How to Use Gliffy as a Team

By Liza Mock on Feb 16, 2016 in Stories,Tips and Tricks

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Type in “communication in the workplace statistics” into google and get ready to be scared. You’ll see article upon article with statistics showing how frequently communication fails, how often lack of communication is cited as the #1 reason for work woes and on and on and on. Most jobs depend on us communicating constantly and yet most of us have a REALLY hard time with it. Why?

One of the main reasons it’s so hard to get our point across is that words are vague. It happens all the time—we think we’re saying something perfectly clear, but what our coworkers are hearing is actually completely different. It’s like a game of broken telephone, except nobody knows they’re playing.

Luckily, more and more collaboration tools are becoming available to plug the holes left by verbal communication. Gliffy is one of them. If you’ve used Gliffy, you’ll know you can explain an idea faster with a diagram than with words. That’s because diagrams are far less ambiguous. And while Gliffy is great for a team of one, it becomes that much more powerful when used collectively. In this post we’ll cover what you need to know to use Gliffy with your team.

Part 1: Managing Your Account

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Adding Users
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1. To add new users to your account, click on your Avatar (top right of the toolbar) and select >Account Settings.
2. Select Users from the popup menu. (Here you can see who has access to the account and how many more users you can add.)
3. Add users by entering their email addresses.

Switching Between Accounts
If you have multiple Gliffy accounts associated with a single email address and want to switch back and forth:
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1. Click on your Avatar and select Switch Accounts.
2. You’ll be able to switch between accounts and select your default account.

Part 2: Getting Everyone On the Same Page

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Gliffy is a simple yet effective tool for saving time and getting your team’s documents to look consistent. This helps get everyone on the same page even if you don’t share an office or even a time zone.

Creating Shared Templates
When you know a certain diagram type will be used on a regular basis, creating a template and sharing it with your coworkers instead of everyone having to start from scratch will save a lot of time.

To make a shareable template, start by naming and saving your diagram. Consider adding a company logo or images that will make your diagram distinctive to your business. Once saved, your diagram will be accessible to anyone sharing your team account in the Gliffy Account Diagrams folder. To access it click File>Open.

Sharing a Folder
If you’re working on a particular project or presentation that has multiple diagrams associated with it and you have a Gliffy Team Account you can share an entire folder.
1. Go to My Documents and select Create New Folder.
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2. Once you’ve named your folder, you can choose who in your account to give viewing & editing permissions to.
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BROWNIE POINTS: Establish a diagram naming convention with your team and stay consistent. That way everyone will be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

Creating Shared Libraries of Images, Icons & Logos
You can add whole libraries of custom images to your Gliffy account. In fact, we’ve written an entire blog complete with a video on the topic. Check it out.
But if you want the quick and dirty version:
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1. Scroll down to the bottom of the shape navigator on the left-hand side and click More Shapes.
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2. Select Add Custom Library from the popup window.
3. Drag and drop your images* directly or browse your computer to upload an entire folder.
4. Name your library.

*We recommend that you import images in SVG format whenever possible. They can be enlarged to any size without losing resolution.

Part 3: Public vs. Private Diagrams

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Gliffy loves sharing and makes it easy to do. You can make any diagram publically-viewable and add it to a blog post, website or any other public space. You can also make a diagram publically-viewable if you want to share it with someone who is not part of your Gliffy account.
1. To make a diagram public, name and save your work, then go to the toolbar and choose Share>Publish.
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2. A popup window will appear and you’ll be able to make your diagram public or private. Selecting public will generate an interactive web viewer link, an image link or code which can be embedded into a blog or website.
3. Now all you have to do is copy and paste your format of choice.

Making Diagrams Private
If you need to make a previously public diagram private, go back to the original diagram, click Share>Publish and switch the settings back to private. All previously public views of that diagram will now become private.

Part 4: Revision History

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Have you ever wished you could go back in time and unsend that email you accidentally sent to your boss? Gliffy knows the feeling. That’s why we’ve made our revision history so robust you can go back and forth between previously saved versions created by you or anyone else who’s worked on the diagram.

1. To view revision history, choose File>Revision History.
(If you don’t see Revision History, it means there are no previous versions of your diagram.)

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2. A popup window will appear showing all available versions along with dates and names of people who created them.

3. You can go back and forth between the versions at will. If you make changes to an older version and save, it will become the most recent version.

Part 5: Sharing & Collaborating With Anyone

Gliffy is a powerful communication tool for teams, but sometimes you need input from someone outside your group or organization. Because we’re all about sharing, we’ve made it possible to collaborate with anyone even if they don’t have a Gliffy account. To collaborate with someone who doesn’t have a Gliffy account:

1. Name and save your diagram, then go to the toolbar and choose Share>Collaborate.
2. A popup window will appear where you can invite coworkers using their email addresses.
The people you invite will get an email with a link to the diagram you shared. They’ll be able to view, edit and save a new version of your diagram without deleting the old one.