How to use Asana to manage your social sharing calendar

Kasey Fleisher Hickey

How to use Asana to manage your social sharing calendar

Engaging your social media followers is an intricate art (and some might say, science). From company news and press to content you find on the web, it’s fair to say that social media never sleeps, and there’s never a shortage of things to share. Staying on top of it all can be daunting. As with many things, we’ve taken a team-oriented approach to our social sharing calendar and you can, too. Here’s how we use Asana to manage our social calendar.

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Asana Dashboards

See the big picture, with Dashboards

Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Emily Kramer

One of the most challenging parts of managing an organization is getting a high-level overview of what’s happening across multiple teams quickly and accurately. This information is critical to steering a department or a company, but it’s usually out of reach of a manager and can only be summoned through a lot of “work about work”: weekly status emails, meetings, and scattered summaries. Asana helps your team achieve its goals, hit its deadlines, and communicate more, but when you wanted to see the big picture, or show your project’s status to an executive, there was no easy place to begin.

So we imagined how we could make the status process simple and automatic. How we could make the huge effort of sharing and understanding the progress of multiple projects and teams just go away. The result is our new Dashboards feature, which replaces the chaos of status emails, meetings, and check-ins with clarity and transparency for anyone in your organization. You no longer have to hunt down the answer to the most important question you have, “How are we doing?”, because it’s now available in one place, one click away.

A new level of visibility

There are two parts to Dashboards: My Dashboard, a new view accessible from the left pane, and Project Overviews, which can be found in the right pane of every project.

My Dashboard: Clarity on what you care about most

In the left pane, underneath My Tasks and Inbox is My Dashboards. This view gives you a whole screen report on the projects you’re watching. Like most things in Asana, what you see in your Dashboards is your choice. You can add, remove, and select the order of projects, so you only see the things you care most about. Each card shows you the project name, project owner, and a real-time quantitative and qualitative status for the project. We’ve made the status format super simple to understand – with a colored bar at the top, a qualitative status area below, and an interactive progress chart at the bottom. At a single glance, you can tell what projects are on track, and which ones need your attention. Once you’ve customized your dashboard view, you can even share it with other teammates or executives in your organization by sharing the link with them. You can have up to 3 projects on your Dashboard in a free Asana Organization, and as many as you want if your company has a premium Asana Organization.

mydashboards_full

Dashboards offer team leads and executives just enough information to answer the important question. Here’s an example of a Dashboard that was created by a marketing team lead who needs to know where the product and design teams stand. The projects at the top row of this Dashboard were added to see which projects hit their due dates at the end of this quarter. For more information, the marketing lead can click into any project card to access a more Project Overview. In the above example, Design Requests and Bug Tracking do not have project due dates, but our marketing lead can see the number of tasks added over time in blue, and completed in green on the progress chart. She’ll immediately see that Design Requests hit a stride about a month ago, showing a spike in completed tasks, but that this project seems to be slowing.

Project Overviews: Communicate your team’s progress

The right pane of every project is now the Project Overview. Here, you can choose a project owner, set a description of the project, set a project due date, and set the current status of the project. This view automatically informs the team, and anyone else you want, how a project is progressing and if the team will hit its deadline. And we automatically give a weekly reminder task to the project owner to update the status. Changes in Project Overviews automatically update the Dashboards for anyone following the project, so these manual status updates give project owners a powerful way to communicate the scope and progress of projects to teammates and executives.

Untitled 3

These two Project Overviews tell two very different stories at a glance. Sarah, the Project Owner, has just wrapped up a website launch. The project had a lot of momentum, and tasks got done very quickly after being added–the green and blue lines of the automatically-generated progress chart move together. While the team missed the project due date by a week, Sarah is excited to celebrate the launch with her team and that the project ended with a success. You can Heart this status update to show your appreciation for the launch. Emily’s project is just beginning. The team is in the ideation and planning stage, adding many tasks (blue line), but not yet completing many (green line). Since they haven’t gotten much done yet, Emily has selected the yellow status bar. You might realize you need to jump in and offer help during this planning stage.

 Let Asana do the work

Asana is built around tasks, not just messages or emails. This means that features like Calendars, Search Views, and now Dashboards make use of the underlying structure of your work – what we call the Work Graph – to give you new and powerful ways to visualize and understand how your team is doing. Dashboards are just another step in harnessing the power of your team’s Work Graph, and we have many more steps in mind. Until then, give Dashboards a try and let Asana can do the work about work for you.

For more details on how to use Dashboards or Project Overviews, visit the Guide.

Thank you to the Dashboards team: Cliff Chang, Bella Kazwell, Sri Raghavan, Marcos Medina, Vanessa Koch, Beth Toland, Josh Smith, Marcus Schorow, Saagar Deshpande, and Jennifer Nan

What Jefferson can teach you about teamwork

Kasey Fleisher Hickey

Back in the 1800s, Thomas Jefferson turned the dinner party into something more than an opportunity for drinks and small talk. He started a tradition at his home in Monticello, inviting an intimate group of people to forge a discussion around a chosen topic. The only rule was that no more than 14 people attend, and the topic of conversation would be one that everyone would participate in.

The goal of this type of dinner was to build community and thanks to one of our customers, Possible, we recently discovered that Jeffersonian dinners aren’t just a thing of the past. In fact, organizations have used them to build authentic connections among like-minded individuals, to help drive awareness around causes, to shake up a typical dinner conversation, and to ultimately encourage teamwork not just among colleagues, but broader professional circles.

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Strategies for thinking big

5 ways to think big, any day of the week

Justin Rosenstein

“How do I make sure I’m thinking about the big picture, when I’m always working on a lot of small things that seem to take up all my time?”

This was a question a product manager once asked me when she felt lost in the weeds, and one you may have asked yourself.

How can you empower yourself to step back and look at the big picture so you can lead your team more effectively?

Last week, Fast Company published an article I wrote tackling this very topic; here are some highlights of strategies that have worked for me, and you might consider:

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From journalism to bug tracking: how The Information runs its newsroom in Asana

Kasey Fleisher Hickey

The Information team

We’re big fans of The Information, a subscription publication that delivers technology news to professionals around the world. You can subscribe to it here.

Jessica Lessin founded The Information, a subscription technology business publication, last year, after spending years in a traditional newsroom (at The Wall Street Journal, specifically). We sat down with her to ‘talk shop’ about her profession, her publication, and how technologies like Asana help give her team a competitive advantage.

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Marcos Medina

Narwhals v. Unicorns: the story of the Asana soccer mascot

Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Marcos Medina

When Marcos Medina was living in his hometown of Barcelona, he stumbled upon the Designer Fund Bridge program through a link on Twitter. Little did he know that just a few months later, his life would look pretty different: he’d be living on the other side of the world, standing in front of a team of people, talking about the pros and cons of using a Narwhal as a mascot representing his company’s athletic brand.

Marcos applied to the Bridge program, which connects designers with some of the most exciting startups in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was introduced to Asana. Since then he’s been a key member of Asana’s design team. Beyond the incredible career opportunities, Bridge offers members mentorship and a community of professional peers. For Marcos, Bridge provided the support he needed to leave his home and life in Spain and feel confident that the company he’d end up working for would be the perfect fit for him, and vice versa.

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Asana App on iOS8 and iPhone 6

Asana: upgraded for iOS 8, built for teamwork

Emily Kramer and Kasey Fleisher Hickey

In July, we introduced you to the brand new Asana app on iOS–one of our most exciting product updates. Today, we released another update: Asana for iOS 8, which includes several improvements and supports some of the new, highly-anticipated iOS 8 features.

When you update your iPhone to iOS 8 today or unbox your new iPhone 6 on Friday, update your Asana app at the same time. If you are downloading Asana for iOS for the first time, or just need some help getting up to speed with the app, be sure to check out our iOS Quick Start Guide.

 

Asana iOS8

Select Share Extension, Create task via Share Extension, Today Extension

New for iOS 8

We took advantage of Apple’s new App Extensions, which enable deeper integration between apps and iOS 8, to make it easier to get your work into Asana and know what’s most important.

Create Asana tasks from other apps

When you’re browsing the web on Safari, flipping through photos, or using other apps, use our Share Extension to turn that content into an Asana task. This works in the same way you would send a photo or a link email, Twitter, or SMS, and makes getting information into Asana — where you can prioritize, share, or assign it — really fast.

See Today’s tasks in your Notification Center

The Today section of the iOS Notification Center now pulls in the tasks you’ve marked for Today in Asana, so you can quickly see your most urgent tasks, without loading the app. From there, you can tap to jump directly to the task in Asana. Seeing work marked for Today alongside your calendar, weather, and updates from your other favorite apps, is a great way to plan for the day ahead.

A truly mobile-first experience iPhone6_4

We want you to have a great Asana experience, whether you’re using Asana on your desktop or your mobile device. So we’ve made a number of additional improvements to help you communicate with your team and get more done, regardless of where you’re working.

More ways to invite your team

We’ve added new user invitations throughout the app so when you’re creating, assigning, or adding followers to a task, you can add any teammate’s email address, and we’ll invite them to join you in Asana.

Easy task deletion from within the app

We’ve received a lot of requests to make deleting tasks from the app easier, so we made sure to build this feature. You can delete tasks by tapping the trash can icon in the task details menu (the “…” in the top right corner of any task).

A fresh mobile setup experience

We’ve added a beautiful and simple walkthrough of the app for new users. If you’re inviting or sharing Asana with new teammates or colleagues, it just got a lot easier for them to get started and dig in.

What’s next: Android and more

We’re building Asana as a multi-platform company that transforms teamwork across functions and industries and we now have two dedicated mobile teams — Android and iOS–to help us fully realize this vision. The Android team is continuing to build our completely redesigned app and we can’t wait to share it with you in the coming months. if you’d like to receive email updates about our progress, sign up for our Android newsletter.

As you break in iOS 8 and use the Asana app with your team, we’d love to know what you think and what features you’d love to see. Please share suggestions in the comments.


 

Thank you to the iOS team: Tim Bavaro, Tom Brow, Sam Goertler, Tyson Kallberg, Niranjan Ravichandran, Vincent Siao, Janardan Yri

Your back-to-school guide to Asana

Kelsey Aroian and Kasey Fleisher Hickey

Back to school with Asana

Are you heading back to school? Be it high school, college, or graduate school, Asana’s here to help you be the most organized student on campus. Thousands of university students around the world have used Asana each year to keep track of deadlines, run their student organizations, plan on-campus events and coordinate group projects. Asana is always free for teams under 15 people, but we also provide free premium organizations to student groups, regardless of their size.

Start your year off right with Asana. Here are some resources to help you get the most out of Asana throughout the school year and beyond.

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Export Asana projects to CSV for custom reporting

Kasey Fleisher Hickey, Jackie Bavaro, and Hynek Jemelik

Are you an Excel whiz who loves nothing more than manipulating data? Now, you can export data you capture in Asana to a spreadsheet.

Custom reporting is something a number of teams — from sales and marketing to customer support — depend on to track progress and increase efficiencies. Every Asana project is a searchable database and while Asana search lets you create custom reports and see a custom list of tasks, we know some teams want to do more. So, you can now export any project from Asana to a CSV file where you can customize this data in whatever way your team finds most useful.

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Polish Week: adding some shine to product features

Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Jennifer Nan

What started back in 2012 as a way to ‘polish’ our app has become a company tradition, and one all Asanas look forward to.

Polish Week gives everyone on the team, regardless of function, an opportunity to work on anything that makes Asana a better experience for you. Projects range in scope and visibility — some add just a little bit of shine to the product while others are highly-requested features that fundamentally improve your workflow.

Here are some features from Polish Week that are available now:
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