How Asana Makes Me a Task Destroying Monster with Super Memory
I was introduced to Asana in a fairly innocuous way My web design professor was presenting about the tools he uses as a freelancer and casually ended with “and I use Asana to make sure I never forget to buy milk or miss a doctor’s appointment”. I, like most people, think it’s pretty awesome to not forget stuff so I decided to check it out. Over the course of the next few months I fell in love with Asana, a clean, well supported, and versatile task management application.
Asana has been my faithful companion on a variety of quests ranging from solo missions (keeping my apartment clean) to group undertakings (coordinating a hackathon).
Let’s jump into the 3 of the features that have kept the flames of love burning for almost 2 years now.
Easy to pick up
let’s take a look at part of Asana’s onboarding flow.
For a point of reference, let me show you the fairly intimidating beast that is my personal Asana workspace. This is the collection of tasks I use to keep my life as a student on track.
This is a very overwhelming environment for a new user to see, thankfully an empty workspace looks quite different.
Here we have 3 actions that are highlighted to the user, invite team members, create a project, or add a task. A clear hierarchy is established for these actions.
The most obvious is inviting teammates due to it’s bright, high contrast color choices and relatively large size. To fully take advantage of the Asana a user first needs to add some friends to collaborate with.
Once a user has teammates the next thing to do is create projects for the work their team is tackling. Creating a project is the second most obvious action, it’s close to the invite action and utilizes an arrow graphic that is visually distinct form the rest of the interface.
Finally, Asana’s core feature, task creation has a subtle emphasis on this screen. Adding a task is signified both by the “Add Task” button and the brightly colored “+” button on the top bar.
Once a new user is ready to start adding tasks they can use these buttons or simply click on the blank-paper-like task list.
And just like that a new user has mastered the basics of tracking some tasks! From here a user can learn to use many advanced features on top of tasks such as assigning tasks, tracking tasks in multiple projects, tagging, capturing information directly in task details, conversing directly in tasks, due dates, and task prioritization.
How Asana remembers everything for me
The most valuable feature in Asana for my workflows is due dates. Many applications allow you to generate tasks and set due dates for them. I believe it is how the app reacts to that data that determines if the user is successful.
Asana goes the extra mile and uses this data to help me remove clutter, plan my work, and never forget a promise.
In “My Tasks” Asana provides 3 sections for prioritizing tasks; “Today”, “Upcoming”, and “Later”. This provides me with a quick way to sweep my tasks under the appropriate levels of urgency and get to work on the important stuff. Once you’ve dated the important things, you don’t have to worry about them showing up at the right time. Any task with a due date will automatically be moved into Today the morning it is due.
Nice touches that shine a little light into the daily grind
Lastly, I wanted to quickly touch on one of the places the Asana team chose to inject a bit of fun into the product. Completing a task usually feels pretty good. You just got something done after all.
Asana acknowledges and expands upon this feeling with 2 details. When a task is marked completed you’re greeted with a wonderful burst of color as it is removed from the list.
Along with this you also have a chance of being joined by a majestic unicorn as you celebrate.