Using Google Apps to replace Visio – Part 1 (Updated)

For years I have tried to get away from Windows and Visio, but it always has sucked me back – it was always so much better than anything else.  However, like everything else things change, they improve and its time to try again. Since I live in Gmail/Google Apps I am making a concerted effort to start doing my diagrams in the Drawing app.  Yes – I know that there is a Google Apps market and there are several drawing tools there but I am focusing on using what is freely (and in theory will stay freely) available.

Here is a sample of what the basic document looks like (If you would like me to share it with you send me a email/tweet/dm).  Now this is just a very basic example as I try to flush out what I need.

One item that I always grew frustrated with was a lack of stencils, well now there is a lot of available items out there so I have been slowly building a collection of PNG files to use (PNG so I can have transparent backgrounds to overlap items, hrmmm maybe GIF’s would be more efficient).  Again this collection is just starting but if you would like me to share it withyou or if you would like to contribute  just say the word.  Currently its primarily a collection of icons/images from VMware.

So far it has been working for me, the question becomes whether Visio and all its stencils will ultimately prove to handy.  What are you using – still Visio? Something awesomer I don’t know about yet?

Update:  Keith Townsend (@virtualizedgeek) mentioned a video walk through might be worth while, so in part 2 I will do just that.