A trend that I’ve noticed with software recently is that it’s really clean and elegant (which is great), but many of the useful features are hard to find. It’s like the developers want you to go on a scavenger hunt to learn how to use the software. I’ve written before about how I fell in love with Asana when I first logged in. The clean interface grabbed me from the start. But learning the hidden tricks is what kept me coming back. Here are 10 Asana tips and tricks to help you get organized, stay productive, and keep your biz on track.
Change your task view
When you set up a project in Asana, the default view for tasks is the order in which you entered the tasks. If you prefer a different view, simply click on the drop-down arrow next to “View: . . .”. You’ll be presented with several options. I prefer to see Incomplete Tasks.
If you have a team using Asana, you can save a view for the whole team. You can also customize the view by adding a sort field, such as date, assignee, or priority.
Use Today, Upcoming, and Later
You can organize your own tasks into Today, Upcoming, and Later sections. I’ll admit that I did not like this feature at first, but now I can’t live without it. It enables me to focus on what I need to do Today and also keep an eye on tasks that should be completed soon.
Assign the label by clicking on one or more tasks and using one of the following keyboard shortcuts:
- Today = Tab + Y
- Upcoming = Tab +U
- Later = Tab + L
Hide Upcoming and Later sections
Now that you are assigning your tasks to Today, Upcoming, and Later, it’s helpful to hide the Upcoming and Later sections during the workday. Simply click on the arrow next to Upcoming or Later to toggle the view on and off.
Use @mentions to link people, tasks, & projects
@mentions are hyperlinks between various objects in Asana. Type @ and the first few letters of the object you want to hyperlink and Asana will automatically fill in the remaining text. You can use @mentions to tag another member of your team or to create links to other projects and tasks in descriptions and comments.
Email tasks to Asana
Any task-related email can be forwarded to Asana using firstname.lastname@example.org as the forwarding email address (this is the address for all Asana users). Asana matches up the “from” email address that is tied to your Asana account and creates a new task. You can add additional “from” email addresses in your profile settings.
Drag and drop projects
To re-order your project list in the sidebar, simply select a project and drag it to a new position.
Add sections to projects
If a project has many tasks, you may find it helpful to break up the project into sections. For example, you could set up sections based on the type of task, such as Marketing, Sales, Web Design, Finance, IT, etc. Or you could use time frames, such as 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, or 5 weeks out, 3 weeks out, etc. To create a section, simply start typing in a task field, then put a colon at the end of the text string; Asana will automatically create the section.
Assign tasks to multiple projects
Tasks often belong to more than one project. For example, writing this blog post is part of my “Blog Content” project and part of my “Asana e-course” project. Rather than agonizing over which project to put it in, I just assign it to both. Then I have a better visual of my workload and I save time by only having to check it off once.
Create recurring tasks
You probably have a lot of tasks that need to occur on a regular basis, whether that is weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. For example, I have a task to capture my social media stats and add them to a spreadsheet on the first day of each month. Don’t waste brain space trying to remember when to do these things. With repeated tasks, when you check off the current task, a new one will be created for the interval of your choice.
Sometimes you need to change multiple tasks at one time, such as assigning team members or due dates. To select a group of adjacent tasks, click on the first task, hold down the shift key, then click on the last task – first, last, and every task in between will be selected. To select non-adjacent tasks, hold down the control or command key, then click the desired tasks individually.
These are just a few of my favorite quick tips to get the most out of Asana. They will help you get organized, stay productive, and keep your business on track.
More Resources for Improved Productivity
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