Introduction to Asana

Asana logo

Asana is one of the most popular project management systems on the market today. It is a web and mobile application designed to help teams manage, organize, and track their projects. It allows you to make task management simpler and easier.

Like many other work management platforms, Asana is a collaborative application that promotes transparency and visibility and encourages users to concentrate on their business goals and objectives. But unlike other project management tools, Asana prides on its user-friendly interface and smart features that enable team members to communicate in real-time, share plans, track the progress of the project, and get insights from views and reports.

Company history and profile

Asana has been around since 2008, the year when Facebook co-founder Dustin Muskovitz and former Facebook and Google engineer Justin Rosenstein founded it. The two men saw the need to coordinate teams more efficiently within the social network giant’s operations. Soon, they realized that tech giants were not just the ones that could benefit from better efficiency. After leaving Facebook, Moskovitz and Rosenstein founded Asana (a Sanskrit word, which means “yoga pose”).

They launched a free beta version of the application in November 2011 and then released it commercially in April 2012. At the end of 2018, it was valued at $1.5 billion. As of September 2018, the application is now used by around 50,000 paying customers, including big-name companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, Spotify, Uber, and even NASA.

How does Asana work?

Asana is a cloud-based software that enables work colleagues within an organization’s Asana workspace to manage, organize, and track the progress of their projects. You may organize workflows for HR teams to manage the onboarding process for new hires, or create tasks to monitor individuals who are involved in a bigger project.

Users can add tasks and assign them to their team members, set priority tasks and deadlines, share relevant documents, and comment on them – and it’s all in one place. It also allows you to follow projects and tasks in every stage in order to stay on track of the project. The members are notified of the status of their tasks, as well as approaching deadlines, through email.

Unlike other project management tools like Smartsheet and Trello, Asana is much less complicated, which makes it relatively easy to use. It aims at a wide range of business professionals. One of Asana’s key strengths is its product design. Instead of an overwhelming number of features seen in other project management tools, Asana follows a minimalistic approach, providing a flexible framework that team members can use across the organization for planning and tracking projects.

Here is an overview of Asana’s key features:

  • Activity feeds
  • Add assignees, attachments, and hearts to tasks
  • Automated updates to email  or inbox
  • Create custom calendars and views
  • Email integration
  • Events and meetings
  • Kanban support (Asana has boards)
  • Gantt charts (Asana has Timeline)
  • Group discussions
  • Multiple workspaces
  • My tasks list and Focus Mode
  • Notifications and reminders
  • iPhone support, HTML5 mobile site
  • Prioritization
  • Project and task creation
  • Project permissions
  • Project sections and search views
  • Real-time projects
  • Searched views
  • See team members’ tasks and priorities
  • Set project permissions
  • Tags and comments on tasks
  • Task dependencies
  • Track tasks and add followers

As you can see, Asana has always been handy because of its rich set of useful features. Despite that, its user-friendly interface makes learning project management less complicated. You can find all the key features mentioned above literally in one place on the left-hand menu panel.

All actions that you perform in Asana are done by just a single click. No annoying confirmation pop-ups! Create a task in only a single click, assign it to a team member, and track all the activities in the project. Uploading a file is also easy, as you can just drag and drop it for every project. When you get assigned to a task or project, trust Asana who will ensure you get notified on any updates via email.

Despite its simple user interface, Asana is otherwise a powerful tool. But what makes it more powerful is its mobile app, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android. Using Asana’s mobile app provides you with pretty much the same experience that you are using it in your PC or laptop. Installing and setting up the mobile app is easy, and now you can get updates anytime, anywhere. The coolest thing about Asana’s mobile app is that it’s absolutely free for download!

It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Asana has so much more to offer that could work for your business other than assigning and tracking tasks and projects. You can integrate it with other software such as Gmail, Outlook, Jira, and many others.

Asana offers four payment plans: Basic, Premium, Business, and Enterprise.

The Basic plan is pretty much what it is labeled. It has the most basic features, such as list view projects, calendar views, and status updates. It supports up to 15 members with limited access to dashboard features s well as unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. It is ideal for individuals or teams who are just getting started with project management.

The Premium plan costs $10.99 per user, per month when billed annually (or $13.49 when billed monthly). It has a lot more features, such as admin controls and single sign-on. It also provides users access to the use of dashboards and team size.

The Business plan costs $24.99 per user, per month when billed annually (or $30.49 when billed monthly). It has additional features such as custom rules builder, approvals, proofing, salesforce integration, portfolios, and Google SSO, among many others.

The Enterprise plan offers a much more advanced admin controls, custom branding, as well as security and data protection features (including data deletion and cross-regional backups). Prices are available upon request (and depend on which features shall be included).