Asanas claims to be the number one tool for product and project management. Users can view their workload in a calendar, list, board, or timeline, and coordinate with others to achieve common goals.
Grace Monnery, Charity Digital’s marketing communications manager, was an early adopter of the technology within the organization, and the entire charity has since integrated the tool into its work with the aim of adopt more agile and collaborative working methods.
But how does the marketing team actually use Asana? What is the learning curve? And are there any downsides?
In a word
Asana is a huge precious tool for our team as it provided a visual representation of the progress of the project. This greater visibility into overall project status allowed us to more quickly identify bottlenecks, prioritize tasks accordingly, and ultimately achieve our goals.
I first started using Asana to manage my own daily tasks and found it to be a very effective way to stay on track.
After seeing all of its capabilities, I started to think it might be a useful tool for our social media and email marketing plans (two Charity Digital functions I manage), as you can create tables of project that allows you to collaborate with colleagues.
Instead of having several different spreadsheets where we kept track of our social media and email marketing calendars, it made much more sense to have everything in one centralized hub, easily accessible, editable, and synced with our individual task lists. .
After receiving good feedback from my colleagues on the switch, I then suggested using it for our campaign activities, and it has snowballed since.
On Asana, individuals can easily add and assign tasks with set due dates. This clarity in task assignment ensures that everyone knows their responsibilities and deadlines, which promotes accountability and avoids any confusion or duplication of effort.
One of my favorite features is the ability to easily create subtasks, as it has allowed me to break complex project actions into manageable chunks and ensure that I stay on track to meet my many deadlines without feeling too overwhelmed.
A good tip for this is to use Asana’s “task templates” feature. This simplifies the process of creating standardized tasks within your project. You can create templates for recurring tasks (including associated subtasks), allowing you to quickly add them when needed.
Another feature that has been particularly useful in our campaign management process is the “Task Dependency” feature, where you can link tasks together, either as blockers or as dependencies. By defining task dependencies, you can easily see what tasks you expect from others before you jump into your own work.
When a task is completed, Asana sends a notification to the person assigned to the next task, letting them know they can begin. It’s a simple and effective way to identify bottlenecks, keep workflow running smoothly, and make sure everyone knows what’s going on.
The learning curve
When I first started using Asana, there was a slight learning curve as I became more familiar with the interface and features. However, the user-friendly design and intuitive layout made it a smooth transition from other task management software I had used before.
Plus, Asana has a ton of resources to help you along the way, including helpful guides, video tutorials, and a community forum. I would definitely recommend anyone starting out with Asana to check out the “Get Started (In 15 Minutes or Less)” Video.
Value for money
Overall, I think Asana offers great value for money.
For smaller organizations, Asana offers a free plan that includes all the basic features such as unlimited project boards and tasks.
If you want to use more advanced features, Asana may be more expensive. However, eligible charities can access a 50% discount on an annual subscription to Asana Premium or Asana Business for a team through Charity Digital Exchange. Learn more here.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Asana
· User-friendly system
· Set up templates for regular tasks
· Can integrate with Teams, Outlook and more
· Can export projects to Excel
· Offers a free “basic” plan or a charitable discount on premium/business plans
· Some advanced features are only available in more expensive plans (e.g. time tracking)
· Can only assign a task to one user
· Limit of 15 users on the free “basic” plan
Overall, I would rate Asana a 9 out of 10. It is a powerful and versatile project management software that has significantly improved our organization’s collaboration and productivity. Its user-friendly interface, customizable options, and nonprofit discount make it a great choice for organizations of all sizes.
Grace is Head of Marketing Communications at Charity Digital. She is responsible for the development and delivery of the Charity Digital programme. communications strategy with a particular focus on social media and email marketing. Grace also helps develop marketing campaigns to promote Charity Digital’s rich content, product and event offerings.