Mind mapping, tree chart, organisation chart by Google Documents


Baseband Member
It is quite useful to draw an organisation chart-like graph to make things in order or classified things. This could be easily achieved by mind mapping program; however, most of the mind mapping program are only free for trail and must buy it. I recently found Google Documents can do sort of mind mapping/tree chart. I said “sort of” – because I don’t feel the functions are as good as the proper software. I’ll list it at the end of the article. However, also it might be far from perfect, it could be a easy solution if you trying to sort things out and want to make a quick note on.

Firstly, go to Google Documents --> Create New --> Drawing.

The function layout is very similar to Word. If you want to add new text, go to Insert --> Textbox

Your drawing area will pop up a box for you to type the text. When you finish typing, press “ENTER” then the text will show in the box. (note: if you move your mouse and click outside the box (like the way you can do in word), the text will not show up. Must press “ENTER”). All other functions are similar to the Word drawing function so I am going to skip the description.

[ Easy Alignment]
When you finish your notes, the boxes might be a bit untidy – not equally distributed in vertical and horizontal way. Now, you just need to click the boxes you want to align, then align horizontally --> left, it will do the job.

When adjusting the horizontal spaces in between the boxes, do “distribute” --> “vertically”.

The boxes will now look nice and tidy.

This same thing can be applied to other type of chart you are drawing.

Although it very easy to use, I do found there are still spaces for improvement. Such as:

(1) For instance, the size of the drawing area is limited. You can make the drawing area a bit bigger by Click the background and drag left bottom corner. However, the space for you to adjust the size of the drawing is limited. Therefore, it is not be able to draw a very complicated/big graph.

(2) Although the file can be save in other format (such as PDF, JPEG), it takes some adjustment to print the graph into A4 size.

Nice things about this functions
- free
- very easy to use
- when linking boxes with lines, the lines will adjust according when you move the box (or vice versa).

For me, it’s a quick solution if you want to draw something but feel Word is a bit stubborn.