Asana has become increasingly popular over the last few years – and for good reason. Its communication tools and fun interface make it extremely enjoyable to use, and the free plan is great for personal organization.
It could stand to offer a few more advanced features. Even so, Asana is an exceptional tool for nurturing a streamlined and collaborative work environment
Asana is an immensely popular software for remote work. Does that mean it’s perfect? Well, no, but no software is. Asana could stand to offer more advanced tools for larger-scale projects, and it falls a bit on the pricier side.
Still, its intuitive and straightforward interface, adaptable features, and vast arsenal of tools for managing a project from start to finish make it one of the best project management platforms I’ve tried.
After thoroughly testing this platform, I’m happy to say that Asana offers ideal tools for teams that depend on clear and fluid communication.
Asana has a forever-free plan, and you get a 30-day free trial on both its premium plans. The software is available in English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, and several other languages.
So, should you give Asana a go, or look elsewhere? Let’s find out.
The Right Tools To Manage Your Project End-to-End
Although it doesn’t offer quite the same number of hyper-specific tools you get with the most feature-rich project management software, Asana offers an impressive array of features. It gives you plenty of tools to manage everything from the minutiae of planning a small project to coordinating components of a large campaign.
Scope really is the name of the game when it comes to this software. Thanks to Asana’s comprehensive task view, you’ll be able to add lots of detail to every assignment. And by being able to add tasks and subtasks to your projects, team members will know exactly where their responsibilities start and end.
Meanwhile, features like the Project and Dashboard views help project managers oversee projects and evaluate timelines. Yes, there are more feature-packed options out there, but Asana offers more than enough to organize your project from beginning to end.
Keep Track of Basic Projects
Projects in Asana are more than just a collection of tasks. Every project includesan in-depth overview of its key elements, like project status, collaborators, and how you’ll work. You can even create a “project brief,” which includes all the relevant information a new member might need to catch up.
You can set your project’s status to “On track,” “At risk,” or “Off track,” and post a new project updatewhenever the status changes. Asana lets you create a detailed record of the current status of a project and complement it with data-driven widgets.
This information is always available to your team members, which is fantastic. When you set up clear updates, you can be sure that your team will work in sync and prevent potential mistakes.
Asana offers every task view you could possibly need to manage your workflow. The list view gives you a straightforward summary of each task and its most relevant information. If you want, you can create custom fields and add them as new columns. You can also choose from different “column” presets, such as “effort” or “priority.”
If you prefer to work with visuals, the board view displays each task as notes on a board. Alternatively, the timeline helps you understand how each of your tasks flow into each other. Finally, the calendar view is great for deciding the best way to organize your time.
Automate Simple Repetitive Tasks
A rule is an automatic action that Asana follows based on a trigger. For example, you can use rules to re-assign a task whenever the status changes. The rules interface is mostly visual, making it easy to manage without being an expert in conditional logic.
I won’t lie, there are more advanced automation tools on the market. Still, Asana’s rules can make your work more efficient and a lot less tedious.
Keep Track of the Bigger Picture
When working on a project, it’s easy to get obsessed with the end result and forget what you’re actually trying to achieve. Asana’s “Goals” feature keeps you from losing track of the bigger picture.
Think of goals as super-sized tasks. You can assign goals to a member, set time frames, and attach custom information. When you create a goal, you can add custom progress metrics. And for every update, you can create a new report, just like with projects.
It’s not the most complex feature in the world, but it can do wonders for steering a team in the right direction.
Hundreds of Integrations With the Tools You Already Use
It doesn’t matter if you work in a marketing agency, hiring firm, or a startup – chances are that Asana (or any other project management tool, for that matter) isn’t the only software solution you’ll be using. That’s why Asana offers hundreds of third-party integrations, from categories like marketing, productivity, IT, and more.
So, if you need to set up tasks based on your Salesforce workflow or want to track billable hours through Clockify, Asana easily integrates with these tools to offer you a seamless work experience. When your whole workspace is interconnected, you can greatly improve productivity and save yourself from headache-inducing setbacks.
Ease of use
Asana Offers an Intuitive Interface With Plenty of Customization
Thanks to Asana’s attractive and responsive interface, I never felt intimidated while creating my first project. Navigation is easy, and there are plenty of resources to help you learn the ropes of the app. It only took me a couple of minutes to create my first project with Asana.
There is some room for improvement, though. Some features were harder to find than what I would have liked and there are a couple of (minor) gaps in the user guide. Still, Asana is by far one of the most user-friendly project management tools out there.
Getting Started With Asana
To start using Asana, click the “Get Started” button and enter your email. After verifying your email, enter your name and set up a password.
Asana will ask you a couple of questions about whether you’re the first member of your team to use it, the kind of work you do, and the size of your team. It will then create your first project and populate it with some basic information.
You can experiment with the project settings, take a tour through the guide, or create a new project from scratch. I recommend creating a new project using the “Asana Basics Training” template to get fully familiarized.
If you ever run into trouble, it’s incredibly easy to access Asana’s support resources. You just have to click on the “Help & getting started” link at the bottom of the app. From there, you can access video tutorials, written guides, and even book live webinars.
Basic Templates for All Kinds of Work
Creating a project from scratch is always a little intimidating. That’s why Asana offers 65 pre-made project templates, divided into 10 categories. Each template includes a couple of basic tasks with detailed information about its use.
These templates aren’t meant to be complete projects on their own, but they are a great starting point for creating something tailored to you and your team. Once you’re satisfied with the result, save it as a custom template to use as many times as you want.
Find Specific Information in Just a Few Clicks
If you deal with several teams with different goals, you’ll probably have to sort through a lot of information. The “advanced search” tool lets you find the information you need with ease. All you have to do is click on “Search,” then “Advanced search,” and define your parameters.
Plenty of Ways To Keep in Touch With Your Team
Asana’s collaboration tools are some of the best I’ve seen. In fact, if I were to recommend Asana for anything, it would be as a central hub to manage a team’s communication. Asana makes getting in touch with team members an efficient and enjoyable experience.
Team Dashboard & Communication
If you’re on any of Asana’s premium plans, you can create as many teams as you want. For each team, you get a team overview and a shared calendar.
If a non-manager member of your team feels like a task is missing, they can submit new tasks for approval. You can either accept, reject, or request changes. This approval process is an excellent way to encourage collaboration without losing control of your project.
The communication features take the crown, though. You can contact individual users or teams through direct messaging or @ tagging them under any comment. Besides that, Asana includes small details that make communication enjoyable, like the option to like comments and send little stickers called “appreciations.”
Little things like these keep the workspace feeling fun and improve team morale.
Asana gives you unlimited storage on any plan with a 100 MB limit to each file. You can attach a file under any comment, and it’ll automatically get added to the “Files” tab in your project. If your team does visual work, you can add feedback to image files.
Every comment that you add in feedback creates a new task automatically.
The mobile app is a great resource for non-managers. Notifications arrive almost instantly, and you can comment with the same ease as the desktop app. It could be better at organizing tasks within a project, especially in the timeline view, but it helps keep the communication going at all times.
Support Was Incredibly Helpful, but Somewhat Hard To Reach
It can be a little tricky to contact Asana’s support. Instead of heading straight to the chat bubble on the landing page (which won’t offer much besides some helpful links), you have to go straight to the bottom of the landing page and click on the “Support” link under “Resources.”
I’ll be honest, that’s a little more troublesome than I would have liked, but it’s hardly a deal breaker. When you click on “Support,” you’ll be redirected to a different page. Here, you’ll see another chat bubble with a little more information.
The bot will try to find an answer to your question in the user guide, but if you want a more personal approach, all you have to do is choose the “Contact support” option on the chat bubble, and enter your question.
I asked a couple of questions: one about importing task data from another project management software, and one about user permissions. I got a response to botha few hours later. It wasn’tthe most in-depth response in the world, but it was clear enough and it helped me work through my questions.
Plans Aren’t Cheap, but They Offer Excellent Value
Of all the project management software I’ve tested, Asana’s free plan is by far the best one. With it, you get access to every communication feature, an unlimited number of teams of up to 15 people, and three out of four available views. The free plan is particularly great if you’re just looking for a powerful tool to help you with your personal organization. It’s like a planner, but better!
That said, if you want access to the tools necessary for proper project management, you’re going to want to upgrade to a paid plan. Though these plans are filled with high-quality features that work cohesively (and I have to give props to Asana for offering a far simpler pricing structure than some other software), they do fall on the pricier side.
The Premium plan adds a timeline view with task dependencies, custom templates, and guest users. At$11.00per user, Asana’s Premium plan offers a well-rounded solution for medium-sized teams. In particular, the Workflow builder this plan unlocks can save you a ton of time setting up recurring tasks.
The Business plan further unlocks approvals and file proofing, which are invaluable features for any process or creative team to have. It also comes with workload management features, which can help you evaluate if any team members have a little too much on their plate. You can easily rearrange workloads to ensure that everyone’s happy and putting in their best work.
However, at $25.00per user, I would only recommend the Business plan if you’re 100% sure you need its additional features. If you do take out this plan, you can be confident that you won’t lack any tools for managing every step of your project.
Though each of Asana’s plans offers the feature quality and variety to justify its price, there are cheaper options out there. Still, if you’re willing to make the investment, you’ll see that Asana’s benefits easily outweigh its cost. Also, you won’t find a cuter “task complete” unicorn anywhere else.
Don’t take my word for it, though. If you feel like testing it yourself, Asana offers a 30-day free trial for both its premium plans.
Asana has many impressive points in its favor. The collaboration tools are great for keeping your team on the same page, it’s easy to use, the UI is dynamic, and it has an amazing free plan.
It might not cut it if you need to create insane, data-filled documents with complicated interactions, but if you want to foster teamwork and ensure that every member is putting in their best work, then Asana is well worth the investment.
Is Asana free?
Yes, Asana offers a completely free plan. This plan is great for personal organization, but it lacks some of the more advanced features for project management. For instance, you won’t have access to task dependencies, guest users, or custom project templates.
Does Asana have a desktop app?
It does. The desktop version is an excellent alternative if you have trouble with an unstable or slow internet connection. But other than that, there isn’t any significant reason for using it over the browser version – both are equally easy to use.
Is Asana better than Trello?
That comes down to personal preference. Trello is a very simplified organizational tool for teams that prefer Kanban boards. The interface is a little more visual, but it lacks advanced features.
Asana is a more complete project management software with extensive features. So as far as I’m concerned, Asana gets the win.
Can you export from Asana to Excel?
Yes. Simply go to a project, click on the “Project actions” tab, and export the CSV file. Now, all you need to do is open the CSV using Excel. This will allow you to make an external copy of the numerous project details you can specify in Asana.
Andrés Gánem is a Colorado-born, Mexico-City-raised freelance writer and content creator. He’s been doing that for a while. When he’s not writing, he should be, but you can find him reading adventure novels, playing video games, or drinking frankly unhealthy amounts of coffee. If you see him, tell him to put down that coffee. He’s shaky enough as it is.