Book review: The Diagrams Book: 50 Ways To Solve Any Problem Visually by Kevin Duncan


This is a very handy book. As with many such handy books, the casual reader may at first flick through and think, “Yeah, know that one, and that one, and…” But wait.

I’ll bet that many such flickers are actually stuck in a groove of overusing the same basic diagrams. Admit it: we can all stick with our favourite pie chart or graph widget.

So how will this book be useful? I think it’s great for someone who is:

  • Attempting to solve a business (or other) problem
  • Analysing data
  • Making a business case
  • Trying to explain a complex issue
  • Writing a presentation
  • Preparing for an off-site meeting or away day
  • Weighing up a heap of ideas after a brainstorming session
  • Stuck and wondering what to do next
  • Fed up with the same old diagrams in their presentations
  • Communicating with groups large or small

There are triangles and pyramids, squares and axes, circles and pies, timelines and year views, flows and concepts. My favourites include tertial (or triannual) year views and the three buckets. There’s also an example of how NOT to do an organisation chart, which might amuse.

Only quibble might be – because I’m lazy – a grid that matches the kind of problem or information with the ideal diagram to do it justice. But maybe that would spoil the fun of working through the book.


You can buy a copy via this link

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