One of the most common problems I see when people and companies get started with Asana is that they create a tonne of projects. It’s easy to get carried away in the beginning and I get why people do this; it’s a good idea to get everything out of your head and into a system like Asana.
However, the problem with having lots of projects is that it becomes quite difficult to make sense of all the work and identify your team's most important tasks and projects.
This is why I rely on a number of “summary” projects to make sense of the most important tasks. A “summary” project is a project that includes select tasks from other projects and organises them in a different way. Please note, these summary projects only contain tasks from other projects i.e. there are no tasks in this project alone. All tasks come from somewhere else.
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The way you create these summary projects is by adding a task to a second project. I recently wrote about the best features of Asana and this ability to add tasks to more than one project was at the top of the list.
For example, let’s say I have the following projects and tasks:
Let’s imagine task 1, 3 and 5 are all tasks I want to work on next week. I could have a summary project used for planning weekly sprints which include these three tasks.
What we’ve done here is take three tasks from three separate projects and add them to a secondary project that shows the tasks in a different view.
Using summary projects like this means I you sort your work, not just by project, but by some other useful context. Here are some types of summary projects you can consider using:
- Annual goal planning – Use this project to summarise your most important tasks from other projects and plan how these tasks contribute towards annual goals. Use sections for months or quarters.
- Kanban board – Use a board to sort tasks into progress stages: Planning, In-Progress, Waiting, Complete.
- Weekly sprints – Use sections for each week and organise tasks into weekly sprints.
- Meetings – Use sections to plan your meetings and add tasks from other projects if you need to discuss them in a meeting.
I'm using the first two in my own Asana account. In fact, since I started using a Kanban board to plan when to work on tasks, I’ve found I’m way more organised and have started to execute with more efficiency. Now, instead of working on too many things at once, I focus on closing my open loops (tasks I’ve started work on) before starting something new.
If you’re an Asana user, I highly recommend you experiment with summary projects to organise your work. You’ll be amazed at how presenting your tasks in a new view can help you to be far more organised and execute with more efficiency.
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