Asana project management software: features, uses, and teamwork

Asana software for project management together with Fingerprint for Success for team performance

In a complex working environment, Asana  can help you keep projects on track for success in real time. We break down Asana’s key features so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Once you’ve made a call on the best project management software for your needs, it’s time to bring out the best in your team members using the technology. Fingerprint for Success’s team tools make it easy – and we’ll show you how. 

Table of contents
What is Asana and what is it used for?
How to use Asana for project management
How do you bring out the best in your team while using Asana?
How much does Asana cost?
How does Asana compare to other project management software?
Frequently asked questions

What is Asana and what is it used for?

Some call it a project management tool. For others, it's a workplace management platform. Still others use it as a simple task management software. The basic premise remains the same: Asana helps any team of people streamline their work.

According to Gartner, more than 85% of businesses actively use project management software. The rise of remote teams means collaboration platforms are growing quickly, led by these types of tools.

A closer look at Asana makes it easy to understand why. Its scope depends entirely on your needs – you can use it to achieve the following goals:

  • Stay on top of personal tasks
  • Collaborate on complex team projects
  • Reduce silos across the organization

In short, this is a tool that can drive efficiency, either for yourself or a larger team of people. Asana’s  view options and features make the tool all the more useful:

  • The list view helps to organize a simple task list by due date or assignee
  • A Gantt project timeline helps you understand the flow of complex projects
  • A board view can help agile teams organize their scrums and sprints
  • Task-based time tracking features help to improve organizational time management
  • Automated workflows minimize manual data entry and task tracking
  • Reporting tools can evaluate projects and team members to improve efficiency

These features paint the picture of a complicated tool, but Asana is unique among project management platforms because the opposite is true.

Everything on the platform relies on drag-and-drop. Tasks can live within projects or on their own. A visual, user-friendly interface makes getting used to the software easy.

An Asana implementation can take as little as a day. Even beginners can learn Asana in less than a week. It's why this tool consistently ranks at or near the top of user-friendliness compared to competitors such as Trello, Monday, and Wrike.

What types of teams should use Asana?

The tool's versatility makes it an ideal fit for a wide range of industries and departments. A marketing team will find it just as useful as a software development team, in other words.  Asana is used everywhere from small businesses and software start-ups with 2-10 employees to Fortune 500 companies.

With that said, Asana does have some limitations that are important to keep in mind. Most importantly, assignments are always linear. A single task cannot have multiple assignees. That makes it difficult for more dynamic teams that share tasks and responsibilities.

How to use Asana for project management

Setting up a project in Asana includes a few initial steps. The consistency of setting up these steps is what makes this one of the most user-friendly project management tools available.

  1. Plan your project
  2. Set up your project
  3. Use project views
  4. Track time spent on projects and tasks
  5. Report on projects to prioritize revenue-driving work
  6. Close out the project

1. Plan your project

Asana Goals can help you keep your project and team aligned with larger business goals. You can create company, team, and personal goals. Then, you can tie every project into a goal to track its success.

adding goals in asana for project management

Navigate to the Goals tab. Then, create a new goal with the following info:

  • Goal name
  • Goal owner
  • Goal type (individual, team, or company goal)
  • Goal time period and deadline
  • Goal members who will receive notifications

2. Set up your project

Start a new project by clicking on the top-right ‘plus’ button in the interface. Click 'create project'. Then, choose 'blank project' unless you already have a template set up.

setting up a new project using asana project management software

Name the project and select a project owner. Complete the Project Overview tab with basic information you want everyone to know. In the Overview tab, you can also add team members and upload important project documents.

setting up a new project using asana project management software

3. Use project views

Every project can display list, board, timeline, and calendar views. Which of them you use depends on the type of project you're building:

  • Lists are a chronological way to see tasks. You can use individual sections to group subtasks. It's the most common default view. Use it to prioritize your tasks and set deadlines.
using project view for asana project management software
  • Timeline shows how the project maps out over time. Use it to create dependencies between tasks and space out tasks over time.
project timeline using asana project management software
  • Board helps your team see all current teams in categories. It's great for brainstorming projects or tracking progress, such as started vs. future tasks.
using asana project management software for brainstorming and tracking progress with a board
  • Calendar maps your tasks according to the month. It's helpful for editorial calendars and other date-based projects.
use calendar with asana project management software

4. Track time spent on projects and tasks

Asana's time tracking feature helps you understand how efficiently your team is working. Used properly, it can be a central part of your organizational time management strategy.

time tracking feature of asana project management

Enable time tracking in your customized project settings.

Then, enter the estimated and actual time spent on each task description.

You can now create reports based on these custom fields, for both individual tasks and the larger project.

5. Report on projects to prioritize revenue-driving work

The software's reporting feature allows you to build custom dashboards. These custom dashboards help you track your team's work from every angle.

reporting feature of asana project management software

You can use custom dashboards and custom tables to report on the following items (and more):

  • Completed tasks per user
  • Estimated time to project completion
  • Project budget tracking
  • Upcoming tasks by deadline or employee
  • Completed task per user per month
  • Incomplete incoming requests for projects

Use reports to track your marketing campaigns or progress toward fundraising goals. You can even create an Asana implementation report that helps you track your implementation progress.

6. Close out the project

When a project is complete, a few of Asana's features can help with the close-out:

  • A 'complete' status report can recap the successes and improvement opportunities of the project. It also allows you to create a custom dashboard of completed projects
  • Archive the project to remove it from Asana's native search function.

You can always ‘uncomplete’ a project if needed.

To further increase productivity, you can leverage some of Asana's premium features:

  1. Connect your business tools with Asana
  2. Create templates and automations to avoid repetitive work

1. Connect your business tools with Asana

Asana has more than 200 integrations with popular business tools. Some of the most common options include:

  • Slack
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Tableau
  • Google Communication Tools
  • Microsoft Outlook

For example, you can turn an email into tasks or receive slack notifications for every Asana message. The goal is to allow seamless communication across all tools related to project management.

2. Create templates and automations to avoid repetitive work

One of Asana's core value propositions is avoiding repetitive work and improving efficiencies. Two features can help with that:

  • Project and task templates create a preset template with pre-built subtasks, team members, assignees, and more. For example, you can set up a template for a monthly marketing campaign that just needs a date adjustment at each creation.
asana project management software features project and task templates
  • Workflow automations are rules that execute based on specific triggers. For example, you can automatically assign a task, set a due date, or add followers based on the rules you set.
workflow automations with asana project management software

How do you bring out the best in your team while using Asana?

Knowing how to use Asana is just the beginning. One critical detail many project managers miss goes beyond the software. It's about understanding the different work styles and communication preferences within your team and among your key stakeholders.

Understanding the communication and motivational preferences of your team and key stakeholders can save months of wasted time, money and energy over the life of a project. Without this understanding, it can be difficult to know how to motivate employees and resolve conflicts

That’s where F4S comes in. Using revolutionary AI-powered technology, F4S analyzes the strengths and blind spots of team members, compares your team’s work motivations to those of industry top performers, and equips you with data insights and personalized coaching to unlock your team’s full potential. 

Once you understand each team member’s strengths and learn how to combine individual differences in complementary ways, you can optimize team dynamics for performance and harmony. In other words, your team will be unstoppable!

How does it work? The F4S work style assessment invites each team member to answer a series of questions that measure the 48 distinct work traits that influence the way a person conveys and processes information. The detailed report that follows guides you how to communicate with individual employees to build happier, more productive teams.

Accelerate understanding between teams

Breadth

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Motivated by macro big picture thinking, these teammates value moving quickly to connect dots between abstract ideas to 'get the gist' of things.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

vs

Depth

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These teammates value being concrete and specific, getting into details to understand the steps or tasks required.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

See the different work styles in your team

Take the free assessment & set up your team

How to use F4S to level up your project team

There’s just a few simple steps to get started:

  1. Take the free assessment, which takes between 15 and 30 minutes
  2. Set up a team in the F4S platform and invite your project team to complete the free F4S assessment
  3. Compare your team’s motivations, similarities, and differences
  4. Adjust your project work style to maximize project success
F4S workplace assessment shows team motivations and work style
F4S workplace assessment features for project management

As well as helping you optimize your team work styles, your project team can set their individual goals. Once set, F4S Insights will help your team develop the soft (human) skills that are crucial to achieving their goals. Personal development is no longer a vague concept – with F4S, it’s measurable. 

How much does Asana cost?

Asana comes in four basic pricing tiers:

  • Asana Basic is free for up to 15 users. You'll get unlimited file storage, tasks, and projects. Standard views are list, board, and calendar. Integrations with workplace apps are free, but you won't get custom product dashboards
  • Asana Premium costs US$10.99 per user per month when billed annually. In addition to the above, you'll get a timeline view. You'll also get automated workflows, unlimited reporting dashboards, and unlimited users
  • Asana Business costs US$24.99 per user per month when billed annually. You'll get project portfolios and goal features. You'll also get advanced workflows, time tracking, and custom fields. Users and free guests are unlimited
  • Asana Enterprise is priced based on custom quotes. In addition to the above, you can add your brand to the platform. You can also export data and set up cross-regional backups. Finally, you'll get 24/7 support from a dedicated Asana employee.

Which plan is best for you depends on your needs. Project managers with multiple team members and projects are likely to need at least Asana Premium. Asana enterprise is usually only necessary for large corporations with advanced data needs.

How does Asana compare to other project management software?

Asana is just one of many tools designed to help with project management workflow. Other options each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, as outlined below.

Trello

Like Asana, Trello is a project management platform. It costs less, but also comes with fewer integrations. Projects are separated into cards instead of tasks, creating a more visual overview. Each card can be assigned to multiple people.

Wrike

Another project management platform, Wrike is best for complex teams that need custom solutions. It's significantly less beginner-friendly, but it can be customized to work for any type of team, from software engineers to accountancies. It also has scheduling features to plan the team's workday and week.

Airtable

Airtable is a collaboration tool focused on customizable features. It is designed for projects and project teams that frequently need to share content and tasks externally. The same functionality can also be used as a file sharing device. Extensive reporting allows project managers to keep track of projects.

ProjectHuddle

ProjectHuddle is a WordPress plugin designed for collaboration and feedback. It creates digital post-it notes that anyone can use to leave feedback. That makes it a perfect tool for designers and web developers to share their work and prototypes. ProjectHuddle shines in its simplicity in creating that feedback mechanism.

Zapier

As a workplace automation platform, Zapier is designed to integrate other tools. It connects with more than 5,000 business apps, including Asana. For example, you can use it to automatically create tasks or move task descriptions into email messages. The automation is designed to save time that can be spent on value-adding project work instead.

ClickUp

Unlike other project management tools, ClickUp is about more than just tasks. It aims to also replace tools such as Slack and Google Docs. Features include a chat, interactive document editor, whiteboard, dashboards, and more. Automations and templates help to create complex project infrastructures.

Redbooth

Redbooth adds remote team meetings to typical task management. Tasks can be delegated across multiple team members. In the meeting, teams can share presentations and collaborate on projects in real-time.

Miro

Miro is a whiteboarding software designed for brainstorming and strategy sessions. A wide range of templates helps teams build anything from user journeys to campaign timelines. Integrations with project management software such as Asana can turn these strategies into tangible projects and tasks.

Monday.com

Monday.com is similar to Asana and even its interface looks similar. File storage is limited to 500 MB, but 24/7 support is available at all levels. Tasks are called Pulses, and can be organized into more complex workflows. You can group Pulses into Groups to keep a more comprehensive overview across projects.

Frequently asked questions

Is Asana free?

Asana has a free plan with limited functionality for teams of up to 15 users. This plan does not offer reports or the ability to group multiple projects into portfolios. Paid plans start at US$10.99. Nonprofit organizations in 25 countries can apply for a 50% discount.

Nonprofits also have access to the Asana Advisors program, made up of Asana employees who volunteer to help your team beyond basic onboarding.

How does the Asana app work?

Asana has both desktop and mobile apps. The desktop app includes full functionality, including live notifications. The mobile apps include more limited functionality, but they still allow users to check in on projects, read messages, and update product statuses.

Asana also offers an Asana Academy that is free for all users. A series of courses help team members and leads get the most out of the software, from rolling out Asana to their teams to creating effective projects.

Trello vs. Asana. Which is best?

While Trello and Asana are closely comparable, these distinctions can help you decide which is best:

  • Trello's simplicity makes it a great fit for small businesses with fewer than 10 people
  • Trello is great for visual, Kanban-style project overviews
  • Being user-friendly and customisable, Asana is well suited to more complex projects
  • Reporting and cross-team work are more built-out in Asana, making it great for medium and larger teams

Asana vs. Monday. Which is best?

Monday and Asana are similar. File storage is limited on Monday, making Asana the better fit for projects with larger file needs. Monday's custom dashboards are more advanced than Asana, winning on the reporting front. Both are designed for similar audiences, and many of their differences come down to personal preference.

Accelerate your project success rates

It's time to turn your project management expertise up to another level. Answer the questions in our assessments to learn about your motivations and blind spots. Compare your results with your project team using our real-time dashboard. Then, use those insights to better manage your team on a platform like Asana.

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