AI that works. Coming June 5, Asana redefines work management—again.Get early access

Two features, big time savings: Why templates and bundles are game-changers for your workflow

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshotCaeleigh MacNeil
September 27th, 2023
4 min read
facebookx-twitterlinkedin
Why templates and bundles are game-changers for your workflow
View Templates

Quick tip

Add project roles to your templates, so you can automatically assign work to the right person—even if your team changes.

Asana has two powerhouse work standardization features, templates and bundles. If you’ve heard of these tools before, you might be thinking: “aren’t templates and bundles the same thing?” (Or you’re scratching your head in confusion, in which case stay tuned). But while these features seem similar at first glance, they’re actually incredibly different—and understanding them can help you unlock serious productivity gains. 

In this article we outline the unique benefits and use-cases for both templates and bundles. You’ll learn when to use them, how to use them, and why they’re game changers for your team’s productivity. 

Templates vs. bundles: What do these features actually do?

Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to clarify what templates and bundles are designed to do in Asana. 

Templates: Ready-made guides for future work

Templates help you kickstart work at the beginning of an initiative. There are two types of templates: 

  • Project templates let you launch entire initiatives with a click. Just pick a project template, and Asana takes care of the test—automatically creating a project and pre-filling tasks, assignees, due dates, automations, and more. You can design your own project templates, choose existing ones from our template library, or convert your favorite projects into templates with a single click. 

  • Task templates are similar to project templates, but on a smaller scale. They’re ready-made blueprints for individual tasks. When you use a task template, Asana automatically spins up the task name, description, custom fields, subtasks, and more. 

And here’s the important part: changing a template only impacts future projects or tasks you create. It doesn’t retroactively change any existing work. 

Bundles: Editable workflows you can apply across projects

Meanwhile, a bundle is a collection of workflow features you can apply across different projects. For example, a bundle can specify project sections, custom fields to add, rules to apply, and task templates to use in a project. 

Unlike templates, you can apply bundles at any point in the project lifecycle—not just when you’re kicking off work. And updating a bundle impacts ALL of the projects it’s applied to, both retroactively and in the future. 

If you want to . . . get started faster

Features to use: Project and task templates

If your goal is to kick off work quickly, templates are your best friend. With templates, you don’t have to spend time figuring out timelines, deliverables, and workflows for a new project or task. There’s already a predetermined blueprint that includes all of that information. You can just select the template you want to use, and Asana will take care of the rest. 

Templates work best for repeatable, time-bound work. In other words, they’re ideal for projects that happen more than once and have a standard set of deliverables and due dates each time. This includes processes like:  

Take employee onboarding, for example. You can create a custom employee onboarding template that includes every step new hires should complete, plus the timeline for each. When your hire starts, use the template to automatically spin up an employee onboarding project to guide them through their first weeks. 

Get started faster with project and task templates

If you want to . . . standardize existing processes

Feature to use: Bundles

Bundles are your go-to tool for process standardization. Every bundle is a group of steps, tools, and organization features that make up a process. And since you can apply bundles to many projects at once—including new and existing initiatives—they’re a powerful tool to roll out consistent workflows. 

The best part? When you update a bundle, it updates every existing project your bundle is applied to. That means you can update workflows in one place and instantly apply those changes across your organization. 

This is especially useful for evergreen projects with processes that might evolve over time, like: 

  • Creative requests

  • Agile sprints

  • Content calendars

  • Bug tracking

  • Customer feedback tracking

  • Work requests

  • Procurement

For example, imagine you want to standardize creative request workflows across your company. You can create a bundle that includes: 

  • Project sections for organizing requests

  • Custom fields for labeling and sorting work 

  • Rules for automatically assigning, moving, and updating requests

  • Task templates for different request types (like writing requests, visual requests, etc.) 

Apply that bundle to any project that involves creative requests. If you need to update your process later—like to add a new review step—just make changes to your bundle and instantly apply them across your projects.

Standardize existing processes with bundles

If you want to . . . automate routine processes

Features to use: Project templates or bundles

This one can go either way—it just depends on how and when you want to apply new automation steps. 

Automate future processes only  

Project templates work best if you only want to apply automations to future work, and you don’t anticipate needing to change or update your processes. For example, you can create a product launch template that automates routine steps in your workflow—like instantly setting due dates, assigning work to stakeholders, and creating rules to organize work. For every product launch, you can quickly spin up a new project that includes all of these time-saving automations. 

Apply automations to existing processes

Bundles work best if you want to retroactively apply automation steps to existing projects. For example, imagine you already have a set of existing product launch projects. You can create a bundle to automate steps in your product launch workflow, then apply that bundle to each of your existing initiatives. 

Automate routine processes with project templates or bundles

If you want to . . . automatically assign tasks and due dates

Feature to use: Project templates

For processes with standard roles and timelines, project templates are a handy way to automatically assign tasks and set deadlines for new initiatives. That’s because templates let you specify a whole set of deliverables for every project, including the due date for each task and who’s responsible. With project templates, you can: 

  • Pre-fill a set of tasks, including details like task titles, descriptions, subtasks, and custom fields. 

  • Set dynamic timelines according to your project’s start date or end date, with the option to skip weekends. 

  • Create project roles to automatically assign work to the right person, even if your team changes. 

Automatically assign tasks and due dates with project templates

If you want to . . . repurpose an existing project or workflow for future work

Features to use: Project templates or bundles

Either project templates or bundles can apply here, depending on how much detail you want to repurpose. 

Reuse detailed task information

Project templates are ideal if you want to repurpose an initiative that includes a detailed set of tasks. For example, imagine you’re creating a template from an existing marketing launch project. You can incorporate every individual deliverable into your template, along with task titles, descriptions, subtasks, and more.

Repurpose the framework of a project

Bundles work best if you don’t need to repurpose specific tasks but rather the broader framework of a project. Using the same marketing launch example, you can reuse the overall workflow for new launches—like project sections, rules, custom fields, and task templates. That means you can organize and automate tasks the same way, but you won’t have a pre-filled list of deliverables to work from. 

Repurpose an existing project or workflow with project templates or bundles

Uplevel your workflows with templates and bundles

Templates and bundles are worth getting to know. By spending just a bit of time learning about these tools, you can unlock hours of time savings for yourself and your team. And whether you’re launching new initiatives or looking to bring consistency into ongoing projects, there’s a tailored solution for you.

Visit our pricing page to learn more and sign up for a free trial. For a deep dive into how to use each feature, check out our Asana Academy courses on templates and bundles.

Explore templatesExplore bundles

Related resources

Article

Write better AI prompts: A 4-sentence framework