This Time in Family Tech: Asana
In each installment of our family tech series, we take a look at a technology or app that you’re probably already using (or should be) and talk about how you can re-purpose it to help manage your home life. Previously, we covered some creative uses of Google and Pinterest. This time, we’re focusing on teamwork app Asana.
Started by ex-Facebookers (including co-founder Dustin Moskovitz), Asana bills itself as the ultimate teamwork application. Designed to replace email, Asana provides users with a mechanism for creating, tagging, assigning ownership, and having conversations around tasks. If this sounds like a great project management tool, then you’re absolutely right – I frequently Asana in my professional life on a daily basis to help prioritize tasks, collaborate with team members, and generally stay on top of things. More to the point – what makes Asana great for project management, also makes it great for managing our home life, especially things that are best captured in lists. In our house, we’ve created a couple of projects in our shared family workspace that we fill with a self-explanatory list. Here are the projects:
Shopping lists are not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, however what I like about Asana is that it lets me tag items on our shopping list. This lets me categorize items based on where I want to buy it or the urgency with which I need it. For example, since a lot of household goods are available at steep discounts via Amazon Prime’s Pantry Box (which charges by the box), I like to wait to purchase these items until I have a number of products listed in Asana tagged for Prime Pantry.
To Do/To Fix
While having a to-do list for life isn’t too exciting, I like being able to keep these sorts of lists separate, but within the same platform. I tend to separate my to-do & to fix lists, but each person should tweak this to meet their own needs. The great part of this, is that I can assign tasks to different family members and vice versa. Plus, we can keep any back and forth discussion directly within the app which makes it really easy for somebody else to pick up the ball and run with it should a specific item require some additional help.
I know this is a weird thing to see somebody keeping track of, especially separate from a list of things to fix. The reason I like to keep a separate list of things to Sugru is because while I often have ideas for how to use Sugru around the house, I have found that I usually only need 25-50% of a pack of Sugru to accomplish each one. By waiting until I have a few items on my list, I’m able to use a whole pack without wasting any of the awesome stuff.
While it may feel strange to use a web-app as a shared to do list manager, I can tell you that getting our entire family to start using Asana has made a huge change in how we get things done. These are just a few ideas of how you can use Asana to help manage your family life. If you’re already using Asana, go ahead and share your favorite feature or use case in the comments below!