"Come Up for Air " by Nick Sonnenberg

Hello Asana community :wave:

Nick Sonnenberg’s new book Come Up for Air is just out, and if you haven’t yet, we highly recommend getting your hands on it! It contains tons of productivity tips to help you and your team work smarter in 2023 :open_book: :nerd_face: Below is a quick synopsis and a note from @Nick_Sonnenberg. We look forward to your questions and feedback in the comments below :right_anger_bubble:


Through years of building a leading efficiency consulting business, Nick Sonnenberg has discovered the primary reason why so many teams are overwhelmed. It’s not because they don’t have enough time, managers expect too much of their employees, or there aren’t enough people. The problem is that everyone is drowning in unnecessary work and inefficiencies that prevent them from focusing on the work that drives results.

In Come Up for Air, you’ll discover the CPR® Business Efficiency Framework, a proven system for leaders, managers, and teams to maximize their performance and reduce overwhelm by using the right tools in the right way, at the right time. The end result? More output, less stress, happier employees, and the potential to gain an extra full day per week in productivity to use however you’d like.

A note from Nick:

Dear fellow Asana users and forum members,

I am so excited to finally share this with you all! I’ve spent nearly four years working on my new book, Come Up for Air, and it’s finally available to the public.

For those who are seeing my name for the first time, I’ve been an avid Asana user (and raving fan) for many years. My company, Leverage, is an operational efficiency consulting and training firm—and as Asana-certified partners, we’ve helped hundreds of companies implement and optimize Asana. In fact, you’ve probably seen members of my team active on these forums!

In Come Up for Air, I outline my CPR® Business Efficiency Framework, which stands for Communication, Planning, and Resources. The premise of the book is that team efficiency is all about alignment. And specifically, aligning on when and how to best use collaboration tools as a team. The “P” in CPR is all about work management tools, and Asana is mentioned frequently.

I wanted to reach out to this community for a few reasons. First, to thank you all for your support over the years. The Asana Forum has been a wealth of knowledge for my team and I—even some of the guidance in the book has been clarified with questions on this forum. I’m continually amazed by the sheer amount of knowledge contained here.

Second, is to thank everyone at Asana for creating such an amazing tool. I actually have a rule throughout the book where I say, “it’s not the tool, it’s how you use it.” What I mean is that specific software choices aren’t all that important. For example, Gmail and Outlook are both great email tools—it doesn’t matter which one you use, just that your team is aligned on when and how to use it in conjunction with other tools.

The only exception I’ve made to this rule is Asana! When it comes to work management tools, I truly believe Asana is as good as it gets, and I’ve specified that in the book. (I’m sure many of you will agree!)

And lastly, I wanted to share this book with all of you because I know you are the change-makers in the workplace. I truly think many of you will resonate with the information in this book. I’m envisioning Asana forum members reading it and thinking, “this is what I’ve been saying for years!”

My goal is for this book to help eliminate workplace burnout and save teams millions of hours and billions of dollars. But the only way that can happen is if we get the word out—and I’m looking to people like you to help me do that! I designed this book specifically to be read by entire teams, so everyone can get on the same page. My hope is that people like you can use it as a catalyst to transform your workplace. (Or your clients’ or friends’ workplaces!)

I’d be grateful for any support you can provide, whether that’s purchasing a copy yourself, sharing it with a friend, posting a shoutout on social media. And if you do purchase a copy, a quick Amazon review helps tremendously. The more we get the word out, the more people we can help come up for air.

Here are a few links that can help with that if you so choose:

  • Check out this page which includes sample social posts, sample emails to send to your following, and social media graphics.
  • Here is a video about the book that you can view and send to your network if you so choose.
  • Bulk purchasing is available, with plenty of free bonuses for teams.

Thank you for your support, and I look forward to continuing the discussion in this forum! My team and I will be around to answer questions and discuss.


Purchased the audiobook. Will share impressions.


Can’t wait to hear what you think @Jan-Rienk :slight_smile:

Just got the audiobook on google Play books!


I started out as a sceptic, but I’ve become a fan.

The clear boundaries between what type of communication goes where - especially moving away from email - really was a mindset shift.

Really obvious in hindsight, but I never put the puzzle together.

I think I’m on board with 90+% of the framework, and it’s provided clarity for me that helps with our Asana roll-out, especially for how this should fit in with our other tools.

It really triggers me to choose the right tool for the right job, and I’m actively advocating for our org to adapt this framework.

For those curious, the CPR suggests the following structuring of information, and picking a single tool for each within an organisation:


  • Email Tools–> All external communication (everyone’s got email)
  • Internal communication Tools (Teams, Slack, etc.) → All internal communication that is not directly task related or a project update.

Planning (Projects, initiatives & ToDo’s)

  • Work Management Tools (Asana) All info/communication about things that should be done, that aren’t a process.


  • Knowledge base Tools (Sharepoint, Notion, Obsidian etc.) - All static information (Documnents, knowledge, etc.)
  • Process Management (Process Street, Pipefy, etc.)- How to do stuff with clear instructions on how-to (and manage process flow)

@Marie if there are any plans for Asana to expand into the Process Management domain I’d love to get involved. (I’m fascinated with process flow, and I’d :heart: to use Asana for it.)

@Nick_Sonnenberg Great book, thank you! I’m curious to see the impact on our org a year from now. I hope you keep improving and updating this (audio)book since a lot seems based on the tooling capabilities of today. If you want to get my feedback for the next version please reach out or let me know where to drop it. :slight_smile:


I feel like they already have. ? Workflow, rules, dependencies…all of those are a part of process management, aren’t they? This is the first time I’ve heard of Process Street or Pipefy so I’m sure I have a lot to learn. At first glance, I don’t see how they would improve our daily work.

I’ll check this out and share with our team, but therein lies my problem. Everyone on this forum is here because we’re interested in processes and working efficiently. Our colleagues who aren’t here, well, they aren’t. If you’re not in a position of authority, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Sorry my comments aren’t directly about Mr. Sonnenberg’s book. But my thoughts centered around your post. I may be back after reading the book.

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Well, sort of. Hacking Asana to use it for processes is better than not having processes, but to really optimise processes you need different controls/metrics. Limiting Work in Process to improve flow for instance. And/or metrics on throughput time.

That’s the challenge of the change agent isn’t it? Right now I’m finding allies and working on a pilot. With this pilot I hope to get the results to get more allies and spread this way of working.

Small steps will get you far when you keep at it. :slight_smile:

Feel free to DM if you want to exchange ideas on this.

Did this Audio book. The guy is a BIG Asana fan it was great to hear how he uses it at his company.