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How to Make Flowcharts & Gantt Charts in Keynote With Templates

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So, you've been asked to give a presentation on the big project that you're planning. A successful presentation improves the chances that your project will be approved, and you're assigned the resources that can make it successful.

One thing that management looks for when approving a project is a solid, well-thought-out plan. Illustrating that with tools like flowcharts and Gantt charts in Keynote is a great way to show that the project has been thoroughly researched and planned.

Any time that you're designing an illustration of a process or project, it helps if you can illustrate the steps with graphics. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to build beautiful Keynote flowcharts and Gantt charts to showcase processes and projects that are well structured and prepared.

Keynote Flowchart and Gantt Icon

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Now let's dive into this tutorial, to learn all about how to make flowcharts and Gantt Charts in Keynote using templates.

Watch & Learn

In this screencast, you'll learn how to make a flowchart in Keynote. We'll also cover Keynote Gantt charts. These are two variants of charts that can illustrate even the most complex process or project. You'll see how you take built Envato Elements templates and add your own details to them to rapidly create your own process diagrams.

If you want to learn more about when and how to use these template types, keep reading this tutorial. I'll show you the shortcuts that help you build these charts quickly.

How to Make a Flowchart In Keynote Using a Template

First up, let's take a look at Keynote flowcharts. A flowchart is designed to show how the steps in a process fit together. For logical thinkers, it's helpful to take a complicated process and break it down into steps that showcase how the parts of that process fit together.

That's where flowcharts come into play. Imagine that you're designing a new process and you need to break it down into its steps. Showing how those steps fit together is where the flowchart comes into play.

A Keynote flowchart can be as simple as a series of boxes that are linked together with arrows. You could draw those from scratch using shapes in Keynote. Or, you could skip the work involved with that, and use pre-built Keynote flowchart templates that are much easier to update and customize.

1. Choose a Keynote Flowchart Template

In this tutorial, we're going to use Envato Elements. If you haven't checked out Elements yet, you're missing out on a service that has everything you need to create the best presentation you can imagine.

Envato Elements templates
A subscription to Elements includes access to all the Keynote templates that you want.

One template that I recommend from Envato Elements is the Metro Keynote templatewhich is tailor-made for building a flowchart in your presentation. Let's take a look at how to make a flowchart in Keynote with a template.

2. Pick a Slide to Base Your Keynote Flowchart On

Within the Metro Keynote template, you can use slide 153 to build a flowchart of your own. Check out the screenshot below to see the starter flowchart that you can customize with your steps for easy step-by-step guides as you can see in the screenshot below.

Flowchart Metro Keynote template
This Keynote flowchart shows how to handle the order of software from download to registration, building in branching logic to allow for payment by credit card or purchase order.

A flowchart can have more than one branch in it as the example above shows. At the placeholder "Credit card or PO?" step, the flowchart builds in branching logic that shows how to make a decision based on how the customer is paying.

It's also a good idea to use the different shapes for different meanings. Notice in the placeholder slide that the "Credit Card or PO?" box is a diamond shape. In this case, you could use that shape to show that this is a decision point in the flowchart. 

3. Customize a Keynote Flowchart Template Slide

This slide is easy to customize. Just update the placeholder text on the boxes, rearranging them in a way that fits your process. Let's take a look at a sample flowchart below that I've customized.

Monthly Invoicing Screenshot
It's easy to update the original Keynote flowchart in the Metro template with your details to break down the steps in a process.

One of my favorite uses for Keynote flowcharts is to train new members of your team. When someone is brand new to a job, it helps if you can provide a visual of how to evaluate situations. With a branching approach, you can even build in conditional logic that helps ensure sound decision making. 

How to Use a Keynote Gantt Chart Template

Flowcharts show processes as simple, sequential sets of steps. In reality, processes often run with many steps moving at the same time. How can you explain these steps as co-existing?

One of the most popular charts that you can use to illustrate a process is a Gantt chart. Gantt charts are a slight twist on flowcharts because they can show multiple steps of a process co-existing at the same time.

I love Gantt charts because they illustrate the complexity that exists in most projects. In reality, projects have many processes that are running in parallel to accomplish an ultimate goal. You need cooperation from many parties, and a Gantt illustrates how the team can fit together to complete the project.

While a flowchart illustrates a simple set of interconnected steps, Gantt charts allow for multiple steps running side-by-side, which is true to form for practically any project. Check out the screenshot below of a Gantt chart in action.

1 Week Gantt Chart
This one-week Gantt chart can show a series of tasks running side-by-side over the course of a single week.

You could spend a ton of time drawing in the shapes and diagrams to build a Gantt chart from scratch. Or, you could use a pre-built Apple Keynote theme that includes a Gantt chart that you can drop your details into. This is easier than drawing the shapes from scratch.

1. Choose a Keynote Gantt Chart Template

My recommendation is to use a separate Keynote Gantt Chart template from Envato Elements to create the perfect Gantt chart. Thanks to Elements' all-you-can-download model, you can grab a Gantt chart Keynote template as well. 

In fact, there's a presentation template that's made solely to create Gantt charts, called Gantt Chart Keynote Template. The one-week Gantt screenshot above is one of 19 different Gantt designs that you can customize and use within one template. 

2. Customize a Keynote Gantt Chart Template Slide

Let's take a look at customizing it below. In my example, I'm using a Gantt chart to show a one-week product sprint. These types of sprints often happen in lean organizations where small teams will focus on completing a launch in a single week. When time is of the essence, you need to show how the different groups can interact in parallel.

In the example below, I've modified the key so that each color thumbnail represents a different team in the company. On the left side, I've added descriptions for what each team should be working on. Check out the screenshot below to see a modified Gantt chart.

One Week Product sprint customized slide
In my Gantt chart, I've customized the color thumbnails to represent different teams, and the tasks on the side show what the team will be working on any given day of the week.

Even if you don't use this Keynote Gantt chart template for all of the slides in your Keynote slide deck, you can copy and paste the Gantt slide into another slide deck that you've developed. If you created a flowchart with a separate Keynote slide template, just copy and paste the entire slide by clicking on the thumbnail in the sidebar, choosing copy, and pasting it in the sidebar of another presentation file.

Compared to simple flowcharts, I think that one of the strengths of Gantt charts is that they show processes in parallel. In many cases, tasks depend upon other tasks to complete. For example, your sales department may need the website redesign to complete before they can begin to push new products. Gantt charts ultimately help each team see where they fit in the process.

No matter which type of chart you use, it's a substantial upgrade to illustrate a process with a chart instead of a written description. Think about using a Keynote flowchart or Gantt chart to showcase your next project's plan.

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Recap & Keep Learning

In this tutorial, we covered two helpful charts that you can use to illustrate ideas in Apple Keynote. A flowchart or Gantt chart can help the audience understand the steps in a process better than a wall of text or bulleted list.

If you want to keep learning Apple Keynote, Tuts+ has a wealth of learning resources. Check out the tutorials below to learn more about Apple's flagship presentation software:

How do you work with charts and illustrations in Keynote? Make sure to let me know in the comments section if you've got a favorite charting tip to share.

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