How To Use Asana For Projects
Asana is an online project management system. Asana allows you to create projects, assign tasks to your team members, comment, share documents and set a schedule all in one interface. I use Asana for all client projects because it helps cut down on emails and allows both me and my clients to be able to see everything in one place.
Basically Asana is the best.
Asana has a fantastic guide and training "program" that you can go through to learn every detail about the site. However going through all that training can take awhile, so I've gone through it all and simplified the instructions for you.
An organization is the highest level in Asana. This is automatically created when you signup with a company email address (I used firstname.lastname@example.org - so my organization is Nora Conrad).
If you don't have a company email, a WORKSPACE will be created. A workspace is essentially the same an an organization but projects and tasks cannot be moved around the same as in an organization.
It is possible to have both an organization and workspace. When you register with a company email you can create a personal workspace, this way your personal projects are separate from work, but you don't have two separate Asana accounts.
Teams are the groups of people you can create within an organization or workspace. Teams can be assigned to projects, tasks and the calendar. You can edit what each member sees, how much they can do within a project and what organization or workspaces they belong to.
Projects are the main place you'll be working in Asana. Personally I create projects for EVERYTHING! New client work, website changes, webinar planning, event planning in my personal life, everything. You can create as many projects as you need and color-code, organize and move them as needed.
Projects can be printed, shared and deleted at any time. You can have projects within any workspace or organization. You can also duplicate a project and use it as a template. I love this feature! I created a project for my Squarespace migration package, when I have a client needing that service, I can duplicate the project, adjust any tasks that may vary and have it ready in a few minutes!
Tasks are the individual to-do's within a project. I love these because they force you to make a plan into actionable steps. I have a task for every single thing that needs to be completed so I don't miss any steps.
Tasks can be expanded to enter a description, sub tasks, attachments and tags. You can also add sub-tasks to sub-tasks and insert as many details as you need (as you'll see in the video below). I'll dig more into these later on.
Comments can be added by any team member invited to a project. The idea of comments is to replace emails, thus keeping all ideas and conversations in one, easily accessible place.
That was a lot of information. I think it's easiest to understand if you see how all these parts fit together. I made a video showing you my Asana account for this site and how I use these elements to plan ahead.
If you'd like to get a better idea of what Asana is and what it can do, watch the company's welcome video below.
Features & Pricing
One of the reasons I love Asana is because it's free up to 15 team members (team members are people who work in your company and have a company email address)! This works great if you want to use Asana for personal projects or working one-on-one with clients. I keep my account free by deleting old projects and removing team members from people I stopped working with.
There is a premium Asana, the price for this varies based on how many team members you have. Premium accounts allow you to build multiple teams, change the team settings, see an upgraded dashboard style, and invite more guest users. There's a lot of options for large companies, so if you're interest I highly recommend checking out THIS page.
On of the reasons I chose to use Asana and not another project management system, was that I could access my projects from anywhere for free.
The phone app is something I use daily and it's extremely helpful to have on the go.
Andriod + iPhone + iPad + Desktop
Another reason Asana stands out from similar websites, is the ability to integrate Asana with other tools.
Dropbox, Google Drive and Box all connect with Asana so you can seamlessly add files from those accounts and share them within a project or task. Wufoo can connect with Asana as well allowing you to create custom forms and have that information fed directly into a project.
If you use Asana for as many projects as I do, you will love the search option. You can search for projects, tasks, comments, attachments and tags within an entire organization, workspace or project.
Attachments are great for sharing documents, images and other files with your team members. Your team can open and download the files from within the task or project. You will also be able to see all the files in a project by viewing the attachments tab.
Tasks are the actual items or the to-do list within a project. Tasks can be added quickly via email or evernote, and have more details added to them from within Asana. You can add sub-tasks, comments and add attachments to tasks. You can also assign various tasks to your team members. (You can even add emojis to tasks).
Just like the attachments tab, there is also a calendar tab, where you can get a big picture of your project timeline. You can see due dates, who the projects and tasks are assigned to, and what needs to be completed before the due date.
How I use Asana
Asana is one of my favorite tools. It's not just a project management system for me, but also a checklist and template builder for my business. There's a million ways to use Asana but to give you some ideas, I want to share some of the ways I use it.
Asana is perfect for working with clients (1 or multiple) because it takes away the pain of email chains and combines many work flows into one streamlined process. I can easily share my graphics, contracts and notes with clients and they can share their feedback or questions with me.
Asana also has a great support team and easy to use interface that makes me confident my clients will easily be able to work in Asana without too much knowledge of it. Asana also has useful guides for anyone who needs help starting out.
Everything I do relating to my business has a process, whether it's writing a blog post, working with clients or creating other content. Asana projects can easily be duplicated so that I only have to plan my process one time and re-use that project again and again. This saves me time and stress because when I have a project to work on, I don't waste time planning all the steps to complete it.
This can be extremely helpful for those of you who offer services, you can make your process and then copy that every time you work with a new client.
I'm getting married soon, and I've been using Asana to help me track and plan everything that needs to be done! I save all the wedding documents in the project, I can assign tasks to my parents, fiancee or bridesmaids, and I can get a calendar view of what needs to be done.
This type of planning would work for any event, a corporate meeting, traveling, parties or conferences. The iPhone and Android app also make event planning quick while you're on the go.
I use Asana primarily for my business, but the tasks are also perfect for other things like grocery shopping lists, homework planning, cleaning schedules or keeping track of your fitness goals and workouts.
One of the newest things I've been using Asana for is to track and plan my workouts. I created a task for each day in the gym and added my workout as sub-tasks. In the gym I can check off the workouts as I go from my phone, and I can keep a log of how I did in the comments or in Evernote.
Do you use Asana? Have any additional tips? Or have more questions? Let me know in the comments!