What is Asana?
Do you like simplicity and unicorns? Who doesn’t, right? Asana is a beautiful task management, project management, and client care app that I recommend almost daily to my clients who are life coaches, bloggers, authors, and just about any other kind of solopreneur. When you’re working and planning alone, or even with a Virtual Assistant, Asana is really all you need to keep yourself, your VA and your clients in the loop on what is going on and what needs to get done, and it can even keep you out of your inbox. When I set up Asana for my clients, I always set up a project for their internal business operations that includes templates on how everything they do in their business gets done. Then I set up a project space for each of their clients and show them how to work directly with their clients from Asana without the client ever knowing. Here is a sample of what the interface looks like. Basically, you have 3 info panes. The far left shows all of your projects. The middle pane shows the tasks in the selected project, and the far right shows you details of the selected task, sub-tasks, and comments. You can click MY TASKS to view what is assigned to your, and MY INBOX to view activity. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?
Pro tip: Sign up for Asana using your company email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and you’ll be set up as an Organization. Sign in using a Gmail account (or yahoo, AOL, etc.) and you’ll be set up as an individual. There are benefits to being set up as an organization, so choose wisely!
What is Teamwork PM?
Do you like bells, whistles, metrics and more? Teamwork PM has just about anything and everything you’ll ever need in a project management system. And honestly, I no longer consider Teamwork PM just a project manager because, in truth, it’s become my entire online business management platform. And while it may not have unicorns (or narwhals or a phoenix), it does have a ton of extras that I’ve learned that I can’t run my online agency without. I recommend Teamwork PM to anyone who has a larger team, a lot of clients, and a lot of moving parts to track. While not free like Asana, this is a next-level business management tool that is totally worth that monthly payment.
Why I Switched from Teamwork PM to Asana
I’ll be the first to admit that I suffer from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome and I love to switch things up. I’ve tried just about every project management system out there like Basecamp, Basecamp 2, Redbooth, ActiveCollab, Trello, Mavenlink, and many others that I’ve forgotten about. Why? Well, part of it is that it’s my job to know what will work best for my clients, so I try them all out. The other part of it is that I love a fresh start, and changing PM systems is like spring cleaning your business, and I’m weird enough to find that fun. So after being a loyal Teamwork PM user 3+ years, 2 weeks ago I decided that our entire team should move all of our projects out of Teamwork and into Asana. Mostly this was because I thought it would be easier to collaborate with clients who I had already set up in Asana, but I won’t lie, saving $50 a month sounded really appealing at the time.
Why I Switched Back to Teamwork PM from Asana
During the switch-over, I found myself trying to make Asana work like Teamwork. I was missing things that I loved and needed to successfully run an Online Business Management agency like notebooks to track our systems and processes, a files section (Asana supports files, just in a different way) a links section, milestone tracking, a message center, plus Gantt charts, time tracking, & billing. I NEEDED ALL OF THESE FEATURES!!! And I didn’t realize how dependent my agency is on all of them until I tried to switch. My business is complicated. On any given day we are managing inboxes for a number of clients, publishing blog posts and newsletters, managing 60+ social media profiles, uploading podcasts, and SO.MUCH.MORE. We need all of the features that Teamwork offers (including Teamwork Desk to manage all of those inboxes). But my client’s businesses are not always as complicated. Part of that is because they are solo, and when we set up Asana for them, we keep things uncomplicated. And part of it is because they hire me as their COO and the majority of the work we do for them is kept in Teamwork, keeping their workspace uncluttered and streamlined. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
Which Should You Choose?
Asana is perfect for you if your business is mostly working one-on-one with fewer, higher-level clients, you create online courses, are an author or blogger, or an internet marketer. Teamwork PM is perfect for you if your business or agency serves a larger client-base with a lot of moving parts, has a larger team, and keeps track of a lot of projects or tasks. And you like fancy metrics and messaging systems.
Conclusion: Both Asana and Teamwork are amazing business tools, and the only two we ever really recommend. If you’re not sure which one you need, or if you’d like a Systems with S.O.U.L. assessment, click here.
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