Google Drawings is a free Google Drive-based drawing tool that allows users to create drawings, devise marketing pieces for their writing, brainstorm stories with concept maps, and more.
To use Google Drawings, here’s what you do:
- Open your Google Drive account; go to New and select Google Drawings (it’s probably located under ‘More’).
- Insert shapes, lines, an image, or text with the editing tools.
- When finished, publish the drawing as a stand-alone or add it to a Google Doc, slideshow, or spreadsheet. As will all Google tools, it can be shared with others in a wide variety of methods.
There are a lot of drawing programs available — SumoPaint, KidPix, and TuxPaint to name a few. All are wonderful in their own right and many more powerful than Google Drawings. So why use Drawings? Here are eight reasons:
- It’s collaborative which is nice if you’re working with a team.
- Projects are easily shared with others.
- It syncs between locations so you can start a drawing on your laptop and finish it on your tablet.
- It is minimalist which means it is easy to learn, intuitive to use, and with only exactly what you need for most drawings.
- It’s easy to find. Rather than trying to remember where you created your drawing, Drawings are all saved to your Google Drive.
- Edits are easy. Just open the project from Drive and edit.
- The project can be shared as a link or embedded into many different locations with an embed code found under File>Publish to the web.
- A project can be downloaded as a .jpg, a .png, a vector graphic, or a PDF
Here are eight projects perfect for writers:
Brainstorming, mindmap to plan your story
Create the bubbles and arrows popular to mindmaps with Google Drawings rather than a dedicated mindmap tool like Bubbl.us. Since Drawings allows for collaborating and sharing, it’s easy to brainstorm a story if you’re co-authoring and come up with a collaborative solution everyone likes.
Here’s an example I created:
Comic strip another way to share your story
Infographic about your story
Introduce your story with an infographic created in Drawings. Here’s a good video on how to create the shapes required for infographics. Once that’s done, add text boxes to describe your story.
Timeline (events in your plot)
I love timelines but most of the online tools are less than satisfactory (I won’t mention names). Google Drawings has become one of my favorites because of its minimalistic approach–add text boxes to identify events in the story and then add pictures. The example below uses a thick line, text boxes for events, and one picture to sum up the story:
Clickable map of your story
Create a map of the locations in your story. Add a picture that links to a rundown of what happens there in your story. Use this to inspire interest in potential readers.
Here’s an example of a story, based in the USA (though you won’t be able to click the red stars because I’ve uploaded a screenshot only):
In a literary world where getting noticed is critical, Google Drawings could be exactly the right tool.