Digital project and task managers are seriously a dream, but trying to set up your system can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Here at LearnDoBecome, we love using Asana, and because SO many requests have come in–asking how it works with projects, routines, and Next Actions–we decided to feature this special video recorded by our LearnDoBecome team member (and STEP coach), Jill Adams.
You can definitely adapt these principles to work with a different project management software, but we hope this will give you a great start! (Feel free to scroll down to see a few of the basics outlined with screenshots.)
Tip #1: Use Asana’s dedicated “projects” section to set up one category for routines and one for projects.
If you’re interested, you can also create one for your Context-Based Next Actions List!
In your routines, brainstorm the things you’d like to get done daily, weekly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. Then, in projects, take a few minutes to record the main projects you’re working on now or hope to do soon.
It doesn’t have to be perfect! Just write down a few things you’re already doing to start with—you can always add more later.
Tip #2: Add sections to categorize your routines and give tiers to your projects list.
You can organize your routines by adding sections. Simply use the dropdown arrow next to “Add Task” or use the keyboard shortcut TAB+N.
For routines, these could include:
For projects, these could include:
- In Progress/Waiting
- Next in Line
And for your Context-Based Next Actions List, these could include:
- To Discuss
Once you’ve created these sections, you can drag and drop your routines and projects into the appropriate section. Just click and hold the dots that show up on the left of a line when you hover over it, then drag it to the desired section.
Tip #3: Create subtasks to outline the Next Actions for your Current Projects.
When you click on a task, it will open up a window to the right where you can add subtasks. This is where you can brainstorm the Next Actions for each of your projects. Remember, a Next Action is “the next physical, visible activity that progresses something toward completion” (David Allen, Getting Things Done.) There’s a lot we could cover on Next Actions, but if you want to learn more, go to our free training, “How to Finally Stop Drowning in Piles.”
Tip #4: Assign a Next Action to your Context-Based Next Actions List.
You can have a Next Action from within one of your Current Projects also show up inside your Context-Based Next Actions List. Within the details for that Next Action, simply click the three dots to “Add to another project” or use the keyboard shortcut TAB+P.
Once you’ve done this, you will see the project show up under the task’s description. Click the dropdown on the right to select the desired context for that Next Action.
We LOVE Asana! It has a powerful free version, and it helps us manage our LearnDoBecome team projects easily and without stress. That said, whether you keep your projects, routines, and Next Actions in Asana, another app, or on paper, the key is to find what works best for you!
New to Asana and interested in getting started? Take a few minutes to set up your own account with the three areas: projects, routines, and a Context-Based Next Actions List.
Already using Asana, another digital app, or paper? Take a few minutes to clean up your lists and do a mind sweep—getting all those ideas out of your head and into a system can feel so good!
Then, report back—what questions do you still have with Asana? What is working for you in your current system? We love to hear from you!
We also have several more tutorials on Asana!
If you’re new here, our free one-hour training will show you exactly how to set up your Next Actions and get control over the piles of clutter: