I’ve mentioned Gridiron Software’s new application, Flow, in a previous post. I’ve been beta testing Flow since the latter part of 2008, and it’s been quite an evolution. Big news is that the first (possibly the only) Release Candidate has just been made available for download at www.gridironsoftware.com. Every once in a long while, a new program comes along that actually merits the term “innovative,” that changes the way we use computers. The first spreadsheet program (VisiCalc, for those whose memories go back that far) was one. Photoshop was another. Flow is in that category.
If you’re not a video editor or graphics professional, don’t assume Flow isn’t for you. Anyone who works with Microsoft Office files, creating documents, writing copy, or putting together PowerPoint presentations could potentially benefit greatly. There are some excellent intro and how-to videos here.
Breaking News: As of June 30, Flow is now shipping.
For those of us in the graphics, video, editing or writing fields, Flow is set to transform the way we work. Its maps show how all the various files in a project relate to one another, its real-time tracking keeps tabs on new versions and warns if you’re about to move or delete something that is part of some other project, it adds an entirely new dimension to searching for assets on a large computer system, and it keeps track (automatically, silently but continuously) of the exact amount of time spent on each file in a project. If you bill by the hour, or if you are tired of losing your shirt underbidding creative projects or spending tedious amounts on time with timesheets, Flow handles all of that with aplomb, and will create a report you can bring into Excel, Filemaker, Word or any similar program. (For the technically inclined, it’s in CSV — comma separated values — format.)
I predict that those of us who work with industrial-grade design software are going to take to Flow with enthusiasm.