Plan and execute projects with Timeline

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.

Asana Timeline is like a Gantt chart-style view to help you plan and hit your deadlines

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.
  • 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.

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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.