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)
When was the last time you bought a piece of software that changed the way you work? Launches of innovative tools that make a fundamental improvement to how you spend your hours in front of a computer being creative are rarer than a client who’s happy with your first version -- and pays in advance. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a huge buzz around GridIron Flow: it’s a groundbreaking technology that fulfils a genuine need within the creative community.
At its core, Flow is an asset-management system, which you’d think makes it as exciting as this year’s Big Brother. But what’s fantastic about Flow is that it’s been designed for real people. It knows that project organization and admin are dull, so your file organization is probably best described as ‘experimental’, and that you’re likely to be frequently working across multiple projects at the same time -- often using the same files -- which makes things extra messy.
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, keeping track of everything, ready for when you need it. If you’ve ever found yourself scouring the scattered bits of projects for elements that are ‘around here somewhere’, or inadvertently deleted files you need because tidying your desktop usually involves deleting everything on it -- Flow is for you.
Flow knows your projects better than you do. It runs in the background on your Mac or Windows PC, constantly monitoring the applications you use and identifying the elements of your projects and linking them together. The list of applications Flow knows and monitors is impressive for a 1.0 release, including the majority of the CS3 and CA4 versions of Adobe’s Creative Suite applications -- including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, After Effects and Premiere Pro – Apple’s Final Cut Studio 2 and Shake, Microsoft Office, Cinema 4D and Nuke. The greatest omissions here are QuarkXPress, Acrobat Distiller, 3DS Max and Maya – but GridIron says that it’s working on adding more applications.
Once Flow knows which files are linked to which project, it can stop you from deleting them by accident. An on-screen widget called the Flow Dashboard (above) will let you know if you’ve done this, and can quickly reclaim the file or files with the press of a button. Unfortunately you can’t tell Flow to ignore certain folders, such as the one you export low-res files to for emailing to clients, which can be annoying.
You can get Flow to scan one or more of your drives -- or just specific folders -- when you first install the application, so it knows about all of your previous projects. Unlike with current projects though, Flow can’t discover links to exported files such as PDFs from InDesign or web images from Photoshop, or identify elements copied from one document to another.
Installing Flow is simple. Our only issue is that the manual refers to the initial scan of old files as a Backtrack Scan, a term not used in the interface, which left us unsure if we’d forgotten to do something. Thankfully the excellent video tutorials cleared this up.
Most of Flow’s power is accessed through the core application, which quickly loads when you drag a project or media file onto the Flow desktop icon (or a Finder window icon on the Mac). The easy-to-understand interface sets panels around a central Map flowchart that details your projects.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
- Google Assistant branches out, supporting third-party hardware and smarter features
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSystem Support Analyst, ERPNSW
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneNSW
- CCGIS Consultant/ Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- FTSenior DBANSW
- FTField Technician - Radio communication serviceACT
- CCInfrastructure Test ManagerNSW
- FTTest Engineer | $92 p/hrVIC
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- FTSnr Technical Salesforce Consultant Global IT Managed Services - SydneyNSW
- FTManual TesterACT
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTAppian DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Systems EngineerQLD
- FTLevel 3 Service Desk Support Engineer / Project ManagerQLD
- FTIT Support / Desktop SupportSA
- TPAV Design Specialist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCXML DeveloperVIC
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectSA
- TPInstructional DesignerVIC
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW