Since the founding of Creately, I’ve been waiting over a decade to write this post.
When we founded Creately, we thought the way we interacted with apps, data, and docs can be better by an order of magnitude.
At the time, what we built was a platform to model systems visually with integrated data. It focused on IT systems and parts of enterprise architecture. Experiments and iterations followed. Here’s a preview of some of the things we built. This time for Salesforce CRM. Note the time stamp on the video, 2011. 🙂
While there were niche pockets of teams that loved our product, this way of working with visual tools on the web was too alien for most that were stuck in the classic productivity toolsets. In essence, it was too early. Most people wanted the diagramming part of the product, so we focused on that.
However, after over a decade, it’s finally time!
Today we are launching Creately. The original purpose of our team, realized to match today’s challenges of distributed teams working with multiple apps and systems.
Creately is the new interface for work.
Ambitious. But it’s no BS marketing speak. This is exactly what it’s designed to do.
- Creately can centralize all workflows. It’s a clever no-code platform to build whatever flow of information you need.
- Bring everything to the same canvas. Creately’s canvas can host your ideas, brainstorms, data from other systems, or embeds. What used to be in multiple tabs is now on the same canvas. You can move, annotate, arrange, and update things any way you like. I love how this opens up connections that you didn’t see earlier.
- It’s your knowledge base. Usually, note-taking apps and wikis are where ideas go to die. Finding them is hard and serious curation is needed for active use. Creately has a first-class note-taking capability that works with 2-way links, data embeds, and more. But more importantly, it flips the script on how you organize them. Visual structures are the navigation for the detailed notes. So you can go from a big picture view to details in the same space.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Creately is a first-class diagramming tool and a visual collaboration platform. Millions of users love Creately for these capabilities.
But these new capabilities unlock something foundationally untapped.
It starts with how we look at data. Every kind of work and task you do, if it’s digital, it’s creating or changing data. For many of us, this data is in a cloud application or a spreadsheet.
The problem is that this data is LOCKED into a structure that’s determined by the host application. Typically it’s a table. You think of data, you think of a spreadsheet.
At Creately we start with the `items` (or entities). The ‘items` have properties and that’s the data.
So our unit of visualization is an item. Each row in a table in Creately is an item. Each ‘thing’ in your application (like Salesforce, hr system, or project management tool) is an item on the canvas for Creately that can take any shape or form depending on context.
This gives you the freedom to do things otherwise not possible.
- Take a subset of items from anywhere and view and manage them separately
- Connect individual items from multiple systems together in the canvas. Like a ‘front-end data integration’, [ex. build project dependencies between items from different apps].
- Put items from multiple systems on a common workflow.
- Add additional data and notes to items from other systems.
- Link free-form ideas and visual plans together with items that are in a workflow.
- Visualize the same items in multiple places for multi-perspective understanding. Since it’s data-backed, one change anywhere is synced with other copies of the item instantly.
All of these capabilities are foundational to what Creately enables you to do. It’s unlike anything available now and for most of you, it will be a completely new way to think about how to organize and manage your work.
We see it as an evolution of how people work with apps and systems. It’s flexible, visual, easy to change, and cuts down grunt work between systems. A single portal for the details and the big picture that’s always in sync.
We cannot wait to see what you’ll build with Creately.