Save time in Asana

Asana was designed to help you get work done, instead of doing work about work. To keep your flow going speedily, try out these features designed to help you save time.

Import project plans from spreadsheets

Ideally your team moves away spreadsheet planning by directly planning in Asana, but if you work with other teams that use spreadsheets, you can import them as Asana projects with our CSV importer. The importer seamlessly takes your rows and columns and maps them to an Asana project with tasks, assignees, due dates, and more. You can add information from the CSV file into an empty or existing project.

Import spreadsheets to Asana with our CSV importer to quickly create a project

First, create a new project or select an existing project. To start importing, click the project header dropdown, then Add Tasks via and select CSV. From here, you will start mapping your spreadsheet columns into Asana with the help of our importer tool.

Want to make sure information in other columns maps to your project? Create custom fields in your project before importing your file.

From here, you can begin mapping your columns to Asana fields, and voila! No busy work to track your work the way you need.

Bulk edit with multi-select

Most likely you’ve used multi-select in other programs, and it’s just as useful in Asana. To multi-select several tasks, just click then hold down Shift and click the up or down arrow.

You can also click the first task and drag the cursor to the last task. Or you can click on the first task, hold down Shift, then click again on the last task. If the tasks aren’t next to one another, hold down Shift, then click each individual task you want to select.

Once you multi-select tasks, you can take mass actions on them:

  • Bulk assign them to the same person
  • Give them all the same due date
  • Drag and drop them elsewhere
  • Tag all tasks
  • Associate another project to all tasks
  • Mark all tasks incomplete/complete
  • Delete or merge all tasks
  • Add a follower to all, or follow/unfollow all of them yourself.

Take action with keyboard shortcuts

One of the keys to saving time in Asana is learning keyboard shortcuts. You can see all keyboard shortcuts here or by typing Cmd+/ or Ctrl/ in Asana (it’s a keyboard shortcut for keyboard shortcuts!)

A majority of Asana-specific shortcuts entail typing Tab + (a letter). Some letters correspond to the feature they’re shortcutting. For example, Tab+F adds a follower.

Check out our favorites:

  • Tab+Q - Quick Add task

  • Tab+M - Assign to me

  • Tab+Y - Mark as Today

  • Tab+X - Focus mode (so you can only see the task)

  • Tab+S - Add a subtask

  • Colon (:) to a task name - Turn a task into a Section heading

  • Tab+↵ - Jump to task list/main pane

  • H in Inbox - Hide read items

Learn more: shortcuts

Assign copies of a task

You can assign copies of a task to multiple teammates, or even to a whole team, with just a couple of clicks from the task assignee field. Click the assignee field in any task then select the assign copies icon. Next, type the names of the teammates or teams you want to assign the copies to.

Assign copies of a task without duplicating work

Task copies contain all of the same information as the original task. If you forgot something and need to bulk-edit them, use multi-select!

When to assign copies of a task:

  • When you need feedback on your work, assign copies of a review task to all the relevant stakeholders for comments or approval.

  • When routine work needs to get done, like open enrollment for benefits, assign task copies to make sure each teammate gets it done by the deadline and has all the information they need.

  • Assign copies for each team member to add agenda items to your team’s weekly meeting project prior to your next meeting.

You can make numerous copies of any task, but each task will still only have one assignee.

Tracking work in Asana should be quick and easy, so you can spend valuable time getting work done. Using these shortcuts are sure to save you time and streamline your Asana use.

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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.