About four days ago, Asana unveiled a redesign of their popular online task management software. At Ekipa, we rely on Asana to handle the granular day-to-day tasks of our remote business – our team is located in the Netherlands, Turkey, and India, and we love how Asana lets everyone have an in-depth, structured view of the work they’re responsible for doing. We’re excited about the new functions they’re adding – although there’s one that we probably won’t be using at all.
Color and Space
The first thing we noticed about the new Asana was that the use of color has become much more sophisticated. Along with a cleaner typeface, the new organization makes it much easier to view tasks and toggle quickly to a view of related files. And in terms of task navigation, not much has changed in comparison to the old Asana. In this regard, we’re happy with the redesign.
The new Asana features a Track Anything function that lets users, well, track anything. The feature is currently in beta, but according to Asana it should be rolling out by early 2016. We’re excited about the potential to track our marketing experiments, guest blogging calendar, and possibly even CRM/dealflow, but we’re only tentatively excited. That’s because we’re waiting to see how it integrates with our current higher-level business documentation set up in Google Docs. Asana’s founders and product team are a smart group of people and I can’t imagine that they haven’t built some sort of integration with Google Drive as part of the Track Anything feature, so we’ll wait and see on this one. As long as it simplifies our workflow, we’re ready to try it.
Asana has tapped into the power of chat platforms like Skype, Slack, and HipChat, and has built in its own interface for employee communications. The cool thing is that you can have open conversations now about anything, and create tasks from there. From a business standpoint, it makes sense for Asana to integrate relevant features that people were using off-platform.
We haven’t started to use this feature yet because we predominantly use Skype when it comes to team communications – that’s because Skype is our go-to video chat tool, so it’s easier for us to have a quick chat with our teammates there. Plus, we work with lots of other remote software developer teams around the globe, many of whom are not Asana users (dev teams tend to use JIRA, GitHub, PivotalTracker, or other issue-based project management tools). In order to keep all our communications in one place, it still makes sense for us to stick with Skype.
Asana says it’s improving the speed of its app, and for us, that will be more than welcome. We’re one of many geographically distributed teams, and internet bandwidth is not the same worldwide. We need our teammates in India to be able to load their Asana dashboards and toggle from task to task at the same time as they’re on a Skype call plus taking a look at our metrics dashboard in Google Drive – so the faster one part of that ecosystem can run, the more productive we can all be. As a CMO and team leader, it’s been frustrating in the past to have to wait while my colleagues’ Asana loads on my machine before we can go over their weekly tasks.
We’re excited to see how these new features impact our productivity as they roll out – as we start trying them, we’ll be revisiting how Asana’s redesign has helped us reach more people with our marketplace for global software development teams. At Ekipa, we’re open to trying anything that simplifies communication and improves the speed of our work – and so far, Asana has been an integral part of the solution.
Jennifer is Ekipa.co's CMO. When she's not helping people learn how Ekipa can match them with the right software development team anywhere in the world, you can find her running, dancing Argentine Tango, or relaxing with her partner, their two dogs, and one very fat cat.
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