New client onboarding

Onboarding new clients involves a lot of coordination. Between emails, spreadsheets, and coordination between teams, there are a lot of opportunities for things to slip through the cracks. Track your team’s work for onboarding and managing clients with Asana. You’ll maintain clear and constant communication with your clients so the relationship continues to grow.

Read the Hello Social and Social Driver case studies to see how Asana helps them onboard clients 20-50% faster.

How to create your customer implementation template project

You will set up two projects: one for your team’s internal use, and one between your team and the client.

Internal and external onboarding projects for clients and account managers

Part one: create a customer implementation template project

This project will be for just your own internal team’s use to make sure client onboarding is going according to plan.

  1. Create a new project to use as your customer implementation template to duplicate. Name the project “Internal implementation.” (And every time you create a new project from the template, change the name to start with your client’s name.)
  2. Create taskstasks Tasks are the basic unit of work in Asana. Tasks can represent any kind of work, break down work into smaller pieces, or store information. Read more that cover all general client onboarding steps. These will vary widely from organization to organization, but here are a few general examples:

    • Sign contract
    • Establish main account contacts
    • Load customer data
    • Playbook development
    • Meet with your team to make sure that all onboarding steps are reflected in the project.
  3. Create sections from part one to categorize your onboarding steps. Just type Tab + N.
  4. For any tasks that apply to the external implementation project (see part two), you can store tasks in multiple projects. Type Tab + P and click the + button to add another project.
  5. Once you’ve created your internal implementation template, tell your teammates to create a new project from a custom template whenever they are onboarding a new client, and rename it to match the client’s name, as well as updating the tasks or task descriptions to match the client’s name and processes specifically.
  6. Invite relevant internal stakeholders as project members so they can track their work with the client in the project and provide status updates when needed.

Create an internal implementation template in Asana to duplicate

Part two: create an external implementation project template

This template should be shared with the client so they can check their onboarding progress and send your team tasks and questions along the way.

  1. Create a team named “Account management,” or “Client accounts.” This will be where you store all of your client-facing implementation and account projects.
  2. Create a new project. Name the project “External implementation.”
  3. Add a project descriptionproject description The project description is a place to provide teammates with the goals and overview of a project. Read more that explains the different sections in the project, the account manager’s contact information, and (if desired) a link to the [Guide] (/guide) if clients have questions about Asana.
  4. Create sectionssections Sections let teams organize your task lists. Divide projects or My Tasks list based on category, workflow stage, or priority. Read more and name them “reference,” “open questions,” and “action items.” Create tasks that make sense for your client base. For example, you might have tasks for a kickoff meeting, loading data, etc.
  5. Just like for the internal implementation, once created, save your project as a template by clicking the project header dropdown and selecting Convert to Template. Make sure your teammates create new external implementation projects from the template instead of reinventing from scratch.
  6. Once the project is created, you can duplicate the template for each new account and start to invite the client and their teammates as project members (but they will be guests in your Organization.) From your team, you will also invite their account manager, and other relevant stakeholders as project membersproject members Someone that has access to and receives notifications about a project. Read more so they can add tasks, track progress, and provide status updates as needed.
    • Each individual client will only be able to see projects they are invited to within the team, so they can’t see other accounts’ information.
  7. Add tasks from your internal project as reference in this project for the customer by typing Ctrl/Cmd + P on the task, and then typing in the name of the externally-facing project. Encourage the customer to add tasks in the “open questions” section to contact you. Add tasks to “action items” when there is work for either your team or the client to do, or if you have follow-up items from calls or meetings.
  8. Use Asana as your central repository for sharing files, communicating status updates, running meetings with your client, requesting work, and general communication.
  9. Use progress viewprogress view Progress View helps you track task completion in a project over time and get status updates from Project Owners. Read more to post status updates so your teammates and clients can see how the onboarding is progressing.

Create an external implementation template in Asana to duplicate

Part three: kick-off with the client

Now that you’ve invited your client into the externally-facing project, you should host a kickoff meeting where both teams can decide on how you plan to collaborate in Asana. You can show them the basics of using Asana, like creating tasks and communicating effectively. You can also explain what information lives in the project, how to post status updates, and where to ask questions and put in requests for your team.

Tips for managing your customer implementation template projects

Manage client projects in one place with Portfolios

These two onboarding projects might just be the start of many more projects you work on with clients. To keep tabs on all the projects for each client, create one portfolio per client. Portfolios show you the real-time status, priority, and progress of projects, so you have an accurate view of how you’re tracking toward your goals with any given client. This makes it faster to spot if things are off track to keep your client relationship on track. Internally, you can use Portfolios to help monitor and report on the status of key initiatives with each client.

Create reports with Google Sheets

Once you’ve added client onboarding projects to a Portfolio, using Portfolio reporting in Google Sheets can be a helpful way to compare all of your onboarding projects to see who’s on track and which clients need more focus. You can create custom reports and visualizations from Asana project data to understand the time it takes to onboard clients, how each teammate contributes to an onboarding, and where there are areas for improvement.

Use dependencies so the onboarding process happens in the right order

After building your internal and external onboarding projects, you can use dependencies to show what tasks are waiting on other work. Once a task you’re waiting on is complete, you will receive a notification that the next task in your workflow is ready to start. Both your team and clients can see if there are any hold-ups, and when work on the next step can begin. For example, if you can’t load a client’s data until they fill out an onboarding form, they’ll be able to see you’re waiting on it, no pestering needed.

Add custom fields to track anything uniformly

Add custom fields to any project (and even build them into your templates!) to categorize, filter, and denote additional information in Asana. You could use custom fields to show work priority, work stage, capture contact information with text fields, account health, account type, and much more. Tracking anything with custom fields is easy for your team and end clients and gives you a uniform way to capture information. Add custom fields by clicking the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of the project.

When all work is tracked in Asana between you and your client, everybody knows who’s doing what, by when. You can spend time working hard for your clients on the things that will build a stronger relationship that you can continue to grow—all without growing your inbox count.

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Asana Lessons

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


Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes


Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes


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 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 Recently Assigned.

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 Tab+N in any task row to create a new 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.