Unlike most media-management tools, Flow doesn’t attempt to change you or force you to work a certain way -- instead, it works around how you work now
- Keeps projects organised, behind-the-scenes time tracking and versioning, works almost seamlessly.
- Won’t appeal to all creatives, lacks support for some applications (such as QuarkXPress)
Flow won’t suit everyone -- creatives who mainly work on single-use, unrelated projects will have little use for it -- but if you spend a lot of time on multi-faceted projects with lots of different versions and shared assets, Flow could make your life so much easier.
Price$ 385.04 (AUD)
Another nifty feature is the ability to manually add other files to the Map -- so you can tie in briefs, scripts, storyboards, and other project ephemera. This helps you avoid losing the files when you’re working, but is also useful if you want to use Flow’s Packages system (which works in a similar way to the Package function in InDesign) to bring all of your elements together into a single folder to pass on to a client or colleague, or for archiving.
The downside to creating Packages is that Flow doesn’t update the project file to the location of the packaged elements – so whoever opens it next will need to relink them – but it does also bundle in information from two of Flow’s best features: Versions and Time Tracking.
Versions (above), as the name suggests, saves a version of your project every time you save. This means that if you take a project in a wrong direction -- or one your client doesn’t like -- you can quickly return to a previous version of the project. The key point here is that this is done for you, but you can manage the process if you wish.
You can set how many versions of each project to keep, view previews of these versions to help find the right one, save versions at important points at project development, and delete versions. The only issue here is that if you’re a compulsive Cmd/Ctrl + S presser due to years spent using software that crashes if you look at it funny (say hello, InDesign CS), you end up with either an unmanageable amount of versions or a small number of very similar ones.
Time Tracking (above) offers a simple way of building a timesheet of how long you’ve worked on a project, as Flow knows exactly how long you’ve been working on each of your files.
You can see the time spent on a project file, or all of the files within a Map, or a selection of files -- for example, only the ones created for the current-motion graphics project, but not the logo you created for the client two months ago and for which you’ve already charged them.
You can export this information as a CSV file, ready for importing into an Excel spreadsheet, or into a full-scale project-management application, such as Sohnar Traffic or Streamtime. Whether you keep detailed notes of time spent or ‘estimate’ it at the end, Flow gives you accurate information instantly.
Alongside the Flow application and Dashboard, GridIron has also created Flash Panels that run inside the CS4 versions of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Flash. These display the basic Maps for the current project so you can refer to them without launching Flow (including checking out their Internal Attributes), but -- more usefully -- access to time tracking information and versions.
GridIron Flow has been a long time coming -- it was announced in January 2008, and has been in public beta since March. However, this long gestation period has created a tool that’s incredibly useful, full of innovations and -- unlike the original public beta -- reliably and solidly stable, and not much of a drain on your computer’s performance.
Our frustrations with it are largely related to wanting support for more applications – and not just creative ones, but everyday tools such as Outlook, Mail and Entourage to track parts of projects sent to clients.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- TPInstructional Designer | DETQLD
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- FTLead PMONSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Team LeadSA
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- FTERP Data Migration Consultant - Software Company - Permanent - SydneyNSW
- FTData AnalystQLD