We think it’s the details, like adding a task to multiple projects or having kittens rain on your workspace, that make communicating in Asana so magical. Discovering hidden functionality can inspire a personal productivity hack or add a new level of delight in day-to-day communication. Since we geek out over product details as much as you do, we thought we’d share some essential Asana features that our team just can’t live without.
Over the past year, we’ve partnered with the Designer Fund for Bridge, a program that connects experienced designers with top startups in San Francisco. For the most recent Bridge session, Asana welcomed Tyson Kallberg to our team as our second Designer-In-Residence.
It was a crisp August night on a turf field in the Bayshore, and I’d just skinned my knee trying to keep a ball inbounds. I landed in San Francisco a few hours before and found myself playing offense on the Asana soccer team the night before my full day of on-site interviews at the office.
Doing great things requires more than a great product, it requires a great culture and team as well. At Asana, we’ve assembled a group of peers who are motivated by our core values and mission: to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.
We’ve compiled many of our best practices and values in the below presentation. From Episodes and Polish Week, to our office perks and hiring principles, it’s all in there! Yesterday, this presentation was featured in SlideShare’s Culture Code Campaign; visit the SlideShare blog to see how other companies approach office culture.
If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our job openings.
Earlier this year, our co-founder Justin gave a talk about Asana’s values and practices as part of Stanford’s “Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders” series. Following the positive feedback on our recent video post on the Asana way, we wanted to share a few excerpts from Justin’s talk more broadly.
These videos highlight the values and cultural practices that have led to great teamwork at Asana. We hope a few of the ideas resonate and you can adapt them for your own team. If you enjoy the videos below, you can check out the complete talk.
What are the things you always wish you had time to do, but never do? At Asana, “Thankshacking,” our Thanksgiving Hackathon, is the time when we say, “Do that!”
For the past five days, asanas have been building new features, beautifying our office, shooting video, and setting up new rituals. Some highlights include a wall to commemorate Asana feature launches, sugar cubes built in the office, a soon-to-be-released “winter” Asana theme, new “Asana blue” lights for our grand piano, and an “Asana love story” video.
Lots of product features – including Inbox, Hearts, Colored Tags, and Themes – came out of previous Asana hackathons. We can’t wait to see which projects stick from this Thankshacking. In the meantime, here are a few photos from our period of unleashed creativity.
Our co-founder, Justin, recently wrote in Wired about why we need to rethink the tools we use to work together. The article generated a lot of interesting comments, from ideas on knowledge management to fatigue with the “meeting lifestyle,” to this protest on the typical office culture:
“Isn’t the root of this problem that, within our own organizations, we fiercely guard information and our decision-making processes? Email exchanges and invite-only meetings shut out others– forcing the need for follow-up conversations, summary reports, and a trail of other status/staff meetings to relay content already covered some place/some time before.”
To reach its goals, we think a team needs clarity of purpose, plan and responsibility. Technology and tools can help us reach that kind of clarity, but only if they target the right problem. From their roles at Facebook, Asana’s founders have extensive knowledge of social networks, and the social graph technology they rely on. But Asana isn’t a social network. Why? Because, as Justin outlines, the social graph doesn’t target the problem of work:
At the end of every “Episode” at Asana, we write an “End Of Episode Summary” to share with the team and community. We’ve included the link to the complete Episode 8 Summary at the bottom of this post. To see our progress since the last episode, read our Episode 7 summary.
The focus of Episode 8 (E8) was on maturing, stabilizing, and rounding out Asana. After adding a few major new features in the prior episode, we wanted to center E8 on many, finer-grained improvements. Inside the company, we ramped up a new data team, created a new customer success function, and made tons of progress on new content, so teams can get the most out of Asana.
A few weeks ago, we held our first-ever customer event. We invited a small, special group of Asana enthusiasts to join us at our office for drinks, food, and a whole lot of information about Asana. We wanted to create a space where Asana champions from local companies could get even more ideas about how to use Asana to achieve more with their team.
Our co-founder Justin Rosenstein spoke about how Asana uses Asana. Jackie, one of our Product Managers, then gave an overview about we make product decisions and what’s next on the roadmap.
We love to push the boundaries of what Asana can do. From creating meeting agendas to tracking bugs to maintaining snacks in the refrigerator, the Asana product is (unsurprisingly) integral to everything we do at Asana. We find many customers are also pushing the boundaries of Asana to fit their teams’ needs and processes. Since Asana was created to be flexible and powerful enough for every team, nothing makes us more excited than hearing about these unique use cases.
Recently, we invited some of our Bay Area-based customers to our San Francisco HQ to share best practices with one another and hear from our cofounder Justin Rosenstein about the ways we use Asana at Asana. We’re excited to pass on this knowledge through some video highlights from the event. You can watch the entire video here.
A few years ago, we began creating Asana with the goal of improving the way teams work together, but exactly how this would manifest in the product design was unclear. This is how it should be — starting out and building a new product means a lot of iteration, trying new ideas, and moving quickly.
Since our product has grown in functionality and our vision has matured, we now feel it is appropriate to be more intentional in our design decisions. When you move fast and don’t consider every step, it can be easy to lose sight of your larger vision. And, as a company focused on teamwork and efficiency, it’s probably no surprise that we want to be as productive as possible in our design decisions. So, it’s now the right time for us to develop and implement a set of design principles.