Using Lucidchart as a single source of truth for processes
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Posted by: Lucid Content Team
You might not remember the days before the cloud, but if you do, there’s one thing you definitely don’t miss: digging through drawers, file cabinets, maybe that stack of papers on your desk, looking for a specific piece of documentation. Even if that documentation was digitized, you were still digging around on your desktop or in your computer’s trash bin, searching for a file.
You get the point. Files can be hard to find.
And once you do find them, who’s to say your file is up to date? Say you were looking for a diagram that outlines your team’s onboarding processes. While your version of the file sat in a folder on your desktop untouched, someone else might have created a new one. A different one. Which one is correct?
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about all of those hypotheticals—you’ve got Lucidchart. Because Lucidchart is cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about lost and conflicting versions of documents.
But there’s a lot more to love about Lucidchart than the fact that it is cloud-based. We’ve compiled a list of tips and features to help you get the most out of Lucidchart and make it your single source of truth.
Tips to make Lucidchart your single source of truth
You might already think of Lucidchart as a single source of truth, a place where you and other co-workers can go to find up-to-date documentation of your company’s processes. That being said, here are some features that will help you take things a step further.
Comments and @mentions
While emails and direct messages are great for certain conversations, there’s no need to drag discussions about your Lucidchart documents out of context.
Collaborators can add feedback using comments directly in the document. Comments can be accessed in the upper-right corner of the editor, near the “Present” button, or simply right-click on an object and select “Add Comment.”
Want to ensure that a particular co-worker (or group of co-workers) sees your comment? No problem—just drop an @mention in your comment, and they’ll receive an email notification.
You’re probably familiar with hyperlinks. At this point, we’ve all clicked thousands of them. In Lucidchart, you can link shapes to a lot more than just another webpage.
Use Actions (accessed with the lightning bolt icon) to link shapes to another Lucidchart document, an external website, or an email address. That way, if there’s additional documentation, users can access it directly from your Lucidchart document. You can also use Actions to toggle between layers and pages of your document.
Just because a document is your single source of truth doesn’t mean it should never change. It should grow and adapt as your organization does. That being said, some changes don’t pan out. Maybe you cut a step out of your onboarding process, updated the documentation, and then months later, realized that step was actually more important than you thought.
In Lucidchart, you can easily access your revision history (select File > Revision History) to see what changes were made when. To see when a document was created, simply scroll to the bottom of your revision history. You can add names to each version, restore an old version, or even create a new document from a past version. The latter option allows you to edit previous versions without changing the current state of your document.
With revision history, you can easily see past versions of your document. What can be less easy, however, is seeing what has changed. Fortunately, we’ve got a fix for that. When you select a version of your document using revision history, click the blue “Compare Version” button. You’ll then select a second version to compare it to.
This comparison feature pulls up both versions of your document, allowing you to see exactly what has changed. On the right side of your screen, you’ll also see a nifty list of those changes compiled for you.
When you’ve got more than one collaborator on a document, it’s crucial that each collaborator knows the status of the document. Maybe a certain process is still pending approval or is still in the draft stages—you wouldn’t want a co-worker taking that version as the final product.
To keep everyone on the same page, use Lucidchart’s document status feature. This feature allows you to assign each document in your library a status (draft, pending approval, approved, etc.) and update that status as you go. Anyone with access to your document can see the status, but only those with editing privileges can change it.
Team Folders are a lot like shared folders: They allow teams to store all of their documents in a single folder that can be accessed by each team member. So what’s the difference?
Whereas shared folders are owned by individuals, team folders are “owned” by an Enterprise account. If a team member leaves, you don’t have to worry about your folder—and the documents it contains—going missing.
If you’re anything like us, you probably create and store documentation across a number of platforms. Lucidchart might not be your be-all and end-all—and that’s ok! With Lucidchart’s extensive integrations, you can store your Lucidchart documents alongside your other documentation. So what exactly does this look like? That depends on the platform.
Whether you’re working in Confluence Cloud or Google Workspace, you can insert your Lucidchart diagrams directly into your workspace to consolidate documentation. Worried about constantly having to update those diagrams? Simply enable Auto-Update in Confluence or click “Update Inserted Diagrams” in Google to apply any changes made in Lucidchart.
If your team uses Slack, use the Lucidchart integration to send all document updates to your Slack account—this way, team members can keep their comments in the document itself.
Maybe you’re a Microsoft Teams kind of company. You can add a Lucidchart tab within Teams where you can pin Lucidchart documents for easy access.
Reduce complexity in your processes and maintain transparency by making your Lucidchart documents a single source of truth. Try out these features today.
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Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that empowers teams to clarify complexity, align their insights, and build the future—faster. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, everyone can work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more.
The most popular online Visio alternative, Lucidchart is utilized in over 180 countries by millions of users, from sales managers mapping out target organizations to IT directors visualizing their network infrastructure.