By now, you probably know that I’m a HUGE Asana fan.
Yes, it’s one of many project management systems out there … but I’ve used a lot of them, and Asana is the one that does it for me! So much so that I certified as an Asana Pro in 2020!
It’s a great tool for making sure your projects and tasks stay on track - whether you’re a small start-up with one person doing all the work, or a larger business with multiple employees.
I’m going to take you through six tips that will help you use Asana more effectively if you already use it. And if you don’t use it yet, these are some reasons you should try it out!
Ok, let’s get started, you’re going to love these …
Tip #1 – Group tasks into sections
This is a really simple way to sort your tasks into groups. Lots of people don’t realise that this feature exists as it’s a little bit hidden.
Organising your tasks into sections is totally doable – it’s just hidden under the “Add task” button in your project.
Just click the downward arrow to the right-hand side of the “Add task” button and add a section. You can also create a new section by using “Tab N” (on a Mac) or “Ctrl N” (on a PC) instead.
Sections are great because they also allow you to rearrange all the tasks under that section to another part of the project just by dragging the section, rather than having to move the tasks one by one.
As far as Asana tips and tricks go, it’s not too exciting, but if you weren’t splitting long lists of tasks into sections before, you should start now.
Tip #2 – Repeating tasks
Sometimes, we need to perform the same task a number of times. It could be at the start and end of a project or it could be a weekly recurring task, like sending a report to a client or work colleague.
Inexperienced Asana users sometimes create a new task for each time the task needs to be completed; and yes, it does get the job done, but there is a better way!
Asana has a repeat function. Whenever you create a new task, click on the “due date” field. The repeating options are on the bottom of the panel (🔁). Tasks can recur daily, weekly, monthly or yearly – whatever option you need, it’s there.
Asana even allows you to define your own time period.
Tip #3 – The Asana App
Yes, those smarty pants at Asana have thought of everything! Away from the office and don’t have access to your laptop? No problem, you can just open your Asana app to add, update or complete actions. Download it from your mobile phones app store and log in with your account details and away you go!
Tip #4 - Finding files
Have you ever added files to a project but then can’t remember which task you added them to?
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. There’s an easy way to see every file that’s been uploaded to a project.
Just go to the top of the project page and click on “more” and “files”. Every file that’s been uploaded into that project will be available on this page which will make it easier to find it!
Tip #5: Update multiple tasks at one time
Say you’re going on leave and you want to update tasks that are due during to time off to either before or after your leave period.
There’s no need to go through each one individually with Asana.
Just hold down your “command” button (on MAC) or “control” button on Windows, then click on the tasks you want to change so that they are all highlighted – you’ll get a black bar across the bottom of your page which allows you to complete various things for all the selected tasks including reassigning the task or updating the due date for them all.
Tip #6 – Add tasks through email
Ok, again you’re away from the office with no access to Asana and you get an email from a client that you need to pass onto one of your team.
So, you could open up the Asana app on your phone and spend a few minutes copying and pasting the contents of the email into a new task, or you could just forward the email to your team member. BUT you’ve then got to log the task in Asana at a later date to make sure it’s tracked to completion.
Here's a much better option. Simply forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send an email to that address, a new task will be created in your “My Tasks”. The subject line of the email will become the new tasks name, and the contents of the email will become its description. Attachments will also be added to the task.
If anyone else needs to be assigned to the task just add their email address to the “to” field in your email. Anyone you add as a “cc” will be added to the task as a follower.
Bonus Tip - You can also add tasks to a specific project by forwarding an email, but you’ll need the unique email address of the particular project.
Just go into Asana, click on the project’s name, click the downward arrow beside the project name at the top of the page and select Import > Email. You will then see the unique email address for your project. If you think you’ll be adding tasks via email a lot, it may be a good idea to add your project’s emails to your address book.
What do you think of these tips? Have I missed anything you think should have been included? Let me know in the comments below.