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Asana is a fantastic work management platform, and if you believe in structure, process and working towards the goals of your organisation (let's be honest no-one likes being busy for the sake of it), then you'll love Asana.
Full disclosure; I consider myself relatively new to the platform; however, after using it day-in-day-out for the last month, I thought I'd share my top Asana tips. If you're looking for technical details about set-up from an admin perspective, I'd suggest checking out the resources on our Asana page or by booking a meeting with one of our specialists. Otherwise, let's jump straight in:
1) Make sure you integrate Asana with the places where you work the most.
This tip might seem obvious, but I can't stress how important this was for me. In the remote working age, we need email, chat apps, and SaaS platforms to survive. However, it's relatively easy to keep these channels siloed. The good thing is Asana has 100's of cool integrations that means the days of flagging emails and messages are a thing of the past. As an example I have Asana set up in the following locations;
- Chrome/Web Browsers: Browser extensions make it easy to send webpages directly to a task. It's perfect for when you need to bookmark inspiration or to send people directly to a website to complete a task.
- Gmail/Email: Despite it being 2021, we still get sent far too much email (and in my case, it's just newsletters I'd forgotten I'd signed up to). Instead of starring or flagging the crucial emails, I send them straight to the relevant Asana project and create a task. No more fishing around in my inbox for information and it's automatically added to my to-do.
- Slack/Chat apps: The Asana Slack integration is perfect for two reasons. 1) It allows me to send sections of Slack conversations to a task. 2) It notifies me in Slack when I'm assigned new work or when someone completes a task. Boom.
- Other integrations: Asana has tonnes of workplace integrations for the day-to-day tools that your organisation may use. I suggest taking a look at the integrations page to see if there are any useful ones for your organisation which can help speed up your daily workflow. A particular favourite of ours is the Google Drive integration so we can easily share files.
2) Think about creating a portfolio according to your job role.
This one depends on your specific job role, and I can only speak from my own experience. As Head of Marketing at GenD, it'd be safe to say my head often spins with projects and ideas! However, too much potential can stifle productivity, so I spent a chunk of time thinking about how to configure work in Asana to maximise my efficiency. I concluded that I needed:
- A portfolio to encompass all of the different marketing channels we have at our disposal (website, email, social, advertising, etc.).
- Projects that are relevant to specialist skills should we bring in 3rd parties or freelancers (copywriting, SEO, PR, Events, Campaigns).
- A consistent structure and methodology for all projects (Ideas, To-Do, Doing, Complete).
For me, this keeps things simple on a day-to-day level and also makes it easy for other members of the team to feedback on particular marketing channels or campaigns. It's great if someone spots a website error, or wants to flag an excellent bit of social content, and I encourage my colleagues to jump into that project and throw-down a task!
3) Work on the go!
Use an iPad or mobile device? Make sure you have the Asana app installed. I've lost count of the times I've found exciting content or useful information while scrolling through my phone. Luckily once you have the Asana app installed the built-in sharing feature of my device recognises Asana as a channel. It means I can share any piece of content with any project I choose with a few taps, and yes, this includes all the tech memes.
At this point, it's also a good idea to set boundaries with Asana notifications. I chose to edit my device notifications, so I only receive notifications during working hours, Monday to Friday.
4) Merge tasks to avoid duplication and add them to more than one project.
Sometimes tasks fall across multiple projects, and life in Asana can get chaotic if you're working across various teams and portfolios. Luckily you can assign a task to multiple projects, so if you complete it in one place, it's complete in all! When I have a website related task that is also going to be part of content creation and our SEO strategy. I create one task and assign it to the three projects. Simple.
Sometimes tasks also come into a project, and they're a duplicate of other tasks. Fear not, Asana allows you to merge the tasks! It's a great feature, and I like to do a quick scan on a morning to see if I can reduce down my task list and increase my focus just through merging duplicate tasks.
5) Remember, not everyone is going to use Asana in the same way.
It's a fact that no two users of a platform ever use it in entirely the same way and everyone has their set of quirks. As a result, I try to find a compromise with the working practices of others. A good example is the main boss here at GenD (Hi Graham!). Like all good leaders, Graham likes to get the ideas out of his head and into action! We have an agreement that every marketing project in Asana has an "ideas" section right at the top. That way, Graham can ping his ideas into the project, and during our 1-2-1, we can discuss them, and decide if we can shape them into tasks. It's a straightforward hack that accommodates how we both use the platform.
And there we have it. Hopefully, these Asana tips have been useful, and if you want to learn more about a work management platform for your company then check out this free eBook: What is Work Management and why your team needs it.