I feel like the words organization, productivity and time management can seem like taboo words to a student. Hearing those words always makes me squirm.
It’s really difficult to get organized and to stay organized. I have tried many different apps, systems and planners to try and get myself organized, but every time I try a new system, it never works out.
When I found Asana, I was so happy that I had finally found a method that clicked. This app helps me organize my tasks for each subject, with helpful tools to that allow me to plan out my weeks and month effectively.
And as someone who values the aesthetic and appearance of an app more than anything, I’m pleased to report that the minimalist and colorful design of this program makes the designer inside me very, very happy.
But you may not have ever heard of Asana before. Which is totally cool. Because in this post, we’ll be covering how to set up your very own Asana account and profile, how to manage your tasks and assignments inside the app, and how to effectively use all of Asana’s amazing tools to further your productivity.
Getting Started With Asana
Make your account
The first thing you’ll want to do is head over to Asana.com. When you get there, you’ll be confronted with a screen that looks like this:
After you submit your email address, you’ll have to confirm your signup.
Once you have confirmed your signup, it’s time to make your profile!
After filling in the fields on this page, you’ll be brought to a “Invite Teammates” page. Unless you’d like to share this account with someone else, just skip past this page.
And… that’s it! Yay! You’ve got yourself a mighty fine Asana account there, my friend! 😉
Setting Everything Up
Create your first project
In Asana, projects are essentially subcategories within your account. I use projects to categorize my tasks and to-do’s by subject. For example, I’ll put all of my homework and assignments for math into a “Math” project, and all of my essays and assignments for English into an “English” project and so on.
Clicking the plus icon will bring you to a pop-up window that looks something like this:
Type the name of one of your subjects (I chose math) into the “Project Name” field, and then click “Create Project.”
Now you’ve created your very first project!
Create your first task
The next step in getting you started with Asana is to create your first task. Tasks are exactly what they sound like: tasks or to-do’s. For each of your assignments, you can create an individual task for it in Asana.
Click on that project that you just made to bring you to a screen that looks like the one below:
Clicking on “Add Task” will conjure up a little side-screen menu like the one shown below:
Type in the name of your assignment. I chose to type in “Math Homework.” Then, click on the little calendar icon in the top menu and select the date that your assignment is due. I also chose to add a description of the assignment, including the page numbers in my textbook that my homework related to.
See how easy that was? 😀
Now create some more tasks–one for each of your homework assignments, projects, and even tests/exams. Make sure to include the due date for each assignment as well by clicking on that calendar icon!
Here are some of the other tasks that I chose to create:
Create your first section
But those tasks look a little disorganized and boring, don’t they?
Let’s add a section or two to divide up the tasks into logical categories! (Gosh, that sounded so nerdy…)
First, click on the “Add Section” button.
Type in the name of your section. I chose to type in “Homework,” but you could add the name of any other category of assignment you receive. For example, “Tests,” “Projects,” and even “Essays” could all be great section titles as well.
Once you’ve created a section (or three, like I did!), you can hover over your tasks to drag and drop them into your newly made categories!
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Now, for each of your subjects you can create another project! Repeat the previous steps (it’ll go a lot faster now that you’ve gotten the hang of it!) to create sections and tasks within each project!
Here are some of the other projects that I created:
Utilizing Asana’s Many Features
What we’ve covered so far is essentially the basics of this versatile platform. But there are still countless other ways to utilize Asana as a student! Here are some that I have discovered so far.
Did you know that you can color-code your Asana projects? To do so, hover over a project and click on the 3 little dots that appear:
Once you click on the dots, a menu like the one below should appear:
Slide your mouse over to the color that you would like to assign to the project. I tend to choose colors that match with my actual school supplies for that subject. For example, my math binder and folder are both blue, so I am choosing to assign the color blue to my math project. Similarly, my English notebook is red, so I’ll assign red to English, and pink to French because of my pink French binder and so on.
For a super useful way to look at all of your tasks at once, head over to the “My Tasks” feature by clicking the “My Tasks” link in the upper menu:
Clicking that link will bring you to this page:
See how useful this view is? It allows you to easily examine your tasks for the next few days, as well as the tasks coming up later that month. Your color code also plays a huge role in how this view looks.
Additionally, you can view your tasks through a monthly calendar view. This view is also super helpful for planning out your months, and budgeting your time wisely at the start of each month.
To check out and use this view, simply click on the “Team Calendar” tab in the lefthand sidebar.
Invite your friends and group members
If you have a large group project and you need a way to communicate and manage your tasks with your group, Asana is a great way to do that! This program was originally designed for professional and corporate offices and teams to work together, so your group project will definitely run smoother if you use this platform!
To invite others, simply input their email address and name, making sure to check them off as a Guest and not as an administrator.
Although I admit that I don’t use this feature very often, it’s definitely worth testing out! To prioritize your tasks (by “Today,” “Upcoming,” or “Later”) click on the little blue dot next to each task, and select a priority.
To break down a larger task or assignment into smaller tasks (something that I highly recommend to fight procrastination and increase motivation and productivity!), you can click on the little subtask icon in the top row of icons when you click on a task. Or, try using the command: Tab-S.
I really like this feature, and use it almost daily!
If you’re working with documents or images in Google Drive, Dropbox, or even on your computer, you can attach them to certain tasks to refer back to later. This is especially helpful if you’re working on a project with a group, because it enables you to all view the same files together.
How Asana Has Helped Me
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always had a rough time choosing an organizational system that has worked for me. So when I found Asana, I was absolutely thrilled!
This platform may not work for you (in which case I urge you to try and find something else that works!) but it has definitely helped me become a more organized and productive student. Having an organizational system that works and is beneficial to you is one of the most important aspects of being a student, which is why using Asana is such a core part of my day-to-day life.
Whew! Thank you for sticking with me until the end of this massive tutorial! 😀 To sum up what we’ve learned in this post, here’s a brief outline:
- We created an Asana account and profile
- We made our first project
- We created our very first task
- We added subheadings and sections within our projects
- We also learned about some of Asana’s “hidden” and helpful features
If you have any more questions regarding Asana, please leave them down below! I’d be happy to answer any and all of them!