Asana tips: How to structure your work in Asana
May 19th, 2020
Read this article in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese.
Whether you’re new to Asana or a power user, knowing how to structure your work in Asana is the first step toward connecting individual work to larger initiatives or goals. In fact, according to the Anatomy of Work Index, employees who have clarity on how their individual work adds value to their organization are 2x more likely to be motivated at work.
When you take full advantage of the building blocks in Asana that make it easy to structure work, Asana becomes more than a project management tool—it’s a work management platform designed to help your team coordinate work, collaborate effectively, and hit your goals. To help you and your team get the most out of Asana, here are the tips you need to effectively coordinate work at every level.
How to structure your work in Asana
Asana is built to connect your individual work to the broader company mission or objective. Think of it like a pyramid, where each task is the building block of a project, which is the building block of a team, and so on. By knowing how your tasks ladder up to your company’s big-picture initiatives, you have the context and clarity you need to get your best work done.
Let’s say you’re a marketing lead in a fictional organization, Yeti Inc. Read on to see what your work in Asana might look like at each level.
Your organization, Yeti Inc, is the highest level of hierarchy in Asana. Team members are added to your Organization based on the email domain for your company—so in our example, everyone with an email address that ends with @yeti.com would be part of the same Organization.
Teams are the working groups of people within your Organization. They can be traditional company departments, like Engineering or Marketing, or a team of people with shared interests. Think of a team as any group of people who need to work on a set of projects together.
As a marketing lead at Yeti Inc, you’re part of the Marketing team. But you can join multiple teams in Asana. If your role as a marketing lead meant you worked frequently with the Design team, for example, you might want to join that team as well to stay up-to-date on their most important initiatives.
Alternatively, you could join one of Yeti Inc’s non-department teams, like the San Francisco team for Bay Area residents, the Culinary team for cooking competitions and new recipes, or the New Hire Celebration team to help welcome any new additions to Yeti Inc.
Within the teams view, you can see all of the projects created under that team. You can also share a conversation with the entire team, without connecting that conversation to a specific project.
Tip: Create a variety of broad and specific teams. In addition to the Marketing team for the entire marketing department, you can also create separate, smaller teams—for example, Corporate Marketing, Event Marketing, and Product Marketing. Use conversations within the larger team (in this case, Marketing) to keep the entire department aligned and connected across initiatives.
Projects are where you organize your team’s work. At Yeti Inc, you might create projects for team initiatives, goals, brainstorms, meeting agendas, or any other type of work. The projects you create can be public to your team or private to a set group of people, though you can always add or remove Project members. You can view projects in multiple ways, including List, Board, Calendar, and Timeline View.
Tip: Quickly create projects with the Asana CSV importer. Or, if you have a process you use frequently, turn that project into a template that every person in your Organization can use.
Tasks break down projects into actionable steps. Tasks can be to-dos, requests, reminders, or ideas. Every good task answers the question: Who is doing what by when? So be sure to add an assignee, task description, and due date.
Tip: Do you have a task that’s relevant for more than one project at Yeti Inc? Easily add the same task to multiple projects to keep work visible and collaborators up-to-date across projects.
Subtasks break down tasks into smaller parts. They help divide the task into multiple steps, each of which can be assigned to a different person.
Tip: Press Tab + S to create a new subtask.
Connect individual work to larger initiatives with Asana
Now more than ever, as teams continue to work remotely, it’s important to have a clear view of how your team’s work relates to larger projects, initiatives, and goals. By empowering your team with the knowledge of how their work ladders up to larger initiatives, you’re setting them up to get their best work done, no matter where they’re working.
To learn more about how teams use Asana to collaborate remotely, check out our remote resource guide. Or, if you’re ready to get started, try Asana for free today.