For months, the good folks at Gridiron Software have been working hard on the beta testing and feature development of Flow, a new tracking program that is going to usher in a new era for designers, videographers, and creative professionals in any field who have to keep track of large projects.
Those of us in the private beta group who have been testing, hammering the program to find bugs and suggesting features have seen a brilliant idea turn into a brilliant tool that is already transforming the way we work. We’ve tossed ideas back and forth, challenged the engineering and design teams to come up with better ways to do things, argued amongst ourselves about “how the program should work” and generally had an amazing ride.
In their turn, Gridiron have found solutions to problems they didn’t know we had until we told them, and Flow has grown into an incredibly powerful tool.
There isn’t a designer in the world who hasn’t deleted a vital file, not realizing that it was part of some project they would need to revive a month later. And there’s not one of us who hasn’t had a client say “I think, after all, I’d rather to back to the design we had three versions back,” long past the point of no return. Flow takes care of these problems automatically, invisibly, and in the background. It’s a staggering feat of engineering that spans three major operating systems (Mac OSX, Windows Vista and Windows XP) and a truly daunting array of software programs from Microsoft Office to Adobe’s Creative Suite to numerous video and 3D applications.
And, yes, I did say “Microsoft Office.” That means your Powerpoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and the like can all be tracked. Flow will show you on a map which images you included in a report, will save each version aut0matically, and will tell you how much time you spent on a project if you bill hourly (or if you just want to keep an eye on how much time you’re spending on the Dewey, Cheatham and Howe project).
Public beta 3 will be released shortly, and Warren Gallagher, Gridiron’s Chief Technology Officer, tells us they are now very close to the final commercial release.
Whether you’re a designer, a videographer, a special effects guy, an author or someone who works on documentation projects, Flow can take a load off your shoulders and free up a lot of your attention so you can concentrate on what you’re doing, rather than how to keep track of it.
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