Why we switched to Asana for tasks

Last month, Ali wrote a post that breaks down how we get things done at GreenMellen. It’s a list of tools that is constantly being tweaked, but over the last few weeks we made a major shift and switched from Nozbe to Asana for our daily task management.

I’ve been using Nozbe for nearly four years, and Ali started using it shortly after, so it’s been a somewhat challenging transition.  However, Asana is better suited to the direction of our company and so far it’s working out very well.  Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

While Nozbe was great when most of our tasks were independent from one other, as the company has grown it’s become increasingly challenging to keep everything on track.  In particular, Asana shines for us in four areas:

  1. Faster task entry.  You can type a task, press enter, type another, press enter, etc.  When we’re on a call with a client, it’s a great way to quickly add notes on what needs to be done.  After the call, we can go back through the tasks and assign priorities and dates.
  2. Great comments on tasks. Nozbe has a comment feature, but it’s clunky.  Asana has a slick comment feature that keeps track of every interaction with a task.  It helps cut down on email by keeping more of the conversation in Asana.
  3. Better sharing. Nozbe has solid sharing tools, but Asana’s are better and easier to use.  You can simply assign any task to any user, and it shares what is necessary with them.  In addition, you can share entire “workspaces” (collection of projects) with someone, rather than having to share each project individually.
  4. Real-time updates.  With Nozbe, you need to refresh the page to see new tasks, which sometimes meant that things would fall through the cracks.  With Asana, new tasks appear on your screen automatically just a few seconds after they are added, helping to keep you aware of what’s going on.

Even better, it’s free if you have less than 30 users in a “workspace”!  Nozbe was $7.50/month for the plan I was using.  I certainly don’t mind paying for a great service like this and it didn’t factor in the decision, but it’s still saving me $90/year which is pretty cool.

Asana is imperfect

All of that said, it’s not perfect.  Nozbe still edges it out when dealing with recurring and date-specific tasks.  In fact, these are areas where Nozbe really shines.

Recurring tasks: Pretend you have a task set up that repeats every Monday.  In Nozbe, when you check it off on Monday afternoon (or Tuesday or whenever), it disappears.  The following Monday it shows back up, “starred” and ready to go.  In Asana (and most others), when you check off the task the next occurrence of it appears immediately, dated for that next date.  It adds clutter and is less than ideal, but not a deal-breaker.

Date-specific tasks: In Nozbe, when the due date for a task arrives it automatically “stars” the task for you.  In Asana it highlights the task for you but does not automatically put it in your “today” group.  They say that this will be fixed very soon, but for now it’s still an issue.  Weekly reviews and other methods help get around it, but it’s nice that Nozbe put it right in your face.

All in all, we’re thrilled with Asana.  If you don’t need any project sharing, Nozbe might still be a better choice.  For us, though, switching to Asana is turning out to be a great decision.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey is GreenMellen's token “tech guy” and his skills are greatly valued on the GreenMellen team. With over 9 years of WordPress experience and a passion for helping others, you will often find Mickey leading a North Atlanta-based MeetUp, All Things WordPress. He is also highly involved in social media and knows the ins and outs of everything from Facebook to Google+. There’s no denying Mickey’s brain is a good one to pick!

Comments

  1. Hello Mickey and thanks so much for this post and for being our great customer for so many years. I do appreciate it and it’s indeed sad to see you go :-(

    I do understand your decision of choosing a tool that’s best for your team and your workflow at this point in time. Again, thanks for your support over the years!

    As to the four areas you mentioned in your post, Nozbe is getting better in many of those:

    1. Task entry – Nozbe has always worked like that as well with Enter, task, Enter, task… and we’re improving this even more in the new desktop app

    2. Comments – we just introduced “rich comments” where you can not only comment with text, but with images, youtube videos, checklists, evernote notes, dropbox files, documents… I think Nozbe really shines here.

    3. Sharing – yes, this year we’ll be making it a lot easier for folks to share more projects at once as well as create groups to share projects with. Working on it :-)

    4. Real-time updates – we already have PUSH updates on our desktop apps for Mac and Windows as well as our Android app. The new Web app and our new iPhone and iPad apps will have it as well. This is very important to us.

    Anyway, just wanted to address your post here and thank you again for being a long-time fan and customer of Nozbe. And let you and your readers know that we’re just getting started and this year we’ll bring lots of great improvements to Nozbe and a few game-changers in the productivity field :-)

    Thanks again Mickey,

    – Michael Sliwinski, CEO and founder of Nozbe.com

    • Michael,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Even though we’re finding Asana a better fit for our current needs, we have nothing but good things to say when people ask us about Nozbe. Your positive and energetic attitude is great to see, and the progress that Nozbe has made in the years that we were using it is amazing.

      The desktop app doesn’t really appeal to me, so it’s nice to see that some of those improvements are coming to the web app (like real-time updates). We’ll certainly pay attention to what’s going on in the Nozbe world and we wish you all the best as you continue to grow your company.

  2. I’d recommend you to give proofhub a try. it’s a powerful tool that blends project management and online collaboration software. Features like time tracking, sub tasks, gantt chart, calendar and chat makes it very easy to use. Currently proofhub provides user interface in 3 languages including English, Spanish, French. With simple pricing model without “per user” charges, proofhub is an affordable and attractive tool. http://www.proofhub.com

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