Asana is helpful not only for keeping your team on the same page, but also for keeping you organized as a person. Many of us are big fans of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, and we implement it using Asana.
We hope these techniques are valuable to you even if you’re not part of a team that’s using Asana, but maybe even more important if you are: by being the right place for individuals to track tasks day-to-day, Asana becomes more reliable and up-to-date as the source of truth for the projects those individuals are on.
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I love to keep myself organized with Asana. Here’s a little about how I use Asana for my individual task management. If you’ve read Getting Things Done by David Allen, a lot of this will look familiar.
First, I make a habit of writing everything down in Asana. Writing things down gets them off my mind and makes me more relaxed. The fastest way to do this is to go to Assigned to Me and start entering tasks in the Upcoming section. Another way is to forward emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. When I’m creating tasks for myself, I don’t split them into projects unless I’m working on them with other people. Projects work best for collaborative tasks, otherwise my list can get unwieldy.
People on my team rely on me to be responsive, so I like to always keep my New Tasks section empty. As I clear my New Tasks section, I immediately do any task that takes less than 2 minutes so they don’t build up.
For all other tasks, I make sure they have a clear “next action”. For example, I need to update our metrics report, but the real next action is to write definitions for each of our metrics.
Keeping track of tasks I’ve delegated, I created a private tag called Waiting For and added it to my favorites Now I can tag any tasks that I want to watch with Waiting For. Since the tag is private, other people won’t see it, even if they can see the task.
A daily and weekly review help keep me organized. I spend a little time at the beginning of each day to review my open tasks and pick a few for Today. If my Upcoming list has gotten too long, I’ll take old tasks and mark them as “Later” to take them out of my upcoming view.
Once a week I do a longer weekly review. This is my time to look at all of my projects and clean up anything that’s gotten messy or out-of-date over the week. An easy way to do this is to go through the tasks in my assigned-to-me list, and then to go through each of my projects in the project list, including tasks in Waiting For and Later.
Do you have any best practices for individual task management? Share them with other Asana Members.