There are always artists who are in the periphery of the mainstream music circles,with unbelievable music, but unknown worldwide, because of insufficient marketing muscle,on principle,an unfortunate twist of fate, or some other obscure reason.
Often it is a friend who shares this strangely beautiful music with one, or some chance flick to a strange channel,or soundtrack to a movie…
It always feels like discovering a theretofore unbeknownst jewel…
This is how I discovered Asana.
I was discussing Service Management,Project Management and CRM software with industry colleagues and of course all the billboard artists, the blockbuster chart toppers came up.
The lightweight online versions like chatter and Free CRM also came up.
A friend mentioned Asana. “Never heard of it”, was the general consensus.
But she stated that we should all give it a try.
I got the invite in my mail, and promptly sent it to junk.
Later that week I got a client request for a cheap and lightweight online project management software. I did not want to respond with a system of GTD solutions like Evernote, RTM and Producteev, as they require a systemic change in how things are done, change which is sometimes too daunting for some to do on their own.Actually, come to think of it, Producteev would also have suited them just fine. Neither did he require the overkill of IBM’s Lotus Live or MS Projects.
In any case, as I had forgotten the name of the service my friend had recommended, I dug back into junk and retrieved the mail, clicked the link and got onto Asana.
Asana is a simple online task management software. It makes the whole concept easy by using the Asana portal as the sole task and activities management area.
UX & UI
Its structure is simple, structured as most email services are structured, quite like Evernote, the Task pane on the extreme left, the task and item particulars in the middle and a third pane on the extreme right with project details.
This familiarity in user experience makes the site very easy to adapt to whether you knew of it or not.
An administrator gives the standard admin rights, manager rights, or view only rights to anyone by email.
Having just read the Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda, ( A must read by the way,)I admire Asana for staying true to the task of simplicity in getting things done. Its made to simply get whatever needs doing to get done. Its simple.
Cool factor two, it integrates with Gmail. If you use gmail and have extended its notifications to mobile, then this, for you, automatically means the project management of Asana extends to your mobile phone.For Free. COOOL.
A third cool factor, notifications of all tasks go to an active email, whether internal or external this expands the users who can access and easily attend to the tasks whether they know about Asana or not.
Depth of classification: From my assessment, Asana has two levels of project depth, the project itself, then line tasks within the project. However I think allowing for deeper stratification would make it seem more complex, as it is its target is people who want to manage simple projects. I think its whole concept is simplicity.
Creation of Tasks and Assignment: Some may see it a a detriment that one cannot assign and create tasks from multiple external methods like SMS, twitter, Facebook,and the plethora of online links and media.
Again,I think that its purpose is productivity on specific projects. Simplicity is one of the key principles of any productive GTD methodology. In reality our e-mails are the main area which we work from, where we receive and delegate projects and tasks and evaluate results.
Despite it not being a mainstream artist, Asana is extremely effective.
If you need to Get Things Done, Asana is for you. Simplicity through a single collection point and management point on evaluation gives clarity on what is and is not performing well, and Asana does it. Very well.
- 30 Days With: Asana (lifehack.org)
- Producteev has updated their productivity suite! Check them out… (pakos.me)
- Worthy Underdogs of Project Management Software Market (techie-buzz.com)
- Free, Good Team Task Management Tool – www.asana.com (smbsalesconsultancy.wordpress.com)