Sunday, September 1, 2013

Personal Development: My Marriage, an Asana Project
If you look at your last few disagreements in your marriage or relationship, how many of those were based around tasks? Things you said you would do, but forgot? Tasks you gave your partner, but they failed to follow-up on according to your expectations. 

My wife and I do not plan every activity on and I do not think that would be an effective way of dealing with all of our planning needs. Asana has however enabled us to successfully plan and execute an amazing trip recently and I am eager to start our next “project” and see where that takes us.

Some of my favourite features and reasons to use Asana both professionally and personally:
  • Using email from my phone, I can create tasks at any time without being near a computer. I have created tasks while offline in the jungle or high up in the mountain (once I get back into network coverage, the email goes out and the task is created) and use Asana to make note-to-wife, note-to-self or note-to-colleague;
  • Commenting on Asana tasks can work the way an online discussion forum does. You leave messages, questions or notes whenever you have time and your spouse or your colleagues can read them when they have time;
  • I never agree on terms of purchase over the phone, but always request to have it in writing. Asana provides the same accountability and transparency when it comes to tasks. There is no use in arguing with a timestamped record of one party giving detailed information to another;
  • Tracking progress on large “projects” (such as a trip to Nepal or development of a business case) allows the team (My wife and I or my colleagues and I) to clearly see what preparations have been done and what tasks are still pending. As a project manager, it allows you to view in-detail what your team is working on and at what times each task or subtask was completed;
  • Sub tasking allows another level of detail (you can use task-headers , tasks followed by ":" such as "Taskheader:" to add another level of detail and sub tasking); and
  • Diligent use of Asana in combination with a timekeeping tool, makes timesheets easier to complete in detail. The team will value this as revising timesheets is a dreaded task and getting it right the first time is always the preference. Managers will value this as each task can be assigned to a project, allowing firm control over time estimates and billable hours.
Asana like any other tool is useful if used right, if used wrong it can give a false sense of security. Making sure that your whole family or team is using it correctly is one of the keys to success. 

The largest draw-back of Asana is that it is an online tool. Meaning that in some cases you cannot access it at all. We had to make sure we had extracted all of our important notes before heading to Nepal where connectivity can be a challenge and I cannot access my Asana right now as I am on a plane with no WIFI. Please note that I am using the free version of Asana (For up to 30 members) and that some features are available for a small fee (currently $50, $100, $300, $550 or $800 per month depending on desired team-size and features).

Check out Asana at: 

If you would like to comment here or on my Facebook-page, I would like to know:

“How do you use your work-skills to improve your marriage or relationship?”