Over the past month I have been on a quest to find a good task manager for myself. Personally, I wanted one that was simple to use, not overloaded with features, able to sync with my iOS devices, and share with others.
After buying and testing a handful of apps, I found one that I had never heard of before and actually, I heard about it on a podcast by Mike Vardy who loved it. The task manager that I am talking about is Asana, which, after testing it for a bit, I decided that this was the one that I was going to use full time. Let me explain more about the app and why I like it so much.
Asana For One
Asana at first glance can sometimes be a little overwhelming, especially on the iPhone, but I will get more into that later. When you first start to set it up, one of the beauties is that it can be used for one person, a family, or even a team that is working on a project together. This will help dictate how you decide to use the task manager for your use.
If you are using it by yourself, you can set up Asana very quickly by starting to add tasks right away. If you want to have different projects, you can do that as well. For example, I set up a project for home, work, and home projects. In each of these, I can add tasks for myself as well as write any notes that I need. On the iPhone app, you cannot add a due date, but you can do this on the web version. I am not sure why this is the case, but would like to see this feature added in the future.
Asana For Two or More
This is where Asana gets even better and more useful for people who are working in teams or are sharing tasks with someone. There are a couple of ways that this app gives you the ability to share with others. First, projects can be shared with others that you want to see that task list. For example, my wife has started to get ambitious and wants to get some home projects done and so she shared with me a project called “Home Projects.” We both can now add tasks to it so that we can see what needs to be done. You can also create what are called workspaces and share those as well. These spaces can house different projects that may need to be separate from other things you are doing. For example, you may want to have a workspace just for work and a separate one for home.
Besides sharing projects with others, Asana gives you the ability to assign tasks to certain people on your team. This is a great feature to have if you are with a group of people that are working on the same thing. So, not only does everyone on your team have the ability to add tasks, but they can also assign or be assigned a specific task in that project.
One of the things that attracted me to Asana in the first place was the fact that it was free. In fact, it is free for up to 30 people in a project. For most people, this will suit them just fine, but if you have a team of more than 30, don’t worry, because Asana has got you covered as well.
Just recently, Asana came out with what they call, Premium Workspace, which lets you have up to 100 members in a work space. Each tier has a different price, starting with $100/month for the 30 member tier. Along with the added people, you can also have what are called “Project-level Permissions.” This is where you have the ability to share private projects with a small group in your work space. This is a great feature for bigger companies that may have lots of different things going on that not everyone needs to see. Lastly, you also get priority support with any one of these premium packages, which means that any questions and problems that you have with Asana, gets moved to the front of the line.
What I do like about Asana is that it is simple enough to fire up and quickly add a task and be done, but yet it is flexible enough that if I want to expand it to more than just me, I can do that as well.
Although Asana is a great task manager, there are some flaws to the iPhone app. The main thing that I had to get used to was the fact that I felt that it tried to cram way too much into such a small screen. There are times where I felt like I needed a bigger screen to use the application properly. Also, some of the key features that I like are not in the iPhone app, like being able to assign a due date and sorting items by date. For me, because I don’t rely on alerts a ton, I like to see my tasks by due date and I can’t really do that on the iPhone.
One other thing that I didn’t like was that Asana gives you different screens for different actions, and if I wanted to go back to the main screen, I couldn’t just swipe over to it, I had to press on the previous screen to get back. I thought that was kind of odd being that swiping just seems so natural to do in a situation like this.
I think after using Asana for a while, I have found that I love using it, but I am not as impressed with the iPhone app. I think it can get better and with some improvements, will be a good task manager. If it could be more consistent with the web version, and if swiping could be implemented, it would be a solid app. Asana is free, so go and check it out and let us know what you think. Also, feel free to leave your favorite task manager suggestion in the comments.