Category Archives: Culture

Round Two - 30 Days Without Email

30 days without email challenge: Round 2 update

Emily Kramer and Jim Renaud

On April 1, we gave up work and personal email for the month for our “30 Days Without Email Challenge”. After 11 days without email, Emily has taken (a decisive?) lead.

Jim has had 2 email violations–he caved when he had to check an email design in his work email early in the morning when no one was in the office and had to check his personal email for a rebate on a recent purchase. Emily has still been email free, but suffered a few close calls while changing passwords due to the Heartbleed bug. Getting automated information (password resets, account information, flight information, etc) via email has proven to be the most difficult part of the challenge for Emily. Communication with friends and teammates hasn’t been much of a challenge, and has been replaced with more texting, Facebook messaging, and (of course) Asana.

Emily is confident she will keep her lead over Jim, while Jim is hoping for a comeback! Stay tuned for more updates.

Please note: Jim was not harmed in the making of this photo. The black eye was added in the editing process.


Futurasana: brainstorming 2016

Reigan Combs and Jackie Bavaro

Imagine this: the year is 2016. It’s the beginning of the day and you’ve just arrived at work. You sit down at your desk (assuming that having a desk is still a “thing”) and open Asana. What do you see?

We spent the past week thinking about this question as part of our first-ever, company-wide brainstorm, “Futurasana”. Considering that our company is only 3 years old, fast-forwarding two years was a big leap.
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30 days without email challenge

Emily Kramer, Jim Renaud, and Joey Dello Russo

Tomorrow, we (Emily Kramer and Jim Renaud) will give up work and personal email for the entire month of April. Our “30 Days Without Email Challenge” was inspired by Asana’s goal of enabling “teamwork without email”, and we are both excited to see how the challenge affects our productivity.

The rules:

  • We cannot open email for any reason during the month
  • If we do open email, we lose a point for every email we send or read
  • Any filters or forwarding must be set up in advance

We will keep you updated with our progress throughout the month–stay tuned!

Week 1 Update:
After 4 days without email, both of us are both going strong. While friends, family, and commenters on social media and this post have expressed anxiety on our behalf, we’ve found life without email to be pretty simple so far. We’ve both come up with some workarounds, but neither one of us have sent or read an email.

Week 2 Update:
After 11 days without email, Emily has taken the lead. Jim has had 2 email violations. Check out our post.


My experience as a Designer-in-Residence at Asana

Tyson Kallberg

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.

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The best advice I have for leaders and teams

Justin Rosenstein

Recently I spoke at Chicago Ideas Week, where I distilled some of the best advice I have after ten years of studying and leading teams. We’re excited to share the video.

The first half of the talk is about the purpose of work, and how I’ve found a deep sense of personal satisfaction from doing work in service of helping humanity thrive. The second half (starting at 7:10) provides three concrete strategies, which I’ve found make teams wildly more effective in accomplishing their goals – all by achieving clarity. I hope you enjoy it.

Culture at Asana: A group of peers on a bold mission

Emily Kramer and Sara Himeles

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.

5 powerful tactics we use to achieve great teamwork

Sara Himeles and Joey Dello Russo

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.

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Video: When Conversation met Task, a love story

Emily Kramer, Joey Dello Russo, and Farbod Forouzin

For our annual Thanksgiving Hackathon, “Thankshacking,” we broke out the glue and cardboard and strayed from our normal video format. The result? A love story about Conversation and Task, and their baby, Asana.

What better way to kick off the holiday season than with a slightly-goofy, spandex-infused, warm and fuzzy Asana video? We hope you  it!

Getting creative at Thankshacking 2013

Sara Himeles and Jim Renaud

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.

Thankshacking Collage


Developing our design principles

Stephanie Hornung

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.

Why Now?
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.

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