Plenty of digital tools exist for teams to manage design projects from start to finish. And a new player has entered the field, promising to make your tasks flow smoother than ever. The added bonus? Less email.
If the notion of less email makes you hungry for a new task management solution, then Flow will satiate your appetite. Sure, there’s plenty of tools out there already. Basecamp, Trello, Microsoft Project, JIRA, and others that I wrote about in a prior post can help you and your team manage your work. But ask yourself, “Am I using one or more of those tools plus email to manage my work?” If so, switching to Flow could simplify things.
In an article at Inc. titled, Here’s What Might Make Email Obsolete (Sooner Than You Think), Flow’s CEO Andrew Wilkinson said that when it comes to task and project management tools and messaging apps out there that “we all feel like we have to use one of each to actually be productive.” I am just as guilty of that as the next designer.
If you and your team use chat as a primary communication medium, even more than you use email, chances are those chats live someplace. But how do you get to the chat archive to reference past or current notes? Then again, maybe you have to dig through emails instead of or in addition to looking through notes. If you’re in a project management system, can you upload documents directly to chats, so the conversation lives with the documents? What about connecting calendar events to chats? Connecting tasks to individuals in those chats? With Flow, team chat and tasks come together, so that the discussions get assigned to the work you’re doing, in a singular place for checking in, planning, discussing, and managing work.
Lance Jones, chief marketing officer at Flow, believes that Flow’s team chat is one of its biggest strengths. “It’s very ‘light’ and it strikes the right balance between doing too little (i.e., for teams) and trying to do too much.” Flow has “a ton of design and creative team customers” according to Jones because of what he sees as Flow’s “elegant simplicity coupled with an acute attention to detail.”
Not only does Flow look good and connect chats to tasks, but it also integrates with Harvest for time tracking. If you’re in the market for a management tool, Flow just might be the answer, especially since it does look good on screen, no matter what size screen you’re seeing it on.
The creative exercises in Caffeine for the Creative Team by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield are meant to be matches to the kindling. They’re meant to initiate a shift in focus and prime the participants to begin to think in creative, alternative ways. They are a transition from the execution and management side of our profession to the creative side. Have fun with them, keep them light and encourage buy-in with them. The more open your team is during the exercise, the quicker they will remove the masks of responsibility to think and share openly.