Asana Premium quick start

While there are many Asana Premium features not all featured here, to make the most of your trial or get started quickly with Premium, there are a few key features you can get started with to see the value of Premium right away. We’ve outlined them below, showing you how to use them, examples, and quick videos that help you get started.

See the list of all Premium features.

Custom fields

Custom fields help you track more information on each task. With dropdown, numeric, or text fields you can capture details categorically and track progress, status, and more. You can also filter and sort projects and advanced searches by custom fields.

How to create and add custom fields

Add custom fields to any project by clicking the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of any project. From here you can create and manage your custom fields according to what information you need to track.

Once added, the fields will show in List, Board, Calendar, and Timeline Views in the projects where you’ve added them. They will also show in the task descriptions. To update a field, just click on the dropdown or type into it from the task.

Examples of custom fields

The ways to use custom fields are almost limitless (see our Help article for more examples), but some easy ways to get started with them are if you:

  • Want to add certain data to all the tasks in a project (e.g., cost or hours)
  • Have standard information you need to track on tasks across projects (e.g., priority level or work stage)
  • Want to make sure your teammates fill out certain information for each task in a project (e.g. a new work request for a design team)
  • Need to search for or report on specific data fields and values.

How to create custom fields in Asana

Start dates

Start dates show when you should begin your work to hit your deadlines without the last-minute scramble. They also help a project manager visualize a project’s overall schedule to plan when work should start and finish.

How to use start dates

Click on the date picker in any task and select Add start date then select the day you need to start work on it. Then move your cursor to the due date and you’ll have the full date range needed to complete the task.

Visualize and easily shorten/lengthen task date ranges in Calendar or Timeline View.

Examples of when to use start dates

Any task could have a start date, but they are especially important in projects you plan with Timeline or want to see on a calendar. You could add start dates to:

  • All tasks in projects like: event planning, campaigns, and product launches, to ensure you can hit your final deadline.
  • Creation types of tasks (e.g., drafting a blog, creating designs, coding a feature,
  • Strategy tasks (e.g., giving feedback, researching, to give yourself enough time to think on them before your final answer is needed.

 

Dependencies

Task dependencies make it clear which tasks are ready to start, and which tasks are waiting on others. That way, teammates get started on work at the right time and don’t have to keep checking in to see if something is ready or risk missing a handoff.

How to create task dependencies

Head to the task that is waiting on other work, then click task actions menu (three dots icon) from the right paneright pane The right pane holds the details of a task or Conversation. Read more and select Mark as Dependent On…. You can search for and select the task that will need to be completed first before you start on the current task. Add as many dependencies on other tasks as needed.

Use Timeline View to easily draw dependencies between tasks and resolve any schedule conflicts if the tasks are all in the same project.

Once your task is ready to start, you’ll receive a notification in My InboxMy Inbox My Inbox displays activity on tasks, projects, or conversations a user follows. Read more that you’re ready to get started.

Examples of dependencies

Here are a few ways you could use dependencies:

  • Product launches: “Launch to all users” is waiting on “Incorporate feedback from beta testers”
  • Editorial calendar: “Finalize blog for staging” is waiting on “Incorporate copyedits”
  • Event planning: “Secure venue” is waiting on “Approve budget”
  • Bug tracking: “Prioritize fix” is waiting on “Reproduce bug”
  • Design reviews: “Begin designs” is waiting on “Select color palette”
  • New hire onboarding: “Set up direct deposit” is waiting on “Obtain payroll service login”

Asana dependencies show what task you’re waiting on, when it is due, and the task assignee.

Timeline

Timeline gives you a beautiful, living view to see how the pieces of your plan fit together and hit deadlines. It’s a more powerful Gantt chart because it’s tied to your underlying work in Asana so it always stays up to date.

How to use Timeline

Timeline is a project view, so it’s visible for any Asana project. It works best as you begin to add start dates, due dates, and dependencies to the tasks in your project so you can visualize the schedule. Get started by clicking the Timeline tab just below the project’s name.

You can drag and drop tasks on Timeline to create and adjust your plan. Timeline also updates as you make changes in list or board layout.

Example projects to plan with Timeline

Timeline works best with projects that are deadline-driven (versus ongoing.) Click any of the use cases below to get the template in Asana, and get started in a few clicks.

When your project plan is ready, share your entire plan with stakeholders across your organization

Templates

If your team has workflows they normally follow or processes they repeat often, you don’t need to recreate those tasks and projects in Asana every time. Whether you create your own custom template or use an Asana-created template, it’s easy to set up a workflow so you don’t have to start from scratch or miss any steps.

How to create templates

  1. Create a new project and add the appropriate tasks, sections or columns, and custom fields to organize and categorize your work clearly.
  2. You can assign tasks, include attachments, and task details to the template project in advance if they’re needed every time you complete this process.
  3. Once you’ve made the project template, click the project header dropdown, and select Save as a Template.

Only the template creator will be able to modify the template to prevent accidental changes. You can add other editors if needed.

Turn an existing project into a custom template

  1. Once you’re done using the project for current work, remove information that isn’t needed, such as due dates, assignees, and attachments.
  2. After your project is cleaned up, click the project header dropdown and select Save as a Template.

Create a new project based on your template

  1. To use your templates, create a new project by clicking the + button in the top bar.
  2. Click the Templates tab in the new project screen. Your custom templates will be organized by team. This is also where you can access templates created by Asana.
  3. After you find the template you want to use, and select Use Template to create a project using this template. After creating a new project from the template, you can further customize it.

Examples of template projects

Here are a few examples of where you could try making a template project:

Save any project as a template by clicking the project header dropdown and selecting Save as a Template

Search in Asana is as simple as typing into the search bar in the top bar. To refine your search criteria and start creating reports, however, you’ll need Advanced Search. You can search anything from completion date and assignee to custom fields and task creator (and much more.)

Advanced Search reports are especially helpful for project managers, team leads, and managers trying to get a quick, clear picture of bandwidth, progress, or work that’s at risk.

Create Advanced Search reports

To create a report, click inside the search bar, and select Advanced Search from the dropdown. From here, you can specify your search criteria and/or terms (keep in mind you don’t always need a search term). You can use as few or as many search filters as you’d like.

Once you’re done searching, you can save your search by clicking the star in the header. That way, you’ll be able to access your report anytime from the sidebar. The search results are always automatically up to date.

Examples of advanced searches you can run in Asana

Here are some examples of reports to create:

  • Checking bandwidth—Search for tasks assigned to a teammate due in the next week to quickly check their bandwidth.
  • Work you need to follow up on—Search for tasks you’ve created for others that are incomplete.
  • Tasks at risk—Search for tasks with a “high priority” custom field due today or tomorrow. Great for project managers to keep up a project’s momentum.
  • Work I’ve completed this quarter—Search for tasks assigned to you that were completed in a specific date range. Great for anyone to see and prove their contributions.
  • Project progress—Search for tasks completed in a certain project to see what’s been accomplished so far.

 

Privacy features

Private projects and teams

Overall, Asana is about making work transparent so there’s accountability and clarity. For more sensitive work, Premium customers can adjust project and team privacy settings to make sure that they’re only accessible to those that need it.

Create private projects and teams for:

  • One-on-one meetings
  • Performance reviews
  • Sensitive legal, financial, or company information
  • Groups of managers or leads
  • Company surprises or planning
  • HR purposes

With comment-only projects you can also control who is able to modify a project so no accidental changes get made, while still giving them access to it.

Access control

The more information you put in Asana, the more you also need to be sure that the information is secure and your IT team has control over the data. As teammates come and go, or you add guests you can control their access to other teams and projects, or remove them entirely from your domain. If there’s a security breach, the admin can also force a password reset to keep your information in Asana safe.

Now you’re up and running with the top Premium features so you can start building them into your workflows and see the benefits they bring to your work and team right away. You can always see the full list of Premium features and get more tips on the Guide.

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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.