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Social Project Management with Asana

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Unless you are a lone wolf freelancer or consultant, you probably have the need to collaborate on projects with other people.  Managing a project which involves multiple people can sometimes be…difficult.  That’s why most companies need a good project management solution.

Asana is a web based project management solution which offers some unique features which set it apart.  Organizing your team and your projects is the goal of Asana.  It accomplishes this pretty well by being fast, intuitive, and well organized.  One of the founders of Asana is Dustin Moskovitz, a cofounder of Facebook, maybe you’ve heard of it??  You can see his influence on the application as it has social aspects built in.

With Asana, you invite your team members by email.  You then add your projects and tasks.  You can then assign individual tasks to specific team members.   Asana also features the ability to “Tag” someone else on a project so they receive all communications and updates but aren’t assigned to the project. This could be useful for keeping supervisors up to date on project activity.

Asana has an iPhone version which also looks pretty good on the iPad and it has an HTML5 web version which works just like a native app on my Android phone.   I believe more companies will choose to use HTML5 sites instead of native apps in the future.

Here are some of the features of Asana:

  • Multiple Workspaces:  This allows you to segment your work any way you see fit.  You can set up a personal workspace and add your family members, a business workspace for your day job, and a separate workspace for any side projects you may have.  The flexibility is a big selling point for Asana.
  • People Views:  You can see everyone on your team and what tasks they have on their list for today and what’s coming up in the future.   I can see this be invaluable when it comes to not giving too many tasks to one person and ensuring that projects don’t get behind because someone has too much on their plate.
  • Follow Tasks and Projects:  Get notified about changes to tasks or projects that you follow.  This could be used in many different ways.  Personally, I could see this being good for multi-stage projects.  If my tasks can’t start until other tasks are complete, then I would want to follow them so I know when to start.
  • Real Time Updates: The use of HTML5 makes this application super fast and it allows you to see updates as they happen…by the keystroke.  You never have worry about having old information again.
  • Activity Feed For Every Task:  All of the activity and messages are kept together for each task.  This makes looking at the history of a task super easy.
  • Ridiculously Fast: Asana makes use of keyboard shortcuts and has fewer page loads.
  • Versatile:  Asana can be used for project management, crm, bug tracking, application tracking, individual task management, and much more.
  • Email Integration:  Add, assign, add followers, and mark tasks complete via email

As you can see, Asana has many features and is versatile enough that it will adapt to fill many gaps for you and your business.  The ability to post updates on a task or project for everyone associated with that task or project to see is a great addition.  You can certainly see the influence from Facebook in that feature alone.

Asana is free for up to 30 users.  Pricing starts at $100/month for between 30 and 50 users.

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About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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