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Kick Email to the Curb and Get Things Done with Asana and Inbox

Kick Email to the Curb and Get Things Done with Asana and Inbox

Imagine never having to leave your task manager to check email. And having complete context and control over the communications sent as a result?

Well, you don’t need to imagine that anymore. Because today the popular collaborative task management solution Asana has delivered it in the form of Inbox.

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The goal of Inbox is to “push team communication further into the post-email world”. Many individuals and organizations are far too reliant on email applications and services as task management solutions. With Inbox, the team at Asana looks to treat email as it was initially intended – as a means to communicate.

“Organizations are starting to feel the constraints of email. With email, you’re at the mercy of the sender, Inbox makes Inbox Zero the path of least resistance.” — Justin Rosenstein, Asana

Inbox doesn’t just allow for communication, it allows for “rich” communication. Inbox gives you everything you need regarding the work that’s going on, so you have context within the communication that is easily accessible and not buried throughout in-line messages or threaded responses. Additionally, you can customize what communications you receive in Inbox, meaning that you can stay informed and not overwhelmed – something that email tends to cause. You’re no longer “at the mercy of the sender” – you have control.

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    Inbox has taken some of the better-known (and perhaps “loved”) part of email and brought it into Inbox. But unlike traditional email, archiving of mail is done by default. This can be adjusted, but through the use of “flagging” you can keep on top of deferred messages without cluttering up your communications. That is just one of the way that Inbox works towards helping you get to that elusive Inbox Zero state more efficiently and effectively.

    Asana has always been impressive in terms of its speed. It syncs and updates quickly and easily — and Inbox is no different. With Inbox, updates to tasks and projects are grouped together in a way that makes sense to the user, allowing for quick scanning of new information without having to open each thread individually. This makes the process of using email within Asana seem like it’s not using email at all. And that’s because it goes beyond email.

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    The best part of this new feature? With Inbox, you can do all of your relevant communication without opening any form of email app or website in the process. That means less distraction and more focus. There’s a flow that occurs naturally that Inbox offers that you simply can’t get from email. Keep in mind that you can go as deep into the addition of Inbox as you’d like; align it for work projects, home projects or all aspects of your life. Again, you have control – which is something that many of us tend to lose when it comes to email.

    If you’ve been looking for an all-in-one task management solution, one that allows for collaborative and individual use and keeps you moving forward instead of from side to side then there’s no better time than ever to give Asana a look. By bringing Inbox into the mix, the Asana team has provided users with the means to get out of their email app and get onto the task at hand – all without missing a message. Or a beat.

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    (For more details on today’s launch of Inbox, head over to the Asana blog.)

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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