Organization has always been a critical aspect of productivity in the workplace. Before the digital age struck, people organized their tasks and projects in day planners and to-do lists. One of the earliest advances in task management technology was the palm pilot, which served as a sort of digital day planner.
We've come a long way since the palm pilot and there are dozens of digital task management tools to choose from. Asana is a new web application for project management, available for free for individuals and teams up to 30 people.
Among the dozens of alternative project management applications, there are a few that stand out. David Allen wrote a very popular book on organization, called "Getting Things Done." In his book, Allen outlined in detail how to keep on top of all of one's projects by breaking each project into actionable steps.
There have been dozens of apps that are based on this system, but only one official app was developed, called Omnifocus. There are down-sides and up-sides to Allen's system, and one of the major down-sides is the high cost of the Omnifocus application. At a whopping $79.99, it's a relief to see a similar, free application available for the cash-strapped and organizationally challenged among us.
One great feature of the Asana app is the ability to collaborate on projects with other people. Users can keep track of all of their personal tasks, which are only accessible to the user, as well as team tasks. Everyone involved with a specified project has instant access to everyone's tasks, notes, conversations and documents related to said project.
Asana removes the need for email exchange while collaborating on projects. As long as all the team members have access to the free app, they can review and edit documents and discuss tasks together in Asana. Each team member can see changes being made to the project in real-time to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.
Asana stands out because it allows users to access their tasks and projects all in one place. Customers can access group projects and personal errands all in one, easy-to-use application. The app allows users to organize their tasks in a variety of categories, including tasks that are dependent on other individuals or tasks, as well as sub-projects. The projects and tasks can also be organized by priority, keeping the most important tasks in the forefront of the user's agenda.
Asana officially launched November 2, 2011, but it has been in beta testing for the last several months. Many task management apps and systems will offer a free test trail, like Omnifocus' 14-day trial, but Asana takes it a step further by offering the complete service free of charge.
The app is great for just about any type of project, including individual reminders, professional collaborations or student projects. By keeping all of your projects and tasks organized, your brain is free to focus on how to improve on your project and get the best final results.