Asana is a great little web application for project and task management that only seems to get better and better. The developers at Asana really seem to take to heart the suggestions and considerations submitted by their users and always seem to deliver. Best of all, it’s free ! I know that when you hear free you assume that you will get what you pay for and lower your expectations. Especially for software that you will be using for business needs, it’s easy to assume that if it’s free it’s not “professional level.” I’ll admit that if we were a large corporation working on very large projects we would probably look for something in the paid aisle. But let’s face it, I’ve worked with several companies that used the paid versions such as BaseCamp, and quite honestly no one ever used it properly and the e-mails and phone calls that should have been eliminated in the process were thriving and growing every day.
So let’s talk Asana and how user friendly this app is right from the start. Once our client’s receive an invite and log in they are up to speed in no time due to the ease of use and the tutorials and instructions available in the software. In fact, sometimes they get a little happy with it and start loading up task upon task the very first day. Great ! That’s the entire point. It’s easy to use and not intimidating to most of our clients so they have started logging all tasks, requests and questions in one location instead of blowing up my phone, e-mail, messaging, or any combination of the above. Mission accomplished thus far.
You may have to groom their entries a little at first, but in no time they discover they can attach files and links all within the individual tasks as they create them. And they are also receiving messages and notifications when tasks are completed or they are added to a task. This can be a little annoying after awhile, but once again Asana makes it very easy to adjust your e-mails and notifications to see only what you want to see. Most of our clients who were introduced to Asana by us go on to use it for their projects both professional and personal.
(And did I mention their mobile app rocks as well)
But as much as Asana has helped our clients, the benefits for us are even better. Now you have everything in one place and have hopefully slowed the constant e-mails and phone calls. This benefits you, the client and anyone else that is a part of the project including other service providers, (SEO, designer, marketing, etc.). But the best part is, you have everything in chronological order and in writing. I repeat, IN WRITING. There is nothing worse than running in to problems and trying to track down an e-mail or trying to explain why something was done via verbal communications.
One drawback using Asana was that on larger and longer projects, even your task list can start to take some time to navigate through. But that has all changed now with the new search function in Asana that allows you to search by word, project, attachments, assignee and more. Finding exactly what you need takes seconds. Bug reports were a bit cumbersome and you were just left to tweak it as you saw fit to make it work, but from what I have read the Asana development team is hard at work to provide that function for us in the developer and design industries. That’s just how they roll...
For the low, low price of nothing, Asana provides some pretty extraordinary services. The free account supports up to 30 members and unlimited projects and tasks. Paid account holders get a few additional features, such as project permissions and priority support, and the cost scales up depending on the number of users: $300 per month for 50 members, $550 per month for 75 members, $800 per month for 100 members.
As web developers we have been using Asana for about a year now and we have no complaints. Like I said, it just keeps getting better and better. Communication is key to our projects and Asana makes thing very easy for our less technical clients and is still a professional choice for our corporate clients.
Peerless design inc.