Status updates and progress

It’s often difficult to know how projects are progressing, which can lead to delays or poor planning (or a lot of unnecessary meetings). With Asana, you have a variety of ways to see how far your projects have come and what’s left to do, so you can help your team finish strong and share plans with others.

Why use Asana for status updates?

  • When you work on projects across documents, email, and other tools, it’s difficult to assess how work is progressing. When you have all of this information in Asana, you’ll spend less time on work about work and more time strategizing and executing.
  • Status update meetings can be time consuming and an ineffective use of the team’s time. Save meetings for getting down to business, and use Asana for sharing updates and housekeeping.
  • Asana makes it easier to show progress to management and other stakeholders. Instead of cobbling something together, you can quickly pull the information you need from Asana.

Your Asana game plan

Status updates in Asana are easy to post—just follow the strategy below (and keep reading to learn more about features that help you post, track, and analyze progress):

  1. Check the Progress View tab of projects. Progress View has all the information you need about a project’s progress in one place, including status updates, a burnup chart, and the project deadline.
  2. Check the Timeline tab of a project. Timeline shows all of the project’s tasks in a Gantt chart-style view. You can use it to see how each step of your project fits together, then share the plan so everyone is clear on what will happen by when, and where each task stands.
  3. Add projects to your Dashboard. Your Dashboard is your command center for project progress and status updates for all the important projects you’re involved with. Each project in your dashboard is an overview of the project’s Progress View.
  4. Use Dashboard reporting in Google Sheets to analyze project progress at a deeper level. You can create your own reports for better project management and to provide data to stakeholders whether they’re in your Asana domain or not.

How to post status updates

Instead of digging through files, calling a meeting, or sending an email for updates, you can use Progress View. Progress View helps you quickly understand key updates about a project’s status. Just click Progress below the project header.

Post status updates in Asana from the Progress tab at the top of any project

To get the most out of Progress View, we recommend the following workflow:

  1. Assign a Project OwnerProject Owner Every project can have one Project Owner. They are able to set status updates for the project. Read more . This is the person responsible for moving the project forward or overseeing the workflow to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
  2. Set the project deadline. This date will show up on the progress chart and in Timeline so you can track progress towards your goal. It also makes the final deadline clear for everyone.
  3. Update the project status regularly. Select a color (green, yellow, red) to indicate if a project is “on track,” “at risk,” or “off track,” and add a written update to provide more details.
    • Use @mentioning to quickly give kudos to teammates and reference work in Asana. For example, you could @mention specific tasks in your status update to quickly see what’s been done and what’s up next. Staying connected to work and teammates moves projects forward!
    • Project members will get an Inbox notification when someone posts a new status update, and your Dashboard will be updated in real time so everyone stays in the loop.
  4. Comment on status updates. Project members can reply when they have questions and feedback and reference existing work in Asana with @mentioning. This can help you avoid unnecessary meetings, or set an effective meeting agenda.
  5. Look at the progress chart to see momentum.

Keep track of a single project with Timeline

Timeline in Asana is a Gantt-style view for planning and managing your projects from start to finish

In addition to using Timeline to plan your project, you can use it to see your plan in action, and make adjustments along the way. It means everyone, from individuals on your team to the CEO, has the same view into project plans and progress, so you’re all on the same page. It’s as simple as clicking into the Timeline tab.

Tips for using Timeline for status updates

  • Sharing your plan is easy with Timeline—just add project members, or pull it up in a meeting. Everything in Asana is updated in real time, so it won’t get outdated like a spreadsheet or screenshot.
  • Use Timeline to quickly assess what work needs your attention. If you notice that there are conflicts with dependencies, unfinished tasks approaching their deadline, or still unscheduled pieces of work, those are good indicators that you might want to check in with their owners before giving an update.
  • Timeline is great to share with all types of stakeholders, from individuals working on a project to execs that want a high-level overview of the plan.

Keep track of multiple projects in your Dashboard

Project managers, team leads, and coordinators follow a lot of moving projects, and are usually responsible for reporting updates to others around the organization. Dashboard pulls from a project’s Progress View to quickly show you the most important information at a glance, with reporting in Google Sheets for more analysis to make this process simple.

How to use Dashboard

You can access Dashboard in Asana’s top bar and add projects to your Dashboard in a few ways:

  • Click Add Project Summary from your Dashboard.
  • Head to the Progress View of a specific project, and click the Add to Dashboard button.
  • Click the project header dropdown, and select Add to Dashboard

Dashboard in Asana shows you each project’s status

Here are other tips to get more out of Dashboard:

  • View and organize projects how you’d like. You can sort projects in your Dashboard by status color, due date, or alphabetically. You can also drag and drop them into a custom order of your own.
  • Get quick access to the projects that matter most. Clicking a progress chart will show you the full Progress View. If you click on the project name, you can navigate directly to the project—no searching needed.
  • Share with others. You can share your Dashboard’s URL so others can see the high level information they need. Dashboards are customizable for each person.

For more detailed instructions on customizing your Dashboard, check out this Help article.

Create reports in Google Sheets

For more robust project management and data-driven decision-making, you can generate reports from your Dashboard with Google Sheets. Dashboard reports help you examine progress, productivity, and team resource allocation so you can report to other stakeholders and make better planning decisions.

Get started with Dashboard reporting in Google Sheets

  1. Before you open a Google Sheet from your Dashboard, make sure the projects you want to analyze are added to your Dashboard, as these are the projects it pulls data from. > Reporting in Google Sheets is especially powerful when you have several projects in your Dashboard. With Asana Premium, you can add as many projects to your Dashboard as you like.
  2. Once you have the projects you need on your Dashboard, click Open Report in Google Sheets on the left side of the Dashboard header. Your Google Sheet will open in a new tab.

Open a Google Sheets Dashboard Report from Dashboard

Dashboard report examples

The possibilities of reports you can create from Dashboards in Google Sheets are almost limitless. For more in-depth instructions and examples, read our Help article. Here are some questions you can answer:

  • Which projects are at risk and due soon?
  • Number of overdue, assigned, and incomplete tasks (and by project)
  • What portion of your projects are on track?
  • How is work balanced across teammates and/or projects?
  • Which teams have projects that are close to completion?

Too many teams spend too much time on work about work especially when it comes to status updates and reporting on progress. Instead of spending precious resources just to figure out what’s going on, use Asana to help you understand how projects are going. Then you can spend your time helping them run successfully and planning effectively.

Learn more: Dashboard

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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.