Asana Review: The Good and the Bad


#1

I’m an entrepreneur and for my current construction company I recently adopted Asana. While there are issues, so far it really is working out great. I’ve also owned and operated a software company (Web application server and developer product) and understand the challenges in software development from prioritizing features to community feedback to platform architecture and more.

Over the last couple of decades I’ve kept a keen eye on productivity applications and was using my own developed information/task management database solution (built in FileMaker Pro) for years. I’ve researched and tried virtually every known productivity solution out there. I’m keenly aware of the immense challenge of providing a flexible and powerful yet easy to use UI for organizing information.

I tried Asana a few years ago and would revisit it from time-to-time but always found it lacking in one way or another. While again there are still critical things lacking, I do believe Asana is now ripe and ready for intense yet easy to use information and task management.

Asana excels in:

  • quick data entry and recall
  • linking data (between tasks and projects)
  • generally robust and speedy architecture
  • multi-device syncing
  • focusing on small details
  • integration

Asan Currently Falls Short on:

  • seeing the mid to big picture (zooming out to quickly/easily see suitable detail to see the progression of projects, and, no, the portfolio features doesn’t cut it)
  • multi-project resource management (seeing who is working on what and available for what across a timeline)
  • some consistency and streamlining in keyboard shortcuts, UI elements and other factors
  • no desktop version (a Mac desktop version which support viewing multiple projects/tasks in different panes/tabs would be hugely useful)
  • calendar: a bit weak compared with other productivity app calendars, need week view and ability to hide the clutter of completed items and more
  • Inbox: completely useless due to information overload; need data filtering or re-architecture of how it works; the marketing hype that Asana replaces company email is false based on the poor implementation of Inbox
  • My Tasks: can’t see Due Times, no auto-application to Today of tasks assigned to Today (until the next day occurs); can’t see custom fields (which makes their application thereby useless) which means you can’t see or sort by priority which is ridiculously missing for a productivity app that is to summarize My Tasks across all projects
  • Quick Add Task: needs to support same keyboard shortcuts as regular tasks
  • more (see my posts in Product Feedback)

All in all, I really like Asana and see tremendous opportunity for growth based on its current implementation and architecture. I congratulate and thank the product team for seriously considering user requests. And… Happy Thanksgiving from the USA!


#2

Hey @Bill_Doerrfeld, Edda here from Asana!

Thank you very much for your constructive feedback and for taking the time to share the context on how these things affect you in your daily use of Asana. I understand what you mean, and rest ensured we are aware of these popular requests. We will make sure to keep you posted as soon as we have more information this.