Ashore has a crew of dedicated creatives making the seas of the proofing experience a much smoother experience for you. If sea puns aren’t your thing, we’ve still got a ton of features that will improve your free online proofing process in ways you hadn’t considered. But we know we’re not the only crew out there braving the ocean, and today we’ll be taking a look at QuickReviewer, a cloud-based collaborative review tool.
Ashore vs. QuickReviewer: Free Online Proofing Breakdown
When looking at free online proofing, you have to consider your own experience as a creative with the tool and the experience your approvers will have. You’ll want an easy to use interface, support for your file types, organization and good feedback tools. Your approvers are also going to want a smooth interface and good feedback tools, but their primary focus will be accessibility and ease of use. I’m going to take a look at the different programs and lay out some of the major points of each, how you’ll use the program and how your approvers will.
QuickReviewer’s interface is familiar to anyone who’s ever used email before – which, unless you’ve been living under a rock (and let’s face it, even rocks get email now, so you have no excuse), is pretty much everyone. The UI is simple, with one screen and a sidebar for you to toggle to files shared with you, starred or recently sent. Organizing your files is as simple as adding new folders and dropping files in. There is a storage limit of only 100 mb on the free plan. One thing to note: if you are interested in a fully customizable proofing experience, QuickReviewer does offer the option to do so with one of their paid plans.
Ashore starts you off on your overview page when you log in, displaying proofs that might require attention, as well as your approval metrics (sent vs. approved). You can pop over to the workflow page to create workflows of multiple approvers to use repeatedly, or to the templates page to type out an email once and never again. Ashore’s proof archive stores all of your proofs for up to 24 months. Organizing the archive relies on tags rather than folders; you can tag a proof with multiple tags. When clicking on a proof, you’ll view a timeline of all activity on a proof. From this page you can send a reminder or a message to your approvers or toggle different permissions.
Sending out a proof in Ashore is simple but still allows a lot of flexibility. When sending files in Ashore, you begin by choosing your recipients, either a single approver or a workflow. From there, you write the email that your approver will receive. The next step is to attach your files – in Ashore, a proof can be one or multiple files, which will share a proof name, deadline, notes and permissions. You can attach multiple proofs to a single email, cutting down on the emails your approvers receive.
QuickReviewer allows you to add as many reviewers to a proof as you’d like – no limitations here! You’re able to grant each reviewer view or comment access. Reviewers can see the entire conversation taking place on the proof so you’re not going to receive repetitive feedback. They can also reply to each others’ comments, consolidating that feedback into one place. Versions are stacked, and QuickReviewer offers you the ability to view previous versions side by side to see the differences.
Both QuickReviewer and Ashore support the same file types: images, videos, pdfs and HTML files. Where our two subjects really differ is in the file size. QuickReviewer allows you to upload files up to 100 mb, while Ashore’s size limit is 2 gb. You might take a look at some of the files that you send and see how important size is to you.
QuickReviewer’s sending process functions similarly to any file upload service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. You upload your file(s), and then you can share, rename, send a new version or move the file to a new folder. Sharing is a pretty simple procedure; just enter the emails for each reviewer and they’ll receive an email with a link to the proof.
Ashore does not limit your number of approvers per proof. With the handy workflow feature, you can create groups of approvers and re-use those groups again and again. There’s also the option to send in workflow order, where your proof will pass from Approver A to Approver Z as each person approves the file. Perfect for your step-by-step approval process. Ashore offers the option to allow approvers to view all comments or not, as works for you.
Both free online proofing programs allow you to add as many approvers as you’d like just by sending them an initial email with the review link. Consolidating feedback into one place means less time spent digging through emails and more time spent working on your designs. With both QuickReviewer and Ashore, your reviewers will be able to add comments and markup directly onto the file. Feedback with context will make your life a whole lot easier.
QuickReviewer does not prioritize automation as much in its free online proofing experience. Its main automated feature is the email that is generated when sending the file to reviewers – you enter their email and the message will be sent without you having to type out an email.
Ashore offers a few different automation features to help you better focus your time. Workflows toggled to send in order will automatically move your proof along the chain as it is approved. Follow ups also take up a lot of your time, since getting reviewers to actually review can be a pain. Ashore sends reminders daily, every other day or weekly as you decide when sending a proof.
Your Approver’s Experience
Now, there’s not much use to a free online proofing tool that your approvers can’t figure out how to use. Luckily, both QuickReviewer and Ashore offer easy to use proofing, where reviewers will receive the proof link in an email.
When clicking on the review link from QuickReviewer, your reviewer will be prompted to create an account with QuickReviewer in order to view the file. Reviewers have the ability to view previous versions and compare them to the current version. When making comments, they can use the rectangular annotation tool or the sticky note tool to mark up the proof. All comments will be saved automatically. Approvers can reply to other comments on the proof, keeping conversation all in one place. When they’re done, the approvers can approve or reject the file.
Ashore also sends approvers a link, but you’ll have written the email they receive. Approvers don’t have to create an account to sign in; their identity is linked to the email link. They can double click anywhere to comment, or draw arrows or boxes to add more clarity. If you’ve toggled the option to view all comments, the approver will be able to see all comments and reply to other approvers. Comments will be saved automatically whether or not a decision is made. When a reviewer approves a proof, they’ll see a checklist that you’ve created. They’ll have to sign off on all the items before approving – you’ll know they’ve checked for spelling!
The End of the Line
Both QuickReviewer and Ashore offer a solid free online proofing experience. QuickReviewer has a simple interface you’ll quickly figure out how to use. It does lack a lot of flexibility and functionality when sending a proof out and checking on its progress. The file storage limit on the free plan is also a little low, even for the average user. However, if you’re looking for an easy to use, no frills program, you’ll find value in the free version of QuickReviewer.
Ashore offers more features up front on the free plan, including better automation features. Our customizable emails allow for a more personable proofing experience for your reviewers, and you’ll be able to see all the actions they take on the proof timeline.
Wanna check us out? Try the free online proofing experience at Ashore by signing up for an account today.