I use Asana as a task management system to keep track of my own work as well as with my clients. It’s a great way to stay organized and collaborate with others. Within Asana you can create projects and then tasks within that project. To give you a little insight on how I use it, one of my projects for a client is “Pinterest Management” then I break down everything I have to do that month as a task under that project (ex: Follow 25 Pinterest Accounts).
Now within Asana there are so many awesome features that not everyone knows about, so I wanted to create a list to help others.
1. Email a task to a Project + Assign
One of the features my clients love is that they have the ability to send tasks to Asana straight from their email, and they can even assign them to me without ever opening Asana. So how do you do this? FIrst, each project has a unique email that tasks can be sent to. To find the email click the little drop down arrow next to the project title, then "Add Task Via" then "Email".
A window will pop up with a customized email address. Now you can forward or send emails to this address to add a task to this project. The subject of your email will be the task name and anything in the body of the email will be included in the description of the task. The awesome thing is if the email contains attachments Asana will add these to the task! You can even assign the task to someone by simply including their email address on the email and Asana will automatically assign it to them.
Elevenly tip!: To make things even easier, I suggest creating groups within your email service that contains the Asana email address and the contact info for who the task would be assigned to. Then title the group as the Project Name and assignee. This way it saves time when you need to send a task and you won’t have to decipher between each unique Asana email address. Example: “Pinterest Management - Nicole”.
2. Join multiple workspaces
Within Asana you can join multiple workspaces. A workspace contains multiple projects and allows you to collaborate with a group of people. The way I use this feature is to have a different workspace for each of my clients. The workspace is titled with their company name. Then within that workspace I breakup the different assignments into projects. It makes it so easy and simple.
3. Invite someone to one project but not all
Now an awesome feature with Asana is the ability to collaborate with other users. But what if you want to invite someone to just one project and not the whole workspace? You can do this! Simply open a project and click the “Share” button in the top right corner. A window will popup allowing you to add contact info for those you would like to invite to that project. You can even decide if they should be able to edit and add tasks to the project or if they should just be able to comment on things. This can be beneficial if you have a workspace for all your Web Design clients and want to add each specific client to their project.
4. Create sections within projects
Within a project you can create different sections to sort your tasks. To do this you can either click “Add section”, or add a new task but put a collon at the end. This will turn it into a section header.
5. Add a task to multiple projects
Now this feature is one of the many reasons I love Asana! When I first started using Asana I didn’t realize this was an option, so I was manually setting the same task under two projects and then remembering to go back to both to check them off once it was completed. So you bet that once I learned you could do this I was so happy! To do this click on the task that you want to add to multiple projects. Then click on the plus sign to the right of the task name (below) and type in the other project titles. Voila! So simple and efficient!
6. Set Repeating tasks
Asana has a repeating task feature so you don’t have to manually recreate a recurring task each time you complete it. All you have to do is create the task once, and then pick if the task will repeat daily, weekly, periodically, monthly or yearly. Then when you complete the task, it will automatically generate the new one. To do this click on the "Due Date" button when a task is open, then click "set to repeat". It will automatically set it to repeat 7 days after completion. To change this, just click "repeats 7 days after completion" (below) and a drop down menu will appear letting you pick different options.
7. Create Sub tasks
Another awesome feature within Asana is the ability to set subtasks within a task. This can be helpful if a certain task had multiple parts. I use this most often with my clients where I am helping them manage their business. For one of my clients she has a project for Vehicles, and one of the tasks is “File New Registrations”. Rather than listing out all the vehicles that need to be registered as a separate task, I add each vehicle as a subtask. Utilizing subtasks will help declutter a project with many tasks.
8. Prioritize Tasks: Today, Later, Upcoming
The “My Task” list in asana can sometimes be too much to look at if you have multiple tasks assigned to you that don’t have any due dates. What I suggest doing is sorting the tasks based on whether the task is for today, upcoming or later. This way you can focus in solely on what you have to do today. To do this, click on a task and then either Tab-Y for Today, Tab-U for Upcoming or Tab-L for Later. Below you can see that I collapsed Upcoming and Later to make it easier to view.
9. View a project in board form
When you create a new project in Asana you can decide if it should be in list form or board form. Board form can be particularly helpful when you want to be able to organize your thoughts as it mimics a sticky note board. Below you can see an example of a board used to organize blog post topics. When I finish writing a post for a possible idea, I can drag that idea to the “Blog Post Completed” column. I tend to use this style board for brainstorming or when a project has phases as it is more visual.
10. Keep track of due dates with Calendar View
Asana calendar view is something I peak at daily to help me plan my schedule. I even add various meetings or appointments so I can view it on my calendar. It helps me stay organized and make sure everything is getting done by their respective due dates. The thing to keep in mind though, only tasks with due dates will show up on your calendar. You can view a calendar for a specific project or a whole workspace.
Elevenly Tip!: Color code each project, so that when you do look at the entire workspace calendar it is visually appealing.
11. Link Google Drive
I am a huge Google Drive fan, so being able to link it to Asana is amazing! Within Asana you can add documents to specific tasks. This will keep everything organized as it is all in a specific spot. The awesome thing about uploading a file with Google Drive, is that it will always contain the most updated version of the document, rather than having to re-upload a document you added directly from your computer each time you change it. Helps make things more efficient!
Elevenly Tip!: Sometimes I find that I have a document I need to add to project but it’s not necessarily related to a specific task. To stay organized, I create an admin or misc section within the project. This way it looks neat and when I go to that section the files are all there!
There are so many other awesome things you can do with Asana that will help you save time, stay organized and be more efficient.