Saturday, September 3, 2016

Getting started with Asana

I have used several tools that aim at boosting productivity in the past and keep using a handful of them for various purposes - including but not limited to Trello, Evernote and Slack. Each one of them has its strong points and usually focuses on specific aspects (e.g. online collaboration, task management, instant messaging and enhanced communication etc.).

NEUROPUBLIC is using Asana for coordinating work between different teams, so I was quickly introduced to this tool, too. I created my account and joined the corporate board within minutes.

A nice reminder sent by Asana through email some time ago
Asana is based on teams, which consist of a number of collaborators/members. Each team can have a number of common projects, and each project consists of tasks and sub-tasks. Tasks can be assigned to specific members and other members can follow the specific task. A task can contain file attachments or files from Dropbox, Google Drive etc., comments, links etc. Deadlines can be set for tasks and sub-tasks and there are tags/labels to be defined by the users.

It took me some time to get used to this new tool; it is not the fastest available nor the most user-friendly one but it has so many functionalities (e.g. creating a new task with specific followers just by forwarding an email to a specific address) that can really help teams in getting things done. Asana can also be used during meetings for keeping notes/minutes, define next steps in the form of new tasks, assign tasks to specific people (meeting participants), define milestones (deadlines) so by the end of the meeting you have everything documented and ready to move to the next steps.

There is a wealth of guides and documentation for Asana that can help anyone learn how to master the platform for different uses. I tend to visit the official page as well as third-party ones not only for help, but also for finding new ideas and innovative uses of this tool.