Fresh Thinking



UI / UX Design

To the best task manager on the market. Asana, I applaud you.

January 24, 2014

Benjamin Lehrer

By Benjamin Lehrer

Task managers are tricky, especially for techies, and there are about a gazillion on the market. In my not-so-humble opinion, Asana truly takes the cake. Within an hour of sign-up, I was whizzing around like a pro, kicking tasklist ass and taking (delegating) names.

Here are the top 10 things I love about Asana:

  1. Speed – Asana is bursting hotkeys to help cut precious mousing milliseconds. As a raging keyboard shortcut fan, the abundance of tactical timesavers at my fingertips (pun!) thrills me. Ever imagine a world of task-completion sans-trackpad? This is it.
  2. Collaboration – For any task app, teamwork is a top line priority. But simple, seamless synergy ain’t easy. Of all the group productivity platforms I’ve tested, Asana wins for working together. From transparent activity progress to open communication and even a smooth process for looping clients into the workstream – collaborating with Asana brings daily productivity, project clarity the endless satisfaction of to-do list accomplishment.
  3. Dues & Delegation – Asana tasks are individual, robust entities created as part of a project complete with owners, assignees, due dates, tags, comment and activity streams and files. This makes prioritization, delegation and managing deadlines your new favorite simple sauce. I personally love dishing out task items to colleagues or clients and watching them magically come to life. The system provides a beautiful, high-level view of who is doing what and when stuff is due – a Project Manager’s dream! Say hello to dominating deadlines and team accountability.Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 2.54.31 PM
  4. UI/UX – At Fresh, we pride ourselves on our collective eye for good usability. The Asana design team has done a phenomenal job creating an interface that is clean, simple and dazzle-free. Unlike ‘06, we’re not looking for a fancy task manager with a frou-frou design. We’re minimalists and love intelligent design filled with headlines and white space. In Asana, UI & UX play well together with impeccable results.
  5. Google Connect – Being a Google product user I love that Asana integrates flawlessly with Google products. Consistency throughout makes me happy.
  6. Inbox – The first step into a post-email world, Asana Inbox finally connects isolated message fragments to the single shared truth about the work. It takes inspiration from the best of email, activity feeds, and other notification systems, and built project communication from the ground up. I enjoy looking at the Asana inbox daily to see accomplishments over the past 24 hours. It keeps everything succinct and moving forward.Screen_Shot_2014-01-22_at_4_05_53_PM-2
  7. Communication – Since Asana syncs with your email, you can see what’s happening via notifications. Notifications are sent to you as tasks are added, completed or being discussed throughout the team. These pings are totally customizable, from push to pull and mute, you can now choose exactly how you want to be informed for every task. The awesome Asana mobile app makes this updating process even smoother and speedier.
  8. Search – Search can always be tricky, but with the auto-fill feature just typing a few characters can show you your results quickly. Might not seem critical, but it does save a lot of time when looking for that specific task.
  9. Google Calendar Sync – If you’re tasking and you don’t want to keep having to sign into Asana to check due dates, you can easily sync your tasks that have due dates to your calendar. This is key if you’re a slave to your G-Cal like me.Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 2.56.29 PM
  10. Integration – Because I’m witty, I like to call Asana ‘Sync City’ for its frictionless integration with key systems. It doesn’t simply sync with every important application including Dropbox, Google Drive, Harvest and Github. Each native extension is totally tailored to the 3rd party purpose. Harvest shows up as a simple clock-icon, while Drive is accessed by a seamless and fully-stocked file viewer. I just love how tight and thoughtful this program is! 

There are tons of cloud-based task apps and I’ve just about tried them all. Now you now know exactly why I just love my Asana, and wholeheartedly recommend it to productivity lovers and PMs like me. It’s obviously free to start, so try it out for a week and let me know what you think. With all that newfound task-mastery, I may have just gifted you a 3-day weekend.

Benjamin Lehrer

Benjamin Lehrer

  • Arlen Mark

    Have you tried proofhub for project management as well as for collaboration?

  • Donnie Tek

    Good post, agree that Asana is one of the best, I am considering whether to use that or

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