple people to collaborate simultaneously on a diagram, which makes it easy for teams to share ideas, provide feedback, and collaborate on projects. Diagrams can be enhanced with interactive elements such as hyperlinks and annotations to create wireframes and mockups.
Lucidchart best features
- Co-authoring, in-editor chat, and shape-specific comments for team collaboration
- Data linking and auto-visualization to generate diagrams like org charts and entity relationship diagrams (ERDs)
- Integrations with Google Workspace and Microsoft Office
- Automating business process documentation
- Interface is outdated compared to other process mapping tools
- No desktop app to create process maps
- Free plan
- Individual: Starts at $7.95
- Team: Starts at $9.00/user
- Enterprise: Contact Lucidchart for pricing
Lucidchart ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,700+ reviews)
- G2: 4.6/5 (1,800+ reviews)
MindMeister is a web-based mind-mapping software designed to help you visualize ideas and concepts. An intuitive interface lets users create and edit mind maps, a type of diagram that shows information in a hierarchical tree-like structure. In mind maps, users can add notes and show relationships between them using lines.
For example, project managers can create a mind map to plot an org chart, outlining each main point (department heads) and its sub-points (direct reports). Then, rearrange the structure of the chart by simply dragging and dropping the elements to their correct place.
Check out MindMeister alternatives!
MindMeister best features
- Process map templates for brainstorming and strategy planning
- Embedded media to add context to process map content
- Multiple diagram options with Mixed Map layouts
- Comments and notifications to create discussions
- Limited integrations with other tools and apps to handle complex processes
- Various exporting options are reserved for the expensive paid plans
- Basic: Free
- Personal: $4.99/month
- Pro: $8.25/month
MindMeister ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (200+ reviews)
- G2: 4.3/5 (30 reviews)
Pipefy is a web-based process management software designed for teams to optimize their business processes. This tool offers the functionality to add tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. This makes it easy to see what needs to be done, who is responsible for it, and when it needs to be completed.
Pipefy also offers automation features, which allow teams to automate repetitive tasks such as sending emails and updating information in other databases. For example, with Pipefy’s automation feature, you can set up an automated response to update a database record after a card leaves a phase in the process.
Pipefy best features
- Sharable Forms designed to initiate a process or gather additional data
- Intuitive visual editor to build custom templates
- Automated status updates, notifications, and approvals
- Approval Flows for workflow management software
- Limited customization options with the free plan
- No time tracking
- Starter: Free
- Business: $25/user per month
- Enterprise: Contact Pipefy for pricing
- Unlimited: Contact Pipefy for pricing
Pipefy ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (200+ reviews)
- G2: 4.6/5 (180+ reviews)
EdrawMax is a professional diagramming software designed for people to create a wide variety of diagrams and graphics. It has a user-friendly interface and a wide range of pre-designed templates, symbols, and shapes that can be used to create visual presentations like flowcharts, organization charts, floor plans, and more. It also includes a variety of tools for editing, formatting, and customizing diagrams, including a rich set of drawing shapes and connectors, text boxes, and formatting options.
With a synchronous cloud workplace in EdrawMax, it’s easy to collaborate visually with everyone in real-time. For instance, you can give feedback and make changes to diagrams or even draw a diagram from scratch with other project collaborators.
EdrawMax best features
- 280 types of diagram solutions to create detailed process maps
- Edrawers community for inspiration
- Project progress views
- Windows, MacOS, Linux, and EdrawMaxOnline platforms
- Lacks advanced project progress views
- Not suitable for handling complex workflows
- Contact EdrawMax for pricing on their three plans: Individual, Team & Business, and Education
EdrawMax ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (190+ reviews)
- G2: 4.3/5 (60+ reviews)
6. Microsoft Visio
Microsoft Visio is diagramming software developed by Microsoft. It allows users to create a wide variety of diagrams, including flowcharts, organization charts, network diagrams, floor plans, and more. There’s a rich set of drawing shapes and connectors, text boxes, and formatting options.
Viso also comes with a variety of advanced features, such as data linking. You can link diagrams to data sources such as Excel spreadsheets and databases. It also has an automatic layout, which makes it easy to arrange shapes and diagrams. Try out different layouts in a few clicks to find which works best for your process!
Microsoft Visio best features
- Starter diagrams and stencils available in the desktop and web applications
- Co-authoring to increase productivity
- Accessibility features including Narrator, Accessibility Checker, and high-contrast support
- Web version of Visio is always up to date without installing new versions
Microsoft Visio limitations
- Limited integrations with apps and tools outside of the Microsoft suite
- Data linking is only available through the Visio desktop app
Microsoft Visio pricing
- Microsoft Visio offers subscription plans starting at $5/user per month or one-time purchase plans starting at $309.99
Microsoft Visio ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (2,700+ reviews)
- G2: N/A
GitMind is a web-based mind-mapping software. It allows users to create, edit, and share mind maps, which are diagrams that consist of a central idea or topic, with branches or subtopics radiating out from it. Mind maps are used to organize information during brainstorming, project planning, note-taking, and more.
The software also includes a variety of tools for editing, formatting, and customizing mind maps. Additionally, it supports collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on the same mind map at the same time.
GitMind best features
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract long text from images
- Outline Mode to switch over to Mind Maps
- Customizable color themes
- Slide Show functionality to create transitions
- Lacks advanced project management features compared to other process mapping tools
- Limited scalability for large teams
- Contact GitMind for pricing details
GitMind ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (5+ reviews)
- G2: 4.8/5 (3 reviews)
Canva is a graphic design software designed for businesses and content creators to build professional-looking graphics and other media. It is a web-based tool and can be accessed through any browser or mobile app. It provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface and over 250,000 free templates that can be used to create graphics for various content, such as social media posts, marketing materials, posters, invitations, and more.
Canva includes a variety of design tools and features to edit and customize graphics. These include a rich set of design elements, such as text, shapes, icons, and illustrations, as well as advanced editing tools like filters, effects, and layer management.
Canva best features
- Text animations for dynamic messaging
- Online video to MP4 converter
- Image enhancer to fix dark, blurry, and oversaturated photos
- Design and photo grids
- Not suitable for individuals or small to mid-sized businesses
- Multiple file downloads are automatically compressed into a zip file
- Canva Free
- Canva Pro: $119.99/year for one person
- Canva for Teams: $149.90/year total for the first five people
Canva ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (10,900+ reviews)
- G2: 4.7/5 (3,800+ reviews)
Bitrix24 is a comprehensive suite of cloud-based tools designed to help businesses increase efficiency, communication, and collaboration. It offers a range of features, including project and document management, task tracking, customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, web conferencing and online meetings, employee time tracking, attendance monitoring, and more.
For process mapping, you can use Bitrix24’s Kanban board to organize tasks into columns based on their status. For example, create columns such as “Backlog,” “In Progress,” “Done,” and “Pending” to visually track the tasks that are being worked on and where they are in the process.
Bitrix24 best features
- Email-to-task conversion
- Customizable templates
- Gantt charts and Kanban boards
- Advanced reporting
- Lacks a modern, intuitive interface compared to other process mapping tools
- Limited project views
- Free plan
- Basic: Starts at $49/month for 5 users
- Standard: Starts at $99/month for 50 users
- Professional: Starts at $199/month for 100 users
- Enterprise: Starts at $399/month for 250 users
Bitrix24 ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.1/5 (600+ reviews)
- G2: 4.1/5 (480+ reviews)
Cacoo is a web-based diagramming and collaboration tool that allows users to share a variety of diagrams, such as flowcharts, wireframes, org charts, and network diagrams. It is designed for both individual use and team collaboration and allows multiple users to work on the same diagram in real-time.
The versioning tool creates and stores multiple copies of a file with a different label, so users can see how the file has changed and revert to earlier versions if necessary. For example, a project manager might use a versioning tool to keep track of changes to a venue layout, restoring old versions if attendee numbers shift.
Cacoo best features
- Multi-user editing within the same diagram
- In-app video and chat
- 100+ templates and shapes
- AWS Importer to generate network diagrams for editing and sharing
- Lacks task management features
- Collaboration with external partners or guests is a paid feature
- Free plan
- Pro: $6/month for 1 user
- Team: $6/user per month for up to 1,000 users
- Enterprise: Contact Cacoo for pricing
Cacoo ratings and reviews
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (140+ reviews)
- G2: 4.4/5 (160+ reviews)
Process Mapping Made Easy in ClickUp
Any of these tools will help you improve your existing process mapping system and visually convey the steps needed to complete a project, but only one software can connect your process map directly to your workflow in a matter of clicks. And that tool is ClickUp. 🙂
Collaborate with the team with ClickUp Mind Maps, Whiteboards, and more—all at no cost! Access tons of flexible features, unlimited tasks, and 100MB of storage on ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan, or upgrade for as little as $5 to unlock even more functionality.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for ClickUp today. 🏆