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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.