50+ Sample Flow Charts

What Are Flow Charts?

A flow chart is simply a representation of processes and steps using graphical data. And it is a good alternative to explain how a procedure works quickly rather than explaining with long paragraphs and complex technical jargon. Also, you can use flow charts for various functions like constructing business plans, marketing strategies, computer programming, and so much more.

According to Chron, a flow chart’s top three uses are: (1) to define work processes, (2) to assess the tasks’ timing, and (3) to troubleshoot or provide solutions.

Standard Symbols in Flow Charts

A flow chart consists of a diagram and a set of symbols with corresponding meanings. Although the symbols, labels, and signs differ from one function to another, there are common symbols with standard meanings. Learn more about each symbol and what it generally means below.

Terminator: A terminator symbol marks the beginning and the ending point of your chart. And it is typically shaped like an oblong or circle chart.Process: The process is often represented as a box; it represents a specific operation.Document: A document is shaped and represented as it is, like a business document, printout, or report.Decision: The decision is depicted in a diamond form where you are expected to showcase the different branches or possible decisions to take. The lines from that diamond will lead to the possible sub-processes.Data: Your data can be shaped like a parallelogram. That is where you input what details get in or out of the system.On-Page and Off-Page Reference: The on-page reference is written with a corresponding letter inside. It is where you display the flow of a matching symbol with the same letter found on that same page. Meanwhile, off-page reference also contains a letter but the flow of a matching symbol with a similar letter is already from another page.Delay: A delay is also called a bottleneck. And it is where you recognize what delays could happen in a procedure.Flow: Of course, a flow chart isn’t complete without the flow symbol. It is represented in lines to showcase the direction or sequence of a project.

How to Make a Flow Chart

Before you create a flow chart, have you checked the sample flow charts listed above already? Check them out so you won’t need to make a flow chart right from scratch. Instead, you just design a template, insert details, and produce it shortly. But, don’t forget to follow these steps below to ensure the flow chart you created is done effectively.

Step 1: Brainstorm on the Process or Project to Be Diagrammed

First of all, what is your flow chart for? Identify your main purpose whether it is a project plan, a business production scheme, a web programming strategy, or anything. That way, you can eventually brainstorm for your flow chart’s title and corresponding details.

Step 2: Consider All the Activities and Boundaries Involved

Now that you know your purpose, remember all the activities expected in the process. You can use notes as your reference too so you won’t get wrong. The same goes for recognizing the possible boundaries of your project. For example, when does it start and end? Expect to keep your diagram as detailed as possible.

Step 3: Arrange Each Activity in Sequence

When you’re done noting all activities, expect to arrange its sequence from what happens first to last. That is where you learn how the flow of your procedure works. Poor arrangements eventually lead to drastic and wrong results. Also, you can use a draft first in arranging to be really sure of the outcome.

Step 4: Insert the Appropriate Symbols

Most importantly, add the appropriate symbols to your chart. But don’t simply use random symbols, use only what is needed for your process and each symbol should have relevant meaning. Expect to draw arrows showcasing the procedure’s flow. Lastly, ensure that the flow chart is simple and understandable before actually launching it.


What are the functions of flow charts?

There are many uses of flow charts. And the top three functions of a flow chart are: (1) defining work processes, (2) evaluating the tasks’ timing, and (3) troubleshooting or providing solutions.

What are the types of flow charts?

Some of the most notable types of flow charts are:

  • Process flow chart
  • Swimlane flow chart
  • Data flow diagram
  • Workflow diagram
  • EPC diagram
  • SDL diagram
  • Process flow diagram
  • Process map

What are other elements expected in a flow chart?

You may need to include the following elements in your flow chart:

  • Sequence of actions
  • Materials and services that enter or leave the system
  • Important decisions
  • Parties involved
  • Time or duration
  • Process measurements

So the next time you have complicated business procedures, marketing strategies, political campaigns, programming projects, or anything hard to explain, simply present in the easiest way possible with flow charts. With a well-planned diagram or graphical data, people can easily understand what you are trying to work on visually. And the best part is you can create one anytime using sample flow charts.