Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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