You know the feeling: you’re getting started on an exciting new project, but now that you’re actually sitting down to finalize the project plan, you have some tough decisions ahead of you. Deciding how you’ll visually track and manage your work is critical to setting your team up for success.
These early project decisions are key to starting your project on the right track, and will make it easier for your team to track and execute work all the way through the finish line. With Asana, you have the flexibility to organize your project in the best way for your team, so you can focus on high-impact work. Try these tips to create and organize projects, so you and your team can always hit the ground running.
Create: Jumpstart your work with an Asana template
When you’re spinning up a new project, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel every time. Though you can always start with a blank Asana project, you can also try one of our 50+ project templates that come pre-populated with relevant Sections, tasks, and custom fields. Here are some of our most popular ones to try out:
Work request template.
Setting up a new work intake process? Our work request template has Kanban-style boards for the different stages of work—like New Requests, In Progress, Completed, and Deferred, allowing you to centralize, prioritize, and manage your work requests in one place.
Editorial calendar template.
When you’re managing a content program, you need a way to track what type of work is being written, how it’ll be distributed, and when it will be ready. With our editorial calendar template, Premium, Business, and Enterprise Asana customers also have access to pre-built custom fields like Content stage and Content type to make tracking work easier than ever.
Sprint planning template.
Set your Agile team up for success with our sprint planning template. With this template, your team has a central source of truth for all of the work happening during a sprint, so you can prioritize and execute your highest-impact work.
Project plan template.
If you’re not sure where to start or just need a solid foundation, try our generic project plan template. This template is a great starting point to share project updates, clarify project goals, and organize to-dos.
Tip: If you want to capture and standardize your own team’s workflows, you can also create custom templates. Simply go to the project header drop down and select Convert to template.
Instantly upload tasks using the CSV importer
If you’re currently managing your project in a spreadsheet or other project management tool, you can easily upload that information into Asana with the CSV importer. Start by exporting your work as a .csv file and uploading that file into Asana. From there, Asana will populate the task name, description, assignee, due date, and more.
If you’re importing an existing spreadsheet into Asana, each row will represent a task, and each column will represent a piece of task data, like the task title, description, or assignee. For example, if you’re importing a content calendar spreadsheet, you’ll want each row to represent an upcoming creative deliverable—like a blog, ebook, or article—and each column to represent additional information about the deliverable—like due date and assignee.
Tip: Make sure each column has the correct name, like “Description,” “Assignee,” or “Due date.” Learn more about importing spreadsheets in our guide article.
Organize: Visualize tasks in the way that works best for you with project views
Part of what makes a project successful is easily being able to visualize who’s doing what by when. But there’s no one right project view. Depending on what type of project you’re managing, your team might benefit from a to-do list style view, a Kanban board, a Gantt-style chart, or a calendar. Beyond that, different team members and stakeholders might want to see information in different ways, depending on why they’re viewing your project.
In Asana, you can view projects in four ways:
A spreadsheet-style view that provides easy, at-a-glance insight into who’s doing what by when. Use List View for project planning, sales pipeline tracking, and meeting agendas.
A Kanban board where columns can represent the stage work is in or the assignee. Use Board View for work requests, bug tracking, and scrum-style sprints.
A Gantt-style view where you can see how the pieces of your plan fit together. Use Timeline View for product launches, virtual event planning, or marketing campaigns.
A calendar where you can view tasks and easily track task cadence, coverage, and details. Use Calendar View for social media calendars and editorial calendars.
Organize work with Sections
Once you’ve created your basic project building blocks, Sections make it easy to split, organize, and group like tasks. Depending on the project, you might have Sections for progress, assignee, or to split work into category buckets.
Tip: Sections show up differently depending on project view. In List and Timeline View, Sections are horizontal rows of like tasks. In Boards View, they show up as columns.
Easily track task details with custom fields
A good Asana task has an assignee and a due date, so your team always has clarity on who’s responsible, what they’re working on, and when deliverables are due. But to help your team get their best work done, you also need to track more information. Whether it’s the task priority, helpful metadata like how many hours the work might take, or project-specific details like what category a request falls into, keep everyone on the same page with custom fields.
There’s no right or wrong way to create custom fields. But, if you’re getting started with project management in Asana, here are a few to try out:
The priority custom field helps your team align on your most important work. That way, if business needs change or deadlines shift, they’ll still know what to prioritize first.
When tasks take more than one day to complete, you can use start and due dates to let your team know. But a task progress custom field takes that a step further, so your team always knows when work is ready to move on to the next stage.
If your project has a budget, you need to make sure you’re allocating capital correctly. With a numerical cost custom field, you can easily track your project spending and make sure everything is within budget.
Depending on the project, it can be helpful to clarify what category your task falls into. For example, in an editorial calendar, you could create a “task type” custom field to clarify if that task is a Blog, Article, Ebook, or Other.
Clarifying the estimated amount of time a task might take can help your team members prioritize and organize their work. And, with a numerical field like estimated hours, you can also use Workload to track your team’s capacity and prevent burnout.
Tip: Another advantage of custom fields: you can slice and dice Dashboards charts by custom field. Learn more about Dashboards charts in our guide.
Create, organize, and manage all of your projects with Asana
You’ve created and organized your project… all that’s left now is to manage it. With Asana on your side, there’s nothing your team can’t do. For more Asana tips, check out our Asana Academy—or log in to Asana to try them out today.
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