Get familiar with Cal Newport

The best Forum Leader Tip I can give is to get familiar with the works of Cal Newport. His new book, A World Without Email, is essentially a love letter to services like Asana. He goes as far as mentions our beloved solution (while being a known avid fan of Trello) in this promotional podcast:

Very exciting, @lpb!!! :grinning:

In future tips, I’ll highlight various ways to incorporate some of his suggested behaviors which happen to stitch beautifully into Asana’s emphasis on clarity and context.


Thanks for the mention, @Jerod_Hillard.

I like Newport’s books and have just read most of this latest one.

I might write separately about this elsewhere, but a brief thought…

I feel like for many of us here, this is mostly old hat. For me, I started using Asana in 2012 when it was just out of beta and have read all that Asana has published (in Wavelength and elsewhere), and others too, ever since.

Asana started developing the app even earlier (2008) and seemed to not only make a commitment from the start to their own work culture, but also to essentially open-source it to all. So Newport’s prediction that his book’s ideas will be taken up by companies in the next five years is welcome, but not new. “A World Without Email” has been the case at Asana for years (email is for external use only).

Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to your always-helpful, thought-provoking posts, @Jerod_Hillard!


PS Newport admits to not comparing tools, so his use of Evernote and Trello is not an informed endorsement of those or a dismissal of others, I’d say.

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Great reply, @lpb!

Just so I am clear, the audience of this post isn’t Asana or the countless users that have been around for awhile that naturally adopted a lot of the common practices Cal speaks about. This post is for those that are in search of a deeper meaning to why productivity tools like Asana exist. I, too, have been using Asana since 2012, but I would be lying if I said I used it then like I use it today. I work within Asana with so much more intentionality now. In large part due to the time spent studying works like his.

It’s funny. When I think about the purpose of this tip, I draw correlations to a recent post by @Bastien_Siebman where he emphasizes the value and benefit of an outsider’s perspective.

…sometimes the affirmation that comes from the outside can be very motivating. Whether you are someone who knows Asana well, has engrained yourself in productivity practices, or just simply is looking for some answers… I hope tips like this can lead anyone wherethey want to go! :wink:

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Agreed, @Jerod_Hillard! Really well put.


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Hi @Jerod_Hillard
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!