Asana is to 2012 what Microsoft was to 1982

Asana MicrosoftOK, I’ll admit it. I’m an Asana fanboy. I’ve used a bunch of stuff to track personal and professional projects over the years. David Allen’s GTD plug-in for Outlook back in the day. Basecamp. RememberTheMilk. Various story tracking apps. While I liked all of these apps (at least at the time) none of them particularly resonated with me.

About a month ago I started using Asana and while I’ll stop short of saying it’s perfect software (there are a few things about it that drive me a little nuts at times) I will state for the record that I’m a raging fan. And while I was only six years old in 1982 when Microsoft was making its big splash in the market, from what I’ve read about that point in history it seems as if there are a lot of parallels between Asana today and Microsoft three decades ago.

Asana feels to me like it could become the next-generation operating system for business.

Why? Here are a few reasons to kick off the conversation:

    Versatility – Prior to hopping on Asana we were using various apps at Entelo: Something for tracking non-technical projects, a story tracker, a bug tracker, a sales pipeline tool and a CRM app. It’s early so check back in a few months but as of right now we’re looking at consolidating four of those things into Asana. The only one we’re stopping short of is CRM but it’s not inconceivable that Asana could end up being our CRM system at some point.

    For an early-stage company Asana has astounding versatility as can be seen in its best practice videos on Asana as a lightweight CRM, as an Applicant Tracking system and as a bug tracker. It may not be a perfect tool for each of those things but you know what else isn’t perfect? Switching between apps to handle a lot of things that have similar core functionality (pipelines, milestones, to-do management, etc.)

    Speed – Damn, Asana is fast. Part of this is due to Luna, their in-house framework for writing web apps that they built to support Asana. It’s literally the fastest web app I’ve ever touched.

    But it’s not just that. It’s also the power features of Asana that allow you to fly around the app. I’m a massive keyboard shortcut fan and would prefer to never use a mouse or trackpad if I didn’t have to. I’ve yet to find anything in Asana that requires me to use the mouse and that’s huge from a productivity standpoint.

    Ease of Use – We onboarded a few people onto Asana in the last week and one of the immediate responses was “it’s really easy to use” which you typically don’t hear from people when you’re rolling out powerful software. One of our team members said it best, “Asana helps me stay more organized”. That’s a beautiful thing to hear as someone running a rapidly-scaling startup and gives me a lot of confidence that we can indeed build our business on it.

Admittedly it’s early. Maybe Asana won’t live up to the hype but so far, so good. And I think these guys have a massive vision for how they can change the world. It’s going to be fun to watch. And participate. :)

(Note: I don’t know anyone at Asana. This is purely me speaking as a fan of the software.)

(Note: When I say Microsoft, I distinctly mean the Microsoft of the early days. If anything, the Microsoft of today is the anti-Asana.)

31. March 2012 by Jon
Categories: Disruption, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration | 7 comments

  • kareem

    Interesting.  I lost my Things database week (always back up, kids) and tried out Asana for the third time as a task manager.  

    As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't get into it – I'd much prefer a specialized tool for the job instead of a general-purpose tool that doesn't do task management as well as I want it to.

  • http://needforair.com/ Stanislas Marion

    I have tried Asana and it is good, but nowhere near as good as Trello. I'm using Trello for a ton of stuff: blog topics management, roadmap, learning planning, crm, everyday life… For me the hardest test of a productivity tool is the one where you track your team usage without forcing it. If it recedes and people naturally go back to email, skype and phone calls then it is not good enough. Trello was the first piece of software that didn't make me and my team go back to email.

  • http://www.howtotipson.com/ Lucy Andy

    Great
    tips! I just impressed to read this article. These tips are really important. Love this tips. Thanks for this allocation.
     

  • http://twitter.com/gtdagenda Gtdagenda

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  • http://twitter.com/gtdagenda Gtdagenda

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  • http://www.vivendis.ro/ Asigurare malpraxis

    Interesting software. 

  • http://www.dennisgorelik.com dennisgorelik

    It’s been almost 2 years since you started using Asana.
    What are you using it for now?
    Templates? CRM?
    We mostly use Asana for defining and tracking features and bugs.