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a blog by Chris Barrow

Asana and how we get things done

The news today that Asana, the project and task management software company, have raised $75m in funding from Al Gore’s London-based asset management company Generation Investment Management is a sign, if it were needed, that we all have a lot to do and need more sophisticated ways of keeping track.

The remote team at Coach Barrow have used Asana for some time to keep track of daily tasks, share and swap responsibilities and plan the future. Back in October I spent 2 days planning my next 5 years in business with my business coach Rachel Turner and immediately afterwards transferred and time-activated all the tasks into Asana, allocating responsibilities to myself, Phillippa and Kim.

We communicate daily in Slack, avoiding the confusion of email threads.

I use Asana for my daily task management on my MacBook and iPhone X and it is the latest iteration of my personal effectiveness, evolving from a page-a-day diary in the 80’s, to the Franklin Covey planner in the 90’s and a variety of cloud-based applications in recent years.

(I’m actually a bit of a junkie for this stuff and flitted from one pretty system to another for some time – Wunderlist until they sold out to Microsoft, Todoist and others).

Asana isn’t necessarily the prettiest of this genre but it certainly does the job and it was through working with a dental client who had figured out how to use Asana to keep track of treatment plans not taken up that I realised it also made a very good sales pipeline tracker.

That meant that we could integrate the management of sales enquiries into our daily calendars and not run two separate systems (previously, we had used Pipedrive and had tried a few other CRM systems).

Here’s what Asana say about their clients:

In the six years since we launched, Asana now has more than 30,000 paying customers, including many of the world’s most inspiring businesses and nonprofits. With annual recurring revenue growing at 80%, Asana is quickly becoming the operational system of record for organizations like Uber, Meals on Wheels, Autodesk, The City of Providence (Rhode Island), Stance Socks, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. We’re proud to be serving teams from 192 countries, from small businesses to massive enterprises, across every industry. Perhaps most exciting is the positive impact that customers tell us Asana is having on their teamwork: On average, customers report being 45% faster and more effective in achieving their goals than they were before, thanks to Asana. International growth As collaboration becomes increasingly global, more teams are turning to Asana to manage their work: 45% of our paying customers already come from outside the U.S., including teams at companies like Tesco, Sky, Danone, Chanel, Melia Hotels, Santander, Spotify, Schneider Electric, Decathlon, Roots, and Trivago.

It seems awesome to me that my little freelance consultancy business is using the same task management platform as Tesco and Sky and yet we are all really the same, just having to get through the day with mountains of work.

This isn’t an advert for or a recommendation for you to use Asana, simply an observation that we have to get better organised.

Cloud-based systems allow us to do that in a more effective way than ever before.

The desk covered in post-it notes or diary full of scribbles isn’t really going to be able to cope with what we all have coming next.

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