Project management

Every team uses Asana for project management a little differently, but regardless of what you’re working on, there are things any team can do to help projects run smoothly. Follow along with the article, or take a look at the video resources directly below.

Resources for project management Link
A short video Watch How to Asana
An online course Register for Asana Academy

Follow along with How to Asana

Watch How to Asana to follow along and master project management in Asana.

1. Plan a project

Sticky notes, whiteboards, and spreadsheets are easy enough, but they’re manual and get outdated quickly. Asana is easy enough for brainstorming and planning, but powerful enough to track your work in one place when you want to turn the ideas into a reality.

How to do it:

  • Create a project. Projects live within a team in Asana and store tasks. You can use them to track large goals, routine workflows and complex processes, manage deadlines, or even organize your ideas. You can choose from a list or board layout.
  • Use an Asana-created template. Our templates are based on some of the most tried-and-true workflows in Asana. They have recommendations about how to set up a project and move your tasks through the workflow.

Create a project in Asana from scratch or choose a pre-made Asana-created template

2. Organize your project

Once created, add structure to your project. When stakeholders are clear about who is doing what work, team members can get started on their piece and keep the project moving.

How to do it:

  • Use sections or columns to organize your tasks in a project. You can organize them by deadlines, work stages, timeframes, and more.
  • Assign tasks and give due dates. Projects get derailed when it’s unclear who’s actually responsible for what, especially if team members don’t know when their work needs to be completed. Not to mention all the time spent on work about work and potential for miscommunication.
  • Use Timeline for a Gantt-style view to help you plan and visualize each step in your project. You can easily see each task’s duration and deadline to easily shift things around to avoid overlaps and conflicts.

Make your project more organized with sections and assignees

Assign tasks, due dates, and organize your project; then, use Timeline for a Gantt-style view to help you plan and visualize each step in your project

3. Make workflows clear

Now that your project is built, set clear priorities, timelines, and expectations for your team. Asana has a lot of features to take your work from start to finish smoothly.

How to do it:

  • Mark task dependencies. If you’re waiting on a teammate to finish their work, Asana can help you keep track of its status so you can start your portion at the right time. That also means you spend less time checking in on the task, or not realizing when it was ready. With Timeline, you can easily shift tasks around.
  • Use custom fields to track stage, priority, additional task details, and more. As work moves along, use them to indicate the task’s status. You can also sort projects by custom fields and do advanced searches on them to find out what tasks need attention.
  • Create subtasks to break up work. If a task entails a lot of steps or several stakeholders, use subtasks so you can break it into more manageable pieces and show ownership in the process.
  • Use Calendar View to see what’s up for the day, week, or month (especially for projects like an editorial calendar.) See calendar in our mobile app for a quick glimpse and easy scheduling.

Mark task dependencies on others to make it clear when work should start

4. Share status updates

As your team begins to collaborate, Asana becomes even more powerful for project management. You can easily provide status updates in context with the work your team is doing. And you’ll only get notified about what matters most to you. (It beats sitting in status update meetings or digging through long email threads.)

How to do it:

  • Comment on tasks you’re working on so followers know where the task stands, and can answer questions or provide feedback about the work.
  • Write status updates in the Progress tab of your project. Choose a status color and @mention teammates, tasks, other projects, and conversations to link to them in the status update.
  • Manage project portfolios with our Portfolios feature. Portfolios are ideal for anyone that wants to manage multiple projects or monitor progress towards specific initiatives all in one view, in real time.
  • Create reports in Google Sheets. When you’re tracking lots of projects, understanding how well they’re going can be a challenge. With Portfolio reporting in Asana, you can use project data to create custom reports and visualizations to see what’s on track and what needs attention.

Portfolios are the best way to keep track of all projects for a specific initiative or team in one place

Portfolios also make it easier to ping Project Owners for status updates in one click. Just click into any project on your portfolio, then Request Status Update. Project Owners can also receive an automated notification to update their projects weekly to ensure all progress is up to date.

5. Prepare for your next project

Hurray! You’ve successfully managed a project in Asana. But before you jump right into the next project, take a moment to reflect on this one.

How to do it:

  • Take any learnings from the project and incorporate them into a template. That way, you can avoid repeating the same mistakes and make your plan even stronger for next time.
  • Archive the project. Now that you’re done with the project, archive it so you can focus on priorities. Archiving a project doesn’t delete any of the information, it just removes it from your project list.
  • Celebrate with your team. There are lots of small ways you can express gratitude in Asana (likes, @mentioning) but balancing work and play with your team leaves you energized and inspired for your next big project together.

Celebrate your achievements with teammates, and occasionally unicorns, in Asana

If you want even more tips and training to become a project management expert in Asana, Asana Premium users can sign up for our self-paced project organization training.

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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.