Asana: Yes, I’m Still Using It.

Post Published on October 16, 2012.
Last Updated on April 28, 2016 by davemackey.

[Important: I’ve written a newer article on Asana entitled “Further Down the Road with Asana.”]

Okay, you may be getting the idea I like Asana b/c of the frequency with which I’ve posted about it…and you’d be right. I wrote my initial article “Is Asana the Task Management App We’ve All Been Waiting For?” back on Jan. 1st, 2012. I then followed this up with, “Asana: Thoughts Down the Road” on July 13, 2012. It has been a few months and I suppose it is time for me to write another followup.

English: Low-resolution image of the Asana logo.
English: Low-resolution image of the Asana logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, the good news – Asana added subtask management – a feature I’ve really been waiting for. They also added the ability to add guests who only have permission to view specific tasks – which is really helpful (though I’m not sure whether they count toward one’s thirty user limit?).

Now the bad news: Asana has a few outages and these have been due to poor back-end architecture. I think they may have resolved this now – but still, it is a bit disconcerting to see them making such elementary mistakes in the first place. Most of their recent outage issues (which have been fairly sparse) were related to database contention – which shouldn’t have occurred – but did, because they used a single active database to run the entire site! This is an huge no-no. I believe they are now on an active-active cluster, but realistically I’d like to see them using clusters or a massively distributed system (Hadoop?) to handle their customer load.

I can’t complain too much – since I’m a free user…but I’m sure they got an earful from the large companies that implemented Asana for task management!

Most of the features I’ve been wanting still haven’t been added (and sometimes Asana’s development pace seems a bit slow…well, okay, they turn out large features on a semi-regular basis, but the little, easy things seem to be sitting in the wings for a long time…maybe they could hire a developer or two to just work on the minor enhancements that make a big difference). You can view my Thoughts Down the Road post linked above for a list of all the features I’d like to see, but I have one really simple yet highly awesome feature I’d love to see implemented (hint hint, wink wink).

So, I have a lot of tasks. Not as many as some folks, but a lot – I mean, probably several hundred. It’d be pretty cool to have a “tickler” mechanism built into Asana. Essentially, it would show those tasks that haven’t been “touched” in a while and allow you to write an update on the status or at least mark the task as having been reviewed. This way old tasks wouldn’t fall through the gaps – especially those tasks that are waiting on someone else for completion.

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