Asana as Your Email App. Move over, Gmail

productivity

#1

Software engineers are constantly looking to build the next big thing. Go where the puck is going, they say, and with all that MBA psychobabble rattling around in my head, I set to thinking… So what would it be: Machine Learning? Predictive Intelligence? Virtual Reality? Deep Learning? Well it was:

You can also go to Youtube to watch it in glorious HD.

As it turns out, our engineering ambitions were far more mundane than all that AI stuff: building the next-generation email client in Asana. There’s an oxymoron in that statement, as email is previous generation, like, pre-World War One. Unfortunately the rest of the world runs on it, even if we rabid Asana types would love to just &$#@** stomp on email and… I digress.

So, one day, I got it! Why not put our dusty MIT engineering degrees to use, write some code (like, 3 years of it), and make Asana an almost perfect email client, so we could use Asana to:

  • Stop using Gmail and Outlook apps and just use Asana.
  • Filter out marketing newsletters from my inbox.
  • Be alerted to email from clients only, not by newsletters, team members, friends.
  • Automatically file away emails from clients into client projects, without manual clicks.
  • Ignore internal internal team emails and not put them into Asana.
  • Tag emails with client information such as company name, type, account manager, etc.
  • And, gasp, even reply from Asana without opening Gmail or Outlook!
  • …with all emails going to clients from your own email address, not @asana.com emails.

You heard that right. Reply to emails from Asana. That’s what got us really fired up. So we shot a video to show you how it works. You’ll need Gmail (Gsuite only, not @gmail.com emails for now) or Outlook 365, Asana (of course), and go to the Dossier signup on Onboardify’s website to sign up for a FREE account.

For you technical types, this is built using Angular, Java, Websockets, Mongo, and technologies with a bunch of other acronyms that most people don’t really care about. Whatever, it was great fun building it, and a ton of hard work. We hope you love it!

P.S. We :heart_eyes: the Asana API engineers.


Poll-2017 Enhancements You Would Like To See
Help us make email from Asana better!
#2

Hi Vik,

really really cool. Many people in my network have requested something like this - so great initiative!

Some feedback I collected during an initial test.

For me it somehow did not work completely.
I sent an email from my private gmail account to my business account and it created successfully a task inside Asana. Then I made a comment in Asana
image
And it successfully created an email in my business account.

image
But it did not forward this email from my business account back to my private Gmail account, which would be the customer in the ideal case.

In genereal I like the overall onboarding flow :slight_smile:

image

I cannot select a workspace, since I am member of many workspaces, it makes it harder to filter for the right project.
Moreover, a search option would be good.


At the same website at the right, there are a few words doubled.

image

When I want to choose the email senders which should turn be forwareded to Asana, I cannot choose some, they are grey, see screenshot. But there is no explanation why this is the case.

One very important filter is missing here:
Subject contains…
e.g. I have a form on my website which sends currently an email and has always the same subject. I would like to catch this with your tool.
If this is not possible I would use a tool like Wufoo to send this form directly into Asana.


Good, but the exact difference is not clear to me, when I read it the first time, from my point of view, an example would help to explain the difference.

In your Dossier app you use sometimes the old Asana logo: image

Vik, besides these ideas for improvements already really great app!
Looking forward to see more.

Best,
Sebastian


#3

Thanks for the great feedback, Sebastian! You’re a true supporter of Asana initiatves.

The fact that your email shows up as notifications@mail.onboardify.com tells me that a permission hasn’t been given for you to send email from your email (sebastian@_____.com).

And also, there is a setting that you have to turn on - clearly, not discoverable - so that replies are sent from Asana. I’ll follow up with you on email on both of these, but, as importantly, let us think about how we can make these settings discoverable during signup.

Apart from that – the feedback about the onboarding experience is excellent. We look forward to improving it, further.

Thank you Sebastian!

Vik


#4

Hi @Vik_Chaudhary , Thanks a lot for this initiative. The idea sounds really great. Will test it and see how goes.


#5

Hi Juan Carlos,

Thank for using Dossier to test Asana as your email app. Can you tell us how it is going so far?

  • Are you able to send new emails and all email replies from specific clients directly into a client project?
  • Can you send these into multiple Asana projects?
  • Does it work automatically, without your installing an extensions or taking manual steps?
  • Hopefully all marketing lists and other emails are being eliminated from going into Asana?
  • Have you been able to reply in an Asana task and see an email from your Gmail go to the client?

Eager to hear your experience, as you are a small business. We have very large enterprise firms (Disney, Paypal, Uber) using Asana as their client management tool, and now we are launching it more broadly. Thanks,

Vik Chaudhary. Onboardify.
Dossier: An app to organize customer conversations in Asana


#6

Hi @Vik_Chaudhary,

I hope this resume my feelings using dossier with Asana.

I am in love

YES, i can direct emails i receive from to specific client project in asana and gets better i can reply from asana and the client receive response from my email

YES, i am sending emails to specific project per client and to a general project for customer success managment.

WORKS AUTOMATICALLY

NO MORE MARKETING LISTS GOING TO ASANA. Its great you can filter what emails are creating tasks in asana.

YES, i reply from ASANA.

@Alexis @James_Carl @paulminors i think in other post we were going into the communication with externals or clients from asana. Dossier is the solution.

Thanks @Vik_Chaudhary, this is a great one.


#7

Hi Sebastian, a new version is out with some improvements, after your feedback. Well, we didn’t change the Asana logo yet :slight_smile:. Let us know how it works now? Thank you!


#8

This is really cool! We actually had this built in as a hack (I think before the product was even launched) but it was never finished and was eventually removed. I’m glad someone continued in spirit!


#9

Well, the kudos really goes to our team of engineers that are building this product that syncs Asana, Slack, Box, Dropbox, Gmail, Outlook, HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Chatter, Zendesk, and more.

What we first built was an embedded website chat widget that translates Asana tasks to email. The Asana product team used that product two years ago for the Asana Redesign Beta. Once that project was over, we began to turn our attention to figuring out how challenging it was for Asana (and other) teams to communicate with customers without requiring them to have to learn a new product. And, we ourselves being Asana users for several years at that point - really felt we understood the pain.

That’s also when we became a Premium customer, and began to really use Asana for all our of product release management, engineering priorities, etc. It’s been a great application of Asana.

So the Dossier product is more than just Asana<=>Email. It’s also Asana<=>website chat. It’s Asana<=>Salesforce, Asana<=>Box/Dropbox/GDrive and a lot of other integrations. But rather than take an integrations-only approach, which just moves objects from one format to the other, we’ve taken a CRM approach.

In other words, we want Asana teams to be able to (a) manage all their client information in Asana (b) receive website chats, email, Slack chats in Asana, and © Respond in Asana, and do this all in real-time, within a second of an event happening in Asana or any other system. It is now possible for Asana to be that enterprise-ready platform that integrates with everything else in real-time.

That’s our vision. And put now, several years of building this product, supported by some very loyal Asana customers who have worked with us, like @Tevya who stood by us through a lot of painful times to make our product better. We couldn’t have done it without people like him.

Thank you for the kind words. Anyone who has a double major in CS deserves a round of applause (that’s you, isn’t it?).


#10

Really disappointed. I wasted a lot of time to get this to work, but cannot get past this screen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x71rg9iw8hv8c2y/Screenshot%202017-08-08%2021.06.08.png?dl=0.
I would love this service to work and hope you can help me.


#11

Hi Thierry, sorry you are having trouble! We can help you right now get past that screen. What is your email address, or you can email it to me at vik@onboardify.com and our team is ready to help.

We’d love to have you make the service work with Asana as well! Thanks for writing in.


#12

Thanks for the prompt response Vik. I’ve sent you my email to your vok@onboardify.com address.
Cheers
T


#13

Howdy @Vik_Chaudhary. I purposely gave this thread some time in hopes all the kinks were worked out here that people were mentioning. Any updates on your integration? It looks AWESOME but scared to invest much time into until there’s a consensus that the bugs have been worked out :slight_smile: