Do you want to make the most of the benefits of Asana project management? Asana is powerful, but easy to use, if you learn a few tricks. You can really improve your productivity with these advanced Asana tips!
I’ve written before about why I think Asana is the best project management tool for solopreneurs. I fell in love with it the first time I logged in. The clean interface grabbed me from the start. But learning the hidden tricks is what kept me coming back. Here are
10 15 quick Asana tips and tricks that will help you make the most of Asana for both project and task management. It will help you get organized, stay productive, and keep your biz on track.
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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 track of tasks that should be completed soon.
Assign the label by clicking on one or more tasks and using one of the following Asana 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.
As a solopreneur, I mostly use @mentions to create links to other projects and tasks in descriptions and comments. However, if you have a team, you can use @mentions to tag other team members. This is one of the things that makes Asana so great for team collaboration. You can keep all your conversations about a project within Asana instead of using email.
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 or tasks
Asana sections are a useful way to break up large projects. 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.
How to add sections in Asana:
To add a section, hit Tab+N on your keyboard.
Add 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.
Add Asana 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; let Asana automate the process for you by using repeated tasks. 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.
Use Asana boards to see workflows
For the most part, I prefer lists. But for some projects, I need to see the whole workflow in a visual format. That’s where Asana boards come in. If you are familiar with Kanban boards or with Trello, then you already know how boards work.
In Asana, you’ll create a new project and choose “Board” as the layout. Then you simply lay out the process steps in columns. As you complete a task, you can drag it to the next column, so that you always know where you are in the process.
I find Asana boards most helpful for projects where I batch the different steps. For example, here is my “New Pin Process” board. I like to batch create graphics at one sitting. Then write keyword-rich descriptions. The last batch is Tailwind scheduling. With the board, I can see exactly where each pin is in the workflow.
Prioritize tasks or projects with tags
Asana doesn’t have a feature to set priority levels, such as high, medium, and low (at least in the free version). However, there is a very easy workaround you can use to prioritize tasks. Simply create tags using whatever priority labels you like. You can then add the priority tag to tasks. Tags are searchable, which makes it easy to find those high-priority tasks.
Integrate Asana with other apps that you use
Asana has several integrations, such as a Chrome extension, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Slack, and more. The ones I use most often are Google Drive to to link applicable files to projects and Toggl for time tracking.
Create templates for your business processes
You will be so much more efficient if you document your business processes. It’s super-easy to do this in Asana. Large processes can be documented as project templates. And you can document smaller processes using tasks and sub-tasks. Then simply copy the project or task the next time you need to perform that process.
Create a Someday/Maybe project
Ever since I read Getting Things Done, I’ve kept a Someday/Maybe list. Now, I keep that list in Asana, so that I have a running list of all things I might want to do someday, but that I don’t want to add to my to do list right now.
These are just a few of my favorite tips for using Asana. They will help you get organized, stay productive, and keep your business on track.
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