There is a relentless wave of productivit y soft ware currently perplexing workplace nerds. Slack, Workflowy, Trello and Igloo are just some of the thousands of get-t hings- done soft ware products promising to revolutionise the way your business collaborates. Asana is one of the new breed of freemium services in this arena. It aims to do it all without doing too much, focusing on tasks that are arranged by projects and illuminating email as far as possible.
Asana is free to use with no limitations for teams with less than 15 people and costs $50 per month for teams of up to 30, at which point the price doubles. Fifty, 75, 100 and more users all come at incremental increases.
The app is arranged as a familiar list of reminders or ‘to-do’ items, but there’s more to it than that. One of the ways it cuts down on
Value for money: email, for example, is by working really well in meetings where team members can enter things into the system on the fly.
Asana creates a workspace for your team and you can then create different projects, or areas, for things. All users logged in at the same time will see changes made as they happen and new tasks can be added by simply hitting enter. You can then share these tasks with the whole team for tracking and commenting, and assign them to specific members responsible for th their completion. In a mee meeting it could be decided th that you need to make a lo lot of tea, so someone hits en enter in Asana and enters, “Make tea. Lots of it.” Tom can then volunteer to make the tea and assign the task to himself, with his picture appearing next to it so everyone knows who to blame when they run out of fC Ceylon. l You Y get the idea.
Asana runs within your browser on personal computers and there are also apps available for iOS and Android. The apps are html based, however, and don’t perform as well as other native alternatives, but the Asana platform is accessible via an open API which means there are third-party apps with Asana integration and it’s also possible to build it into your own, bespoke systems.
Speaking of integration, Asana can also speak to your calendar system and insert due dates for items that are created for your team.
I’ve used Asana with two teams so far. The first abandoned it in less than a month while the other effectively uses it on a day-to-day basis and finds it invaluable. As with any productivity software, the technology is just a small part of the equation. You need people to use it and processes to support it.