Hi all! My team is successfully using Asana for project management (yay!) and we LOVE the functionality of Harvest.
We’re missing is a forecasting piece - not financial forecasting, but time forecasting.
We work in animal welfare and we’d like to do more lifesaving. We’d like to be able to enter the expected time and due of all of our tasks, so that we can plan ahead and see where we can slot in future consults, speaking engagements, research papers, etc.
Right now, we’re adding the expected time for any task as a tag, and then we can export into Excel and play around with pivot tables. But it is kludgy and time-consuming.
Has anyone used forecasting within Harvest in this way? We have some university restrictions with Harvest’s terms and conditions, so I’d like to know how hard to fight.
I’d be interested to see if anyone had thoughts on the Harvest aspect, but as a small suggestion have you experimented with an ‘estimated time’ custom field to do this?
I use it all the time with the design team in particular, but you would probably still have to download the csv with those fields so it’d still be a bit klunky =\
I did try out a free trial of Harvest when we were looking at options. I was impressed with the way it integrated with Asana within the tasks themselves, particularly the option to either set a timer which recorded in the background, or enter time manually.
The reasons we didn’t go for it are:
It felt a bit like overkill for our purposes. I think companies or freelance individuals who want to record a large amount of billable time and receipts for various expenses would get a lot out of it, but we only wanted to use that one time-tracking element. Plus, our time is related to huge tasks that often take months to complete, so it doesn’t have to be accurate to the minute.
We did as @Caisha suggests and set up a number-based custom field to record time, which was very simple and free (as part of our Premium subscription).
The other good thing about the latter option is that we’re able to set up several advanced searches and save them as reports, which we can check whenever we like.
So, if you need to track a lot of time in an accurate way, with more detailed reporting options, I’d say Harvest is a good option. However, with a few extra clicks, it can be done using custom fields within Asana.
Thanks Caisha… adding “estimated time” custom field to my research!
Super helpful, Mark - thanks!
I’ve been thinking about time tracking a lot too (and I work in a nonprofit fistbump). Being a nonprofit, free is very important so I found @Kaitie’s post about using custom fields extremely helpful. I’d watch her video beginning at 25:00. → Do you track your time? - #14 by Kaitie
I think you might be missing a quick win here!
Did you know that Harvest is not meant to forecast time because…wait for it…they sell another piece of software called Forecast!
It integrates tightly with Harvest. Forecast doesn’t integrate directly with Asana, but does in a roundabout way since Harvest integrates with Asana. So it’s not perfect because ideally you could add your estimated time in a custom field and it would update Forecast. But maybe it will work for what you want!
I cover both tools in the integrations module of the Asana Training Masterclass.
I’ve been developed a system called iSLM Bot who takes all your jobs from Harvest and add it into Asana automatically each 15 minutes or in real time [this functionality is Beta].
Our company also develops other functionalities according to your needs. Let us know how we can help you!
I think my company would be super interested in using this bot, and possibly developing more tools with you guys.
Could you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with more info about it? It’s fine if there’s a cost.
I just tried to email you but I got a message with “Address not found”.
Adding the expected time as a tag is a great idea - in TMetric i include the info of the due time into the notes or directly into the subject - this way it won’t be missed and time entries will be easy to compare
Hi Cezar, have you deployed this successfully yet, i am keen to try this out
Yes, we’ve worked on that bot for a while and now it is UP and Running! You can email me email@example.com if you’re interested. Thank you!