Episode 10 Summary: Feb 2014 – May 2014

Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

At the end of every “Episode” of work at Asana, each team writes a summary of the work they’ve accomplished to share with the company. We’ve synthesized the highlights from the episode into this post to help you follow along with our progress.

Asana TeamAsana is steadily becoming an essential piece of infrastructure for the best teams around the world, across the most innovative industries including tech, healthcare, and education. In Episode 10, customer growth accelerated, and today, thousands of companies across every continent but one are running their business on Asana.

We want Asana to be a product that you rely on every day. In Episode 10, we moved closer to that goal: we made major investments in our application infrastructure, ran more growth and user experiments than ever, expanded our team in critical areas, including mobile, and began working on some major new features you’ll be hearing about soon.

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Asana's User Operations Team

How we work: Asana + Desk.com to keep you running

Josh Torres

If you’ve ever written to Asana with a question, or asked for help using a new feature, it’s likely one of our friendly UO (User Operations) team members personally responded to you. Our User Operations team (often referred to at other companies as ‘customer operations’ or ‘support’) prides itself on a thoughtful, timely, and user-first approach to work. We keep up with thousands of tickets, while maintaining a consistent feedback loop between customers and engineers, to enhance the product you use every day.

We recently shared some insights with Desk.com about ways a small team can provide support to a large customer base. Here’s a closer look at how we support you, using Asana.

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A new way to search your tasks: by Section

Josh Smith and Cliff Chang

Asana allows you to capture your team’s tasks and conversations in one place and then view this information in a variety of ways to help you save time, prioritize, and ultimately achieve your team’s goals. Features like Sections, Search Views, and Calendars let you to zoom in and out on projects and tasks, giving you more visibility into your team and helping you make better decisions with less effort. Last year, we launched Search Views, which allow you and your teammates to view tasks based on search criteria. Then, we introduced Sections, making it easier to group tasks into stages, priorities, and milestones within a single project. Now, you can connect these two features to improve your workflow: Search by Section to see a list of tasks within certain Sections of a specific project, or across multiple projects.

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Building Asana’s foundation

Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Prashant Pandey

When software just works, it’s largely thanks to solid infrastructure. For Asana, a top priority is ensuring that our service is built on a foundation that is reliable.

Our infrastructure team operates behind-the-scenes to ensure that your team runs on Asana, every day. The infrastructure team’s efforts enable Asana to be secure, allow us to add new functionality without breaking things in the process, and pave the road for millions of intricate connections between people, tasks, teams, and projects. We’re focused on making a product that you can trust and we want to make sure the most talented people are working on its framework.

We recently welcomed the newest member of our team, Prashant Pandey, to help us take our infrastructure efforts to the next level and in turn, support growth across our product, team, and user base.
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Do great things: A talk at TechCrunch Disrupt

Justin Rosenstein

On May 5, I will be speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt NY on using technology to help humanity thrive. I hope some of you will be able to attend, either in person or via livestream. After the conference, we’ll share the full video in this post.

As technologists, we have greater capacity to change the world today than the kings and presidents of just 100 years ago.

Incredibly, we can now design the world we want to live in, and have the engineering skill to make even global-scale designs a reality. As designers, engineers, and technology leaders, we are a tiny portion of humanity, yet we hold an astoundingly leveraged ability to affect all of it.

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5 reasons why I haven’t used email in 25 days

Emily Kramer

On April 1, Jim and I gave up email. 25 days later, I haven’t checked, sent, or read a work or personal email, and Jim has had only 2 mishaps. During April, the most frequent questions I’ve received about giving up email are, “How are you doing this?” and “Why are you doing this?”. The first answer is obvious: Asana. The second answer is a bit longer:

1. Email is a time suck.

We spend about 30% of our time at work in email (according to McKinsey). That seems like a lot of time spent NOT getting work done. I wondered how much time I’d get back not worrying about work or personal email.

2. I was halfway there.

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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.

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Wufoo & Asana: Connect forms to your tasks

Justin Krause and Kelsey Aroian

The process of collecting structured information–from users needing support, partners requesting to work with you, candidates applying to a job, and even from teams within your company–is often tedious and difficult to manage. We wanted a simpler way to get this information into Asana, with the rest of our work and communication. So, we decided to build an integration using our API, with our favorite tool for building beautiful custom forms, Wufoo.

With Wufoo and Asana, data you collect through web forms becomes actionable. With little work on your end and without any coding required, you can gather custom information that feeds directly into Asana tasks. Then you can add assignees, followers, due dates, and attachments, and connect data with other relevant Asana tasks and projects.
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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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10, 9, 8, 7….Snaptask!

Greg Slovacek and Cliff Chang

At Asana, we’re re-imagining team communication from the ground up. While some tasks take months to complete, some only take a day, and others need to get done instantly. Until today, there was no direct and simple way to indicate task urgency in Asana. So, during our recent Hackathon, we added a new feature to Asana: Snaptask.

“We believe the future of workplace communication is fast–really fast” -Dustin Moskovitz

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