Asana takes a swing at Trello with support for project boards

The work-tracking software tackles key project management functionality

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Asana's new Boards functionality lets users lay out their tasks as a set of cards in a handful of columns.

Credit: Asana

Asana is making it easier to manage tasks through a long, multi-stage pipeline with a new Boards feature introduced Tuesday.

The new feature allows users of the work-tracking service to lay out the tasks that they have associated with a project as a set of digital cards under separate columns. 

Similar board-like features have been a project management tool for a while and are designed to help with linear workflows like hiring, which involves a candidate moving through stages of a pipeline. Each stage gets represented by a column in the board, so it's easy for people to see the status of different projects at a glance.

Those boards have become increasingly popular, and provide additional depth for Asana as it tries to capture the interest of businesses.

Asana's Boards functionality looks similar to Trello, a product that's built to give users digital project boards to work with, Justin Rosenstein, Asana's co-founder and head of product, noted in an interview.

"We want to give them full credit," he said. "They have done a great job on executing and creating this easy, visual view. But we see a much bigger opportunity because we basically think Boards is not a product, it's a feature."

Rosenstein's pitch for Asana Boards is they're able to integrate with the rest of the service's work-tracking functionality so that users can have a single piece of software for managing their tasks and tracking them in a board view. Each card is also a task inside Asana, which means that it can be assigned to an employee or set as reliant on other tasks.

Right now, Asana is focused on driving new customers to its service with the Boards launch and getting existing customers set up with the new functionality. But Rosenstein didn't rule out the possibility of creating a tool that would help people migrate their Trello boards away from the competing service to Asana.

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