Event planning and management

How to create an event planning project in Asana

There are a few ways to create your event project plan. To get started quickly:

  1. Start with the event planning template and customize it for your team’s needs.
  2. Import an existing spreadsheet where you currently track event plans.

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 event planning project from scratch, or want general best practices for Asana projects get started with these project creation instructions.

Invite vendors and contractors to your event project as guests

You might kick off work with vendors in email, but consider inviting key vendors or contractors as guests into your event project. Making it easy for everyone to see deadlines, to-dos, and attachments helps ensure things get done on time. It also simplifies how you keep track of important files like contracts and invoices.

Tips for managing and doing event work

Now that you’ve built your event planning project, these tips will help you manage and track every detail as work gets underway.

1. Map out your event plan (and adjust as things come up) with Timeline

Most event plans have critical deadlines and dependencies leading up to the big day. Timeline helps you map these out in your plan before you start to ensure all the pieces fit together for a seamless event.

GIF of project plan creation with Asana Timeline feature

How to create your plan with Timeline:

  1. Create tasks for all your event to-dos in List View.
  2. Click the Timeline tab at the top of your project to shift into Timeline View.
  3. Schedule tasks by dragging and dropping them onto the timeline. If you spot timing conflicts, move tasks to reschedule them.
  4. Extend the task date ranges so assignees can better budget their time to work on it leading up to the deadline.
  5. If tasks need to be completed in a certain order, create dependencies between them by hovering over a task, then dragging the dot to a related task to connect them.

Once work is underway, Timeline can also help you quickly address conflicts before they derail your plan. For example, if booking your event venue takes longer than expected, you can shift dependent tasks in Timeline. Task assignees automatically get notified that their deadlines have been adjusted. Work can then start at the right time—without causing confusion, extra meetings, or a mad scramble after it’s already too late.

2. Keep track of important emails (while spending less time in your inbox)

SCREENSHOT of Outlook and Gmail Asana integrations for emails and inbox

You can always invite vendors to your event project, but if you communicate via email, try the Asana for Gmail, Outlook, or other email client add-ons. When you get emails with important documents or actionable work, you can add them to Asana right from your inbox to assign them as a task, add to your event project, and more. Key planning details and to-dos won’t keep getting lost in email (and you don’t have to spend so much time organizing your inbox.)

3. Save time on every event plan and never miss important steps with templates

Every event is different, but typically they share a core checklist. Instead of losing time recreating it for each event, or keeping it a doc that’s disconnected from where your plans are actually coming to life, you can build and save your event templates in Asana.

GIF of saving an Asana project as a template to reuse

  1. Build out your core event checklist in a project. Unless the same person completes the same task every time, do not assign tasks or add due dates.
  2. Click the in the project header and choose Save Project as a Template.
  3. Prevent edits or changes to the template by making it a comment-only project
  4. For every event afterwards, copy your template by clicking the + New button, Project, then heading to the tab for your organization’s saved templates.
  5. As you continue to refine your event checklist, you can update your template to ensure you don’t repeat mistakes or use outdated tactics.

Tips for managing day-of event work

1. Work on the go on and offline with Asana’s mobile apps

In the days leading up to your event and the day of, your team will likely be onsite preparing—making it hard to know what’s left to do and to access key details quickly. Asana’s mobile app keeps your team connected to the event plan (even if you’re offline on iOS or Android) before, during, and after the event.

SCREENSHOT of Asana mobile task for event planning

For example, you could annotate feedback directly on an event photo before sharing it out or confirm the event agenda was emailed to all attendees on time—all from mobile. This strengthens collaboration between event teammates even if they’re in different places.

2. Keep real time conversations actionable with the Slack integration

Many teams use both Asana and Slack to coordinate and communicate about work—especially when it’s go time for an event. Instead of picking one tool or the other, teams can use them together with the Asana for Slack integration.

GIF of creating an Asana task from a Slack message with integration

If a teammate asks for some feedback on their keynote presentation, but you’re running another errand for the event, you can create an Asana task right from the Slack conversation so you don’t forget and have all the original context.

Tips for reporting on event work and progress

To learn how to create reports to analyze event progress, start here. To learn how to post and keep track of event status updates, start here.

Monitor progress and manage staffing across multiple events with Portfolios and Workload

To understand event progress and gauge team bandwidth, event planners usually piece together information in meetings, emails, or spreadsheets, which can be time consuming and inaccurate. Instead, create a project portfolio with all your event plans to see real-time progress, event dates, and priority all in one place.

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

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

Resources for planning and managing events in Asana

More of a visual learner? Want to see how our customers plan events with Asana? Check out these resources:

Resources Link
Event planning template Use template
Video tutorial Watch How to Asana
On-demand course Register for Asana Academy
Case studies See how Sophos, G2, and World Press Photo plan events with Asana
Event professionals’ guide to productivity ebook Read ebook
Connect with Community Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum

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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons

Tasks

Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes

Projects

Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes

Inbox

Inbox Lessons

Communicate even faster

3 Minutes

You can use tasks to track, collaborate on, and organize all your work.

Tasks can be to-dos, ideas, notes, or reminders.

Assign a task to yourself or a teammate.

Press Tab+M to quickly assign a task to yourself.

Add a due date so your deadline is clear.

Add instructions and expectations in the task description field.

Type @ to link to other tasks, people, conversations, or projects.

When you @mention someone, they’ll be added to your task as a follower.

Followers get notified when new comments or attachments are added.

Add anyone who needs to stay up to date on your task as a follower.

They can always unfollow to stop getting notifications on your task.

Add comments to ask questions or give followers updates.

Heart a comment to let followers know you’ve seen it.

Add relevant files or irrelevant GIFs as attachments.

You can also attach directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

Create subtasks to break your task into smaller steps.

When you’ve added a subtask, press enter to add another.

Subtasks can contain all the same details as regular tasks.

Click the comment bubble to add comments or attachments to a subtask.

You can create tasks from any screen using your top bar.

Every Task has a unique URL to easily copy and share.

Congrats! Looks like you’re up to the task.

On to the next lesson!

Always know what to do next with My Tasks.

My Tasks is a list of every task assigned to you.

It makes managing your work simple.

Click on your My Tasks list and start typing to add tasks.

Like a text document, add a new line for each new task or paste in any list.

Forward to x@mail.asana.com to turn your emails into tasks

Asana will translate your email into a task, including your attachments.

New tasks will appear at the top of your list in New Tasks.

Tasks you add to My Tasks are private to you.

Click Make Public to share them with your team.

Prioritize tasks as Today, Upcoming, or Later.

Click on the blue dot next to the task, to quickly sort it.

Mark the tasks you’ll have time for Today.

Teammates can view your My Tasks list to see what you’re up to.

They’ll only see tasks you’ve made public or shared in a project (more on projects later).

Mark tasks due within a week as Upcoming so you can see what will be due soon.

On its due date, your task will move from Upcoming to Today.

Just like magic.

Mark tasks due in more than a week for Later.

They’ll be out of your way until their due date approaches.

Your tasks will move from Later to Upcoming a week before they’re due.

Keep My Tasks prioritized to always know what to work on and what’s coming next.

Now you know how to track and plan your work!

Next, learn how to work with your team in Asana.

Work together on groups of tasks with projects.

Projects help you track and organize the steps in a process or initiative.

Like an event plan, product launch, or editorial calendar.

Like My Tasks, simply click and type to add tasks to your project.

If you have your steps in a document or email already, paste in that list.

Add tasks to your project from email.

View your project’s unique email address from the project dropdown menu.

Add your tasks to other related projects.

Tasks can be included in multiple projects.

Add sections to organize tasks in a list project.

Type : at the end of any task title to make it a section.

Or, add columns to organize tasks in a boards project.

Drag and drop tasks between or within columns to reorder.

Assign your tasks and set due dates.

Never miss a deadline with your project calendar.

Drag and drop tasks on your calendar to change their due dates.

Add everyone who needs to stay updated on your project as members.

Project members will get notified of new conversations, statuses, and tasks.

Post conversations to make announcements or start discussions.

Your post will be sent to all project members.

Use Progress to see how your project is moving forward.

Set a project status to update your team on how it’s going.

The Project Owner will be reminded to set a status once a week.

Open and organize projects from your sidebar.

Favorite projects to pin them to the top of your sidebar.

Click the star button on the left of your project name to favorite it.

Create new projects from any screen using your top bar.

Now you can move projects forward with your team.

Just one more lesson before you dive in.

Communicate and coordinate faster with Inbox.

Check Inbox to quickly read and respond to your latest updates.

Inbox will notify you when you have a task due…

and when teammates update tasks, conversations, and projects you follow.

Open and respond to updates without leaving Inbox.

Click an update and you’ll have all the context you need to respond.

Archive updates you’re ready to dismiss.

Click the X that appears on the right of an update to archive it.

Open Archive to move dismissed updates back to your Inbox.

Click the arrow that appears on the right of an archived update to move it back to Inbox.

Unfollow tasks or projects to stop receiving updates about them.

In the end, you have control over the updates you receive (or choose not to receive)

When you’re ready, you can turn Asana’s Email notifications off.

Most communication with your team can be more easily managed from Inbox. Just remember to check it often.

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to have a great work day with Asana.