Common Sense Review
Updated August 2016

Grafio 3 - Diagrams & ideas

Flexible app transforms sketches into pro-level designs and diagrams
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • Grafio turns users' drawings into shapes.
  • Shapes can be edited and changed in several ways.
  • Make a flowchart or diagram with colors, text, and icons.
  • Mix a variety of styles into an infographic, all from inside the app.
  • Documents can even be quite text-heavy.
Customizable features tidy up drawings and serve a wealth of uses.
Precise movements can be hard with fingers or stylus, and files are only editable within the app.
Bottom Line
A terrific choice for creating simple diagrams or presentations on iOS.
Jenny Bristol
Common Sense Reviewer
Homeschooling parent/instructor
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

With a clean, inviting canvas and extensive tools, this open-ended app is only limited by your imagination. The sample documents show new users all the possibilities.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

The learning is in the doing with this app. By creating visuals to convey or organize information, teachers and students will demonstrate and understand concepts more clearly.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The built-in starter screens and tool tips combine with tutorial videos to help users get started. There is limited help on the website, but the app includes a detailed help reference.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Students can learn a lot by visualizing their thinking, but teachers also can use it to deliver lessons. Since Grafio documents can be exported to a variety of formats, teachers can create classroom handouts, images, or documents to email around. Audio can be embedded in any of the created objects for contextualization and instruction. Video presentations can be created from documents using video mirroring, and these can include the audio and customized pauses between frames. The many options available allow teachers to work these documents into their lessons, however it works best for them.

Teachers can also allow older students to use Grafio as a study and presentation tool, especially if the classroom has access to iPads. The students can create visuals for research papers, oral presentations, or group projects or to augment their note-taking. Visualizing information in this way helps with student understanding.

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What's It Like?

Grafio is a diagramming (and presentation ) iOS app for creating graphs, vector charts, storyboards, infographics, flowcharts, diagrams, and anything that uses text, shapes, or visual representations. Begin by drawing shapes with your finger or stylus. Shapes are automatically closed, straightened, and made into the best versions of themselves possible via the built-in shape-recognition algorithms. Most basic shapes are recognized, and doodles will also be made tidier. To show the relationship between two shapes, simply draw a line connecting them shapes, and the line automatically changes into an arrow. All these objects are vector objects, which means users can zoom without any loss of quality. If users want more complicated shapes, there are hundreds included in the shapes library, and additional libraries are available for purchase. Users can also save their own shapes in the user library or fill shapes with images from their camera roll. Text can be added anywhere with a simple double-tap, and the text's font, size, and color can be edited. Paragraphs of text can easily be added inside a shape. The app includes almost 100 examples for inspiration. All of these documents can be edited.

All objects in Grafio can be edited, rotated, scaled, and modified by color and line type. Users can turn off the shape recognition to include freely sketched objects. Objects can be grouped together or locked and can also be aligned and arranged by snapping them vertically or horizontally to their centers or sides. In addition, audio notes can be recorded and attached to the shapes. The size of the canvas can also be specified, with many sizes to choose from, including letter, legal, A0 through A5, Facebook cover image, Instagram post, iPad Retina, full HD 1080p, and more. Grafio documents can be organized into folders, and they can be exported to several formats, including vector PDF, transparent PNG, JPG, and Grafio Document (IDDZ format). Files can be sent by email, saved to the camera roll, printed, opened in other apps, saved in Dropbox or iTunes, or posted on Facebook or Twitter. Users can also import documents from Dropbox or iTunes.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Though Grafio is a presentation and diagramming tool, it can also be a supportive tool in the classroom. Students can use it to create mind maps, diagrams, decision trees, flowcharts, and any other kind of visual representation of knowledge. It will help them visualize their notes, making it easier to study. These tech skills can be carried into other environments. The website also includes a helpful Solutions Area with plenty of options to help students get started, including the history and usage of flowcharts, memes, wireframes, Venn diagrams, vintage diagrams, concept maps, and plenty more. The tutorial videos are the most help for getting started, however. There is plenty of help on the Grafio Trello board as well. 

Because Grafio is a touchscreen app, it can be hard to be precise with movements. Using a stylus helps a bit, but it would be more useful if you could have the option to tweak the documents on a computer as well. The app works best on a device with a larger screen, such as an iPad or perhaps an iPhone 6 Plus.

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See how teachers are using Grafio 3 - Diagrams & ideas