3 Ways I Use Asana to Plan My Content
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.
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 may sound a bit nebulous but stay with me, it is by far the simplest of the 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!
Above is a screengrab of my website project showing 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, so I have that specific info easily accessible at all times.
It's a safe bet that pretty much every area of my business requires resources I need repeatedly, repeating these areas in Asana allows me the ability to find them in an instant. Which 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!
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 keeps 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, 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 when I’m brainstorming 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.
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 as you can see in this project I also have my Resources set up with the most important links and information I need most when I’m ready to write.
When I’ve finally decided upon 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.
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 get its own blog post at the very least because it’s a massive system I have created.
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.