Review: Can You Quickly Reclaim Productivity With Asana?

Productivity apps have made a profound difference in how I handle myself both as a freelance writer and as a blogger. Especially since they help me remember that I want and need to do certain tasks. Is Asana one of those that can help you?

Actually, it’s probably one of my favorites.

And, I am a bit biased when it comes to Asana simply because some of my clients use it as well. In fact, they are the ones who introduced me to it in the first place.

But, I can say that I’ve got so much more done while using the app.

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What is Asana?

Asana is a productivity and collaboration app that lets you keep track of projects and tasks. Created for a team environment, Asana comes with a variety of tools to enhance the process of managing workflow.

At a glance, you can engage in conversations, save messages regarding tasks, assign work, and it allows for integrations with Slack, Zoom, Gmail, and a host of other third-party tools.

For instance, you can add the TrackingTime extension in Google Chrome and keep track of every moment you or your team spends on specific projects.

This is just one example of more than 100 available apps to use in the system.

How Well Does Asana Work?

Since I have access to both the free and premium versions of Asana, I’ll do my best to point out the differences. This is because my client pays for the service while I use the free version for my own blogs.

What can you expect when using Asana?

Keeping Track of Projects and Tasks

One of the biggest reasons why I use Asana is to keep an eye on projects and tasks. This goes for myself as well as my writing team for my client.

Each project can have an unlimited number of tasks attached, which lets you assign team members to specific jobs. So, I can assign my writer to complete a blog post, assign myself to review and edit, then assign my social media manager to post the content on Twitter once it’s published.

Using a Check-to-Complete Platform

Check to Complete Tasks

I love to-do lists. Because I have a lot on my plate, I like the idea of having checklists throughout any given day. Asana gives me that check-to-complete option while graying out tasks that are complete.

In fact, it’s done wonders for helping me revamp the blogs over the past few weeks.

Color Coding Projects

One feature I like is how I can color code the projects and tasks. This is helpful as I can quickly determine what blog needs attention on any specific day.

Of course, you can use the color palettes for more reasons. But, it’s nice since I keep track of several projects throughout any given week. I can look at the calendar and know what kind of a day I’m about to have.

Up to 15 Team Members for Free

Another reason I use Asana to track my own projects is that it allows up to 15 team members on the free version. This means I can expand my team quite a bit before having to pay for the premium service.

While this might not be something a freelance writer would use, it’s definitely an interest for me as a blog owner. One of the things I am planning to do is expand my writer pool, and this lets me add a dozen more for my different blogs.

Mobile Apps Available

Asana has apps readily available for iOS and Android. This way, you can keep track of tasks and projects while on the move.

However, I’m not a big fan of the mobile layout. While some of this can be chalked up to my dislike of mobile devices, it just doesn’t have the same awesome flow on a smartphone as it does from a desktop computer.

Unlimited Projects and Tasks

One aspect that sets Asana aside from many others is the capacity to add unlimited projects and tasks. This is great for those tracking client projects, articles, blog posts, and other elements of writing.

For example, I have all five of my blogs as well as my Wattpad projects saved in the system. Then, I can add clients as projects and their content as tasks without having to worry about which ones to sacrifice if I hit a capped number.

I even have platforms such as Vocal, Medium, and Hubpages saved to track the posts I create.

TrackingTime Error, at First

When I tried to use the TrackingTime extension, I was getting an error, “This content is blocked. Contact the site owner to fix the issue.” However, I was able to fix the problem.

You’ll have to signup and log into TrackingTime before using it with Asana. For some reason, trying to log into the time tracking extension from the Asana dashboard kept crashing with the above message.

TrackingTime

But once I created the account and was able to sign in outside of Asana, it worked perfectly.

Unlimited File Storage

If you use a lot of images in your projects, especially from clients, Asana lets you save an unlimited number of these whether you’re using the free or premium services.

But, you’re limited to 100MB per file shared. This works great for basic JPGs, GIFs, PNGs, and the like. And if you save MKV files for video, you should be able to share shorter clips.

Unfortunately, I’m also trying to do video content to accompany the blogs. And saving something like a large, 4.3GB MPEG-4 file is impossible in Asana.

Still, there are ways to work around this issue. Like I said, it can handle a lot of MKVs in contrast, as those video files are much smaller in comparison.

Limited Color Palette

Few Colors in Asana

At the time of this blog post, Asana only gives you access to 16 colors when assigning them to projects. I know most of you probably don’t care, but I like to use color as a quick way to recognize which projects are due.

Having access to a hexadecimal system would have been much better for someone who keeps track of many things at once.

Would I Recommend Using Asana as a Writer?

From a freelance writer and blogger perspective, Asana has a lot to offer. Not only does it give you unlimited projects in the free version, but you can easily keep track of what needs to be done on any specific day.

As I mentioned earlier, I use it to keep track of all my blogs. This includes the blog posts I need, revamps I want to make, assigning writers, and managing overall workflow.

As a freelancer, I’m able to keep track of the time I spend on client content, using content mills as projects to manage time, and share files for post images.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium account if you want to invite an unlimited number of guest users as clients. Otherwise, you can add and remove clients per job. It’s a bit of a pain, but much cheaper overall, especially if you’re just starting out.

So the short answer is yes, I would recommend using Asana to keep track of your writing gigs or personal projects. And since it’s free, you can try it yourself without worrying about fees or trial periods.

Asana is a Great Tool

Using project management apps is greatly beneficial from blogging to freelance writing. Instead of using a spreadsheet to keep track of individual tasks, systems like Asana streamline the process.

For me, it’s been one of the most utilized platforms on my computer. Especially since it’s a free system to start.

Find what works for you and get the most out of your day. Apps like this can work wonders from a personal and professional standpoint.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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