Facebook Cofounder Dustin Moskovitz Quit To Create... This?

Dustin Moskowitz Asana cofounder

Photo: Flickr, davemc500hats

Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz jumped from the social network in 2009, to do his own company, Asana.Unlike Facebook, Moskovitz decided to focus on enterprises, building a website for managing tasks.

“To a large extent, we do think we’re competing somewhat with Gmail, but more with Google Docs,” Moskowitz told us a few weeks ago. “It’s this sort of ubiquitous sharing tools that everyone uses, but they’re bad because they lack structure.”

Asana has one quirk compared to the similar sites — it emphasises keyboard shortcuts. It’s betting that you will shave off fractions of a second in your work day each time you access the application by memorizing and using its keyboard shortcuts.

It’s not a pleasant first-time experience and takes a lot of adjustment to get used to the interface. It sparsely uses drag and drop, and it definitely isn’t pretty — it feels like it comes out of an old-school grey scale Macintosh.

We played around with it and took screengrabs to show you what it actually looks like.

Frankly, this early version is baffling.

Asana's still in a beta, but you'll get access to it without any problems

You'll get a confirmation email that looks something like this — it's the same layout as the application. Get used to it.

And here's the log in screen you'll see for the rest of your time using Asana

Here's what your screen will look like at first.

You can see the keyboard shortcuts below. They're pretty intuitive if you've used a text-editing application before.

If you add a colon to the end of what you are typing, it creates a category

You can set it into one of three categories

You can click any tag or project associated with a task to jump to that tag

Here's what an example tag page looks like. You can jump to any task or project associated with that tag.

You can view all people in the same workflow in the people tab

You can jump to any task, project, tag or person with a quick search

You can also make a new task with a quick keyboard shortcut. Here's what the quick task prompt looks like.

You can assign it to a person right away and add tags

It shows up in your workflow like this if you're assigned a task

You can jump into more details about a task by clicking the arrow on the right of the task

If you hold the tab key, it brings up more shortcuts. Press any letter key that's underlined to jump to that field.

All the history related to a task shows up at the bottom of the secondary pane

You can add new members by just adding email addresses

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