flow Screenshot
A software development project managed by flow.

flow is a lean project management application based on kanban.

Key Benefits

  • Visualize your workflow
    See what is going on at a glance: How many tasks there are in each phase, and who is working on what.

  • Focus on the work at hand
    Working on everything simultaneously slows you down with too many tasks in various states of completion. Finish more in less time with Work In Progress limits.

  • Accurate estimates
    By using automatic time tracking, flow measures your progress and makes estimates for you based on your past performance.

Empty kanban Board
Empty kanban board with default columns. The numbers next to column titles are WIP limits.

The first time you run flow, you will see an empty kanban board with four columns: Backlog, To-do, In Progress, and Done. These columns represent the phases each task will go through, and you can have as many columns as you need.

New Task

All new tasks are placed in the backlog, and stay there until you move them to the next phase.

The numbers next to column titles are Work In Progress (WIP) limits. A column cannot hold more tasks than the limit allows. With WIP limits, tasks get completed fast and you do not end up with a lot of half-finished tasks.

It is a common occurrence that an otherwise finished task can get stuck in the queue because it needs input from another department or approval from the management. WIP limits can make it crystal clear where the bottlenecks are in your workflow.

Task Details

In flow, a task is much more than a card. You can
  • Assign a task to one or more members of your team
    See who is working on what at a glance.

  • Categorize tasks
    Not all tasks are created equal. Define different colors for different task types to set them apart.

  • Chart your progress
    See how long you have been working on a task, and the estimated time to complete it.

  • Mark a task as ready or blocked
    If another person will continue to work on your task, mark it as ready when you are finished. If there is something preventing you to work on a task, mark it as blocked.

  • Post comments
    Each task has its own discussion area.

flow supports keyboard shortcuts. Most actions are only a few keystrokes away. You can even hide the toolbars entirely to gain more screen space.

The projects tab offers you a bird's eye view of all your projects.

Everyone is on the same page

Project managers need to be on top of things all the time. There is no more need to go back and forth between projects. flow shows you the current state of all your active projects on the same page.

Tweak each project to your liking

Every project is different. You may need more columns than the standard "To-do" and "In-progress", or want to define different task types.

See only what you need

Filter tasks by type, user or keyword, and see the results instantly.

Cannot find something?

Search for anything including tasks and comments.

Members and Groups
Groups offer great flexibility in organizing teams.

Unless you plan to use flow for personal kanban, you would want to invite your team(s) to flow.

If you have multiple teams, you can create a group for each team. A user can be a member of multiple groups, too.

A group can have different permissions for each project. There are four types of permissions:

View: View the project's board, metrics, and task details
Create: Add, rename, and delete tasks
Work: Move, mark, assign, and change the type of tasks
Comment: Post comments to tasks

In flow, there are three built-in groups: guests, members, and administrators. Guests can only view projects (or not). Other permissions do not apply. Members is the default group all new users join when they accept your invite.

flow's charts include completed tasks, cycle breakdown (as box plots) and cumulative flow.

You can track your progress by looking at your project metrics:

  • Tasks Completed
    The number of tasks completed throughout the month including a task type breakdown.

  • Average Cycle Time
    The average time it takes to complete a task (Backlog to Done).

  • Average Working Cycle Time
    The average time it takes to complete a task minus the time spent in Backlog and any idle time.

  • Average Idle Time
    The average time no one is working on a task (while it is marked as ready or blocked).

You can generate custom reports by using one or more of the following criteria:

  • Tasks assigned to a group or groups
  • Tasks assigned to individual users
  • Task types
Your timeline works like a time machine complete with animated replay.

flow takes hourly snapshots of your projects as you work on them. When you click a day on the calendar, you can see the state of your project on that day. Days with no activity are grayed out.

When viewing a snapshot, you will see hours under the calendar showing that changes were made on those hours. You can click the hours to see how your project looked like at each hour.

When viewing a snapshot, you cannot make any changes to your board like adding or moving tasks. However, you can recover a deleted task by viewing that task's details and clicking the Undelete icon on the task's page.

flow even replays the changes between snapshots. You can rewind or fast forward to any date.

© 2010-11 Aycan Gulez