Plan and execute projects with Timeline
- Skip Ahead to
- What is Timeline?
- How to use Timeline
- Tips for planning with Timeline
- Example projects
- Timeline vs. Calendar
Planning a project is hard work—who should work on what? When? In what order? Even once a project kicks off, it’s not always clear if deadlines are realistic, teammates are overloaded, or anything is at risk. Luckily, Asana makes project planning and management simpler. Timeline gives you a Gantt chart-style view to piece your plan together, share it with stakeholders, and hit deadlines.
What is Timeline?
By now you’re probably familiar with creating Asana projects by adding tasks, then organizing them with sections/columns and custom fields. Timeline is a living view of how all of your work fits together that helps you start projects on the right foot and hit your deadlines. You can create project plans that show how all of your tasks connect and adapt as problems arise or work changes. It’s like a more powerful Gantt chart because it’s tied to your underlying work in Asana and it’s always up to date.
How to use Timeline
Timeline is a project view, so it’s visible for any Asana project. It works best as you begin to add start dates, due dates, and dependencies to tasks so you can visualize the schedule. Get started by clicking the Timeline tab just below the project’s name.
You can drag and drop tasks on Timeline to create and adjust your plan. Timeline also updates as you make changes in list or board layout.
Why use Timeline?
Timeline is the ultimate feature for project managers or anyone that generally manages projects as part of their role. It’s also helpful for anyone working on a project with a deadline, especially if they want to share their plan with stakeholders. Timeline helps you:
- Keep your work connected to the plan—Timeline connects project plans to work right in Asana so teams finally have one tool to see their plans as projects progress, and keep it in context with attachments, feedback, and status updates.
- Map out how all the pieces fit together—Visualize how tasks and deadlines connect, so you can identify concerns and spot problems before you start.
- Share your plan with everyone—Keep teammates up-to-date on plans, get buy-in, and showcase your team’s work.
- Modify plans as work changes—When work changes and deadlines shift, you can easily adapt your plan to keep your project on track.
Tips for planning your project With Timeline
Timeline is great to help you plan your project before it begins, then monitor and update it as work progresses so you can hit your deadline. Here are tips for each stage of planning:
- Create tasks in list or board layout, then head to Timeline to start mapping out start and due dates.
- Any tasks with due dates will appear on Timeline. Tasks with no start or due date will appear in Unscheduled Tasks at the bottom. Drag any unscheduled task onto Timeline to schedule it.
- Use task dependencies. They show what work is waiting on another task so you can see how tasks connect or conflict on Timeline. If there are timing conflicts, you’ll see a red arrow in the Timeline. Adjust them to ensure nobody is scrambling to hit their deadline.
- Easily set dependencies directly on your Timeline by clicking the connector icon that appears when hovering over a task and then dragging to another task.
- Zoom in and out on your Timeline to see your project schedule at various scales. For example, zoom in for a glimpse at what’s on deck for the week; then, zoom out to see the whole plan if you’re presenting it in a meeting.
- Multi-select tasks to shift them all at once.
Example projects to plan with Timeline
Timeline works best with projects that are deadline-driven (versus ongoing.) Click any of the use cases below to get the template in Asana, and get started in a few clicks.
When to use Timeline vs. Calendar View
Timeline and Calendar View give you different insights and should be used for different purposes. They’re both project views, so you can always toggle between them, but here’s what to consider:
|Consider||View Timeline if…||View Calendar if…|
|Deadline||Your project has an end date||Your project is ongoing|
|Workflow||Your project has dependencies and work happens in a certain order||Tasks are more independent of each other|
|Schedule||You want to create a project’s schedule, and see progress towards it||You want to get a glimpse of work happening this week or month|
|Audience||You want to share the plan with executives, other teams, stakeholders on the project||You’re looking at your own schedule in My Tasks, or your team’s overall schedule|
Unlike spreadsheets, slides, and other project management tools, Timeline’s project plans are easy to set up and maintain, and are built with your whole team in mind. And, because it’s connected to the underlying work in Asana, Timeline stays useful and up-to-date, even as your work progresses and changes.