Asana adds calendars to its workplace task management app

Users will now have another option to visualize their tasks, besides the core list view

Asana has developed a calendar component for its social task management application, giving users another option for monitoring the progress of individual and team projects.

Until now, the only way to view Asana items was in list form, which is ideal for things like prioritizing, brainstorming and sorting, but poor for visualizing a project in time, said Kenny Van Zant, head of business at Asana.

However, Asana didn't want the new feature to mimic the traditional design and function of static, isolated calendars, which is to block out time for meetings.

Instead, users can generate Asana calendars on the fly from a list of tasks, from a formal project or from the work actions of a team, the company said Wednesday.

These custom, ad-hoc Asana calendars can be shared with colleagues, and they are automatically updated whenever a change is made to its items, such as marking a task as completed, adding a comment or changing a due date.

"We feel that the way we implemented calendars plays to our advantage," Van Zant said.

Asana calendar items can be exported to third-party calendar applications that support the .ICS file format. The company is working on providing users with other options for visualizing Asana tasks, he said.

Asana believes that social task management software is the key to workplace productivity and collaboration, and not the ever-popular enterprise social networking (ESN) suites. Social task management products like Asana's provide a more structured approach to enterprise collaboration, while ESN suites adapt social media features to a workplace setting to foster more ad-hoc interactions between colleagues. Some vendors are melding the two types of software, including Jive, which acquired social task management vendor Producteev and has since integrated it with its flagship ESN suite, and Tibco, which recently added task management features to its Tibbr ESN product.

Asana launched its cloud-hosted service in 2011, two years after the company was founded. The privately held Asana has raised almost US$40 million from its backers.

In May, Asana added features to the product that made it usable by enterprises with thousands of users, and in August it struck a deal with Harvest to provide time-tracking features within its task management software.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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Juan Carlos Perez

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