Saturday, April 23, 2011

Update on Flowcharts for Law School Outlines

One of our readers thankfully pointed out another free online tool for creating flowcharts. Although gliffy.com still holds a place in my heart for its more professional look, lucidchart.com takes my (free) business because its offers a student "professional" upgrade, much larger capacity, and some key, simple features.

Quick comparisons

  • 1 GB space if you sign up for a free account then upgrade it to a student account with your .edu email address versus 5 charts, period
    • The goal of outlines is to streamline and simplify, but the student/professional upgrade means I don't have to worry about the 60 object maximum. I now don't have to create multiple files for related legal concepts or place text over every line to completely capture the meaning.
  • user interface is much easier to do the things I need, especially adding qualifying text for whatever line connection I'm drawing between shapes
  • better publishing features (to image, PDF, website, etc)
  • AUTOSAVE feature, which can be key when you're on the second hour and 1.5 coffee of crafting a perfect flowchart at midnight
  • HTML5 versus Flash: although I don't see myself editing on the iPhone--perhaps the iPad would be OK--viewing the flowchart might somehow serve useful...
Here's the final result for how to define a market for antitrust analysis. Overall, not too bad for a free service!
Flowchart for how a US federal court or the European Commission would define a market in an antitrust case.