Let’s say your website is based in WordPress, and you have a team of four, five, or more people to help you keep it up and running. How do you make sure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, that tasks aren’t replicated, and that actions are coordinated so that there’s coverage in case something goes wrong?
Asana could be the answer.
Co-founded by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, who was a tech lead and engineering manager at Facebook and a product manager at Google, Asana is a free application that allows users to create task sheets that can be shared with, and edited by, team members via the WordPress dashboard.
Early in its development, Rosenstein explained:
“Enterprise collaboration and project management systems typically fail because individuals don’t manage their task lists in them. . . those centralized enterprise project hubs don’t give individuals good enough tools to manage their own tasks. To solve this, Asana is focused on making its product work well for individuals. Its goal is to make Asana faster for managing tasks than a text editor. To this end, it makes it easy to drag and drop tasks, provides lots of keyboard shortcuts and simple to delegate a task to someone else.”
All this and a WordPress plugin too! Asana offers a WordPress plugin that creates dashboard widgets that display items from an Asana task sheet and allow the user to create tasks that are then synced to the task sheet. It is free for up to thirty authorized members of a user’s team (above that you must move to a “Premium Workspace”.)
To sign up for the service, you simply enter your name and email address (it doesn’t have to be one that is tied to your site) then you can email your team members to register them as authorized users of the task sheet. You’re now ready to start!
Linking Asana to WordPress is equally as easy.
- After downloading and installing Asana’s dedicated plugin, go to your profile screen.
- Simply enter your API Key and Workspace name from your Asana account to pull relevant information into the dashboard.
- You can also indicate here which types of tasks to show in your dashboard.
You’ll then see this in your dashboard:
So why use this? Can’t you just communicate via email or have a meeting or create a shared Google doc as a task list? Where email just tells you the newest task, Asana tells your whole team what’s most important. Like a shared document, it’s updated in real time to keep everyone on the same page.
The application is intuitive and easy to use and seems best suited to smaller teams or individual projects. A Techworld.com reviewer summed it up this way: “Asana is great if you are managing simple tasks and you want an interface that is cleaner than Google Spreadsheets, or if your team has an excellent project manager who will assign and follow up on task dependencies.”
Do you use Asana? If not, does it look like it could be helpful? Either way, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.