Asana chat or Slack? Pro's and Con's?

Howdy Everyone,

So I keep seeing a lot of comments in this community about using slack in Asana and I’m getting confused as to why people use Slack instead of just the regular chat boxes and conversation tools already in the software? Could any business people here maybe hit me with some pro’s and con’s of why I should consider using Slack? Doesnt’ this defeat the purpose of having everything centralized/in one place? The fact so many people is giving me fomo! :slight_smile:

Can someone drop some knowledge bombs on me as the advantages of using Slack instead of the default Asana communication tools?

Yours In Silicon Valley Awesomeness,
Sam

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Hi,

My advice to clients is usually the following: Asana is great for work, all discussions related to a task should be in Asana. However Slack is a synchronous/live/real-time chat and could be better for some discussions like “are you available now to discuss task X”. But then all the rest of the discussion should happen on the task itself in Asana.

Also I don’t like very much the Conversations feature in Asana, and would prefer to discuss at team or project levels in Slack, as it is way more friendly. But just keep in mind that

  1. any discussion is Slack is basically lost, and won’t be properly connected to Asana
  2. even if you talk about Asana stuff in Slack, there is a lot of energy needed to switch between the two.

FYI Asana (the company) uses Slack, so maybe @Marie can jump in and explain why and how!

Bonus: in my opinion, DO NOT have Asana notifications in Slack. Because that will just annoy people to see the same stuff twice. Asana Inbox is great, leave it alone.

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Good insights @Bastien_Siebman!! Makes sense and that was my suspicion.

Yes, would love to get your take @Marie on how you guys integrate it in house in terms of not missing things and being able to monitor the situation?

The root of my questions is I have all the employees using Asana conversations but now trying to bring in Independant Contractors as well but they’re used to using Slack and I’m scard to have to different platforms going?

You already have Slack and you are afraid they might always use it instead of Asana?

No I’ve done everything 100% in Asana but a couple of the new independant contractors we brought on and I added into my Asana are asking to also use slack for software engineering stuff. It freaks my out because I like to know whats going on everywhere in my business and want everything in one place. It would seem having conversations outside of Asana defeats the purpose of using Asana? Yet tons of companies here in the valley do it and even Asana themselves uses Slack like you mentioned.

So, I’m trying to figure out what the heck I’m missing!! :frowning:

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For most cases I would say yes. I believe you can do everything in Asana, but Asana is not a real time chat, you see it the way it is built, you don’t have “threads” or “notifications” on threads. So my feeling is that the pace of discussion in Asana is much slower. A little bit like Twist is the slower and calmer alternative to Slack. For me it comes down to your vision: are you a calmer, asynchronous company, or do you wish to go more towards synchronous and real-time. I really like the former and have been pushing at work to go towards it, but the latter is reassuring everyone because they can “ping” you (interrupt you basically) and have your immediate feedback on things…

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Hi @Sam_Leahey and @Bastien_Siebman :wave:t3:

At Asana, we use Slack for quick or informal communication (ie: how was your weekend? / Are you available to meet on Tuesday? / I may be running late to our meeting). Most of us use the Slack <> Asana integration, so if anything actionable comes up during a Slack conversation, we can quickly convert it into a task/comment to follow up directly in Asana.
And of course, we use Asana conversations + comments on tasks for anything related to project work to make sure everyone is looped in the conversation can catch up in their own time (which becomes even more important when working with an international team like ours :slight_smile: ).

Hope this helps!

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Another good feature of Slack is the shared channels. As consultants, we find it very convenient to set up shared channels and talk directly to clients. You can turn slack comments into Asana tasks easily using the integration so nothing gets missed. We keep all conversation directly related to a task in Asana, but we have high level conversations in Slack.

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Good stuff @Yoni_Goldstein!

@Marie I’m thinking here but is there a particular end game Asana has about all this? I get the impression that Asana is ruler of task-specific convo’s but it sucks at the Team or Project level chat that’s why everyone else uses Slack.

Is there anytime in the pipeline to address this in the next couple of years or not really at the moment would you say?

The best would be that Asana inbox was reshaped as a task focused chat. I think minor changes to it could make it the perfect communication tool.

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Asana is not sharing their roadmap :slight_smile:

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But what if I promise to buy all the donuts and coffee along that road?!?!?!? :wink:

I think it depends on the type of conversation you want to have. Using project and team conversations takes a little bit of practice I think because we’re less used to the format (in opposition to instant messaging we also use in our private life). But very often I find project conversations (with follow-up in comments) more organised and efficient than a lengthy, disorganized conversation in Slack; not to mention it is a lot easier to find weeks later if you need to review it.

We just launched a new Project Status last week (you can check out the announcement here). This new format allows you among other things to illustrate your project update with milestones, tasks and approvals, so your teammate can read your update and dive into more details right from the update. I hope we can apply a similar recipe to project and team conversation in the future to help make your conversations more compelling and efficient. I don’t believe this is on the cards for the near future, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted in the Forum when I know more!

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I agree with @Sam_Leahey here! Asana is excellent as a project management tool, but one area that it’s weak in (IMO) is the communication side.

Task-level communications are solid, and project level communications are okay (although I think this is improving with the new Status rollout)… but communication at the team level and individual level is non-existent. I understand the logic of "no need to reinvent the wheel" when software like Slack already exists, but I think that having more seamless communication native to Asana would be a major step in the right direction.

I view communication as a core function of every business - and having to use yet another program to meet that need contradicts the idea of Asana being the central “hub” for work/collaboration.

Ideally, using Asana would be mostly asynchronous communication (as it is now) with better team level conversations, and the option for occasional real-time communication for backchanneling and other quick questions. We use Asana 100% internally, but we work with some clients that use Basecamp and this is one of the few areas where Basecamp shines. Bringing their team-level communication and “ping” functionality into Asana would be a game-changer.

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I use Slack in tandem with Asana to get quick notification on when someone has submitted feedback on a project. its also good for shooting a quick thumbs up to let other team member know that you’ve seen their comment. Sometimes switching gears and changing back and forth between the internet and slack is a bit of hassle so it just makes it easy in that way

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Well it sounds like we’re all in agreement then that Asana should just acquire Slack and as leader of Silicon Valley I hereby approve the deal :slight_smile:

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We use both as well. Slack is for quick communications that might not be task specific. Asana is for task specific items and are mostly intended to be asynchronous for our team. We use Asana comments to record. Slack is more high level informational.

Given Slack is a much bigger company it would probably be more likely to happen the other way around :slight_smile:

When it comes to communications Slack is a much more powerful platform, the idea is that all your work / communication can happen in Slack and integrate off to other platforms.

Asana’s chat is focused on tasks and projects because that is what you do in Asana. Slacks original goal was to replace email but the reality is for a lot of companies it has replaced email for internal comms and then made email an external comms focus.

You might have a project channel in Slack. The advantage of Slack here would be you can pull in data from multiple sources so you could mix Asana with Google Analytics. You can have other channels as well that aren’t related to Asana, so an Engineering channel for general team chat, a finance channel to talk about the business or a cats-in-hats channel for sharing pictures of cats in hats.

You can do also do ChatOps in Slack so all your alerts go into Slack and then people can action them from Slack, you can integrate it into your build pipeline to deploy new environments from Slack etc.

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Awesome insights @Lee_Booy1! That makes a stronger case for slack usage for sure. I’m starting to see the light of why others might use both at the same time now. The pulling in of different data sources makes a ton of sense!

I guess we need to make Slack acquire Asana then lol.