I work as a solo Photo Retoucher & Graphic Designer. I use Asana now, which offers robust features to rope in freelancers & clients when appropriate. But the prohibition on Deep Linking in Asana is making me sad. OmniFocus seems to be the most Linkable, Shortcuts-able, Automation & Mac-friendly project management software, so I think I should consider it (I posted about time-tracking in OF3 here a while back). But I won’t be able to demo the collaboration features properly before diving in, and I hope maybe someone here has an experience they’re willing to share.
Can I get a witness to testify?
If you are a “solo” Designer, why would you want to share your task manager with anybody?
None of OF’s collaboration features have launched yet, sadly. Between expanding the scope of potential collaboration since the original roadmap mention, the major rewrite for OF 4, and (guessing) COVID challenges, it’s been delayed. There are some ways to hack OF to sync between other sync services, but that wouldn’t help you cut out Asana.
I’ve been using a combination of OmniFocus and Asana for many years. OmniFocus is my personal task manager, and Asana is where I collaborate with people on internal projects (e.g. website development and maintenance). I have OmniFocus actions tagged “Asana” that prompt me to take action in Asana (e.g. Process Asana Inbox).
What do you mean by the “prohibition on Deep Linking.” You should be able to link to pretty much anything in Asana (e.g. teams, projects, tasks, messages, portfolios). The person using the link would at least need to have guest access to what’s being linked to in Asana. Beyond that, I’m not aware of any limitations.
If you have replied to “help” me with the question I have asked, please provide some thoughts on OF3’s team features. Once that has been done, I’ll happy justify asking the question I did if that is important to you.
OmniFocus doesn’t have any team features, it’s designed to be a single user task management system.
I’ve no doubt you could bend it by using tags for different users, but you’d need to sync it by a central server.
I don’t know how OF would cope with sync conflicts, e.g. 2 people change the same record at the same time. This doesn’t tend to be a problem for 1 person as they’re rarely working on two devices at the exact same time.
I would probably steer clear.
As a security policy Asana do not permit links like these:
I use these apps and some others that use these link formats. I think of them as Deep Links, maybe that’s not the technical term?
That is interesting, because they sell a Teams license on their website. I assumed that meant there were collaboration features included to make buying multiple licenses worthwhile.
Not that I’m aware of (Although I could be wrong) I think that’s more for multiple people to get the software rather than use it together.
You can paste custom app URLs (e.g. omnifocus:///…) into Asana, but they won’t be recognized as links. I’ve also tried linking OmniFocus URLs to text in Asana, but Asana automatically adds https://, making them unusable.
One workaround is to use the link feature in PopClip for Mac. Once PopClip is installed, you can select the link in Asana (or any other app) and click PopClip’s link button to jump to the linked item. It’s not ideal, but it does the job.
You can also use Hook to link OmniFocus, Asana, Craft, DEVONthink, and many other apps. Instead of clicking on a hook:// link, you could invoke Hook and select any of the previously hooked items.
For example, to hook a project in Asana to an action in OmniFocus:
- Navigate to the Asana project you’d like to hook to OmniFocus.
- Invoke Hook and press ⌘C (Copy Link).
- Select the action you’d like to hook to in OmniFocus.
- Invoke Hook and press ⌘V (Hook to Copied Link).
Invoking Hook (⇧⌘␣ by default) while in the Asana project or OmniFocus action will allow you to move between the Asana project and the OmniFocus action.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for this, I hadn’t noticed this comment until just now. This brings me to the @MacSparky advice: Never make purchasing decisions based on promised upgrades.
That said, I really want to break out of the Asana walled URL garden and link into DevonTHINK, Craft, Hook and the others.
I quite like the web app project managers (BaseCamp, Asana…maybe not Monday so much) as a concept because they are (mostly) equivalent experiences across platforms and I can access them on my own machine or any machine I find nearby. I like that they store my assets on their cloud and manage syncing and serving my data without me ever giving it any thought.
But Asana has this linking issue. BaseCamp is just too tech-bro-ey for me to support with my $$$. I tried Monday, and while it seemed promising, it requires too much fiddling to configure (though I’m sure a person with more skill in this area could make an amazing collaborative project management system with Monday, I’m not that person)
Maybe there is something else I should consider? The true-blue Mac nerds all swear my OmniFocus, which is why I am looking at it. Maybe I should look at something else, too? Any ideas?
It appears you are right. it’s just a mechanism to buy licenses in bulk
I don’t know if things is multi user.
Notion may be an option?
I was about to Recommend Monday.com for working with 3rd parties, but I see you don’t like it. It works well within our business for our marketing teams, agencies and freelancers.
This is super helpful, thanks! I have, obviously, encountered this exact URL pasting “bug” (of course they call it a security feature) in Asana where https:// is appended to custom app URLs. Honestly, if I could figure out a reasonable workaround to get custom app URLs to function, I’d like to stick with Asana. I really like the way Asana works and there is a lot of inertia there as I have been running my business on it for some time.
I have bookmarked you comments so I can refer to it while I try out your ideas. Thanks again
Nope, it is not important for me!
I just wanted to figure out, why you want to share a Taskmanager with someone else, specially as a solo worker.
A Taskmanager normally is a very personally think.
If you want to share projects or something like that you would rather need a Projectmanager or something in that direction.
But, as long as you don’t want to share what your intentions are, you will probably not get really useful help for that.
Anyone working in an agile or Agile way doesn’t need a project manager, it’s the team who make the decisions amongst themselves and complete the tasks allocated. Having said that, there is usually some form of central task management location, even if it’s simply a Trello board.
You’re very welcome, @tuckyhutsman. Good to hear this was helpful!
Super successful solos may someday hire employees. Most Solos collaborate with other independents or clients. This is how I ended up using Asana, from my original post:
Anyway, have you got any thoughts that are helpful?
I’ve been thinking lately I need to add an avatar to get away from that confusing pink color.
One to possibly try, that’s fairly popular in Mac circles, is Todoist. They also have a product called Twist that has non-distracting collaboration principles built in, like Basecamp does, and Todoist and Twist can be used together. Even though Todoist is web-based, their task collaboration model is closer to what I imagine OF’s would be when it launches.
Thanks for this idea! Todoist is great. The only problem is that Todoist is already the project manager for my non-work life and I collaborate with my partner (and, hopefully someday, our children—I can’t wait to assign them this repeating task: Do the dishes ) using Todoist to manage our lives and home.
I have tried putting business admin tasks in Todist, but it didn’t work. I never look at Todoist during the work day just like I never look at Asana during my non-work time.