8 Tips to Get the Most Out of Asana as a Project Management Tool

by Michelle Mangen on January 5, 2014

in Productivity Tools

Project Management Workflow Diagram Plan Sticky NotesThis is Day Five in the 31 Days to Become a More Efficient Virtual Assistant Series

Up until earlier this year Basecamp was the only Project Management tool I had experienced. I learned about Asana during a free call with Virtual Assistant Forums and after trying it out for awhile I ditched Basecamp. (I still use Basecamp with clients who use it as their team project management tool).

When you’re a virtual assistant with multiple clients you can’t afford to forget tasks or to miss deadlines (doing so could be the kiss of death as they will likely discontinue working with you and they certainly are less likely to refer you to others). Using a project management tool such as Asana is a good idea even if you’re running solo and don’t have a team.

There are features within Asana that Basecamp doesn’t have; not to mention it’s free for up to 30 team members.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of using Asana as a project management tool (even if you’re only using it for yourself):

  1. Set up recurring tasks: Want a reminder to download Google Music’s free song of the day? Asana offers all sorts of options for recurring tasks – daily, certain days of the week, monthly, annually, etc.
  2. Keep everyone in the know: Easily loop someone else into a task or comment thread by mentioning them by their @username (the simple act of doing this initiates an email to be sent to them).
  3. Work from your email: You can reply to any threads via email. You can also submit tasks via email.
  4. Visually Helpful: Each daily email you receive uses three colors: Red – past due; Green – Due today or in the next few days; Black – Upcoming in about a week.
  5. Attachment Options: You have three different options for attaching documents to a task in Asana. From your computer, **Google Drive (priceless!) and Dropbox.
  6. Bump due dates: The main reason I’m mentioning this is because after a few days (maybe a week?) any task you haven’t marked as completed will end up dropping off of your daily email (Does Asana presume you’ll never do it and therefore don’t care?!) so it’s important to bump due dates forward if you can’t get to the task on the originally assigned due date.
  7. Don’t let things fall off your radar: In conjunction with the “bumping due date” mentioned above it’s also important to note a task will never show up on a daily email if you fail to assign a due date.
  8. Restrict Access: If you have projects you want to restrict access to within your team you can set up different workspaces and select only those who you want to be included (or you can upgrade to a paid plan to restrict access in your main workspace)

**Google Drive attachments: I can’t remember when Asana launched this feature but I believe it was sometime in early 2013. The reason why I love this so much is because finding documents within Google Docs can be as difficult as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Attaching the Google Document makes it much easier to find. (I’ll have a post later in this series which will give you all kinds of useful Google Docs/Google Drive Tips because it can be frustrating.)

Share other tips and tricks you may have in the comments bel

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Have you been wondering "How Do I Start A Virtual Assistant Business? or "How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?".

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