How could Asana be improved

With these 22 tips you can become an Asana professional

Do you lead a project team and want to optimize your work processes and thus save time and money, or are you part of a team and think that project management has optimization potential?

If you are wondering how you can plan and execute a project within your team in the best possible way and coordinate the team in order to work efficiently and optimally, then Asana could be your best solution.

In this article

What is asana?

The 3 steps of a project

The 22 most important asana tips

1. Assign a task to several projects

2. Define the due date and the responsible person for each task

3. Use color codes

4. Use project templates for recurring processes

5. Use the Chrome extensions for Asana

6. Convert emails directly to tasks in Asana

7. Visualize your schedule

8. Use personalized fields

9. Create sections in your assignments

10. Define subtasks

11. Connect Asana to other tools

12. Communicate within tasks

13. Organize individual tasks in “my tasks”

14. Use the advanced search to create reports

15. Work with priority tags

16. Mark important projects as favorites

17. Accelerate the workflow with keyboard shortcuts

18. Sync Asana with Slack

19. Define goals as milestones

20. Update the project status regularly

21. Use project boards for a visual overview

22. Check off completed tasks consistently

What is asana?

Asana is one of the most widely used tools in cloud computing for project management and planning workflows and tasks. In addition to planning and executing projects, Asana also helps monitor progress to enable optimized collaboration and agile project management. Thanks to simplified communication within the tool and the clear presentation of projects in Asana, several participants, even from different departments, can work together on the same project without losing track of open tasks or deadlines. All to-do's within a project are prioritized, assigned to one or more responsible persons and given deadlines - so each individual employee has a good overview of open tasks and individual tasks can no longer be lost.

In this article, we present the most important steps for successful project management and show you helpful tips on how you can use Asana in the best possible way on the way to a successful project and how you can benefit from it.

The 3 steps of a project

One of the most important and crucial tasks for the successful implementation of a project is planning. During the planning phase, it is important to first define the individual tasks and sub-tasks of a project and determine those responsible. In addition to the responsibilities, the resources that are required to carry out a task should also be defined. In addition, the individual tasks should be prioritized based on their urgency and required working hours.

During these processes, Asana offers some functionalities that can support and ensure that no important step is forgotten.

The 22 most important asana tips:

1. Assign a task to several projects

In Asana, individual tasks can be added to more than one project. This can be useful for several projects with mutual dependencies or overlaps. For example, if the progress of two projects is dependent on one task, it can help to combine this task with both projects. In this way, the teams on both projects have an overview of the required tasks and can ensure that the project runs smoothly.

With a click on the “+” sign marked in the picture, you can assign any number of projects to a task.

> 2. Define the due date and the responsible person for each task

Note that it is important to assign each task and subtask in Asana to one or more assignees and a due date as you create them. This gives you the best possible overview of all to-dos and a clear distribution of responsibilities. Each person responsible then sees the corresponding task directly in the “my tasks” area with the respective due date and can thus ideally plan their work processes in advance. No more tasks will be lost or forgotten.

Simply click on the “Responsible” and “Due Date” area in the details of a task and select one or more people and a date. The due date adapts accordingly and on the correct day, as shown in the picture, automatically adapts to “tomorrow” or “today”.

3. Use color codes

You can mark your projects with different colors to get a better overview. Especially if you are working on many different projects at the same time, it can make sense to sort these individual projects thematically and to assign different colors to the subject areas or categories. In this way, you can orient yourself with the first glance at your menu bar and get an overview of the projects in which you are involved. In addition, you can add various symbols to projects that can provide additional support for this structure.

Example:

Product A = red

Team B = blue

or Project art = red

Tip: Use emojis as an extension of the color coding for teams

4. Use project templates for recurring processes

Using project templates can save a lot of time for projects that recur regularly or for new projects with processes that are very similar to those that have already been completed.

These templates already contain all the important structures and processes from previous projects. These have already been tried and tested and can be reused to save the time to create a new project right from the start. You can either use templates from old projects that you created yourself, or you can use one of the many templates that Asana provides.

5. Use the Chrome extensions for Asana

In order to be able to save websites directly as tasks in Asana, you have the option of using the Chrome extension for Asana. If you then surf on a website and have a related task to do, you can automatically take it over as a new task in Asana without having to copy and store links or the like

6. Convert emails directly to tasks in Asana

By syncing Asana with Gmail or Outlook, you can convert received emails directly into Asana Tasks. For example, if you receive inquiries from customers or a colleague asks for help with a project, you can use this email to create a new task in Asana with just one click. On the one hand, this saves a lot of time because you don't have to create the new task in Asana and it also prevents inquiries from being forgotten in the daily flood of emails. In addition, the synchronization with Gmail or Outlook offers the possibility of forwarding e-mails directly. With the address setting [email protected], e-mails are forwarded directly to your Asana mailbox and are therefore immediately visible without having to open any other application besides Asana.

7. Visualize your schedule

Visualize your schedule to get a better overview of the progress of the project and time-critical tasks. Asana offers a variety of ways to do this. The creation of milestones for the achievement of required tasks, for example on a timeline, can help to optimize your own time management and to adhere to schedules.

8. Use personalized fields

In Asana, you can set up personalized fields that you can use to classify individual tasks and subtasks. In this way, you can make and prioritize your tasks according to your individual needs. Possible examples of such a field could be, for example, the task status (in preparation / in work / completed) or the hours required to complete the task. You can add all the information about a task that is relevant to you as a personalized field and have it at a glance at all times.

9. Create sections in your assignments

Asana offers the possibility to divide a project or individual tasks into sections. This function makes it possible to arrange tasks not only according to their deadlines but also according to the topic. The sections can be selected according to individual needs and can therefore be adapted to any project or area of ​​application. For example, it is conceivable to create sections for different departments such as “Accounting, HR, and Marketing”. All tasks that have to be carried out by the respective department can then be stored in these sections.

Tip:The shortcut to create a section is “Tab + N”

10. Define subtasks

In order not to lose track of many tasks, it makes sense to subdivide individual tasks. For this purpose, subtasks can be created in Asana. This keeps the number of listed tasks clearer. All sub-tasks can then be viewed through the detailed view of an individual task. This function also makes it possible to assign each sub-task to a responsible person. This means that all team members know exactly which ToDos they have to do and do not have to find their way around a higher-level task first. This, as granular as possible, representation gives all employees involved a better overview of open tasks.

After all tasks have been defined and the responsible persons have been determined, the actual work on the project - the implementation - can begin. While working on a project, especially in larger teams or when working with different departments, successful communication makes a decisive contribution to the success of the project. Structured communication is crucial both within the company and within the department and beyond, for example when working with customers or business partners. To ensure that there are no delays during a project, the required resources should be updated and clearly defined at all times during the implementation phase.

Asana also offers numerous functions during this phase that can support and optimize your workflow. On the one hand, a project can be carried out more quickly and thus more efficiently and, on the other hand, it is ensured that work is carried out in a structured manner and that no careless mistakes are made because, for example, individual sub-tasks are lost. Asana offers numerous support functions for the work of the individual employee as well as for better collaboration in a team.

11. Connect Asana to other tools

Asana can be connected to numerous other tools such as GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. Asana offers many possible integrations that can make your work easier and faster. By connecting with other tools, all tasks, files or other documents can be managed in one place. In this way, team members keep a collective overview of appointments, e-mails and other files on a single platform. You can find an overview of the numerous possible integrations here. Asana offers the right integrations with suitable tools for every need, so that you can work more efficiently with Asana in every job description.

12. Communicate within tasks

Asana offers the possibility to use a comment function within a project or a task to communicate with other participants, to ask questions or to send updates on a task. In this way, questions can be clarified without the need for a separate tool. In addition, all information about a task is then available in the same place and can be viewed again at a later point in time. If questions arise to a certain employee, he can be mentioned directly in the comment function and then receives a notification that input may be required here.

In the text box visible in the picture, you can add comments or updates or ask questions directly related to the task. With the “@KollegeXY” function, you can mark and address the colleague in question directly in the comment. They will then receive a notification and Asana will remind them to respond.

Tip: By using “@” you can also create a link to other tasks.

Care should be taken to ensure that only topics are actually discussed within a task that relate precisely to this task in order to avoid misunderstandings or confusion.

13. Organize individual tasks in “my tasks”

The “My Tasks” area enables each individual user to see all of their open tasks, regardless of the project, in one overview. This area is only visible to the employee himself and serves as a kind of private to-do list. Every employee can sort, arrange and use this view in the way that is clearest for him.

For example, it can make sense to organize the tasks according to deadlines. A division into the areas “today”, “soon” and “later” can, for example, help to meet all deadlines and not to forget any tasks. Asana adapts this overview independently and displays tasks with the appropriate deadline at the right time in the “Today” section.

Tip: The shortcut for this is "Tab + Y"

14. Use the advanced search to create reports

With the advanced search, you can quickly and easily generate reports that give you a good overview of all tasks that have to be completed or have already been completed.

You can use a variety of filter criteria for these reports. For example, you can get an overview of which tasks an employee has to complete today or which tasks of a team are due this week. So you always have an overview of the workload and the current responsibilities of each employee. This ensures that employees do not overlook time-critical to-do's and that they can organize or plan their working hours optimally. With this overview, teams can plan their work processes and times well in advance and use them efficiently. Managers can also better plan the distribution of tasks within a team, as the advanced search gives them a precise overview of the current workload of their employees. For example, you can create an overview of all open tasks in a project that have high priority and must be completed in the next 7 days.

15. Work with priority tags

It is also possible in Asana to prioritize all tasks. You can choose between the tags “high”, “medium” or “low priority” and classify your individual tasks in this way. This option makes it easier, in addition to the due date, to get a good overview of which tasks should be completed first and to adjust your schedule accordingly. This prevents important tasks from being forgotten when the workload is high and tasks with high priority are not done first. To do this, first add the “Priority” column with the marked “+” button and then select the corresponding day for individual tasks.

16. Mark important projects as favorites

In Asana, you can mark projects that you work on frequently as favorites. This means that you can quickly access important projects at any time and keep an overview of them. Especially when employees are working on many different projects at the same time, this clear display can save a lot of time and simplify daily work in Asana.

17. Accelerate the workflow with keyboard shortcuts

Various key combinations help to speed up the workflow and to waste less time on things that have no direct influence on the success of a project. A variety of shortcuts can be given in Asana with different keyboard shortcuts. Employees can switch back and forth between the different views with just one click. This saves you a lot of time that you would otherwise waste clicking through the application. Some of the most important shortcuts are summarized in the table below.You can see other helpful keyboard shortcuts here.

18. Sync Asana with Slack

Asana can also be synced with the Slack messenger app. In this way, important topics or short inquiries can be discussed directly via the chat function. Thanks to the connection with Slack, this is possible directly in Asana and employees no longer have to switch between the two applications. Thanks to the chat function, questions that are easy to clarify can be discussed quickly without the need for e-mail. In this way, you and your employees are saved from a flood of e-mails that can quickly lose track and overlook really important e-mails.

Also, by connecting Slack and Asana, you can create tasks in Asana right in Slack Chat. These functions save a lot of time and support clear workflows.

Monitoring progress is also essential for successful project management. Optimal results can only be guaranteed and assured by regularly checking the progress of the project and making any adjustments. The team should always have a good overview of the goals that have already been achieved or possibly missed in order to subsequently identify errors and remedy the causes. In this way, workflows can be optimized and possible sources of error eliminated. Here, too, Asana can support you in various ways and help your project to be more successful.

Tip: By typing "/ asana create" in a Slack chat, you can create an Asana task right in Slack.

19. Define goals as milestones

Define important intermediate goals as milestones and review them regularly. Getting an overview of the “critical path” can be essential for successful project execution. If all employees involved work towards common milestones and know their deadlines, it can be ensured that time-critical tasks are completed on time without jeopardizing the progress of the project. Asana offers the option of setting milestones and making them visible to everyone. This enables an overview of the milestones to be achieved and the tasks required for them at all times.

20. Update the project status regularly

It is important to regularly monitor the status of your project and to allow all employees involved to be aware of the current status. Asana offers the possibility to send project status updates and to let all team members assigned to the project participate. With short updates such as “Project is going well - schedule adhered to”, you can involve employees, inform them about the status of a project and motivate them.

21. Use project boards for a visual overview

In order to get a clear and easily understandable overview of a project, Asana offers the possibility to visualize projects in different ways. For this you can create so-called project boards on which all tasks and subtasks of a project including milestones are visible at a glance. In this way, all team members can quickly and easily get an overview of completed and outstanding tasks and always keep an eye on important goals and to-dos. Especially with large projects, the list of tasks to be completed quickly becomes very long and confusing. Here in particular, the visually clear view through a project board can help to keep an overview.

Tip: works very well as a Kanban setup with creative and editorial teams. Remember that the various steps should be limited, otherwise you can easily lose track of things.

22. Check off completed tasks consistently

In Asana, individual tasks or subtasks can be marked as done with one click. On the one hand, employees have a good overview of which ToDo’s they have already successfully processed and, on the other hand, the presentation of existing tasks is clearer. By using subtasks it is also possible to mark individual, small steps as completed separately. This way, all employees always have a good and up-to-date overview of the project progress. In addition, team members receive visual feedback from Asana when checking off a task, which can provide additional motivation.

Asana can make a lasting contribution to making project work within a team and also individually for each project member easier and more effective. If you know some helpful tips and have mastered hand movements, Asana will certainly be a great relief for numerous everyday activities and contribute to more structure and better organization of your everyday work.

Also, let us know in the comments section about your tips and tricks that you use as you work with Asana. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.