Asana Adds More Powerful Search, Bug Tracking And More To Simple Task-Management And Productivity App

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Asana, the high-profile productivity startup that’s trying to redesign the workplace around tasks (instead of email), is announcing a major update today, adding more powerful search functionality, bug tracking capabilities, and manager reporting.

Search is the biggest update in this launch, with the addition of full text search, structured search, and custom saveable search views. Co-founder Justin Rosenstein explains that people spend a lot time finding information within an organization. But with the new search feature, Asana users should never face this problem again.

Essentially the default view in Asana to date has been “project view.” Now, with the launch of the advanced search functionality, Asana offers a “search view” of work, which lets you see the results of any search, from a simple keyword search to a rich structured search, in the Asana center pane. These views can be sorted by the task due date, creation time, or modification time. You can also navigate between tasks to see their details or select multiple tasks to change them all at once. And you can save these views to create custom reports that update each time you switch to them.

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Here’s how it works. For a simple full text search, you can type into the search box and choose “Search Tasks.” For a structured search, click the arrow at the right of the search box. You can then specify Assignee, Projects, Tags, Attachments, Completion Status, Due Dates and more. You can then narrow down to incomplete tasks, those with attachments, or the ones not assigned to you. Once you’ve created a search you want to use again, you can click the star next to the search title to save it.

Additionally, Asana is debuting new manager reporting features to help managers keep track of their team and projects. You simply add your teammates to the “Assigned To” field, then filter by project or tag to drill down to the information you need. For example, Rosenstein says, a manager could pull up a comprehensive view of all the tasks their team is working on at the moment, their status and correspondence associated with these tasks.

Lastly, as Asana is fairly popular among the developer community, the startup is doubling down on bug tracking. Rosenstein says that Asana talked to a number of developers to determine what their needs are for bug tracking, and heard over and over that current bug-tracking tools are not up to par.

So search has been updated to work well for bug tracking. For example, you can used the saved search function to allow the QA team to watch for completed bugs that haven’t been QAed yet, or let the customer-service team watch the bugs they opened as they become assigned and then completed.

Rosenstein says this update is a big step forward for Asana as a productivity application. “This is only the beginning of our plans,” he says. “Search is one of the core pillars of our product, and we’re a company that is querying collective memory.”