Ever since I started using smartphones (the iPhone Gen. 1 being my first!), I have been on the lookout for a good task management tool, for both work or personal use. During this time, many apps were trialed – this was also when the GTD fad appeared – and gradually I got to know features that suited my needs. Eventually I settled on Trello which has three features I consider essential to this day:
- Online, and preferably can be used inside a browser.
- Must be able to synchronise across devices: PC, phone, tablet.
- Allows collaboration, but has public and private areas.
Trello is especially notable for its visual approach (the Kanban presentation) and allows me to easily switch between devices (add/edit tasks, checking progress on the fly, etc.) As a matter of fact, I have been using Trello on and off since its initial release in 2011. Apart from managing personal to-do lists and work tasks, I used Trello to manage the volunteere project http://donorweb.org for Red Cross (no defunct), organising meet-ups and events for Google Developers’ Group, Singapore chapter. However increasingly I found the Kanban structure insufficient for my use, especially in the last 3 years or so. My biggest gripe with the kanban format was that while it was good for workflow and projects with a clear chronological/progression-type ordering, it became unwieldy when you were running multiple projects or simply have too many upcoming tasks. For example, you might end up with a super-long list of boards under To Do but only a few under Waiting/Doing or vice versa (inefficient use of screen space).
This leads to my current favourite app Asana. I have only just discovered Asana and I am really loving the tool. The main features that have impressed me so far compared to Trello:
1 Flexible in that it can list projects in list view or Kanban view (with a neat trick).
2 Sections in in list view.
2 Each task can include sub-tasks.
Kanban or Board view
List or Task view with sections
It goes without saying that Asana also satisfies my three basic features: online, a mobile app, allows collaboration. As yet I don’t have an urgent need for Gantt Charts (a paid feature) but who knows, it may be needed in the future.
Finally I want to add that I still consider Trello to be an excellent product, and the free features should already satisfy the needs of many people. However if, like me, you need to be able to switch to List view from time to time for certain projetcs then I would certainly recommend giving Asana a try.
By the way Monday.com also seems a worth competitor given this comparison Monday.com vs Asana. As a disclaimer I haven’t actually given Monday.com a try but it certainly looks very interesting from this review.