Flowstate App Reviews

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Time to blackout is far too short

I do a lot of writing and was hoping that FlowState could keep me focused and making progress. Well, it might. But your text starts to fade the instant you stop typing. If you scroll up to double-check a paragraph, or make sure you aren’t using the same example twice, the text starts fading the moment you stop adding new text. As a result, I’m forced to type just for the sake of typing. “Flow” doesn’t just mean continually typing. “Flow,” at least for me, means continually *writing*, which may involve pausing to think for a moment, or pasting in a passage from somewhere else. Great concept. Beautiful interface. But unusably rapid timeouts and no ability to tweak the program to fit my writing style. (For $10, I expect at least a little bit of configurability, or a more nuanced understanding of the writing process than just “type without pausing.”)

A Terrifingly Wonderful App

We live in a age of distraction technology. So much so, that we have difficulty finding peace and quiet. And as a writer, no distractions is a well sought after commodity among us. This app is wonderful in that you have no distractions while writing. No options for full screen or not. It is always full screen. A beaufitully clean interface. Then, the terror hits when you start to write. If you stop writing, you loose everything. It takes a while to get used to, but it forces you to treat your writing time as a treasure, and focus solely on that, and not do anything else. No talking to anyone, no texting, no internet. It is you and your imagination. It is free writing in it’s purest form. You write everything that appears in your mind, even if it is not relevant. I recommend to start slowly, start with 5 minutes at a time, and slowly build up to the time you enjoy writing the most. Because starting off with a half hour and only making it 20 minutes and then loosing everything? That would be painful. Recommended highly for any writer. It needs to be in your art kit for writing.

Not much to it for $15

When you spend $15 on an app you expect there to be at least a few features to make it worth it. This app is pretty much writing that disappears after 5 seconds, and then very limited editing after you complete the time. There is no customization. No options. Nothing to make it nice to use. I at least expected to be able to change the delay before my text started disappearing. Maybe you’ll like this app if you are fine with very limited functionality. But just know that it does very little before you spend money on it.


Flowstate allows me to dig down into my imagination and let ideas flow. Its a way of forcing the same productive state of mind that happens sometimes during a shower or a long walk, when ideas pop into my head, only to disappear when I cant write them down. Creating this flow state is obviously possible with normal writing, but with Flowstate, the pressure to keep going suppresses the scattered impulses to get up and do something else or go back and fix things. And since Im an editor, that temptation is too strong to resist. This app is not meant to be a text editor per se. Its about creating a flow state. Just type, then move the text to a regular word processor to edit. Here is a tip if you really must stop writing for more than 5 seconds (to take a drink, think about something, etc.): just hit almost any key (except, e.g., the arrow keys) continually until you are ready to type again.

interesting idea. you pay for it.

This app is cool as heck. no denying that. I just would hope that there were more features for $15 because its not a very complex idea behind what is going on here and not awfully hard to code on my own either. that said, i appreciate this. I hope more features are added, like a Google sign-in or something so you can export into Docs. Shouts to the creators for having a really unique take on the concept of the free write in a digital world. maybe its some hipster thing to pay this much for a single feature app, but its kind of a lot. would have been happy to pay $5.

The UI is really really bad

Listen, I like the premise of this app. It forces you to keep writing and that very thing, it does very well. Although, for $15 (which is kind of a premium price) I expect and app that has a far more functional UI. Instead it’s extremely clunky and slow. It seems that this developer never hit their “flow state” on app design.

I’m feelin the Flow

Such a great concpet for writers and anyone wanting to challenge themselves to a creative process. Whether your working on a new script and need that boost to keep you going, or you just want to start your morning with some fun writing to get the jucies going, Flowstate delivers. I took a chance seeing some of the negative reviews, but feel like they are missing the point here. Yes this is a simple app, but that’s what you want, you’re supposed to be writing, not messing around with a bunch of settings. I think it’s a great app and going to be trying to write at least 5 min every day with this. Give it a try!

Good idea; buggy

I was on my second session with Flowstate, having written several hundred words in just a few minutes (something I have not achieved in quite a while!) whenthe app crashed and all my work was lost. I was on a ten minute session at the time, but I can only imagine how frustrated I would have been on one of the longer time sessions. The crashing bug must be fixed for me to give this program my endorsement. Also, it would be nice to have the functionality to export what I write directly to a word processor (Scrivener for example) so I can edit my the full suite of tools I’m used to as opposed to Flowstate’s minimal interface. As it is I have to export to Notes, then copy/paste into Scrivener, then apply a paragraph style. $15 is a premium, so the user should get a premium experience.

Almost as good as Pizza

Love this - great concept and helps people like me (procrastinators / overthignkers) actually get something done. It forces you to create SOMETHING. The workflow is stripped down and simple. Some complain about lack of features but I feel thats the point - not to distract you with unnecessary bs. It’s almost as good as Pizza, and I love Pizza more than my first born child.

Lacks flexibility

This is a great concept, but the developer could improve it. I suggest a toggle that prevents editing, a toggle that prevents pausing, and a slider that defines how much time passes before all is lost.

Truly unlike any writing tool.

I went back and forth on whether or not to invest in Flowstate. Originally at $15, the app was, frankly, overpriced for what it offers and there is no trial to test drive it and see if you like it / can hack it. Now, the developers have (wisely) dropped it to $9.99 and that feels more reasonable. Still a bit high (and I agree with others that there should be more export options once you’ve completed a session—Notepad is underwhelming as the only option), but reasonable once I took the dive. Having (successfully) completed two writing sessions, I can say that it is a unique experience for that will help ‘push both seasoned writers and those who just need assistance conjuring a few words. It’s not an easygoing app; the intensity of potentially losing your work after five seconds of idle time is terrifying, and that is the driving force that makes the program so innovative. Most people have a fear of the ‘blank page’ and how to populate it. What if that got upended and the fear became returning to that blank page, not preciously populating it? Learning how to write in a sort of reckless abandon is what this app encourages—editing while you go is the enemy. Getting your thoughts down is the goal. It is not for everyone, but there is quite a bit of thought—and beauty—behind the rationate and interface of Flowstate. (I found a great interview on HuffPo with the creator that gives a lot of insight regarding why/how he developed it—it’s a pretty interesting read.) I’ll end by saying two things: (1) I have yet to encounter a single bug; this runs incredibly smooth on two very different machines of mine, one quite old, so don’t fear the loss of your work due to the app—just fear losing it to yourself. (2) I wrote this review using Flowstate. I thought that would only be apropos.

A most dangerous reminder

I can’t emphasize enough how much potential I believe this application has. It’s simple, but the philosophy behind it is incredibly effective so far. For good reason, we’ve seemed to develop sensors at some point throughout evolution. While I won’t deny the importance (at times) for this egoic sensor, I will argue for the importance in learning to move past it when not only writing, but living in general. This application does just that, it simulates death— the death of ideas, the death of stories, the death of ones identity so to speak. From my experience, it seems when the death of these things are threatened, one is forced to consequently “live” with the unfiltered compassion, intelligence, and charisma that is so often hidden out of fear. When the ego is eliminated from your writing, the absence of it bleeds into your life— and from my use, this elimination seems to promote a more honest, immediate, and fresh experience. I don’t believe this is only for writers, either. I think this is for procrastinator’s in the most general sense who feel paralyzed by fear and consequently disconnected from their day-to-day, moment-to-moment potential. If nothing else, Flowstate has been an important reminder every morning of death, our own impermanence, and the limited amount of time we all have to communicate with honesty, love passionately, and ultimately die empty to each and every moment. If you’re looking to "die before you die," seriously consider. Flow seems to be a muscle, and this is the best practice I’ve encountered to discover and strengthen it on and off the page. Also, no technical issues so far with the app itself. Interface is simple and sexy.

Works for me… Love it

I love and hate Flowstate. It really allows me to get out of my own way of procrastinating. When I am about to write something, I have to think twice about using Flowstate or some other editor. If I use Flowstate, then I am committing to completing at least five minutes of uninterrupted writing. If I choose another editor, I know I am giving myself permission to: * pause indefinitely/frequently, * look in the refrigerator, * check my email, * change a word to bold,... then back to regular,... then to italics maybe (?) or whatever else I can do, other than write. It’s not that the other way of doing things is bad, it just prolongs the process (See the schism?). Things I have learned so far using this wonderful app. One, I don’t allow myself to panic and type too fast. This creates all kinds of errors to be dealt with later. No need to rush, just try to type at a consistent speed. Let the errors and typos go. I also discovered that you do not have to save things to Notes only when you finish. Clicking anywhere in the text will place my cursor and a simple Command A(ll) will highlight everything (though it may be hard to see) and a Command C(opy) will capture everything. Open my chosen editor and paste the copied material {Command V). I did the bare bones of this review in Flowstate, then corrections and additions in Type. I could have, just as easily, used any of the editors I have.

First run

I love this, now I can write like I’ve always put off doing. An initial 15 minute session a day is very doable for anyone. I thought the 5 seconds would be too short. But in honesty I think it is good to just get your thoughts out of your head and worry about editing later. See where the flow takes you!

Unlike Any Experience

I have to speak honestly, this app kicks me in the butt, and I’m so grateful for that. Everytime I start a new session, I have no idea what I’ll end up timing by the end because of the sheer terror of stopping. I feel like one of this app’s strongest abilities is that it makes you completely honest and peels away all of the bullsh*t. As I’ve begun to type a journal entry or a letter to friend, I realized that my words were much more instictual and emotion than they would if I were trying to be clever or witty or brilliant. So, I say thank you to the Flowstate creators for shaking loose the bullsh*t of my own writing and everyone else to come. I am definitely not in love with every aesthetic choice of this app or some of it’s structuring, but I understand the basic principle behind it, and I think that it executes that beautifully.

Wasn’t sure what to expect

but I really like this app. I like being under the gun. I’ve only used the 5 minute setting, and to be honest, I almost lose my sh!t every time! So I drive on. I am working on a screenplay for something I want to shoot this spring and have gotten further today because of this app. So…to like this, you have to know what you’re getting into. I started today around noon I think while my kids were running around. I almost lost my work and had to basically ignore them for about 3 minutes so that I could finish my session. Rule number 1: make sure you have 5 minutes to write. Sitting down to write and then having to get up to hit the bathroom, yell the kids, or deal with the significant other is going to cause you to not like this app. You are going to be frustrated. Rule number 2: this is a lame bit. Just be prepared to write when you sit down with this and you will create, create, create! Awesome app. 5 stars!

It works!

I’ve listend about being in flow on Bulletproof podcasts, followed by the rise of superman podcasts. I know the sensation of writing in flow. It’s just hard to will yourself to go there. This app forces you to get into flow. My main problem is I love tech. The very tool I use to write on, my Mac, is also my main source of enteratinment in so many ways. This app forces me to focus and not check my email, look at the lastest mac rumors, message my friends, etc. You HAVE to keep wrting when using this app which forces you to ignore the voice which doubts the wulity of your work as well. Tap into creativity and leave the editing for later. Editing itself, as you know, is a distraction. I also like the dramatic feeling you get when the app simply switches from the main screen to the blank page, like you’ve left the world behind. Great stuff, but this review has been another distraction. Back to writing. m/

Good, but you have to roll with the bugs

The core of the app is great - it really does keep you focused on "writing forward". If youre one of those folks (like me) who can barely finish a sentence without going back and editing it, this is a great app to help break that habit. However, the bugs are frustrating. Multiple documents appearing with the same name... creating a new document and having it immediately appear full of the content from the last one... and sometimes it just crashes. Its annoying. So annoying that the most Ill use it for is 15 minutes, because while Id really like to try a 25 minute "flow", I simply dont trust the app enough to guarantee I wont lose everything. So after 15 minutes I want it to stop, just so I can copy and paste the content Ive written into something more reliable and trustworthy.

Thanks, Satan!

This app is pure evil, and it’s fantastic. As a uni student, I struggle getting through my longer research papers - papers where I know what I need to write about, but lack the motivation to get through typing out sentence after sentence. Having the pressure of losing my work has really challenged me to write more, and it’s boosted my productivity so much! I accomplish more in a ten-minute session than I used to in an hour. I simply write out what I want to say on Flowstate, copy & paste it in my document, and then edit & add cititations. It’s excellent. It really does get you into a “flow” - I’m often typing well after the session has technically ended, because my mind is still going. Would absolutely recommend this app. In fact, I have recommended it to several other friends. It will push you, but the results are so worth it (and they will save you a ton of time!)


All told, I’ve now lost about 40 minutes of writing to this crashy app. Tried it, loved it at first despite the rough edges — but then maybe the 10th time I used it, it unexpectedly quit as I was finishing up and going back to the overview screen. When it came back up, no trace of my work. Like an idiot, I tried it again, with the same result. Very, very frustrating. Wrote the developer, and they say there’s a bug related to iCloud syncing. Frankly I wasn’t even aware it was syncing and don’t need or want it to sync at all, especially if it’s causing stability issues. I wouldn’t trust this app with anything important — and if you do use it, at least make some screenshots as you write so that if (or when) it goes down, you can at least retype your work in a real app.

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