Choosing the right project management tool will make a whole difference in how you run your business, how productive you are, and how efficient you’ll be with the time you have available. This is why it’s very important to find an online project management tool that you are comfortable using, that can move things forward in your life and business and that will help you to keep everything organized. In today’s post, I decided to share a review of the best free project management tool (in my opinion), and that’s Asana.
What are project management tools?
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Okay, first thing first, not everyone might be familiar with this term, so before I go on to share my review and give you some tips, let’s answer the question some people might have: what is a project management tool?
According to Wrike.com, “Project management tools assist an individual or team in organizing and managing their projects and tasks effectively. The term usually refers to project management software you can purchase online or even use for free.”
As you can see from this definition, these software/apps are mostly used for work, but many people use them to organise their personal life as well, which – in my opinion – is a win-win. However, for the sake of this post, I’m going to limit it to talking about project management tools to organise your business.
How do you choose a project management tool?
For this question, there isn’t a one size fits all answer, because I genuinely believe that choosing a project management software is like choosing a handbag or a pair of shoes. Many might look pretty and might look great on some people, but they won’t necessarily fit you, so it’s important that you find what works well for you.
If you’ve browsed for some time you’ve probably seen so many different apps and websites, that you might feel overwhelmed as to what to choose, but don’t worry, I’m here to help!
When it came to choosing my own project management tool, here are a few things that I kept in mind in order to make my decision:
- Is this free? Now, I don’t know about you, but when you run your business (especially as a solopreneur) you need to save where you can. I’m not saying that you should be stingy because there are some things that are 100% worth the investment, but just know that spending tens or hundreds of £££ per month, doesn’t necessarily equal having a successful business. In my opinion, if you can find a good tool for free, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it.
2. What do I get in the free version? This is a question that’s closely tied to the first one, as just because something is free, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be good quality. Or, some project management tools allow you to do a free trial for a certain number of days, and then you have to pay for it. So unless you’re considering paying for specific software, I wouldn’t even bother with the free trial. Just see what you actually get in the free version – that is always going to be free – and if it’s good enough for you, then go ahead and sign up!
3. What is the user experience? This is a very important point that should definitely have some weight in your final decision. You need to use something that will fit well with you, and you will find out through the user experience (also known as UX). I personally tried several project management tools, and not all of them worked well with me. Yes, they are all great with whatever they offer, but I have a specific way of thinking and working, that needs to be matched with the right tool. The whole point of using a project management software is to keep you organised and help you to be productive and get things done, but if you struggle with using it, or it actually makes you feel even more overwhelmed than before you chose one, then you might need to reconsider your choice.
Now that I’ve covered these 3 important questions, let’s dive into talking specifically about using Asana as your project management tool. In my opinion, this is genuinely the best one I’ve tried (and I’ve tried quite a few of them); it works very well with my organizational style, and it’s why I’m sharing my review with you today.
But first, if you’re thinking about starting your own business or need direction as to how to turn your passion into a business, I definitely encourage you to read this amazing book by Marie Forleo, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
Asana project management review
I’m now going to share with you some of the benefits of using Asana – which is why I could never use any other project management software! Bear in mind I use the free version and I absolutely love it!
5 benefits of using Asana as a project management tool
Asana lets you create different projects.
That’s one of the best things when you are trying to stay organised within your business. Projects are like folders in Asana, so you create one and then create tasks within each project. Then you can choose if you want to see your tasks in your general calendar, so you will see everything that you need to do on a specific day, regardless of which project it belongs to, or you can opt to view only the tasks inside a specific project. Another great thing that I really love, is that you can assign different colours for each project, so you don’t risk getting overwhelmed when you see all those things happening at the same time, and it’s also easier to find a specific thing that you might be looking for.
2. Asana allows you to work in teams.
This is an important feature if you’re an entrepreneur who works with a team, and you need to know exactly what each person is doing. When you add team members to your account, you’ll be able to see each other’s projects and tasks and the progress made for each task. You can assign tasks to your team members, and also communicate through the platform, either by sending each other messages within Asana through the Inbox, or you can tag someone on a specific task and you can communicate in the comments section. Another good thing is that if someone sends you a message or tags you in a comment, you’ll also receive an email that will notify you of that, so you really can’t miss things out!
3. Asana lets you set tasks on repeat.
Do you have certain tasks in your business that need to be repeated over time? For me, things like doing my daily Instagram engagement or my monthly KPIs, are tasks that happen regularly. Because I know myself, sometimes even a silly thing such as re-creating the same task over and over again can be a time-waster. And what about if I ever forget to put it on the calendar? It’s likely not going to happen. But with Asana, this problem is solved, and that’s because you can assign yourself (or others) tasks and set them on repeat. You can also choose the frequency of when they should happen, which can be daily, weekly, monthly, or on other specific dates that you can set. So you can boost your productivity, avoid wasting your time, or forgetting important things!
4. Asana lets you attach files.
This is another great hack for your productivity. Do you ever find yourself going back and forth on your laptop, Google Drive, email, looking for a specific document? That wastes a huge amount of time if you ever try to test it, but with this feature on Asana, you can attach files related to a specific task, so you can have everything in one place! You can attach files from Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive so that you can be more organised and efficient with your time.
5. Asana sends you daily notifications.
Are you someone that forgets things easily, especially when life is busy? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Another amazing thing about Asana which I absolutely love is the fact that you receive notifications every day based on your deadlines. So every morning (typically around 9am), I get a notification on everything that has a deadline for that day. Not only that, but I also get an email with this reminder, and I think that’s an amazing added bonus for me because getting a reminder in 2 different ways is the best way – in my opinion – to make sure things get done and I don’t forget anything. I also love that if some tasks don’t get completed by the deadline, I periodically receive notifications reminding me of the tasks that are still incomplete.
Woah. I can’t quite believe that everything I listed above is all FOR FREE! Now you see why I love Asana so much? I think the free version has more than everything I need to run my business smoothly. But, that’s because I’m a solopreneur managing only myself (though I also use it with a client and there’s 3 of us in the team). However, if you have a larger team or you want to access even more benefits, you might want to try out the paid version.
There are 3 different options that you can choose from, and here’s Asana pricing for each option:
- Asana premium, for 9.49£ per month
- Asana business, for 20.99£ per month
- Asana enterprise, the price is not listed but you need to contact them for a specific price.
Some of the things you can do with a paid version of Asana are, for example, assigning priorities to a specific task, set the start dates, have dashboards, set private projects, set goals, and so much more!
I definitely think that even the paid version would be worth it, but as I said already, it all really depends on your needs right now.
Asana vs Slack
What are my thoughts on using Asana vs Slack? Honestly, the short answer is Asana for the win! I used Slack for some time during a group project we were working on at church, and I just never settled very well with it. I kept missing notifications, I couldn’t see when someone sent a message, and I generally found that it just wasn’t the best way to keep us organised. But again, this is just my general opinion and for some people, this might be completely the opposite, so do what works for you!
Final thoughts on my personal review of Asana as a project management tool
Alright, I think I wrote everything that I possibly could about Asana, and I hope this post has convinced you to start using it for your own business. I also love that I can use both the desktop version of Asana and the Asana app, to use it even while I’m on the go. Let me know in the comments if you’ve used it before or if you’re thinking about using Asana as your project management tool!