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. Download the iOS or Android app to work on the go and see updates from anywhere—even offline.
  5. Collect feedback and set conventions as you go along to see what works and what will stick with your team.

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.

Overview of Asana structure

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.

Workload (Business only)

Project managers and leaders struggle to manage workloads, relying on a complex system or piecing information together manually from email, docs, and meetings—losing time in the process. Workload provides a single, accurate view of your team’s bandwidth based on work already assigned to them in Asana. Workload helps you make informed staffing decisions to keep work balanced and initiatives on track.

Workload works hand in hand with Portfolios. Add projects you want to monitor bandwidth for to the portfolio so workload data populates.

SCREENSHOT of work being rebalanced between assignees in Workload view

Get started with Workload with our step-by-step tutorial.

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

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.

5. Get your questions answered

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

*This offering can vary by geographic region and language. Please contact our customer success team to determine your team's eligibility.

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