3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content

3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content | Meighan O'Toole

Recently, I shared with you how creating a business hub in Asana has transformed my workflow, saved me time, and organized the back end of my business in a way that as a productivity nerd I had only dreamed about.

In the past, I was using Asana (as well as Evernote!) like a glorified to-do list.

3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content | Meighan O'Toole

I wasn’t using it at all in a way that could benefit me or my business. I really had no idea how powerful Asana was until I buckled in and got to work to truly understanding what it could do for me and my business.

This is what our parents were referring to when they told us to apply ourselves. 😜

Today, I’m going to show you a few different ways I use Asana to plan and manage my content - and ultimately save me time (and sanity).

A few terms to know in Asana before we get started, so you understand the lingo:

  • Project: Asana allows you to create projects throughout the platform. Simply put these are lists. They home everything, specifically your tasks and subtasks

  • Tasks: Asana describes tasks “as the basic unit of action in Asana.” These are what make up Asana's Projects.

  • Subtasks: These allow you to break up your tasks into smaller actionable tasks. They live within tasks. Asana describes these as: “independent tasks with all the same fields as a parent task, but are embedded within a parent task.”

There’s a whole heck of a lot to learn in Asana but those are the basics. If you want to dive in and learn more, check out Asana’s Guide.

Easily Accessible Resources & Information 

OK, this sounds a bit nebulous, but it is by far the simplest tricks of my favorite things about Asana.

If you’re building a business online there’s information you need over and over again when creating content.

For example, I make a lot of graphics for my business and I tend to toggle between a few different graphic design tools (do you see a pattern here?) so having my brand colors with their HEX codes (ex: #222a45) easily accessible is imperative!

Other examples of information I need at a moments notice when creating content online: little bits of code, links or resources I’m constantly referencing in my content, links to my services, etc.

You get the picture, there are specific pieces of info I reference often, and I bet you do too.

Keeping all of this information in one place so it’s easily accessible at a moment's notice is a life saver!

Here’s a screengrab of my website project showing that I have areas named “Important Info” and “Resources and Links”, this is where I keep such info like HEX codes, links I need for clients, code I use often, etc.

These areas (“Important Info” and “Resources and Links”) are almost always the first sections in every project I create in Asana.

It's a safe bet that pretty much every area of my business requires resources I need repeatedly, so this is recreating these areas over and over in Asana so I can find them in an instant is a must.

Examples of items or resources you may need continually are: product descriptions, email templates, images, documents, links, resources, and on and on.

If you're finding that you're looking for things over and over again in your business, this will be a massive timesaver for you!

3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content | Meighan O'Toole

Each project I create in Asana is different, but sometimes I need the same links and resources in various projects. Asana makes this very easy with the ability to add Tasks to multiple Projects. (See below).

You’ll find that repetition is a common theme in creating systems in Asana.

For example, I use a link to convert timezones a lot in my marketing. So I have access to that task in 3 different Projects (website, newsletter, business). There’s no need to recreate it, I just add the specific Project's tag to the task and I’m good to go!

Saving these resources and links in my Projects has saved me a ton of time and kept me focused in the moment. I know where everything is in an instant, and I can find it quickly.

Planning My Blog Content

The ability to plan my content in Asana is one of the things that has kept me coming back to Asana over and over again, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.

I have a few different Projects dedicated to creating content in Asana because they all work interchangeably; Blog Ideas/Posts, Blog Editorial Board, Editorial Calendar & Plan.

Blog Ideas/Posts Project: This is where I brain dump all of my ideas and things I want to write about.

Creating content is a big part of my marketing - so it’s on my mind a lot. This area allows me to dump all of the ideas that come to me while I’m doing the dishes, walking my dog, etc. or just take a minute a few times a week to brainstorm content ideas.

When I’m ready to sit down and write a blog post each week, this is the first place I come to . This allows me to get an overview of what I’ve been thinking about lately and what I want to include in my marketing for the week.

It’s a great area to store fleeting, but important ideas.

3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content | Meighan O'Toole

Helpful Tip: I add tags to my blog post tasks to make it easier to organize my ideas. Each tag represents the categories I write about on my blog (business strategy, productivity & tech, online strategy, and email marketing).

This action helps me stay clear and organized when I’m ready to think about what I want to write about.

And like I mentioned above, you can see in this project I also have my Resources set up with the links and information I need most when I’m ready to write.

When I have chosen something to write about from this project, I then add the project category Blog Editorial Board. This automatically adds it to the next project and is ready to be written, edited, and published.

(I walk you through this in the video below.)

Blog Editorial Board Project: Like I mentioned above once I’m ready to write a blog post I send the blog idea from my Blog Ideas/Posts Project to Blog Editorial Board.

Asana offers the ability to create Projects as Lists or Boards. I mainly use lists, but I find the Board look (it’s known as kanban) incredibly helpful for me to get my writing done, due to the visual nature.

3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content | Meighan O'Toole

As you can see I have a few different Columns: blog post ideas, write, edit, visuals, publish.

I move each blog post to the next step in my editing process when I’ve completed the previous task. I usually keep a few blog posts in the can as it were, so I have posts I can lean on if I need something quick to post.

When the blog post has been moved to the publish column, I then add the Project category Editorial Plan & Calendar. This means it’s ready to be factored and planned into my content marketing.

Editorial Plan & Calendar Project: Once my blog posts are written and posted on my blog, they then head on over to this monster I've created, my Editorial Plan & Calendar. Lol, I kid.

This is where I plan out my content and marketing strategy each week. This is the most complicated part, and it will get it’s own blog post in the coming weeks. But suffice to say this is how I keep on top of all of my marketing.

In this project I plan out my newsletter, my social media posting, and any specific things I need to share about (events, press, happenings.)

Send Important Content to Post to Social Media

One of the goals in my marketing is to educate and empower my audience with information to help them build their business online. This means sharing content from outside my business.

I’m very selective about what I share and make sure I’m not sharing any bogus or unhelpful information. Normally, I send everything I want to read to Pocket to store and easily find to read later.

But when I find something I know I want my audience to read, I send it straight to Asana.

This allows me to schedule it right into my Editorial Plan & Calendar. That way I’m not scrambling for any content, it’s right at my finger tips to plan and post!

I walk you through below how I use Asana’s Chrome Extension to makes this a breeze in saving and planning content for me.

So that was a whopper of a post, but I hoped it offered a whole bunch of information you can apply to your own workflow.

Don't feel like you need to do all of this in one go. It's taken me over a year to get to where I'm at.

If there's one tip I can share with you, it's to just start small and stay consistent. Pay attention to how you work, and what works for you!

Questions? Let me know below.

The Freedom of Systems: Saving Time & Bringing Sanity Back Into My Business

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If there’s one thing that led to a pretty big shift in my business (and my mindset), it was implementing simple, repeatable systems.

I know, when I say the word “systems” I’ve probably already lost you.

But hold tight.

Let me try this instead: last year, the back end of my business was NOT working. In fact, it was wasting my time and draining the life out of me and my business. And most importantly taking the focus off of what I loved doing.

Sound familiar?

Freedom or being chained to my desk? Hard to tell!

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Yes, I’m an organized person. But my idea of organization in my business was not efficient at all. I had no process for how I worked. I was basically reinventing the wheel every single time I did something in my business: onboarding clients, writing a blog post, creating a product or new service, writing my newsletter, you name it.

I was spending too much time in the nitty-gritty of my business.

Meanwhile: tick, tock.

  • Blog posts in Google Drive
  • Checklists in Asana
  • Contracts and client exercises in Dropbox
  • Notes and research in Evernote
  • Image templates in Dropbox
  • Blog ideas on a scrap of paper on my desk
  • That one piece of code I needed...no clue where to find it
  • Oh look, a whole new tool to try out!

I had all of these tools and was using none of them effectively.

Is this sounding more and more familiar?

I don’t know about you but I started my own business to be MORE free, not to trap myself in a high-stress, paper-pushing, way-more-than-full-time job.

I started working for myself to get away from grumpy people, not become one.

I kept hearing everyone talk about “systems” and I thought “WTF is a system? And how do I get one?” I have a notebook, a to-do list app, a calendar, I’m organized as hell...is this a system?!

As someone who's most likely never used the word “hustle” to describe my business - this felt a lot like that. Nothing about it felt good or something I wanted to brag about. But I had no idea how to change things.

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How a business hub changed my life overnight

In every business there are things that we do all of the time. Streamlining those actions into a system is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business.

Keeping everything in one place is even better.

That's where creating a business hub for my business really saved me and breathed new life into how I work.

Before systems, a period my friend James (I’ll introduce you to him below) likes to refer to as ‘BS,’ I just kept at the grind thinking there has to be an easier way to all of this. But as we all know nothing changes, if nothing changes.

And then I discovered a course called Asana for Small Business, that literally overnight changed how I worked in my business.

It blew my mind and transformed how I worked. It allowed me to get serious about saving time and becoming more efficient where I could in my business.

And I really want you to experience this too.

Over the month of May, I'm creating a few free workshops that will help you in your small business. Last week, I taught you how to use Google Analytics in your marketing. And because I now know what a difference effective systems can make in our businesses, I thought teaching a workshop on systems would be helpful.

But I've got something even better!

My friends James & Sveta from Systems Matter (the people behind the course I told you about) have actually offered to come in and teach you themselves next Wednesday, May 16th.

And because we know that everyone works differently, we want to hear how you work first.

We’d love it if you took 2 minutes to take this super quick quiz.

It'll give you an idea of what tool is best for you, and it'll help us tailor the workshop to your needs so you get the most out of it.

Once we get your answers, we'll fill you in on the details of the workshop. Thanks so much!

[UPDATED] Understanding Social Media Metrics in Google Analytics

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Today we'll go over key places to focus on to track your social media traffic in Google Analytics.

You'll be able to start tracking your traffic, paying attention to numbers so you can figure out how your audience engages with your content, and the social sites you should be exploring more as well as the ones you may want to rethink or ditch.

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And when I remember, I love sharing that info with you. But in the past, I've just shared links, images, and info in one-off posts or a newsletter. But for the longest time, I've wanted to compile a list of all of the tools I use and recommend to my clients as a resource for you all in one place - and I've finally done it!

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In case you missed it, I put together a giant list of all of the tools and SaaS I use and recommend to my clients, you can find that here.

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