Why You Should Use Asana – A Free and Powerful Task Management Application

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Are you the type of person who writes lists to help manage the countless number of tasks you need to do? If not, you might want to consider it.

The simple process of making lists and ticking them off is a great way to organize and progress your goals.  Even Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded the Virgin Group and broke many world records, has always strongly advocated making to-do lists.  He has been widely known to carry a notebook around, jotting ideas, writing lists, and progressing through them one at a time.

We now have a lot more utilities to efficiently organize and progress through goals rather than just using a notebook and pen.   One powerful and free alternative is a web-based task management software called Asana.

To shed some background about this product’s roots, Asana was founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and engineer Justin Rosenstein, after they both left Facebook in 2008.

Ultimately, I’ve started using this application and found it useful, and I’m therefore sharing my views.


What is So Great about Asana?

Asana can be used directly through a web browser or its smartphone application.   It’s free and you just need access to the internet.  Asana is not great because of its robust features; it’s great because of it’s simplicity.   At first glance, you may think this is another application with a steep learning curve, but if you can just allocate a small amount of time to play with the application, you’ll notice how easy it is to pick-up.

Asana feels like an elegant and sophisticated upgrade from a notebook.  It’s fast, intuitive, and easy to manipulate. The application responds and accepts  input quickly and saves automatically.  Additionally, Asana’s taxonomy features and user interface make it easy to navigate, prioritize, and organize.

Basically, the application is structured into three shells:

  • Workspaces:  The workspace is where you group various types of projects.  For example, in business you might have workspaces labeled sales or marketing, which holds projects related to all the sales and marketing projects.  Or, in your personal life, you might have Travel or Hobby workspaces, containing those relevant projects.    
  • Projects:  The Projects area is where all your tasks are listed, grouped, tagged and prioritized.
  • Tasks: Tasks contain specific information about a task, such as due dates, tagging, responsibility assignment, notes, comments, sub-tasks, and more.

There’s something else that is particularly useful about Asana.  If you write lists, you’ve likely experienced the problem of needing to re-prioritize some tasks and temporarily putting aside other tasks.  You can address this easily in Asana with three mechanisms.


Thee first mechanism relates to simply moving the task’s position on a list (higher being more important and lower being less important).  The second mechanism relates to the tasks’ due dates.  If your priorities shift, you simply adjust the due date to a later day and the task will re-organize on your list .  The third mechanism relates to the fact that your listed tasks are dynamically and visually grouped into three classes: Today, Upcoming, and Later.  The due date will typically categorize tasks into one of these three sections, but with a touch of a button you can easily set aside a task by labeling it as Later, or you can raise the priority of an Upcoming task by marking it as Today.  This is a great way to visually and quickly organize your immediate tasks without changing due dates.

The comments function associated with tasks is also very useful at centralising your notes related to an individual task.  This becomes particularly relevant when used in groups or teams of people.  In fact, this is why you should consider using Asana in business


Why Use Asana in Business? (Or other task management applications)

The business benefits of using Asana are similar to many other project management or task management applications.  If you are still primarily using email and excel to manage tasks and projects, there are three key reasons to consider switching to a proper management application, such as Asana.

Before discussing these three points, it’s important to be aware that Asana has an email notifications system, which can send you emails related to your tasks.  Therefore, you don’t need to worry about making a difficult leap from an email based task management process;  you can choose to receive emails from Asana with  updates and links connected directly to specific tasks.


Here are three reasons to consider using Asana in business:

1. Improve General Management. It’s easy to manage multiple projects, tasks, and sub-tasks in Asana.  Currently, you probably assign tasks or projects to your team through emails, which can lead to many issues.  These issues may include an incoherent record of communications related to a task, difficulty tracking a task’s progress, and difficulty progressing multiple projects simultaneously.  With Asana, comments are centralized and recorded on a task’s  page, along with other meta data, such as when the task was created, when it was assigned, who is managing the task, when is the due date, and other information.  Ultimately, these  features should help you manage your multiple objectives and team members.

2. Improve Work Efficiency.  It’s very easy to prioritize and organize tasks on Asana.  As mentioned above, you can easily prioritize tasks by moving their positions on the list, revising due dates, and changing the task class (i.e. Today, Upcoming, Later).  In regards to organisation, you can group tasks into projects and use keywords for tagging purposes.  These features allow you to visualize your array of projects and fluidly revise objectives as the environment changes or as more information becomes available.

3. Increase Collaboration.  Asana represents a wonderful platform to facilitate collaboration.  When you join Asana, you can invite people to join the Workspaces (which holds relevant projects and tasks).  Members of a Workspace are able to see all the projects and tasks in it.  More useful for collaboration is that you can assign people to follow a task or people can voluntarily follow a task, which allows them to keep informed with the task’s activity.  In addition, this open based platform can allow members to suggest ideas, raise concerns, and offer new perspectives with just a few keystrokes.


Asana is a significant upgrade from using excel or emails to manage projects and tasks.  However, if you need something with robust customization or specific functions, you may want to research other options.   The smartphone application could also use some improvement, as I found it limiting when editing some tasks. Regardless, Asana is a free application and offers the crucial essentials for task management, so it’s worth checking it out.

You can visit the website at www.asana.com.    You can watch their introductory video below.


Do you use Asana? What are you thoughts?  If not, how do you manage your tasks? Comment below.  No registration is required.


Photo credit: sunshinecity / Foter.com / CC BY

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Meanu Normia

We don’t use asana, We use proofhub for managing our tasks and happy customer of it from last 1 year coz they proofhub guys do updations regularly in their tool

Yamini Sharma

I’ve used Asana and it’s great. The only thing I feel is that it’s a little generic. For instance, I use Brightpod (http://brightpod.com) and since it’s built for marketers it has some pretty neat features that make sense for me.


Interesting. I always felt that using a task management application would require more time managing it than actually saving time. But given this glowing review, perhaps I’ll check it out…

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