How to start using Asana

Welcome to Asana!

PHOTOGRAPH of real Asana customers with colorful Asana tasks floating around them showing what they've achieved with the product There's a lot our customers can achieve with Asana, but here's a quick rundown of the most important things to know when you're just getting started.

Quick Asana demo walkthrough

Asana's look and features are ever-evolving—your screen probably looks different than this video—but the key concepts remain the same.

1. How to create a task

GIF of how to create a task in an Asana project

Tasks represent actionable steps or to-do’s, approvals, or serve as a milestone you need to hit. They can also store important reference information in a project (like the project brief or the presentation template) so it's easy to find.

To create a task, start in a project, type a task name, then press enter to keep adding more.

Task best practices

  • Make task names specific and action-based so it's clear what you need to do.
  • Set realistic due dates for your teammates as soon as they are known, or with your best guess so they’re on the radar. You can even add a start date to show a range.
  • Attach files when referencing a document.
  • Add teammates as collaborators so they can stay up to date on task progress.
  • Link to relevant work or ping a teammate in the task description by @mentioning related tasks, projects, or people.
  • Comment on a task—You can comment on a task to ask questions, respond to teammates, or offer information and insight.

2. How to create your first project

Projects are how you organize and plan all of the tasks related to a specific initiative, goal, or big piece of work. You can visualize projects as a list, board, calendar, or timeline.

A GIF showing different project views in Asana, including list, board, Timeline, and calendar

Types of projects you can manage in Asana

You can plan and manage almost any project or process in Asana, but here are the most common examples:

Types of Asana projects

See more use cases in our ways to use Asana section or get started with a pre-made project in our templates library.

3. Organize your project

Group related tasks together with sections or columns

Example of sections in an Asana list view

Sections (in list layout) or columns (in board layout) group your tasks. They’re most helpful for categories that won’t change as work moves forward. For example, you could create sections by timeframe (like quarters or month), project phase, or a Kanban style “to do,” “doing,” and “done.”

To create sections, type Tab + N. In board projects, just click Add column.

Sort and filter tasks in projects with custom fields

How to sort tasks by custom field in Asana

Custom fields are like column headers to help you filter and sort tasks in your project by things like priority, task status, cost, or approval. Group your project by clicking any header and using the filter and sort buttons.

4. How to find your work and updates about it

As projects move forward, and new work comes your way, Asana gives you lots of options to stay on top of it. Open the sidebar to quickly see:

My Tasks

GIF of prioritizing a new Asana task from My Tasks so you remember to do it later in the week My Tasks shows only the tasks assigned to you and when they’re due. Come back to My Tasks throughout the day to check off tasks you’ve completed, see any new work that’s come in, and get started on your next task.

Inbox

GIF of customer viewing and sorting their Asana inbox by work directly assigned to them versus general updatess Inbox is a filtered news feed of updates, but only for the work you’re following. You can also respond to things right from Inbox and quickly navigate to your work.

5. How Asana's organized

Projects and tasks are the most fundamental building blocks of Asana.

Overview of Asana structure

  1. Organizations are based on your company’s shared email domain, and connect everybody within your company that uses Asana.
  2. Teams are functional groups in an Organization that likely correspond to general teams, like marketing or sales, or functional groups like "NYC Office."
  3. Projects are stored in Teams (and Portfolios) to track all the actionable steps, information, and communications towards achieving a goal, initiative, or objective.
  4. Tasks are stored in projects and make it clear who’s responsible for what by when. Tasks store all the files, conversations, and instructions related to it so they're easy to find in one place.
  5. Portfolios store groups of projects. You can use them to see all the projects and status updates towards an initiative or objective in one place.

More resources to help you learn Asana

ILLUSTRATION of an inspired woman feeling creative and curious

Once you master the basics, you can keep building on them, and the Asana team will too. We have all different kinds of getting started resources so anyone can learn how they like.

I want to... Resources
Watch quick videos Watch How to Asana or click through Asana Lessons
Get training Register for a live training or live feature demo; enroll in Asana Academy
Skim tips articles Asana Guide or Asana Blog
Talk to someone Sign up for Asana Community Forum or hire an Asana trainer

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