In this updated Asana tutorial for beginners, we’re going to share how to use Asana to better manage your teams, tasks, and projects all on one dynamic platform.
Asana is an all-in-one free project management software designed to be your team’s online workspace.
You can communicate, collaborate, delegate and manage projects/tasks using Asana project management software.
Small businesses or individuals can leverage its free plan, in which 15 users can access all the essential features needed for managing day-to-day activities.
How to Use Asana to Manage Projects for FREE?
Okay, let’s get you up and running with Asana!
Step 1: Sign-up to Asana with Basic Plan
To begin, head over to www.asana.com.
For this Asana tutorial, we’re going to use the web version (however, you can also download the app on IOS and Android).
To complete the initial setup:
- Point your cursor to ‘Pricing’ at the top and click on it.
- Head over to the Basic plan under which you get unlimited essentials (tasks, projects, activity log, comments), 15 users, and more.
- Select ‘Get Started’
- Answer a few basic questions, add teammates, and select your project type to complete the initial sign-up. However, we’re going to cover features like adding teammates and selecting the project type later in this Asana tutorial for businesses.
After the initial sign-up of your free Asana account, you’ll arrive at the Asana dashboard.
Read More: How To Use Asana
Step 2: Explore the Asana Dashboard!
In the upper-right corner, you’ll find the Asana account settings.
Next to that, we have the trial period.
If you don’t upgrade to a paid plan of your Asana project management account after the trial period ends (30 days), your free plan will be activated.
Now if you click the plus (+) icon next to it, you can create tasks & projects, send messages, and invite team members to join Asana.
Click on ‘My tasks’ on the left-hand menu to view your current, completed, and upcoming tasks or activities.
You can also add a section or milestone if you like (refer to the screengrab).
Apart from that, you may choose the view type: list view, board, or calendar.
Under ‘Files’ is where you can view all the attachments associated with your tasks.
To view your messages and to reply to them, click on ‘Inbox’ on the menu. Below ‘Inbox’, we have ‘Reporting’.
This is where you can access real-time data related to your projects, teams, and tasks.
Now, to monitor the status of your projects/tasks and team-member workload, click on ‘Portfolios’ on the left.
When you need to set strategic goals for your organization, navigate over to ‘Goals’ on your left. These goals can also be set for selected team members.
Back on the navigation menu, you can ‘star’ projects to add them under ‘Favorites’.
Under ‘Saved searches’ is where you can view your recent activities.
Below that, you can see your workspace as well as your teams and projects within it.
In this Asana project management tutorial, our workspace is called ‘Marketing’ (refer to the screengrab).
Our project for this Asana tutorial is named ‘Brand redesign campaign’ (which we selected during the initial setup).
Step 3: Invite Teammates to Asana
To collaborate with your teammates using Asana for project management:
- Click ‘Invite teammates’ at the bottom of the navigation menu.
- Add the email addresses of your team members (remember you can invite up to 15 teammates under the free plan).
- Choose a starting project that your teammates will see as soon as they log in to Asana.
- Even if you don’t currently have a project, hit ‘Send’ to invite them.
Before we go ahead and create our first project in this Asana tutorial for beginners, you need to understand how Asana works.
This is the project structure that is important to remember:
Workspace (or team) > Projects > Sections > Tasks > Subtasks
Step 4: Create Your First Project
There are multiple ways to create projects using Asana project management software.
To create a project using the first method:
- Click on the ‘+’ icon (see upper-right corner)
- Select ‘Project’ to begin your first project
In the second method, you need to:
- Click on the ‘+’ icon (see the navigation menu on your left)
- Select ‘Use a template’ from the drop-down to choose from Asana’s pre-made project workflows and start customizing the one you like.
- Click ‘Blank project’ if you’d like to start from scratch.
In the third method:
- Click on your workspace (‘Marketing’ in this case)
- Select ‘New Project’ on your right, or customize an existing project
- You can also see the team members that are part of this workspace
- Add a description for this workspace if you like
- Next to ‘Overview’, you can check out your messages and view your calendar
If you click on ‘New Project’, you’d again need to choose any of the three options:
- Blank project
- Use a template
- Import spreadsheet
In this Asana tutorial, we’re going to create a project from scratch, and hence we’ll choose ‘Blank project’.
Next, you need to name your project. For this Asana project management tutorial, we’re going to create a project for a web design client.
Hence, our project will be called: Client A – Website Project. Under ‘Privacy’, you can either choose ‘Public to Marketing (our team in this case)’ or ‘Private to project members’.
We’re going to keep the former selected.
You can then choose a layout view from any of these four options: list, board, timeline, and calendar.
However, the ‘timeline’ default view is a paid feature.
Since this is a free trial, you can utilize this feature for 30 days. We’re going to keep the ‘list’ view selected and hit ‘Continue’.
You can now:
- Start adding tasks
- Set project context
- Share with teammates
We’ll go with the first option and select ‘Go to Project’.
Step 5: Create Sections and Tasks
Within your project, you can create sections. These could be different stages within your pipeline, your workflow, or it could be different sections of a project.
The first feature we’re going to add using Asana for project management is ‘Website Features’.
For this section, we’ll create three tasks, namely:
- Booking feature
- Payment gateway
- Social media feed
Using the same process, you can create multiple sections and tasks under them (refer to the screengrab).
Also Read: Slack Tutorial for Beginners
Step 6: Changing the Project Views
What you see right now is the list view of your project.
You can again choose a different view, such as board, timeline, calendar, dashboard.
For example, if you’ve created a workflow journey, you can drag and drop tasks in the subsequent sections as you complete each stage of your journey.
For such a workflow, the board view is the most suitable.
If you have specific dates associated with your tasks, then the calendar view makes better sense.
We prefer using Asana for a list-based layout.
However, if you prefer a more visual layout (a board view, for example), then we recommend using other free project management software like Trello, which, we believe, is more visually appealing and engaging for creative teams. If you wish to learn more about Trello, watch this tutorial here.
Also Read: How to use Trello
Step 7: Customize Tasks within Asana
Next to each task, you have the option to customize details.
You can also assign tasks to your team members who are responsible for completing them. All you’ve got to do is click under ‘Assignee’ and select the individual.
And, to set a deadline, just select the due date next to it.
If needed, you may also add an additional field. In the list view too, you can drag-and-drop each task to a different order or a section.
To access information associated with a task, simply click on ‘Details’.
You can rename the task, add an assignee, set a due date, include a description, and add subtasks.
Here, you can also see the project this task is a part of.
Also, if this task depends on another task being completed first, you’d need to include that under ‘Dependencies’.
For example, if the task ‘Social Media Feed’ needs to be completed after creating the brand logo, you’d need to add the task ‘Brand logo’ under ‘Dependencies’.
Let’s learn how to use the Asana project management tool to create subtasks in the next section.
Click ‘Add subtask’ to create one.
Name it ‘Facebook Feed’ (since the task is ‘Social Media Feed). Similarly, you can add as many subtasks as you like.
For each subtask, you can add a due date, assign it to a teammate, add notes and comments.
Below it, you can see the activity log for this task. In the field provided (refer to the screengrab), you can post an update, ask a question, or post a comment to notify the assignee.
At the top of this task, you can mark it complete. You can also like the task, add attachments, view subtasks, or copy the task link (to share individually with your teammates if needed).
If you click the three dots, you’ll find more actions, such as:
- Mark as milestone
- Add to another project
- Mark as approval
- Convert task to template
- Create follow-up task
- Delete task
- Delete selected subtask
Take the time to go through all your sections, tasks, and subtasks, and make sure you’ve assigned them to responsible teammates and added a due date for each.
When setting a due date, you can also set a task to repeat.
That is very useful if you had a task that needed to be repeated multiple times within a project workflow.
The repetition can be weekly, monthly, yearly, periodically, or you can set a custom repetition period.
Apart from the weekday, you can also set specific times (start time and deadline) for your repeat tasks.
Also Read: How to use Basecamp
Step 8: Create a New Workspace
Using Asana project management software, you can create a new workspace as well.
To do that:
- Click on your profile (see upper-right corner)
- Click on ‘More’
- Select ‘Create New Workspace’
- Name your workspace and add your team members
- Hit ‘Create Workspace’
…and that’s it! Your new workspace has been created (however, for small businesses you most likely will only need one workspace).
Asana Tutorial for Beginners
We hope by now you’ve learned how to use Asana for project management and are equipped with the knowledge to manage your day-to-day business activities efficiently.
If you are a beginner and want to have a more detailed walk-through, then we have a video tutorial just for you.
So, enjoy the video and let us know if you have any questions.