Bring visual clarity to your work

Free Canvas Template Collection to make your business life easier

These templates help you to generate and organize ideas

Creative Team Workshops, Source: Freepik.com

Almost everyone who is involved in starting his own business today will at some point come across the Business Model Canvas to visualize his business model. At a certain point in product development, the Value Proposition Model will be used. But why? Why do so many people and companies use canvases? It’s simple:

Canvases are extremely simple and break down complex issues into a few points.

This makes information easier to understand. In my professional life I very often use a canvas to collect information in meetings or workshops and arrange it directly. For this reason, I would like to present a collection of canvas models in this article, which are excellent tools to generate very understandable results quickly and easily.

Before I introduce you directly to popular Canvas Templates which I like, I would like to list the advantages of Canvases again:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to understand
  • Clear information consolidation
  • Time-saving
  • Scalable concept
  • Active involvement of the participants

Some time ago I was asked to participate in a restructuring workshop in our company. The participants were mixed and fully motivated. But already after the first joint working session it turned out that all the ideas were very good but the common thread was unclear. For this reason, I quickly set out to look for different canvases. After I created the first collection on Pinterest, I decided to present the results here in a post. The structure of the canvas enumeration follows the following structure:

  1. Business model and product portfolio
  2. People, relationships and team
  3. Mixed

If you still have canvas models that are missing in the list, just write it in the comments. I just want to share resources that are free of use.

Canvas Templates

In the following, I will list you some popular canvases and describe briefly the purpose. I will limit the list of canvas templates to a short explanation. You will find many separate explanations on the internet (e.g. YouTube) which I do not want to repeat.

1) Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas, Source: Strategyzer

The Business Model Canvas is probably the best-known canvas. The BMC represents the business model of a company in nine subareas. Use if:

  • New products and business models are to be visualized
  • The added value of an organization (unit) is to be shown

Download Business Model Canvas

2) Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas, Source: Strategyzer

The Value Proposition Canvas helps to refine the value proposition of the BMC. Use if:

  • Product Development
  • Recording of customer needs

Download Value Proposition Canvas

3) Opportunity Canvas

Opportunity Canvas, Source: jeffpatton&associates

If the value proposition canvas is too complicated or you are looking for a “lighter” version, the canvas by Nick Brown might be the right one for you. Use if:

  • An unsolved problem at the customer’s site is to be analyzed
  • A potential product solution is to be developed

Download Opportunity Canvas

4) Operating System Canvas

Operating System Canvas, Source: Medium

The business model canvas is not the only template to present an organization in its entirety in a simple way. another popular template is the Operating system canvas (OS Canvas). The Ready has also provided a very good detailed explanation of the OS Canvas here on Medium for you. Use if:

  • A company should be presented with its most important core areas
  • A company is to be (re-)organized
  • The real purpose of a company should be rethought

Download Operating System Canvas

5) Stakeholder Map

Stakeholder Map, Source: Florida State University

Whether for restructuring measures, projects, product ranges or services: It is essential to know your stakeholders. Use if:

  • If stakeholders are to be made visible
  • A classification of stakeholders should be made

Download Stakeholder Map

6) Business Model Portfolio Map

Business Model Portfolio Map, Source: Strategyzer

The Business Model Portfolio Map helps you to map the existing (Exploit) and new products (Explore) of your company. You will be able to categorize your portfolio and split it up according to risk. Use if:

  • Business Portfolio is to be evaluated
  • The company is to be reorganized and aligned for the future
  • You want to question existing offers and find out about new ones

Download Business Model Portfolio Map

7) Operating Model Canvas

Operating Model Canvas, Source: SlideModel

Based on POLISM, the Operating Model Canvas defines the business or manufacturing process: Processes, Organization, Location, Information, Suppliers, and Management. Here is also a small handout for further explanations. Use if:

  • Manufacturing processes and production processes are to be illustrated in combination with the business model

Unfortunately I have not found a scalable PDF. A lot of people draw the model during the workshop by themself. If you find a good template, please let me know.

Download Operating Model Canvas

8) Culture Map

Culture Map, Source: Strategyzer

The Culture Map helps you to visualize the corporate culture. Truly innovative companies deal with the active shaping of their culture. I wrote a dedicated article about this tool. Use if:

  • Visualization of the culture factors
  • Listing of Enablers and Blockers

Download Culture Map

9) Empathy Map Canvas

Empathy Map Canvas, Source: Medium

The Empathy Map is used to better understand his client. This is also a canvas from Design Thinking and is intended to enable the customer’s view to be fully engaged. There is also a very interesting article on how to use the Empathy Map. Use if:

  • To sharpen customer understanding

Download Empathy Map Canvas

10) Empathic Negotiation Canvas

Empathic Negotiation Canvas, Source: Stattys

This Canvas supports your negotiation planning process for a better understanding of your partner. Use if:

  • Understanding better your negotiation partner
  • Drawing a visual overview of your negotiation strategy
  • Creating different variants of your negotiation

Download Empathic Negotiation Canvas

11) Team Canvas

Team Canvas, Source: TheTeamCanvas

If you are a facilitator, leader, or consultant you can use that Canvas to organize the team alignment meetings and bring all members on the same page. Use if:

  • Visualize the team spirit
  • Build a productive culture
  • Resolve team conflicts

Download Team Canvas

12) Product Canvas

Product Canvas, Source: RomanPichler

Besides the value proposition canvas there is a simplified version to present a product in its basic elements. The product canvas is very well suited for this. Use if:

  • Products should be presented on a high level
  • Product features are to be outlined in a very short time

Download Product Canvas

13) Product roadmap

The product roadmap, Source: Medium

The Product roadmap helps you to plan your product and release times. You find an article about the usage of the product roadmap here on Medium.
Use if:

  • Schedules are to be created together

Download Product Roadmap

14) Project Canvas, Example 1

Project Canvas, Source: ProjectCanvas

The project canvas gives every user a common communication framework about the project scope. Tip: Include a definition of awesome of your project for making your “north star” more important, obviously you will never reach for 100%. Use if:

  • Visualize the project scope
  • A common understanding of a project

Download Project Canvas

15) Project Canvas, Example 2

Project Canvas, Source: Experiencing Information

Jim’s Project Canvas is used to display a Project with its most important parameters. The special feature of this version is its focus on the customer and the customer benefit. Use if:

  • Visualize the project scope
  • A common understanding of a project

Download Project design Canvas

16) Event Canvas

Event Canvas, Source: EventModelGeneration

Event planning can be very complex. For this reason, it is important to provide team members with a simple tool to show all the necessary activities. Here you can read a detailed explanation about the usage of the Canvas. Use if:

  • A common understanding of the event activities is necessary
  • One-pager of all your event requirements

Download Event Canvas

17) Customer Journey Canvas

Every product development should start with the customer and his requirements. Customer Journeys are a good way to better understand the customer’s path to using the services offered. Use if:

  • The Customer Journey should be presented
  • The path of the customer is to be made transparent and visualized

Download Customer Journey Canvas

18) Event Storyboard Canvas

Event Storyboard Canvas, Source: StoryBoardEvents

In addition to the simple customer journey, this canvas serves as a supplement. Based on expected goals and outcomes you can put different customer journeys on paper. Use if:

  • The customer journeys should be linked to goals and expectations
  • Different customer journeys are to be compared and represented in their respective added value

Download Event Storyboard Canvas

19) Storytelling Canvas

Storytelling Canvas, Source: DesignBetterTools

If we have to tell a particular story, it is helpful to have the right tool to do so — whether at work or when writing a book. To design stories this canvas can be very helpful:

  • Visualize stories
  • Making stories and processes visible and discussing them with others

Download Stroytelling Canvas

20) Personal leadership Canvas

Personal leadership Canvas, Source: owlfoxdean

As a leader you are confronted with many different tasks. This canvas can help you to better understand your own understanding of what you do and how you act. When presented in a team, it helps to improve your understanding of each other. Use if:

  • Personal further education
  • Team workshops for executives
  • Teambuilding measures

Download Personal Leadership Canvas

21) Meeting facilitation

Meeting Facilitator Canvas, Source: amazemeet

The majority of people think that many meetings are unnecessary and waste time. For this reason, it can be helpful to be better prepared. The meeting canvas can help. Use if:

  • A meeting needs to be planned and prepared in detail
  • The meaning and purpose of a meeting or a series of meetings is unclear and should be discussed in plenary

Tip: For the german guys I found a very good german template.

Download Meeting Canvas

22) Strategy Execution Canvas

Strategy Execution Canvas, Source: Institute of Strategy

If you want to test a strategy for your business or project, this canvas is for you. Use if:

  • Strategies are to be visualized in their main features
  • If a common understanding of a strategy is to be created

Download Strategy Execution Canvas

23) Workshop Preparation Canvas

Workshop Preparation Canvas, Source: TobiSinclairBlog

In daily business, there are a lot of meetings. In order to limit the planning process to one MVP and thus speed it up extremely, a canvas is the best choice. Use if:

  • Workshops should be planned quickly and easily
  • Visualize workshop contents together in a brainstorming

Download Workshop Preparation Canvas

24) Branding Canvas

Branding Canvas, Source: BigName.Pro

What message does your brand stand for? What feelings and symbols do you want to stand for? Use if:

  • Visualization of essential elements of a brand
  • Quickly and easily create a common understanding for a brand

Download Branding Canvas

25) Brand thinking Canvas

Brand Thinking Canvas, Source: The Brandling

When you think about your own brand, a simple overview might help you to sort your thoughts. This tool help you discover why you do what you do and become:

  • If you are thinking about your own brand and want to develop it
  • If you want to modernise your brand and find out what makes your brand stand out

I just found a .jpg which is free downloadabl. If you would like a scalable .pdf-Version you can get it here.

Download Brand thinking Canvas

26) Audience Canvas

Audience Canvas, Source: The Brandling

Before you start thinking about your customers and stakeholders, you should get a simple overview of them. As a complement to the Brand thinking Canvas, the Audience Canvas is very well suited as you can map your audience here. Use if:

  • You want to do a simple stakeholder mapping
  • You want to show who your interest groups are and what they want

I just found a .jpg which is free downloadabl. If you would like a scalable .pdf-Version you can get it here.

Download Audience Canvas

27) Design Operations Canvas

Design Operations, Source: GameStorming

Companies seek to better their design capabilities. No matter if products, services or experiences: Designing large organizations is a special challenge. For this reason the use of a simple tool is a good idea. You can find a good explanation here. Use if:

  • You are facing the task of organisational design
  • A restructuring of the organisation or parts of it is pending

Download Design Operation Canvas

28) Trend Mapping Canvas

Trend Context Map, Source: Florida State University

Trends determine all our economic actions. For this reason, we should deal with them regularly. Use if:

  • Trends should be discussed and visualised together

Tip: I have described here another method how trends can be identified and visualized using the Megatrend Map.

Download Trend Context Map

29) Data Ethics Canvas

Data Ethics Canvas, Source: Theodi

The Data Ethics Canvas is a tool for anyone who collects, shares or uses data. The Data Ethics Canvas provides a framework to develop ethical guidance that suits any context, whatever the project’s size or scope. It helps identify and manage ethical issues — at the start of a project that uses data, and throughout.

  • What is your primary purpose for using data in this project?
  • Who could be negatively affected by this project?

Download Data Ethics Cancas

Summary

I hope the mentioned canvas templates will help you to get results faster in your daily business and to set new incentives methodically. If you have good explanations for the mentioned templates or if you know more good (free) templates, please write me so that we can create a comprehensive collection for everyone.

Canvas Collection (Source: Board of Innovation)

Update July ’21: During my daily work I came across the young company “Board of Innovation”. On their website you can find a whole range of helpful Canvases to support you on your Innovation Journey — all for free.

✦ Helping Visioneers to shape the digitized future and bring their ideas to life. As an engineer and entrepreneur I would like to inspire and generate sparks. ✦