Balance transparency and privacy

At Asana, we believe in the importance of transparency, both within our company and our product. Transparency encourages more personal and team accountability, and prevents information silos.

Understanding that the work you do is publicly accessible inherently makes you feel more accountable to your team. When you can see how your work fits in with your team’s objectives, and the company’s goals overall, you’ll feel more empowered—it’s the opposite of micromanagement. This is why Asana projects are public by default, and can be seen by anyone on the team.

Transparency and accountability

To help teams identify who is responsible for what work, each task only has one assignee. By assigning one directly responsible individual (DRI) to each task, teams eliminate miscommunication or missed deadlines simply because someone didn’t know who was responsible or when the work was due.

When teams have clarity on responsibility, everyone is empowered to contribute to a project’s success.

Public vs. private

You can use Asana to track all of your work, but some work might be more sensitive than others. By default, work in Asana is public to your organization, but you can create private projects to keep information limited to only those that need to see it.

To make a private project to you and other teammates, you’ll need to be an Asana Premium user.

Discover work in Asana

By making work public in Asana, teams can see what’s happening now, and look back on work that’s already complete for more information and context. In general, we recommend keeping most work public, so it can be found and accessed by anyone. Work in Asana is easy to find with a simple search.

If you have more specific search criteria, you can use Advanced Search to pull up lists of tasks that match specific criteria like assignee, due date, followers, completion, and more.

Use Advanced Search in Asana to generate reports

With Advanced Search, you can see what other people on your team are working on (and when), and even create reports to ensure work is on track.

Ways to use Advanced Search:

  • See all the tasks that a direct report or teammate is working on or what they’ve already completed by searching for an assignee and a due date time frame.
  • See what a direct report has prioritized by searching for tasks marked Today, Upcoming, or Later.
  • Identify projects and tasks that might miss a deadline (e.g., anything due before the end of the week).
  • Determine if you need to follow up with anyone by searching for incomplete tasks that you’ve assigned to others.
  • Search for all tasks marked with a “high priority” custom fieldcustom field Add more data to Asana tasks. Field names, types, and values are customizable, so you can create fields specifically for your workflow. Read more to make sure they’re assigned and work will be completed by the due date.

Making work private

Of course, there is certain information that needs to be handled with care. You can create a hidden team or private project for this information. Examples include finance teams dealing with private financial data, legal teams in charge of protecting sensitive information, or managers providing feedback for employee reviews or one-on-one meetings.

To make a project private

  1. Click the + button at the top of the project
  2. Select Make Private

Make projects private in Asana

Comment-only projects

Whether a project is public or private, you might simply want to ensure that the project can’t be modified once created. You can set the project as comment only, which allows you to give only certain project members editing access. All other members will only be able to comment on tasks and work on the tasks assigned to them. You can change each person’s access settings on a case-by-case basis.

Using Asana to the fullest can mean embracing a level of transparency that some teams aren’t used to, but we believe that to truly achieve results, work should be done in the open. When teams know who is responsible, and collectively agree to the goals and priorities of their team, individuals are empowered to achieve their full potential.

Learn more with How to Asana

Follow along with our How to Asana webseries to learn how to create private tasks, projects, and teams in Asana.

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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.