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Asana adds calendar visualization

About a year ago, I reviewed Asana as being in the top tier of team task management solutions, and in the intervening period they have only improved, focussing obsessively on improving the breadth of their social capabilities and the clarity of the UX (see Asana redesigns the task paneAsana adds Hearts to tasks for simple social gesture, and Asana announces Organizations).

Today, Asana has released a new presentation as a complement to the now industry-defining three pane display, which I described as their killer feature (see below).

Screenshot 2014-01-29 10.33.24

Asana’s user experience now includes a calendar representation, an invaluable visualization. This is tied to the new focus on defining goals within projects, shown below. [Note: the following screenshots were taken from a video at the Asana site. View it here.]

asana goal cropped

Here’s a calendar showing tasks selected by a query, pulling from a number of projects:

Screenshot 2014-01-29 11.00.49

The Bottom Line

I haven’t had a chance to use the new features — I was only briefed in the past few days on this launch — but I really like the calendar presentation. Visuals really matter. And when grappling with the impact of changes in project ABC and how those impact project XYZ, because of time commitments and people’s scarce time, there is hardly anything better than a calendar presentation.

I asked Justin Rosenstein, Asana co-founder, about task dependencies and dependency analysis, and he said they haven’t worked that angle, yet, although partners provide some of that capability. (Personally, I’d be happy with directional task links that could be used in a variety of ways: a subject for a later post after I’ve fooled with the new release a bit.)

Still, the primary value of calendars in a task management solution is their expressiveness, the simple ease of grasping the order of events laid out, and being able to drag and drop tasks to change their dates.

Asana once again shows why they are at the top tier of team task management tools, and they are moving fast to redefine what leadership in that market means.