MetaLab's collaboration app Flow gets rebuilt from the ground up

MetaLab founder Andrew Wilkinson: “We built Flow for ourselves, and we used to be a 15-person team.” Photo: GetFlow

WASHINGTON, October 1, 2013 —It’s been two years since MetaLab released its popular collaboration app, Flow. While the task management platform’s minimalist “undesign” garnered many loyal users, the app’s usefulness was limited to individuals as well as smaller teams, hampering its popularity within larger organizations. But with a recently completed overhaul geared toward bringing bigger companies into the fold, the newly redesigned Flow is poised to make an even bigger splash than its predecessor.

“We built Flow for ourselves, and we used to be a 15-person team,” said MetaLab founder Andrew Wilkinson. “As we grew — now 55 people — we realized that the product just wasn’t built for larger, more complex organizations.”

To solve this issue, MetaLab designers created “workspaces.” In the previous version, users were subjected to a list of real time updates that weren’t always applicable to their specific projects. The addition of workspaces will now allow users to assign projects to different groups, providing a much greater level of organization as well as the ability to quickly add or drop team members from a project.

However, as the number of workspaces increases, so too does the potential for tasks to fall through the cracks. To counteract this potential problem, Flow’s “Dashboard” allows users to stay on top of things via feed, grouping together activities by task and allowing them to leave inline comments for fellow team members.

Flow’s calendar also contains a list of upcoming tasks so users can see to whom activities are being assigned as well as project deadlines. All these features add up to an effective and organized task management tool.

Along with the impressive upgrades to the app’s user interface, there have also been a number of behind the scenes modifications to help with overall performance.

“We also redesigned and reengineered the whole app from the ground up — including the mobile app,” Wilkinson said in a September 24 company blog entry. “So it’s easier to use than ever and stupidly fast.”

Users can now expect faster load times, faster search, an infinite scrolling calendar, and a whole host of other improvements to functionality. Using the latest HTML5 technology, designers implemented time-saving features such as the ability to drag and drop tasks between browser windows. Flow is also 100% compatible with retina displays, and is even equipped to support foreign languages if your organization is working internationally.

While the usefulness and functionality of Flow has increased, so too has its price. A month membership for two people has jumped from $10 to $19, while corporate memberships for up to 50 people come in at $249 per month.

However, a free 30-day trial is available. And considering the amount of money a company can save as the result of more efficient project management, it’s likely that a membership to Flow will more than pay for itself in the long run.


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Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati.  Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencies.


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