In this era of rising customer demands, increased competition, and teams dispersed around the world, businesses cannot afford to miss a beat. Projects need to flow seamlessly and deadlines need to be met. Yet, with remote employees living halfway across the world, it’s easier than ever for productivity to take a hit. When that happens performance drops and business reputation gets in the firing line.
This is where project management tools like Asana come in. Asana is one of the most popular project management and collaboration tools that companies like Pinterest, Uber, and Airbnb rely on. It offers a bunch of great features and is perfect for teams of any size. However, your very first brush with Asana can be daunting. As powerful as it is, it can also be a little confusing to navigate for someone using the software for the first time.
In this Asana tutorial for beginners, we help you get started on your Asana journey like a pro. Read this Asana tutorial to get familiar with some of Asana’s best features and how to use them effectively.
What Is Asana?
Asana is a cloud-based work management software that allows you to streamline workflow and collaborate with a team from any device. It is an exclusive task-oriented, collaborative tool that enables managers to plan, assign, track, and execute projects in collaboration with their team members within scheduled dates. It is a fitting choice for small to medium-sized traditional and agile businesses and on-site and remote teams.
Asana allows several third-party apps and software to be integrated into it, which makes it a smash-hit with team heads. It allows you to invite people to a workspace where the team can visualize their tasks and upcoming projects. They cooperate in accomplishing the tasks together as a unit. Asana has an adaptable user interface. It is a secure platform where you can safely store your company’s information regarding projects, clients, and employees.
Though Asana has been around for a while and has enjoyed mass popularity for different reasons, its UI can be a little daunting for first-time users. This Asana tutorial breaks down the basic steps and simplifies the features so you can get the most out of the platform.
How to Start Using Asana?
Asana is one platform that provides multiple project views, unlike many software tools on the market. This allows you the freedom to choose one that is most specific to your work/project. Users can avail of a variety of view options like the Kanban board, lists, calendars, portfolios, timelines, and workloads to help them schedule and strategize the activities in a way that suits them better. You can view tasks in a list split into sections, or a Kanban board that is separated into columns. The calendar and timeline show tasks by date.
Visualizing the workflow plan can optimize productivity not only of the employees but their managers as well. Asana allows project heads to switch between views to get a bigger perspective of the project - who is assigned what, the due dates, task progression, and completion status. Asana project dashboards are customizable and can be updated in real-time.
Task management is the most crucial element of any project, irrespective of its scale or volume. It entails effective planning, task allocation, task prioritization, time management, and time analysis. Asana’s task system is chock-full and can look formidable for beginners.
However, you have the prerogative to divide tasks into sections headlining department, completion status, publication date, and so on. Asana is high on features, and it would largely depend on the user’s skill as to how they leverage these multiple task features to their best advantage. Users are at liberty to edit and add custom fields across their projects.
The task menus can help with more streamlining and organization to cut disorderliness at work. For the Kanban board, it can be as simple as clicking and dragging, but with most other views you will have to edit and change the section to move the task.
Subtasks and Dependencies
These features are excellent for complex tasks that need to be simplified. Sub-tasks can be as exhaustive as the actual task and can have separate assignees and due dates. Click on the ‘add subtask’ link, as it will load its page allowing you to edit.
To set a dependent, however, click on the 3 dots menu, and select the ‘make dependent’ option. The dependencies feature allows the software to send notifications to assignees on sub-tasks telling when the main task is completed, or when due dates are shifted so that dependent tasks stay in chronological order when any editing is done with the first task.
Sub-tasks and dependencies keep the workload clean and stress-free.
Automations and Integrations
One of the highest points with Asana is that it can seamlessly integrate with numerous other software applications, which its competitors do not offer.
To create a new integration, move to the arrow next to your project name, and click on the ‘add apps’ menu option. Here, you have the choice to browse Asana’s directory or you can add the app of your choice. For your convenience, Asana’s directory has been further divided into specific categories. The integration process is a set of steps to follow for the setup.
Click on the ‘‘rules’’ menu option above any view. Rules consist of a set of triggers and actions that are set into motion once activated. Rules help in automating tasks on projects. For example, these “rules” will notify all team members immediately regarding any changes on a project. The more refined or complex a task, the greater the need for “rules.”
Forms are filled out by third parties to add tasks to a project; they can fill forms also via a link to fill in requests or to submit feedback.
For sharing, click on the “share form link” button in the upper-right corner of your project. However, make sure that you share forms only with those who have a legitimate need of submitting queries.
Create Your First Project
Hit the “Create Project” button; choose how to map your project; name your project and pick a default view. You finish by creating your first project with a description.
Organize Your Project
Organizing tasks will cut all the clutter and confusion while lending your project a cleaner and more accessible look. Organizing the project would mean adding relevant sections to the project by clicking on the “add sections” button. You can split your tasks into - ‘to-dos’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’. You can also move your existing tasks into new sections by clicking on the task in the list. Under ‘Projects’, click “untitled section” which will present a drop-down with your options.
Managing Your Work
As a project head, you will be routinely required to work across the board on multiple projects. It can be complete mayhem without an organizer in place (read effective project management tools like Asana).
Asana allows you to add tasks to multiple and diverse projects to prevent duplication. It also has requisite features that allow you to keep everyone in the loop. You have the facility to assign tasks to teammates with deadlines so that it’s clear who is responsible for what and by what date the project is expected to be delivered.
How Asana’s Organized
Asana is a powerful collaborative tool that brings managers and employees on the same board, connecting all in a single space. Larger and complicated business projects are further split into teams with assigned tasks and sub-tasks. Asana ensures effective task allocation, and high performance by employees, guaranteeing quality and brisk work.
Our Learners Also Asked
1. What is the best way to use Asana?
You can use a combination of features to make the best of Asana. Some of them include - distributing tasks to assignees, defining due dates clearly, using color codes, visualizing schedules, converting emails directly to tasks, using chrome extensions, project templates, customized fields, creating sections, defining sub-tasks, integrating Asana with other tools, communicating within tasks, working with priority tags, defining goals as milestones, updating project status, and ticking off completed tasks.
2. Is Asana hard to learn?
Asana is unbelievably easy to learn even when it can be a little confounding for beginners initially. Once you get the hang of it you realize it was worth the effort. It is flexible and extremely suave to handle and is one of the best collaborative tools for team productivity.
3. What is Asana not good for?
Asana’s interface can be a little complex and intimidating for new users. It is for this they are advised to watch videos on Asana tutorial for beginners which can serve as useful guides to help them navigate the software better. Moreover, Asana has a limited assignment which means project heads cannot assign multiple individuals to the same task, they will be forced to create multiple tasks in the event. Asana is also not a time tracking software, which is a major drawback.
4. How do I project in Asana?
Click on Projects and enter a project name and description. Select the team/member you wish to assign the project to. Adjust your project privacy settings. Select a list, timeline, or calendar layout. Once you finish adding the details, you are done setting up a new project.
5. How is Asana different from Jira?
Asana is a work management collaborative tool for general projects which does not offer out-of-the-box agile support like the Jira software. Jira has predefined workflows that can get you started fast. A dozen actionable insights can help to gauge a team’s performance at every step on Jira. It offers a higher-grade security feature than Asana.
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