Another Tool in Your Infographic Toolbox
A while back, I provided a roadmap for creating infographics and promoted one of the new online tools for creating these visuals. I have since been introduced to a similar resource called Venngage. Venngage is extremely cost effective at less than $20 a month (they have a sale right now if you are interested), but that's not really the reason I wanted to introduce you to it. What I love about Venngage, and its competitors for that matter, is that they help to reduce "Blank Slate Fear." That's my term for the absolute dread that can consume us when we know we have to do something creative (write a blog, build an infographic, start a report, etc). I've mentioned my own battle with procrastination stemming from Blank Slate Fear in an earlier post, and I know a number of you out there suffer from the same issue. That's why I love tools like Venngage which provide you not only with templates to get you started, but also with a Community of examples to foster your inspiration. Glancing through what other people have created gives me ideas and hope, making the entire process less dreadful. Plus, as an added bonus, Venngage does a nice job of providing educational articles to help you grow your skills on their blog, which is one that I've added to my feed.
Another amazing advantage to a tool like Venngage is the incredible time savings that you can reap by having all of the charts, icons, fonts, and images that you could ever imagine all in one place. I can't tell you the number of hours I've spent in my life searching for various icons, trying to save them somewhere, keeping them organized, sourcing them properly, etc. It's a never ending battle, but online infographic tools put all of those resources one click away, making it faster for me to make it through the visualization process.
I guess my only caveat to using these tools is that they don't supplant the work that needs to be done before you put mouse to screen. You still have to have an outline of what you are trying to say, what data points you will include, and how you will tie the story together. If you don't have that, you'll drown in the sea of templates and icons, producing nothing more than a visual representation of disparate data. These tools give us great power but it's up to us to make sense of it for our readers.