Establish Asana conventions

Now that you’ve introduced your team to Asana you’ll want to make sure everyone agrees on a few key conventions. Making decisions up front about how Asana works best for your team will set you up for long-term success, and help you get the most out of Asana Premium features later on. Agreeing on a few conventions will also help everyone on your team feel comfortable with Asana.

We recommend discussing team conventions soon after you introduce Asana to your team. That way, everyone has time to get familiar with Asana, but they haven’t necessarily established their use patterns yet. See what works for them and how they like to use it. Host a conventions meeting and create an Asana conventions project before your meeting:

Establish Asana conventions with your team using a project

Every team will have unique preferences, but here’s some guidance to help get you started on defining your team’s conventions.

Task conventions

Creating tasks

We recommend encouraging everyone to create tasks and assign them to anyone on the team (even direct reports should be able to assign tasks to managers). Asana is most useful when anyone can contribute their ideas and move action items forward.

Naming tasks

We advise making task names specific and action-based. For example, instead of “Blog post,” create a task called “Write [title] blog post” and one called “Publish [title] blog post”, so there’s no question about what needs to get done.

You may want to establish naming conventions for a specific project if tasks move through a certain workflow.

Writing a good task

Your team should define what details are necessary to make a task “good”. Every task has space to add a description, due date, assignee, followers, subtasks, and comments. We recommend including context and important details to ensure the assignee is empowered to complete the task:

  • Link to relevant work in the task description by @mentioning related tasks, projects, or conversations.
  • Attach files when referencing a document.
  • Set realistic due dates for your teammates as soon as they are known, or with your best guess so they’re on the radar.
    • Add start and due dates so it’s clear when someone should start on the work in order to successfully complete it by the deadline.
  • Add teammates as followers so they can stay up to date on task progress.
  • Mark a task as dependent upon another so teammates only start that task when the prior task has been completed.
  • Use rich text in task descriptions to make your message clear with formatted text, and bulleted and numbered lists.

Updating tasks assigned to you

When someone assigns you a task, it means you are in charge of moving that work forward. Here are some suggested ways to keep teammates informed of your progress:

  • Like the task so the requester knows you saw it.
  • If you have questions or updates, comment directly in the task.
  • If you change the due date, add a comment to explain why it was moved to reset expectations.
  • Pin the most relevant comment or conclusion to a discussion to the top of the conversation.
  • If you aren’t able to prioritize the work, assign the task back to the creator or use @mentioning to ask teammates if they can take the task.
  • If the task has custom fields, fill them out accordingly, and continue to keep them up to date as work on the task progresses.
  • Does your team use Slack? If so, you can easily take actions on tasks right from Slack to keep working without tools.

Using subtasks

When you assign a subtask, be sure the assignee has enough context from the parent task or within the subtask description. Avoid burying subtasks under too many layers. You can always drag subtasks into the main pane of your project to convert it from a subtask to a task.

Naming template tasks

Duplicate a template project or task template for repeatable, recurring, and predictable workflows. When you create templates, label the task or project name so it’s clear to teammates it’s a template and it’s easily found through search (e.g., “Template” or “Duplicate me”). Provide clear instructions on how and when the task or project should be used in the task or project description.

Project conventions

Creating new projects

Similar to tasks, anyone can create a project. You might designate one person on the team to do this so that everything is organized similarly.

Creating a good project

  • Decide what kinds of workflows will use lists, and which will use boards.
  • For each major workflow, initiative, or meeting, write a descriptive project name and keep the naming conventions the same.
  • Set the project description with goals and objectives to remind teammates what each project is for.
  • Add sections to help organize your project and provide clear delineation of phases or categories.
  • Set up custom fields so you can track all necessary information on every task created in the project.
  • Create a custom template or use an Asana-created template to standardize your common workflows and projects and start every project quickly. That way, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every project, and you’ll know you haven’t missed a step.

Managing a project

When you create a project, you become the Project OwnerProject Owner Every project can have one Project Owner. They are able to set status updates for the project. Read more by default. You can change the Project Owner in the Progress ViewProgress View Progress View helps you track task completion in a project over time and get status updates from Project Owners. Read more . The Project Owner or a dedicated teammate should keep the project organized and post weekly status updates.

  • As new tasks are created or work moves forward, ensure tasks have an assignee and due date, move them to the appropriate sections or columns, and update their custom fields if relevant.
  • Add project rules to save time managing the project and to help teammates follow the right steps. Rules automate manual work, like updating Asana fields or assigning tasks.
  • If tasks become overdue or do not have due dates assigned, follow up with the assignee to get work back on track.
  • Set task milestones in your project so you can ensure you’re hitting major goals and keeping tabs on key markers of progress in a simple, visual way.
  • Use Timeline to map out your project plan and make adjustments as you progress toward your goal. You can easily see task dependencies and adjust your project schedule with the Gantt-style view.
  • If you manage multiple projects, add them to a portfolio to organize and monitor them by initiative. Portfolios make it easier to monitor the status of all your projects.

Sending status updates

The Project Owner or dedicated teammate should send regular project status updates from the Progress View of your project.

  • Status updates provide clarity for your team and cross functional teams about how the project is moving forward.
  • Set a color for your status update to green, yellow, or red to indicate how your project is moving along.
  • Teammates can reply to status updates when they have questions and feedback, or when they want to create a follow-up task.
  • The Project Owner will receive reminder tasks to update the project status each week.
  • Use the Slack integration to push your project updates directly to specific channels so everyone can easily see updates no matter where they’re working on.

Add projects to a portfolio to see all status updates, project deadlines and progress (or ping project owners for an update on these things)—in one place.

Email conventions

Using Team Conversations

We recommend committing to using Conversations for all internal team communication instead of email. Gently remind your teammates to use Asana instead of email when necessary.

Using email notifications

Asana sends email notifications for new activity, so that teammates who aren’t using Asana all the time can stay in the loop. People who use Asana all the time usually prefer to use Inbox (and not email) to stay on top of updates.

We suggest keeping email notifications on until you and your teammates are accustomed to checking Asana often. You can turn them on and off in My Profile Settings.

Reducing email on your team

For better success we recommend teams stop sending requests and project needs via email and instead use Asana. Email is great to reach someone outside your organization or make an introduction, but it’s not equipped to plan, manage, and prioritize work. That’s what Asana is for.

With our Asana for Gmail Add-on and Asana for Outlook app, you can quickly turn conversations into action right from your inbox. Using these email integrations can be an easy way to get your team in the habit of moving from email to Asana without making them learn something new or changing how they work.

Reinforcing your conventions

Setting conventions with your team will help keep Asana organized for everyone, establish clarity, and ultimately help everyone contribute in the most effective way. Have up to a few teammates help reinforce conventions so others feel safe knowing that they won’t “break” anything and can get helpful tips if they are still getting the hang of it.

Create a “safe project” in Asana where people can play around to learn about features and how they interact without worrying they’ll tinker with real work.

Once you establish conventions with your team, store them in a project for everyone to reference, as well as for future new teammates. That way, everybody can be on the same page and refer back to your team conventions after you’ve decided on them together.

Try using Asana for your next team meeting and take some time to reiterate your team’s Asana conventions.

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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons


Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes


Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes


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 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 Recently Assigned.

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 in any task row to create a new 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.