Getting started with a trial

Whether you’re brand new to Asana or have been using the free version, a trial is the best way to explore all that Asana Premium and Asana Business have to offer. They’re built for businesses and help you manage projects and ensure that anything from the smallest to-dos to the biggest initiatives stay on track. This article won’t cover every aspect of learning Asana (see our quick start article for that), but it will help you understand how to quickly tap into the power of Premium and Business.

Still need to sign up for a free trial? Choose Premium or Business and use this article to help you start.

Start with these steps and keep reading to learn more:

  1. Invite your team to your Asana domain and create a team.
  2. Pick a pilot project to work on with them. Start quickly with any of our templates.
  3. Use Premium and Business features. Check out the feature overviews below to get examples and how-tos.
  4. Collect feedback and iterate as you go along to see what works and what will stick with your team.
  5. Business trial teams with over 30 users should contact our customer success team for a free onboarding help and training consultation as well.

1. What you should know before starting your trial

Asana is one of the leading collaborative work management tools, built for better productivity, collaboration, and coordination across teams and organizations. Instead of trying to wrangle everything via email, files, endless meetings, and chat, you can plan, manage, and monitor all your work in one place with Asana. Plus it integrates with your other collaboration tools so work stays connected.

For a successful start to your trial, you should be familiar with the Asana basics:

Make sure you’ve invited your team so they can start using and evaluating Asana during the trial.

2. Start with a template

It’s easiest to get a feel for Asana when you use it for a project or process your team is already familiar with. The specific process you try depends on your team, but we have dozens of templates to get you started. Some of our top templates are work requests, content calendars, and product launches.

Planning your work and projects in spreadsheets? You can try our CSV importer to get it into Asana in just a few clicks.

If you’ve been using free Asana, you can try Premium and/or Business features across your existing tasks and projects. It’s still a good idea to specify which projects you’ll test features out with, and how. For example, you could start using priority custom fields on a design request project, or dependencies in an event plan. Then, make sure to add these projects to a portfolio to keep track of them all.

See more project ideas from Asana, use case best practices and tips, or check out our customer case studies to see examples in action.

3. Top Business features

With your first project chosen, you’re ready to make the most of your trial. The features below don’t represent everything Premium or Business have to offer, but they work well together and are easy to start using right away.

Portfolios (Business only)

Portfolios are the best way to keep track of all projects for a specific initiative or team in one place. They’re an easy way to file and organize the projects you access most often, and you can sort by project owner, deadline, status, priority, and more.

To create Portfolios, click Portfolios in the sidebar, then New Portfolio then type in the name of projects you want to add.

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

Share any Portfolio by copying its URL and sharing it with any Asana user in your domain.

Proofing (Business only)

Proofing lets stakeholders leave specific, actionable feedback on images so teammates know what to do to incorporate the feedback. Proofing in Asana makes it easy for reviewers to comment directly on assets so feedback is provided in context. Each comment turns into an actionable subtask that the creator can then decide how to incorporate.

GIF of image proofing workflow in Asana

This makes the process of giving and receiving feedback easier because reviewers can make their ideas clear and creators can decide how to incorporate them or not (and keep a record all in one place.)

Forms (Business only)

Your team might be used to making requests and outlining project requirements in docs and email. But this information is often disorganized and incomplete, causing confusion and slowdowns, if not just falling through the cracks. Instead you can create forms to standardize the request process. When submitted, forms connect to a specific project to capture the information you need up front, and track it easily in one place.

Screenshot of a form created with Asana to submit a creative brief

Forms can be submitted by anyone—even if they don’t use Asana—by sending them the form link. Once submitted, the form details turn into a task in your project so it can get prioritized.

Set up a form by following the steps outlined here.

4. Top Premium features

Custom fields

Custom fields help track specific details uniformly on each task or project in a Portfolio—they’re like spreadsheet columns. You can use them to filter and sort a project or Portfolio and report on at-risk work, approvals, and more.

Field names and values are customizable, so you can create a field for stage, priority, cost, or whatever else is important to your workflow, team, and company. You can also get notifications when custom fields are changed to keep work moving forward and make approvals clear.

To create custom fields, just click the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of any project.

GIF showing how to create custom fields by clicking the blue link at the top of any Asana project

Asana Business customers can also lock custom fields to ensure everyone is using the right fields, and keeping them consistent as your organization’s usage of Asana grows.

Templates

Use Asana-created templates or create and save your own custom templates to standardize your team’s common processes. You’ll save time on project setup and follow the same steps without missing anything. See our full template gallery here.

You can also try our CSV importer to turn an existing spreadsheet into a project in just a few clicks.

Start dates

Start dates show when you should begin your work to hit your deadlines without the last-minute scramble. They also help you plan projects with a specific deadline to make sure your schedule won’t hit any snags.

Use start dates on tasks that get worked on across multiple days, like drafting a blog post or making a video.

Task dependencies

Mark a task as waiting on another to help keep complex projects on track and ensure the right work is getting done at the right time. They’re great for building out a clear process and minimizing confusion. Dependencies also save you time so you don’t have to keep checking in with everyone if they’ve started or finished yet.

Use dependencies on tasks that need to happen in a sequence, like reviewing a first draft once it’s written, or pushing a web page live after the final QA.

Timeline

Create a beautiful, living view of how your work fits together to start projects on the right foot, and hit your deadlines. With Timeline you can see, share, and adapt your project plans in minutes.

Timeline in Asana is like a Gantt-chart view, but better because it’s connected to all your work. Use it to plan and manage your deadline-bound projects

Timeline is most powerful when tasks have dependencies and start dates so you can see how work connects. As work progresses, you can easily drag and drop them to see schedules and conflicts.

But wait there’s more! Check out all Premium features and learn how they work.

5. Get your questions answered

Have more questions as you get up and running with Premium or Business? Check out these resources:

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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.