Asana Review: Ultimate Project Management for Teams

Company: Asana, Inc.

Background: Asana is the brainchild of former Facebook employees Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein. The platform started as a means to help them and their team members automate routine tasks. The idea grew, and today the company helps millions of teams worldwide achieve the same level of success.

Starting Price: 0.0/mo

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://asana.com

Review Summary & Ratings

4.5

Asana is a popular project management tool used by many teams to manage their projects and tasks. Most of the appeal of the service lies in its rich feature set designed to address multiple pain points. That includes robust workflow automation, real-time reporting, and many customization options. My team and I have been using Asana for years, and it’s helped us maintain a tight, coordinated workflow. Considering the WHSR team is distributed across the globe, that’s an impressive accomplishment for any service. For that alone, I give Asana a personal thumbs up. The best part about Asana is that you can get away with using their free plan. The only thing that’s harder to get past would be the complexity of implementing more advanced workflow templates unless you put the time into it.

The Pros: What I Like About Asana

1. Drag-and-drop User Interface is Convenient

Drag-and-drop User Interface is Convenient

One large part of Asana’s appeal is that it provides a drag-and-drop user interface. That same interface is universally available on the web, Android, and iOS. Believe me; if you use Asana to manage multiple projects simultaneously, you will appreciate the convenience. 

In addition, you can prioritize tasks in the most convenient way for you. Regardless of team workflow, you have your interface. Well, at least for your tasks. Every user has a profile page to view updates from assigned to or involved in projects.

2. Well-integrated With Many Apps and Services

Asana can integrate with over 100 apps and services, including Google Calendar, Trello, Salesforce, Slack, etc. This integration capability vastly extends usability and makes Asana a good fit regardless of what tools your organization currently uses.

The core reasoning is that project management covers a massive scope of activities. Many existing tools handle some of these activities well. Hence, there’s no reason for Asana to reinvent the wheel.

3. Focused on Team Collaboration

Asana serves as an excellent collaboration tool due to its ability to be accessed on any device. This capability enables users to work when and where they want, a practical modern convenience for workflow optimization. 

There’s incredible attention to detail in this respect. It starts with the clean, simple sign-up process to the streamlined interface for management. These features make it easy for team members to work together.

4. Excellent Task Management Features

Asana's task management features are excellent. The platform allows you to create tasks, assign them to team members, and track their progress. For example, you can give each task an individual status and dependencies based on other tasks in the project. 

To ensure that teams stay on track, Asana allows users to leave comments on any task they've been assigned and set due dates for each one. Users can also quickly receive notifications as new tasks appear or when comments are made on their work so far.

Task owners have access to more powerful tools. Some examples include templates for creating recurring workflows or delegation tools for handing off responsibilities within projects. That makes it easy for managers who don't want all responsibility but still want oversight.

5. Workflow Automation Improves Efficiency

Workflow Automation Improves Efficiency

Asana’s workflow automation help improves efficiency by letting you set parameters once and then repeating processes. It helps save time, money, and frustration for team members. Some examples of automation tools found here are templates and workflow triggers.

You can use workflow triggers to automate repetitive tasks, such as sending notifications when a task is completed or initiating a process for newly created tasks. It’s essentially just something that happens when certain conditions occur.

6. Provides Real-time Reporting and Insights

Asana is a great real-time reporting tool. It provides you with all of the information you need in one place, so you don't have to go elsewhere to get it. You can see your progress on projects, the status of projects, and updates from team members—all at a glance (and without checking email constantly). 

The reporting options are robust as well: You can choose how often you want reports sent out (daily/weekly/monthly), what data they should contain (e.g., assignments due today or over the next week), and which users will receive them (e.g., managers only).

7. There are Comprehensive Customization Options

One of the best things about Asana is its high customizability. This customizability means you can tailor your experience to meet your business's unique needs and goals. You can also access add-ons to make even more changes, like;

Customizing the look and feel of Asana

  • Adding projects from other tools into your account (like Trello or Wrike)
  • Creating private projects for yourself or specific clients
  • Change the way user setups are accomplished

Cons: I WIsh Asana Addresses These Issues

1. Relatively Steep Learning Curve

Although I’ve used Asana for years, I have not fully understood even half of the features. I simply jumped in and made it work. While that is remarkable, companies that want to experience the full power of Asana may need to spend time working on it.

It has a steep learning curve and takes some time to get used to, especially if you're new to this platform. The massive number of features can be overwhelming at first. And while I love some of the simplicity, it still confuses me at times.

For example, the interface is user-friendly and colorful, but it can be difficult to understand. There are many different options for organizing tasks such as boards and projects—and each one has its own set of steps you'll need to complete before working with them correctly.

2. Lack of Time Tracking Tools

Asana does not include a time tracking tool. While this may not sound important, it feels odd that a project management app lacks such an essential feature. I suppose it leads back to them not wanting to reinvent the wheel.

Asana will give you some insight into this, but it may not be enough if you want to track the actual amount of time spent on each task or project. For more details, you’ll need one of the many add-on apps available like TrackingTime and Clockify. 

The only time tracking natively available on Asana is the Work Insights Report. That gives a high-level view of how long your teams work on projects and tasks. I guess it’s a good area of focus for management. 

Asana Plans and Pricing: How Much Does Asana Cost?

Asana plans and pricing

Asana offers a free plan for teams of up to 15 users. While basic features are unlimited, the system limits you to three concurrent projects. You also get the basics like app interactions, reporting, and support (community-based only for free users).

The Asana Premium plan costs $10.99/user/month if you pay annually or $13.49/user/mo for py-as-you-go users. That comes with everything in the free plan, but you get more comprehensive workflow automation and reporting.

Asana Business costs $24/99/user/mo for annual payments or $30.49 for pay-as-you-go. This plan seems not much different from Premium except that it takes reporting and support up by a notch. I’m not sure if that’s worth double the price.

Asana also offers an Enterprise plan, but this seems of dubious value. I would say that Enterprise is mostly only for larger companies that need more comprehensive monitoring and control features. Some examples of these features are audit logs, service accounts, and data exports.

Conclusion: Should I Use Asana?

If you want to run a small team, I highly recommend looking at what Asana offers. Don’t be put off by the steep learning curve. As I mentioned, we simply jumped in and got started in my case. It’s been a far greater help than a hindrance and effectively gets the job done.

Small teams may not even need to upgrade their account and simply live on the free version. Of course, it depends on the nature of your work and how you plan to structure your workflow. I give Asana a solid thumbs up.

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Article by Pui Mun Beh