After using Asana for quite a while and watching the interaction with my previous employer (post early retirement after 33 years, but still consulting heavily with) it became evident to me that while the ideal situation is to move into Asana and out of email, the reality of the situation was you were always going to have third party and internal users that rely on email for communication. Everyday I experienced some kind of task that needed to be created from an email and that began my idea to create the Outlook Add-in for PC’s called Sendana, sendana.net. It has been an amazing experience as a previous CFO to dive into the creation of a tool generated from user experience. As I had never done anything like this before the whole process was a learning experience. I was very fortunate to make contact with an extremely experienced Microsoft Office Add-in expert, Mr. Eric Legault and a wonderful partnership took hold. With that background, my main point to be made is that good product comes from user experience combined with an excellent developer. We started the project in November and released a couple days ago. The product came off the drawing board in its conceptual drawings, then was enhanced graphically by my son who holds four degrees from computer programming to financial mathematics from University of Chicago and knows UI very well. I pushed what the user needed and Eric responded every time with the technical product. I used about 10 beta testers constantly from the initial version beginning in November of 2016. We learned together about many idiosyncrasies of the API and interaction with Outlook. Eric’s experience added touches I would have never known as a user, including cacheing, logging, Digicert, eliminating special characters that Asana does not recognize etc. In the meantime for the first time in my life I was using Upwork for logos, researching E-commerce, understanding taxation of the Internet while still pushing through to the product level. Beta-testers were invaluable in there suggestions, like retaining the last Organization, Team and Project to eliminate redundancy. I began a relationship with Luke at Asana as well as @Matt_Bramlage as we began the process of integration approval which continues today. @Matt_Bramlage gave us great ideas when we got stuck on an API issue. @Alexis and @Kaitie and @Todd_Cavanaugh were constant sources of encouragement that there could be a real target audience for such an application. While never meeting any of them in person, I felt a sense of community. In the end, whether Sendana becomes a commercial success or not I know and my users know that it is a phenomenal bridge between Outlook and Asana that has increased my productivity and that of my users. The President of my past employer uses it and he no longer has to linger in Outlook knowing he should create a task in Asana but not always remember where a Team, Project etc resides. He has instant creation that improves his use which in turn increase the corporate use. I am convinced for Outlook PC users, Asana use and productivity will increase substantially. But most of all I wish to thank everybody that helped develop this, because without real life user experience in Asana and top notch programming you will err on either side.
Forgot to share link to Integrations post on board
Nice idea, this is the kind of things @Marc talked to me about a few years, didn’t you Marc?!
Sure, was building a Chrome extension to add tasks quickly, including all task fields. Sendana seems similar, but from Outlook. Anything that helps you get a thought/todo/reminder out of your head and into Asana as quickly as possible is awesome!
@Bastien_Siebman Thank you, the users really like and we are adding some additional fields while keeping the UI clean that will really be flexible. We are excited how many times a day users report they use.
Our second version of Sendana is now complete with the edition of Due Date, Followers and my most favorite Sections. This was no small task as we had to use both the email system and the API while making it look exactly like an Outlook Add-in. Tasks are now totally created from the API whereas Conversations continue to use the email system. @EricLegault my partner in this venture and developer deserves a tremendous amount of credit. He figured out all the issues of loading attachments etc. through the API. seamlessly. I have yet to come across something he can’t do once he puts his mind to it. So Asana now has an integration available that large numbers of corporate America uses.
Can’t believe we started this back in about November with far less features and have worked together with me as the user and Eric as the developer to create an unbelievable product that increases productivity and acts like a magnet to draw especially uppper management into Asana. Hoping to get it approved by Asana as a feature integration. Going to test for a couple more days and then it will replace the current version on my website Sendana Website