Are you making these Asana mistakes?! 🙈
(I just made the brakes in your brain screech to a halt, didn’t I?)
Here’s the thing: Project management tools (like Asana) are the BEST things to happen to female entrepreneurs since social media scheduling tools.
But I also see SO MANY female entrepreneurs (especially solopreneurs) using them WRONG!!
Okay, maybe wrong is too strong of a word… but they really aren’t using them correctly or even to their fullest extent. Which makes me kind of sad. 😔
Worse than that, though, is seeing some of the SAME mistakes being made over and over and over again.
Which is where I come in!! 💁🏼♀️
Today’s post is ALL about the mistakes you didn’t know you were making with Asana (or any project management tool for that matter) and how to fix them or avoid them altogether!!
Because when you use a project management tool the right way, you should be able to 10x your productivity and success almost instantly!!
And if you’re NOT seeing or feeling that, then you need to keep reading!! 👇🏻
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using these links.)
BUT FIRST . . . THE 3 THINGS THAT OFTEN HAPPEN WHEN SOMEONE SIGNS UP FOR ASANA:
Asana is an insanely powerful tool that I use to manage people, projects, and everything in between (and I’m still on the FREE plan 2+ years in)!!
The problem though is that when you sign up for Asana (or another project management tool), you’re presented with a very blank slate. And that blank slate can cause a WIDE range of things to happen…
For example, the first time I logged into Asana, I took one look at My Tasks in list view with the headings Recently Assigned, Today, Upcoming, and Later and immediately logged back out!! I was SO INTIMIDATED that I didn’t log back in for another 6 months!!
I then had a coaching client who had been using Asana FOR YEARS and felt more unproductive and disorganized than ever. She literally could not understand WHY I liked project management tools so much. I later discovered that she had something like 100 projects started (some with only ONE task in them)!! 🤯
I had yet another coaching client who used My Tasks as a never-ending to-do list for EVERYTHING in her business. She had no other projects set up, no Teams, no systems, no organization, nothing. We nicknamed her Asana dashboard the black hole of her business because she could NEVER find anything!!
I tell you these stories because the mistakes I see female entrepreneurs make with Asana START the day they open their account… and then it just snowballs from there.
But never fear!! I’m here to help you FIX those mistakes (or avoid them altogether) and turn that blank or messy slate into a dashboard of sophisticated systems!!
THE ASANA MISTAKES YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE MAKING AND HOW TO FIX THEM
1. You’re treating Asana like a SYSTEM instead of a TOOL. But it’s not your fault!! There are HUGE companies, business coaches, and experts out there that have been referring to tools as systems and vice versa FOR YEARS (and unknowingly, confusing the heck out of us).
You see, a tool is a device or implement used to carry out a particular function. A system is an organized method or framework that helps you achieve something.
Project management TOOLS like Asana, ClickUp, Monday, Notion, and Trello are often referred to as project management SYSTEMS, but they’re NOT.
Asana, on its own, is a tool. How you USE it in your business (and personal life) is the system!!
🤩 The BEST and often overlooked part of project management tools is that you can house a WHOLE BUNCH of systems!! I have more than TWO DOZEN systems set up in my Asana dashboard that I use to run my ENTIRE business and personal life on a daily basis!!
Related Post: The Difference Between Systems, Tools & Templates You Need to Know
2. You’re treating Asana like ONE GIANT to-do list. This is one of the BIGGEST Asana mistakes I see female entrepreneurs make. They open their account and just start plugging in tasks with no real rhyme, reason, strategy, organization, or (drumroll please) SYSTEM.
This is the number 1 reason why female entrepreneurs say project management tools like Asana don’t work for them because they don’t know how to use them to their fullest extent!!
They either don’t HAVE any systems to put into them or don’t KNOW that they have to put systems into them to see how much better off their business will be!!
🤩 I have systems in Asana for managing content, courses, and clients, running flash sales and launches, mapping out funnels, goals, and projects, and much, much more. I’m not kidding when I say Asana practically works like my virtual (personal) assistant!!
3. You’re not signing up with a professional email address (and not able to take advantage of Teams as a result). When you sign up for Asana using a PROFESSIONAL email address (i.e. alexandra @ theproductivityzone.com), you are automatically set up with what Asana calls an Organization. This means more features (even on the FREE plan)!!
But if you sign up for Asana using a GENERIC email address (i.e. theproductivityzoneblog @ gmail.com), you are automatically set up with what Asana calls a Workspace, which means less features. *sad trombone*
The main reason I recommend using a professional email address is that you will be able to set up TEAMS in Asana. Teams are basically like branches or departments of your business and are really great for helping you ORGANIZE all of your projects, and ultimately, your business!!
🤩 I recommend creating the following teams to better organize your business and projects: Executive, Operations, Clients (if you have clients), Shop (if you have a shop and sell digital or physical products), Membership (if you have a membership), Content (short for content marketing), Personal, and Templates!!
4. You have too many projects or not enough projects. Remember the two clients I told you about? The one that had all of the projects and the other that didn’t have any? I often find this to be true with a lot of people. They set up Asana and either create all of the projects or not enough projects.
I’m not entirely sure how or even why this happens, but I think it’s because it’s actually really hard to determine what should stay together and what should be kept separate. And sometimes it takes a while to figure that out!!
For example, I used to keep track of all my business education on my #AllThingsBusiness project. All of the freebies, webinars, and challenges I’ve opted in for, all of the memberships I’ve been in, and all of the courses and coaching I’ve purchased lived amongst my important links, brand stuff that matters, happy notes and testimonials, affiliate links, and more.
For years, I loved having everything together, but then it just got to be too much. I finally separated my business education into its own project and love it even more!!
🤩 Having a one-off, random, stand-alone task hanging out in a project all by its lonesome will likely be forgotten about. Having all your business stuff, client stuff, content stuff, and more on ONE project isn’t very effective either. You’ve got to be able to divide and/or combine with confidence!!
5. You don’t color code your projects. Color coding is one of the BEST business systems you can have. It’s also the easiest to set up!! The key is to keep it as SIMPLE as possible and as CONSISTENT as possible across your ENTIRE business!! (If it’s even a little bit confusing or complicated, you simply won’t do it, be able to remember it, or want to follow through with it.)
When it comes to your business, I highly recommend using your brand colors to denote different areas, branches, departments, sections, or parts of your business!!
For example, my brand colors for The Productivity Zone are pink, blush, yellow, blue, navy, and green. Pink is for general business stuff, blush is for business education, yellow is for content marketing, blue is for The Systems Shop, navy is for sales/launches, and green is for clients. (I also use my favorite color, purple, for personal stuff!!)
🤩 Having a consistent color coding system across your ENTIRE business from your digital calendar to your project management tool to your paper planner (if you use one) to your digital filing system can be a game changer when it comes to organization and saving you time!! I particularly love looking at the My Tasks view in Asana because I know exactly what’s going on and what I’m working on each day based on the colors of the tasks scheduled!!
6. You think you only need Asana if you have a team. This is another one of those things that’s not really your fault. Almost all of Asana’s marketing is geared towards TEAMS and helping them do better more efficient work. Their tagline literally reads: “Manage your team’s work, projects, and tasks online.”
But I would argue that it doesn’t matter if you’re doing things solo OR with a team. You still need a project management tool to run and manage your business successfully.
If you are a one-woman show, you NEED a project management tool to help you stay focused, organized, and on top of all the business things. (And before you say a project management tool like Asana is TOO ROBUST for one person, I promise you, it’s not. It’s EXACTLY what you need when you’re doing all the tasks, wearing all the hats, and spinning all the plates!!)
🤩 Getting a project management tool like Asana set up the RIGHT way and working FOR you will not only change the way you DO business… it will also change the way you FEEL about your business!!
Related Post: Why Female Entrepreneurs Still Need a Project Management Tool
7. You’re not using Asana every day. This is another one of the BIGGEST Asana mistakes I see female entrepreneurs make. It’s also the one that makes me cringe the most.
No project management tool is going to magically make you more productive, organized, or on top of things just by creating an account. You have to FIRST set it up in a way that works for you AND THEN actively and consistently use it by making it part of your daily routine!!
🤩 In order to stay focused and not get distracted by email or social media during your workday (especially at the very beginning of it), I highly recommend making your default browser homepage Asana My Tasks in calendar view!! (I like the monthly view but weekly view is an option, too.) That way, when you sit down at your desk and open your browser, you’ll immediately see what you have to do that day!!
8. You aren’t using Asana to its fullest extent (i.e. you don’t realize it’s MORE than just a task and project management tool). Once again, this is NOT your fault. But realizing, understanding, and actually using Asana as MORE than just a task and project management tool will CHANGE the way you do business!!
Asana’s MAIN ROLE in your business should be to manage tasks and projects, yes. But it can also help you organize and keep track of ideas and information. It can even REPLACE all of those cute notebooks and colorful sticky notes from Target OR even that giant whiteboard that takes up a whole wall in your office. 👀
🤩 I get it, I’m a pen and paper girl through and through (and often still do initial sketches or brainstorms on paper). But written notes are NOT as easily readable or scannable (hello, handwriting I can’t read because I was going too fast) nor are they SEARCHABLE!! This is why I recommend TRANSCRIBING all of your written notes into Asana!!
Confession: I used to run MY ENTIRE BUSINESS from notebooks and sticky notes. They were neat, detailed, and of course, color coded (just like my notes were in school). But I also used to spend HOURS searching for ONE thing and stressing myself the heck out!!
Everything changed when I discovered the magical world of project management tools and took the TIME to create the systems I knew I needed to run my business BETTER.
But I know that creating systems is hard and downright overwhelming. It’s daunting and time-consuming and maybe even a little boring.
Lucky for you, I’ve done ALL the heavy lifting. 💪🏻
I’ve spent the last 9 years and 2 different businesses building sophisticated systems that manage people, projects, and everything in between (courses, content, clients, funnels, workflows, information, and launches, oh my)!!
And now I’m serving them up for you on a silver platter as TEMPLATES you can upload, customize, and start using right now, today!!
The BRAND NEW and FULLY LOADED version of Asana Assistant is launching on Cyber Monday!! I’ve added 8 BRAND NEW, TOTALLY AMAZING templates to the original 15 (and even gave those a glow up, too)!! In case you hate to do math as much as I do, that’s 24 SYSTEMS you’re getting for ONE INCREDIBLE price!! 😍
If your name isn’t on the waitlist yet, what are you waiting for?! Get on it!!
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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post could be affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I personally use, love, and feel make a difference in my business and could do the same for you.