Monitor initiatives and manage resources

Project managers and leaders need easy access to project status updates and team staffing to ensure work is on track and to make informed planning decisions. They can rely on real-time Portfolios and Workload insights to proactively report on projects and bandwidth in one place.

What are Portfolios and Workload?

Portfolios are the best way to monitor project progress towards initiatives 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.

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

Workload is Asana’s take on resource management, providing a single view of team bandwidth across work already assigned to them in Asana—no data gathering necessary. Workload helps you make informed staffing decisions to keep work balanced, schedules efficient, and priorities on track.

SCREENSHOT of work being rebalanced between assignees in Workload view

Portfolios and Workload pair nicely together. Once you create a portfolio of the projects you need, you’ll see a workload visualization in the Workload tab based on data from those projects. For example, if you have a portfolio of product launches, you can use Workload to ensure that no product managers are overloaded and that launch timing is balanced.

All tasks are not created equally. Set up task effort across any projects in your Portfolio so you can more accurately gauge hours or effort spent on each task. Otherwise Workload will default to task count.

Why create and use Portfolios and Workload?

Project managers and leaders are responsible for keeping initiatives on track, ensuring their teams are happy and productive, and planning ahead for hiring. In order to get the insights to make these decisions, they often resort to time-consuming or manual ways of gathering info. They have to ping others, read through spreadsheets, or hold more meetings.

Instead, they can monitor project progress with Portfolios and manage resources with Workload—using data that’s already in Asana. Everything is in one place and is updated in real time as work moves forward.

What are examples of Portfolios?

Portfolios are ideal for project managers and team leads, but anyone can use them in a variety of ways. Here are some examples to get you started:

Role Can use Portfolios to… Can use Workload to…
Product managers Track product launches Gauge product manager bandwidth or engineer coverage for each launch
C-Suite Monitor top projects towards achieving company OKRs See projects department heads are responsible for
Managers and Agile scrum masters Track sprint work Agile work pointing, allocation balancing
Event planners Manage multiple events Make sure teammates are on track to hit key event dates
Creative directors or producers Track active design projects Balance creative work across designers
Campaign managers Track active campaigns Manage team bandwidth across all campaign pieces
Customer success managers Active client accounts, or all active projects by client Keep a pulse on client health
IT manager All active software deployments or considerations Make sure each has an IT project lead

Want a template for any of the projects above? Check out our templates gallery to get up and running in a few clicks.

Tips for managing projects and resources with Portfolios & Workload

There are endless options for what projects you can track in a portfolio, but here are some tips to help you best use one:

  • Project status update looking stale? Click the Request Update button, and the owner will be assigned a task to update the project’s status.
  • Teammate looking overloaded? You can drag and drop tasks to reassign or reschedule them, or comment on a task to check in with the assignee first. Set up task effort across any projects in your Portfolio so you can more accurately gauge hours or effort spent on each task.
  • Home in on the details you need to see by sorting. Sort your portfolio by custom fields to ensure priorities are on track or group similar projects. Workload is automatically sorted by assignee.

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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 Tab+N 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.