Current standards seem to dictate that online learning is here to stay, and with that comes the need for more digital tools that can make studying easier.
While there are a lot of great self-study resources out there that could help with a myriad of subjects in terms of information and general studies, in this article we’d like to focus on graph makers instead.
That’s because tools like these can help immensely when it comes to arranging information to make understanding it easier. And that’s not limited to results from experiments or studies either. When we say information, we mean even little things like scheduling, note-taking, data visualization, and even organizing study material.
Here are our top recommendations:
A website that democratizes design, Canva is a free design tool whose incredible quantities of templates and premade assets makes graph making feel more like an exercise in scrapbooking than anything else.
Screenshot/Canva homepage for graphs
Canva’s vibe is louder and more visually striking. But for this to work it does require a minimum amount of effort from the user to input their own design sense as well.
How Canva allows for such versatility in their tool is that they give complete control of the graphic’s elements to its users, which can be either a good or bad thing depending on your artistic inclination. If you’re not the type to want to bother making your work look extra pretty then you’re better off with the aforementioned tools.
Screenshot/Canva sample infographic
Another caveat is that Canva is more of a generalist’s tool than it is an analytical expert’s one, and so your mileage may vary. You will have to input your data manually, one by one as individual elements in order to fulfill your chosen graph template, as shown above.
Speaking of an analytical expert’s tool, this brings us to Venngage. Specifically built for business professionals who are looking to communicate large swathes of data effortlessly, it’s a versatile tool that excels at simplifying the complicated.
While functionally similar to Canva where they’re both online editing tools with interactive elements, Venngage is more tailor-built in its assets and templates for more formal and data-heavy presentations.
Screenshot/Venngage sample graph
It hits the right balance between having a beautiful, pre-made design without having to sacrifice any crucial information.
Of course, it’s open for student use as well, perfect for times when communicating complex ideas to others needs to be streamlined in a practical, yet still fun, way.
Screenshot/Google Data Studio homepage
Data visualization has never been so easy with Google Data Studio. Made to be an interactive dashboard that can create eye-catching reports in minutes, it’s a fantastic tool for students who want to present a wide array of data in a clear and beautiful way.
Some of its best features include its pre-built integrations for data importing from other sources, its simple,code-less interface for simplifying data, and the breadth of options it offers in terms of visual customization. Making data accessible has never been this easy.
It also allows for filtering within the charts themselves, allowing you to create complex data sets within one chart without worrying about bloat.
Screenshot/Sample data on world population from google data studio
The best part is that it also works within the Google ecosystem, which makes it easy for both individuals and teams to work on the same project as long as they have access.
When it comes to digital visuals of any kind, of course, Adobe has a stake. Their online chart making tool, Adobe Spark, has a lot going for it as well in terms of creating visual data.
Screenshot/Adobe Spark homepage
Although not as powerful as Google Data Studio in terms of handling raw data, if all you’re looking for is a quick and easy to use program for making professional-looking charts and graphs then look no further.
Screenshot/Adobe Spark sample line chart template
What truly makes it stand out from its competition is its ease of use, though that does come at the cost of any sort of complexity. All you need to do is input your data and the program will take care of the rest.
It’s a great solution for those who don’t want to bother with the minutiae of design. The name of the game here is utilitarian simplicity, and sometimes that’s more than enough.
Desmos is an online graphing calculator that covers all the tools every aspiring mathematician needs. Available not only online but on app stores too, it’s a strong contender for those who need a more specialized sort of graph maker.
Much like Adobe Spark, this tool shines for those with a singular goal in mind. It’s straightforward and easy to use; all you need to do is input your formula into the pop-up menu on the left, and the software will follow.
Screenshot/Desmos graphing calculator
Notion is a note-taker’s dream. An online tool made to collate a huge amount of data, much like a notebook you can digitally sift through, it’s a great tool for making sure you have everything you ever need on a subject right at your fingertips, presented in almost any logical way you want. But that’s not all it can do.
Due to its gantt chart feature, which it calls timeline view, it’s capable of presenting all your data sets in the order you want, making it so it’s easy to see how you would tackle your own set scope chronologically.
It’s also extremely malleable in terms of data visualization, as you can set custom filters so you can view your data from any angle. You can even adjust the timeline as needed. It’s mostly used to keep on top of projects or personal tasks more than it is for presenting data, but it’s another chart that students will surely appreciate the use of.
Screenshot/Notion blog post for timeline
At the end of the day though, which graph or chart maker you’ll use will depend on what you need to accomplish. There are a lot more tools out there, but these heavy-hitters offer the most value in terms of features.
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