Tools can be a great comfort in business. They can improve your services, your responsiveness, your productivity, your relationships…. Your life!
Not to say tools are always the solution – because they are not – and you shouldn’t have too many, but the right tools will really help your business forward.
Today I want to talk about a tool that brings you peace of mind: Asana
Asana for productivity
I found out about Asana somewhere last year. This tool is meant to be great at catching and keeping all your ToDos in a way that makes sense to you.
But I just couldn’t make sense of it. My ToDos were in there but I couldn’t rely on it so they were also in my bullet journal and on several notepads.
It doesn’t work that way.
You really need to trust the system to make it work. To be a more productive you.
With a little help I found out the best way to set up Asana and give it my own spin. Now it is really helping me be productive and consistent.
These days I KNOW all my tasks are in there. There are even tasks in there that I don’t need to worry about till november or next year! And by getting them into Asana I won’t worry about them till I have to.
How Asana works
I have several different projects in Asana. Each project can have several tasks and those tasks can have subtasks. You can assign a task to a person and give it a deadline.
So how does Asana work for me?
I have a project for each of my clients that I am building sites for. And I have projects for several of my own projects and things I am working on. I have a ‘Digitalie’ project for instance that holds everything I need to do for the company.
In that project are several tasks. A task is something that needs to be achieved, like ‘Write a blogpost’. Most of these tasks are assigned to me but some will be assigned to others like my VA or designer (or a client in the case of a client project). And they all get a date. That moment it needs to be finished.
That is when they pop up in my task list.
Sometimes I have several subtasks that build up a task. The task list for writing a blogpost is for instance this:
- See blog topic in content plan
- Decide on a blog title
- Brainstorm content
- Write first version blog post
- Make images for blog post
- Rewrite where necessary
- Plan blog post
That way I don’t have to think about what I need to do to get that blog post written. I have one for my biweekly admin too which means I just follow the list till I have ticked them all off.
A project can have a lot of tasks which means it could get a bit messy. That is why there are sections. With sections you can divide a project so several tasks are near each other. I use sections to seperate different phases (phase 1,2,3) or give tasks a category (like marketing, content, business building, client relations).
I shortly said something about ‘my task list’. All the tasks are in different project which means you can’t see all the tasks that need to happen today there. You would see just all tasks for that project.
But the ‘My tasks’ combines all tasks that are assigned to you and sorts them into dates. Which means I can see what needs to happen next.
You have no clue how much time this has saved me. I don’t have to think about what is next, I just have to act.
Tips for Asana
Interested in using Asana for your business too? Here are some tips:
- Enough but not too much
When I just started using Asana for the second time I overdid the amount of projects. I made projects for several part of my own business development. This made things harder and tedious instead of easier and more fun! Use projects when needed but don’t overdo it. Use sections instead (see my next point)!
- Use sections well
Sections can really help you sort out all the different tasks in a project so you know if you’ve got something double or something is still missing. There are multiple ways to use the sections but one of the things I love is having a specific section for calls so I know who I can call if I am waiting on something or if I am in the car. This makes my time more productive and more fun.
- Client project
Make a project with (potential) clients where you can keep all their information and make a task to keep in touch. Saves you the cost of a seperate CRM system and works just as brilliantly
- Don’t overwhelm
Don’t overdo the amount of tasks you give yourself. In the beginning it would happen that I would have given myself 50 or even 80 tasks to do that day.. that doesnt work of course.
- Be complete
Make sure every task is in there. There is no way you can rely on the tool unless you are sure everything is in there. So make sure you keep adding everytime you remember something.
- Mobile app
Use the app to add tasks. When I am not at my desk when I think of something that needs to happen I just add it with the app. This way it is so much easier to know everything is in there.
- Other kinds of projects
Add other projects in Asana. It is so nice to know even that is in Asana so you won’t forget. I for one have projects for the home, personal projects, personal development, volunteer work… The sky is the limit!
What would you do with the certainty that everything you need to do is locked up and save? And you can just go on with the next task on your list?