Asana Pros and Cons
Asana is a popular task management and collaboration tool that helps teams coordinate their work through its shared spaces. Asana allows businesses to keep track of who is responsible for what task, the information related to each task, and its overall progress. Projects in Asana can also be organized in a variety of ways, via either Kanban boards, sprints, or a list of tasks.
While Asana is a high-quality tool, more advanced features such as time-tracking and budget management are not natively available but third-party integrations and Asana's own customizable API make up for this. Asana is ideal for small to medium-sized companies.
In this Asana review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, add ons, and more.
What is Asana?
Asana was founded in 2008 by Facebook's co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-Google/Facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein. They developed the software to help teams manage and organize all of their work systemically. Since then, Asana has grown to more than 500 employees and is used in over a million organizations.
Facts and Figures
|Founder||Dustin Moskovitz, Justin Rosenstein|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
Asana Project Management Features
Asana helps teams improve collaboration and increase their productivity with many useful features. These include Kanban boards, capacity management, Gantt charts, file-sharing, and note-taking.
Asana has a designated project area where all the tasks are listed, grouped, tagged, and prioritized. This organizational structure is excellent as it ensures that users are aware of what work needs to be taken on by them and completed. Asana also provides a number of templates for different projects.
The “timeline view” in Asana is extremely intuitive as it creates dependencies between tasks. The arrows represent the dependencies, so if tasks are not appropriately aligned to these dependencies, Asana turns the arrow red to alert users.
Asana allows teams to organize work as cards that can be moved across columns. This approach is visually appealing, and it lets team members easily track work through multiple stages.
When it comes to task management, users can create sub-tasks to break down their work into smaller, manageable portions. Tasks can contain information such as due dates, assignees, notes, and comments.
Creating workflows with Asana helps teams track incoming requests, so ideas don’t get lost, and team members are not swamped with work. Having all the projects in one place, with the tasks assigned, allows managers to either defer, remove, or re-delegate tasks to keep projects on track.
Communication & Collaboration
While Asana does not offer in-built messaging, an integration like Slack can be used for direct messaging. The discussion feature also allows users to suggest ideas, raise concerns, and offer new perspectives.
Files can be attached to tasks so team members can collaborate easily.
All members of a Workspace can post questions and leave comments directly under tasks.
There is no native note-taking feature. However, there is a text field under individual tasks where users can add notes
Resource Allocation & Planning
Asana offers workload management, so projects can be distributed evenly among team members, so they are not overworked or underworked.
Asana allows teams to add metrics such as hours or points to tasks. These metrics help them identify the estimated time required to complete tasks, and it also shows how much work each team member has at any point in time.
Agile Project Management
Agile processes can be run in Asana. IT and software development teams will be able to create sprints and track developmental issues.
Asana can be adapted to Scrum practices, but a sprint planning template has to be used. Once a sprint is created, users will be able to see the backlog, milestones, launch dates, etc.
If users would like to track issues in Asana, they would need to use a bug tracking template and then customize it to their business’s needs.
Asana offers four different pricing plans: Basic, Premium, Business, and Enterprise. The Basic plan is free of charge while the Premium and Business plan can be tested out for free. Asana also offers discounts to those who pay annually for their subscriptions.
Asana has completed SOC Type I and Type II audits, which is an important security aspect. The company also works with third parties to check its code for vulnerabilities. Asana hosts data securely in SSAE 16 audited data centers, and they use Amazon Web Services (RDS & S3) to manage user data.
Any data entered by the user is encrypted, and Asana is compliant with both the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework.
Asana can be connected to a number of integrations to expand its overall functionality. The software works well with Harvest for time tracking and Slack for team chat.
Asana also offers an open API, so team members can use this API to build new integrations.
Here are some of the integrations:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Asana CSV Importer
- Jira Cloud
- Power BI
Asana has a clear and structured interface. The dashboard is straightforward and navigation throughout the platform is intuitive. After logging in, all assigned tasks are shown. There is also a navigation bar that can be used, which brings up assigned projects and a list of all the teams in a business. Users who would like to get started right away can make use of Asana's ready-made project templates to get started.
Nonetheless, Asana can seem quite bare at the beginning as users are responsible for customizing the software, adding work items, and creating useful workflows. This means that the possibilities of Asana are very much dependent on the company operating the software.
Asana is available on iOS and Android devices. The app is a simplified version of the web version, where users can create and manage tasks, receive push notifications, attach files, and check their inboxes. Some features even work offline. For more information, check out Asana’s help guide, which offers help for iOS and Android users.
Asana offers many options for help and support. Here are all of Asana’s support offerings:
- Asana Academy: Within this platform, users can find short videos, webinars, and interactive courses that explain how to use Asana.
- Forums: The community forum is a space where users can share their opinions and feedback about the software. The forum is available in multiple languages.
- Asana Blog: The blog covers a variety of topics, including company news and feature updates.
- Direct support: Users can contact Asana’s customer support team via email or fill in the contact form on Asana’s website. Teams on the paid plans also have customer success options that include coaching, calls, and training.
If Asana doesn’t meet the mark, here are a few other alternatives:
- Basecamp review
- Wrike review
- Trello review
- Proofhub review
Asana is a comprehensive project management software suited for small to medium-sized businesses. It is intuitive to use and helps teams improve their productivity and organization. The software emphasizes how important it is to track and manage work to gain efficiency within a business.
The free plan offers a basic range of features for those who want to get started with project management. For those that require more extensive features, the Premium plan would be sufficient. While Asana does not have in-built functions for messaging, budget management, and time-tracking, these can be obtained through various integrations.