Creative briefs and ad hoc requests

How to build a creative request project

You can use this process to manage ad hoc creative requests (like an image for social media) and creative briefs for bigger projects (like kicking off a campaign)—all in the same place. There are a few ways to build your process. To get started quickly:

  1. Start with the creative requests template project.
  2. Import an existing spreadsheet where you currently track creative requests.

How to access all Asana templates

GIF demonstrating how to access templates in Asana from the +button in the top bar

If you’re a free user, prefer to build your own creative request project from scratch, or want general best practices for Asana projects, get started with these project creation instructions.

Tips for managing and producing creative requests

Now that you’ve built your creative requests project, these tips will help you manage it as work gets underway.

1. Templatize creative briefs and requests to action them faster with forms

Getting a complete creative brief or clear request details are critical to properly prioritize the work and ensure everyone is on the same page about expectations. Starting without clear goals or going back and forth on something like file type all add time to your production cycle.

Instead, create forms for your creative brief and/or an ad hoc creative request. Forms are directly connected to your creative production project to ensure your team starts with the information they need (in terms they understand.)

SCREENSHOT of a creative request form created in Asana

Forms can be submitted by anyone—even if they don’t use Asana—by sending them the form link. Once submitted, the form response becomes a new task in your project so it can get prioritized and assigned to a teammate with all the information they need already in the task.

Set up a form by following the steps outlined here.

If a request for a large, cross-functional, or complex project/initiative comes in, you can turn the task into a project to manage it more effectively.

2. Prioritize and filter requests with custom fields

Once you’ve set up a form, custom fields will help you prioritize incoming requests and sort them by category. If you’re used to spreadsheets, you might do this by filtering and sorting columns. Custom fields are a more powerful replacement, because they track this information in context with the work (instead of a place only a creative producer or project manager can see.)

If you add a “team” field in your form, you can map it to the same custom field in your project. Then when submitted, the new task will specify which team needs to help with the request to quickly gauge its scope and stakeholders.

A “priority” custom field can help the producer or manager prioritize requests relative to other work to keep their team on track, instead of letting a frantic requester jump over bigger priorities.

3. Keep creative requirements and request details in context with your designs in Adobe Creative Cloud

Once work is underway, it can be difficult to keep those key details, requirements, and feedback handy when creatives are in programs like Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, or InDesign CC working on the asset. Instead of losing time switching between tools or important context, creatives can keep the Asana task open in their Adobe Creative Cloud app.

SCREENSHOT of Adobe Creative Cloud integration with Asana task visible in Adobe program

4. Create clear, actionable feedback directly on creative assets

Once assets are ready for feedback, they can easily be attached and reviewed in the same task with proofing. Proofing in Asana makes it easy for reviewers to comment directly on assets so feedback is provided in context. Each comment turns into an actionable subtask that the creator can then decide how to incorporate.

GIF of image proofing workflow in Asana

Paired with our Adobe Creative Cloud integration, creators can pull up the feedback directly in the Adobe program they’re working in to help guide them, and save time on context and tool switching.

This makes the process of giving and receiving feedback easier because reviewers can make their suggestions clear and creators can decide how to incorporate them or not (and keep a record all in one place.)

5. Have smoother, faster approvals with custom fields notifications

Creative production deadlines can be tight and unclear handoffs or confusing review cycles are costly. Instead, keep all working files, feedback, and expectations clear with an approval workflow:

GIF approval workflow with custom fields in Asana to show when work is ready or already approved

  1. Add the Asana-created “approval stage” custom field to your project by clicking the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of your project.
  2. Once the asset is ready for review, the creator sets the field to Ready to review and assigns the task to the reviewer.
  3. The reviewer will get a notification that they can now start their review.
  4. Once they’re done reviewing, they set the custom field to Approved or Changes needed and reassign the task to the creator.
  5. The creator gets notified that their work is approved or needs to be updated. From that notification, they can see the feedback, and jump back into the file where they need to incorporate it.

Tips for reporting on creative request work and progress

Just getting started? Check out general best practices for status updates and reporting.

1. See at-risk work and follow up with teammates with advanced search reports

Another benefit of using custom fields to track priorities and approvals is that this information can be used to run advanced search reports. Advanced search reports pull information from all your work in Asana to help you answer questions like “what priorities are at risk?”, “what assets are waiting on feedback?” in real time—without manually searching for or compiling it. While you can create search reports for just about anything, at-risk work reports and approvals reports can help you spot blockers before they happen. From the report, you can also follow up with task assignees and stakeholders directly by commenting on the task.

SCREENSHOT of advanced search report results in Asana

To learn how to create other types of advanced search reports, start here.

2. Monitor progress and manage creative work staffing with Portfolios and Workload

To understand progress towards creative projects and gauge team bandwidth, creative producers and leads usually piece together information in meetings, emails, or spreadsheets, which can be time consuming and inaccurate. Instead, create a project portfolio with all your creative work and request projects to see real-time progress, launch dates, and priority all in one place.

Then use the Workload tab to visualize your creative team’s capacity based on tasks they’re already assigned in Asana. Workload helps you make informed staffing decisions to keep workloads balanced and creative work on track.

SCREENSHOT of using Workload to see teammate who’s overloaded and reassigning their work

Workload defaults to task count, but we know not all tasks are created equally. You can set up effort custom fields across portfolio projects to get a better sense of the total hours or effort level going into each task.

3. Track time spent on work for billing or resource planning

Many creative teams need to have a clear sense on how many hours they spend on work—especially agencies, freelancers, or managers trying to staff projects accordingly. Instead of guesstimating or overcomplicating the tracking, creatives can use the Harvest time tracking integration right in Asana (or another time tracking app). The Harvest timer is built into Asana tasks so you can track time for any task while you’re working on it.

SCREENSHOT of Harvest time tracking integration in Asana

Get started with time tracking apps in Asana by following along with a quick tutorial video.

Resources for planning and managing creative processes

More of a visual learner? Want to see how our customers manage creative production and requests? Check out these resources:

Resources Link
Creative and ad hoc request template Use template
Video tutorial Watch How to Asana
On-demand course Register for Asana Academy
Case studies & webinars See how Sony Music, Stance, and Scripps manage creative requests with Asana
Connect with Community Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum

Kicking off projects with a strong creative brief is key to keeping that work on schedule and budget. Meanwhile, creative teams also have to diligently manage ad hoc requests from other teams. Make creative production more efficient with this process:

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