With the right performance metrics and KPIs, you can better gauge succese while communicating your value and impact on the business.
Reporting | Jun 11
Jessica Malnik on September 29, 2020 (last modified on October 1, 2020) • 23 minute read
Here at Databox, we’re big fans of Asana. In fact, we use it to manage our entire editorial process – including this blog.
With a project management tool as flexible as Asana, there are endless use cases for how companies can use it to keep track of key initiatives, projects, and tasks.
In this post, we’re taking a deep dive into how other teams are using Asana, Asana features, how is Asana used for reporting on work progress, and more.
Asana is one of the most well-known SaaS project management software. It is designed to help teams – of all sizes- better collaborate on projects and initiatives.
With both free and paid versions and nearly endless customization potential, it is easy to see why many teams gravitate towards it for keeping track of projects and tasks.
We reached out to more than 50 professionals who are using Asana in their businesses.
In fact, 61% of the people were marketers, followed by 25% who were founders, CEOs, or C-suite executives.
The people who we reached out said their three favorite Asana features were:
This level of organization makes it easier for teams to always know where projects stand.
Pro Tip: Their paid plans start at $10.99/per user and offer advanced features such as dashboards, timelines, advanced search, rules, private teams/projects, etc.
Being able to track tasks and projects seamlessly that were in various stages of completion was one of the biggest reasons why people switched to Asana from other project management software.
In addition, we looked at the 8 top alternatives (and additional reasons) why people migrated from their previous project management software to Asana.
Many people switched from Trello to Asana.
“Asana has a much deeper set of automation, features, and integrations,” says Andrew Hulse Futurety of Futrety. “It has been essential in organizing projects and client work, new project kickoffs, and managing our team work hours through an Everhour integration.”
Jakub Rudnik of Shortlister adds, “Asana is far more robust than Trello. Trello typically ends up as a better task management tool than a project management tool. For larger teams and projects, Asana’s features and structure allow for far better project management. The ability to see projects, how tasks are dependent on one another, member bandwidth, and more, make Asana a more robust tool, among other features.”
“Asana is easy to use as compared to a tool like Basecamp,” says Girdharee of SurveySensum. “The main reason why we use Asana is its widespread adoption with our client teams. The learning curve is really quick and the need for user training is less.”
James Pollard of The Advisor Coach adds, “The reason I chose Asana over Basecamp is that Asana has a better mobile app. My team members almost exclusively contact me through Asana. So, if I’ve ever out and about, I can use my phone to talk with them and monitor their progress via the app without having to use a browser.”
“Versus Jira, Asana has its pluses and minuses,” says William Chin of ProLightingRental. “What I mean by that is Jira is a more comprehensive and agile tool and is more built for larger enterprise sprint teams/Agile. However, for small and medium task management, Asana is perfect.”
“Jira also can be quite confusing in the short-term to users who are not accustomed to Agile methodologies or product development. Whereas Asana is intuitive and easy to pick up!”
“Jira is also highly configurable with all of the Atlassian suite (which is a lot of products), so it’s almost like comparing apples and watermelons!”
“Believe it or not, the feature we enjoy most with Asana (and one that defined the reason we opted NOT to switch to an alternate project management tool) is the color,” says Alexander Porter of SearchItLocal. “Our team is accustomed to the color scheme which is more than an issue of comfort.”
“Tracking project completion with color-coded tags becomes second nature, which helps new team members quickly understand what’s needed and when.”
“Who knew, all the technical capabilities in the world and color-coded tags was what tipped Asana over the line!”
“I am sure Monday.com is a great product but Asana’s continuous evolution and intuitive interface has proved itself as a standout product,” says Jessica Crosby of Lone Fir Creative. “The efficiency in our ability to internally communicate in Asana doesn’t even compare.”
“Asana’s assignment tracking features are significantly more robust than Airtable’s,” says John Ross of TestPrepReviews.com. “Essentially, Airtable feels like a glorified Excel spreadsheet, while Asana has much more functional features to track progress and timelines.”
“I love Teamwork (and am a certified consultant) but Asana is much more user friendly and isn’t at all intimidating for clients to jump in and start using it,” says April Sullivan of EntreLeverage. “The unicorns may have something to do with it.”
“Asana is more intuitive and has tools that are particularly useful for project managers,” says Andrew Latham of SuperMoney. “I also love how Asana allows you to create rules that automate repetitive tasks.”
One of the most powerful features of Asana is the fact it syncs with hundreds of other apps that you are already using in your business, like Google Drive, Slack, Zapier, and Databox.
See how Databox’s Asana integration helps you monitor tasks completed, overdue tasks, projects by team and assignee, and much more.
In addition, here are 24 of the biggest benefits of using Asana.
“Keeping track of tasks and finishing projects that otherwise would have been forgotten,” says Michael Hanson of Growth Genie.
Andrew Ruditser of Maxburst says, “Asana allows you to keep all your projects, tasks, assignments, etc. all in one place for all team members to follow, this way nothing gets misplaced, and everyone is on the same page.”
“Within Asana, you have the ability to create an assignment under any specific project, assign it to any team member with any due date you need it done by.”
“You also have the ability to communicate with team members within these tasks directly as well, in case anyone has any questions on what was assigned to them.”
“In each task, you have the ability to attach items that are needed including, images, word documents, dropbox folders, etc. This way everything is in the same place.”
“Once an assignment is completed, our project managers receive a notification informing them this task is done and ready for review. This helps us stay organized by following current tasks for each project, what each member is working on, in what specific timeframe, etc. This way we don’t lose track of any projects and are always on top of things.”
Djordje Milicevic of StableWP adds, “A major benefit of using Asana is that it allows everyone on the team to stay organized in terms of following our internal processes in a timely manner.”
“We use the Board view in Asana which works like a Kanban to organize projects into columns/sections to track progress, from planning out tasks and assigning them to team members, to reviewing and completion.”
“The Timeline feature also works great to visualize projects and plan them out with the time dimension. It’s essential for staying on track with more complex projects that include multiple team members and stakeholders.”
For example, John Frigo of Best Price Nutrition says, “Prior to using Asana various teams and departments were communicating or keeping track of projects via a dozen different Google Sheets, Hangouts and eMail. Asana is nice in that everything is kept in one place and everyone is in the loop on what’s going on.”
Editor’s Note: Looking for an easy way to keep tabs on all projects in Asana? Use this Asana Project Overview Dashboard to get better visibility of your team’s performance on all key tasks per project.
“What I love about Asana is the ability to assign and organize multiple roles under one task,” says Vickie Pierre of AutoInsuranceEz.com. “It’s one thing to say, ‘Here’s this big project, and here’s what each person is going to do.’ But it’s another thing to use Asana to create a parent task, and then assign sub-tasks to individuals with specific contributions and deadlines.”
“Being able to lay out everyone’s roles and responsibilities with clearly defined due dates brings a level of organization that not only leads to increased accountability but also lends itself to greater teamwork and collaboration.”
Aga Cejrowska of Pulno agrees, “It is great for tasks that require collaboration. It is super easy to assign many people to one task, whoever makes any changes can be certain that the rest of the team will be notified about it. Comfy way of changing dates, creating repetitive tasks. Also, the very clean UI is helpful.”
“Being able to keep conversations pertaining to a project or task in one place,” says Audrey Willis of Circa Interactive. “This includes feedback, discussions, and more. We use many tools as a company, so being able to house all of this important data in one place is a true benefit.”
”The primary strength Asana brings to our team is an ability to clearly communicate where a task is in our workflow and whose responsibility it is to move that task forward,” says Becca Borawski Jenkins of FinanceBuzz.
Noelle Fauver of American Casino Guide Book says, “Asana helps when we have multiple people working on the same project and completing different tasks at various times. It is easy to stay on top of what needs to be done and who is doing what all without having much, if any, additional communication.”
Reuben Yonatan of GetVoip adds, “The main benefit of using Asana is the ability to collaborate effectively with team members who are working from home. My company has always had a flexible WFH policy, and we needed a solution that would allow us to still communicate and collaborate when some of the employees were not working from the office.”
Raj Dosanjh of Rent Round agrees, “Since the post-pandemic situation now requires remote work, teams need more clarity on how goals are made and tracked. I feel Asana fills in communication gaps pretty quickly and helps avoid chaos.”
“We created a ‘weekly sprint’ project and then assign any global tasks for the week to that 1 project to get an overview,” says Sam Hurley of Novos. “Therefore we essentially have 1 project that gives us an overview of 22 clients and 6 team members’ workload for the week.”
Rachel Foley of Map My Customers says, “Asana allows us to transform our quarterly OKRs into manageable tasks with ease.”
“Asynchronous project management – if you do projects in two time zones it’s crucial to progress when everyone is working in different hours,” says Chris Stanislawek of Conversion Code.
For example, Sam Slabyk of High Voltage says, “We are a team of remote freelancers, so it’s very important that we stay organized at all times since we are generally not meeting in person to go over tasks, updates, etc. Asana provides our team with the ability to stay up-to-date on everything and ask questions to our team members as needed.”
“The tool makes it very easy to communicate across time zones. We also work on monthly schedules so having a list of tasks with deadlines that is easy to read is essential. Great tool all around.”
“Asana can cut down on extra meetings,” says Rochelle Burnside of Best Company. “You can deliver project updates that give team members the status of your work and avoid all the pop-in conversations on whether your assignment is done.”
“Asana is perfect for delegation,” says Kenzi Wood of Kenzi Writes. “I work with a few contractors to keep my business going and it’s super easy to manage their workflow. Best of all, it keeps everyone on-task and minimizes a LOT of back and forth emails.”
For example, Henry OLoughlin of Buildremote says, “In the past, we’ve had to work with one contractor in Upwork, one over email, one through their preferred tool. We invited all of them into Asana so we can log into one place to manage everyone we work with.”
Snezhina Piskova of Excel Template agrees, “Asana helps greatly to manage the wide plethora of writers who work with us and track their progress from drafting their templates all the way to delivering the final product.”
“As our team juggles a number of clients, it allows us to keep each other in the loop with how different projects are progressing and easily collaborate on a range of tasks,” says Fiona Marcotullio of Colewood Internet. “This massively streamlines our communication, especially during this time when we are working from home.”
For example, Caroline Marshall of Upsource says, “As a virtual assistant, I support a variety of clients and industries all with different needs but what they all have in common is they are completely reliant on me to stay organized for them!”
“I work with multiple clients to do lists and projects – including my own business deadlines, and I would honestly be lost without Asana keeping me on track every day with my deadlines and workload management”
Illia Alipov of RGray adds, “The main advantage of Asana benefiting our business is the Workload feature.”
“RGray is a digital marketing agency, and like any agency, we always have many clients in progress.”
To succeed with this business model, we must be very precise and clear in the planning of the scope and load of work. We divide planning for each client into sprints lasting several weeks, where the amount of work for each marketing activity and responsible specialists is calculated on an hourly basis in each project.”
“Here is where Asana with its Workload function comes into play:
“We use a little known tool called Flowsana,” says Kim Goodwin of Thermo Gears. “It integrates with Asana and provides various addons to help us be more efficient with project management. One of which is Auto-Adjust Due Date.”
“When we create a new project, we have templates with dependent tasks. Sometimes, projects get delayed and we need to readjust the due dates on some tasks. Flowsana will then automatically adjust all dependent task’s due date based on the new due date of the main task. It saves us a lot of time and helps us stay current with our projects.”
”Completing tasks in a timely manner is an important function for our business to stay on track,” says Tom Mumford of Undergrads Moving. “Integrating Asana with Everhour allows us to track how many hours have been put into a specific project or task.”
“Additionally, Asana integrated with Everhour has a variety of reporting features, allowing you to see which team members are working on specific projects, how they are dividing their time amongst projects, and more.”
“This is beneficial for our management teams, especially as more people are working remotely. Integrating these tools has helped us hone in on time management and spend our energy where it is needed most.”
Sara Bandurian of Online Optimism adds, “I love being able to create an aesthetically pleasing calendar and assign tasks to everyone. The drag and drop feature on their calendar is time-saving too!”
“We began creating collaborative quoting project boards in Asana to try and increase our B2B conversion rates, which are notoriously low across sectors,” says Ben Carew of Webbuzz
“It turns out the wrong thing to do is prepare a proposal and then simply email it to a new lead because, despite all your efforts, many businesspeople just skip the detail and fixate on price.”
“The Asana process is simple:
We have found that this impresses the client and the process of getting them there builds good rapport by provoking further discussions; quite simply it makes your business look good.”
“Our B2B conversion rate has tripled since implementing this process.”
“It’s easy to spend the majority of your workday going back and forth on email, writing messages with progress reports, asking colleagues to take care of this or that, etc,” says Vimal Bharadwaj of Automate.io. ”But, the time spent on email is not really the time spent on actual work.”
“Asana has changed the way I work at Automate.io. I integrate it with my Gmail so that my starred emails turn into tasks on Asana. This helps me track my progress so that I don’t fall behind schedule.”
“It allows teams to see the bigger picture of what’s going on with a client,” says Brooke Logan of Sagefrog Marketing Group. “You can see what all departments are doing, and in turn, know how your department will be affected by that. For example, if we created a new page on the website, the digital department will benefit from this because it will help them report on traffic for this new page.”
“We can gauge our team’s capacity/bandwidth against project timelines from a daily, weekly, monthly – even quarterly level,” says Nick Peterson of Leighton Interactive.
“The workload feature allows us to forecast potential work overload weeks in advance and be proactive (rather than reactive) about flexing project timelines.”
Editor’s Note: Looking for a way to gain visibility of your team’s projects and tasks? Use this Asana Team Overview Dashboard to track and manage all tasks in one view.
“Asana is a powerful tool for managing marketing systems, for example, content production,” says Jeremy Owens of Online Teambuilding. “I love both the easy user interface for dragging each task to the next stage, and also the tools for assigning and scheduling the work. The benefit is that we save time, money, and produce better content.”
Rebecca Reynoso of G2.com adds, “I have at least 20-30 columns on my Asana board at a given time. As the Content Editor for guest posts at G2, I have columns for content in various stages of the completion process, from keyword ideation to outline creation, all the way to completed drafts and finalized pieces.”
“I can visualize each in-progress piece on my board and easily shift content from one column to the next as they progress. It’s a great visual, organizational tool for editors, and I’d highly recommend it to any content team as well.”
“Asana is one of those applications that I consider an integral part of my productivity tool belt,” says Shana Haynie of Hearst Bay Area. “The main benefit of using Asana for me is that I can use automation (through a Zapier integration) to build out my to-do list.”
“As a content marketer and team manager, this is extremely valuable because when you publish a blog post, video, or other forms of content, there are a lot of repetitive tasks that occur in order to promote the said piece of content.”
“With Asana, I can set it up so that the new set of tasks for each blog post automatically populates my and my team’s to-do lists so that we never miss a beat with our content promotion.”
Reuben Kats of Falcon Marketing, LLC. adds, “One main benefit Asana has helped me is regulate my daily agenda. I am always in the loop with tasks that are assigned to me and which tasks are pending.”
“Asana allows me to monitor and assign tasks to my colleagues and developers we hire overseas. I can send a weekly report to my CEO and COO to show them which tasks have not been completed on time.”
“I also use Asana to coordinate with my developers, sales personnel, and executives on tasks that are tardy. If assignments are not done on time then I notify the corporate executives and then the action is taken.”
“Asana is a great platform to take notes and assign tasks on a weekly. I have used Asana for years and recommend every business to use Asana. The platform works wonders and can businesses thrive.”
“We’re an SEO agency that has monthly, recurring tasks,” says Tim Dugan of Zero Gravity Marketing. “Asana is the perfect solution for helping set up recurring tasks that will occur month after month like link building, content creation, on-site optimizations, etc.”
“Keeping track of what was done and when (all while considering client hours) can be extremely difficult but Asana keeps us organized and on track month after month.”
“We’ve all miscommunicated at some point during a collaborative project,” says Isaac Lauritsen of Superior Honda. “Oftentimes misunderstandings seem to occur when one person has completed their part of a project and hasn’t notified the person who’s task depends on their completion. That’s why when I use Asana, I set up task dependencies.”
“By setting up relationships between tasks, each person involved in the task receives a notification when other related tasks have been completed so that they can start the next phase of the project. Asana allows us to keep projects on track and effectively communicate when tasks are completed.”
Tara McQuaide of Indicative says, “Aside from the obviously increased organization, it has also increased communication and transparency among the company. When everyone is able to move beyond the confusion and question of what is going on, you and your team are then able to gear questions towards more productive inquiries around how to move a particular project forward.”
Robert Richards adds, “I use projects to house Process Docs and templates inside tasks. Every time we start a new project for a client, I can simply duplicate the Task from the Projects folder and assign it inside the client project. The task will contain a description of the work to be completed, and also link out to relevant video tutorials, process docs, and templates.”
“Secondly, we can add clients to Projects so that they are able to see what we’re working on when Tasks will be completed, access reporting documents, and collaborate with team members in the comments. The Asana Project timeline is the central point of reference on every call.”
“Asana integrates with so many other SaaS tools that we use,” says Phil Forbes of Packhelp. “We use Notion to document workflows, KPIs, and OKRs, and many of our Asana tasks have templates that link to the relevant notion document.”
“The benefit is that our ‘why’ is never far away when it comes to creating a new Asana task. It’s easy to invite freelancers to use. It integrates with Slack and Google Drive, and while it’s not seamless, it’s still incredibly powerful and useful for managing a 140+ people company.”
“It allows employees to see all their tasks in one place and it allows managers to keep organized and assign tasks in one place,” says Melanie Musson of CarInsuranceCompanies.net. “On one page, you can see everything you need to.”
“Asana has simplified workflow management for me absolutely efficiently,” says Alejandro Rioja of So Influential. “The ability to build customized workflows has helped my business reach new heights. While everyone is on the same page, I can keep track of what is happening and at what stage the project is in.”
With third-party app integrations, workflow management becomes much easier. Essential apps like Gmail, Slack, MS Office, Dropbox, Trello, and many more can be integrated within the workflow making work management less complicated and goal-driven.”
“With clear workflows, communication is easy, goals are defined and tasks are streamlined. What more would a business owner want?”
In sum, Asana is one of the more powerful and customizable project management tools out there. These are just some of the many use cases that teams have adopted to manage their projects and tasks.
Reporting | Jun 11