So you’re on the fence, toying with the idea of joining up to the Asana HQ course from Megan Minns?
Well perfect! I’m a paying past student and I’m going to share exactly what the course is like on the inside, as well as what my business looked like before and after taking the course, and I’ll also answer a few basic questions for y’all.
Backstory y’all need to know.
I run a completely online business and I know that in the near future I’m going to be turning this one-woman show into a larger, completely remote team.
I would call myself a fairly organized person, though this is mostly out of necessity because I have an amazing ability to forget everything. I do the ‘walk into a room looking for something, enter it and question why I’m there’ thing significantly more than the average person. In the typical interview question about a greatest weakness, my answer is always my forgetfulness.
Out of necessity for being a functioning human, I have developed a pretty solid organization system and therefore now I don’t ever miss important deadlines, though less important tasks often fall out of mind.
I’m on top of my business and life, and my planner is my lifeline. Admittedly, without my planner, I’m a hot mess. Thankfully, my trusty Simplified Planner never left me, I brought it with me everywhere I went.
I got such joy from ticking the boxes on the tasks I completed every day. I was even one of those people who would have a to do pop up that wasn’t in my planner, I’d complete it and then write it into my planner and tick it off because it helped me feel productive.
So while my life and business was by no means a giant mess, I knew that I wasn’t being as effective as I could be.
I love running my life and business as efficiently and effectively as possible, which generally means picking up on the latest technology.
But for some strange reason, I held on to a super outdated paper planner method of daily planning and organizing my calendar with passion.
At one point almost a year ago, I had a sneaking feeling that I should stop being like the technology-averse senior citizens of the world and really make the switch to something more efficient and electronic for planning my life and business.
I got myself an Asana account and Googled a handful of Asana how-to articles.
I already had a list of the steps to a web design project written in my Notes app, and I moved them over to Asana for my current project.
I kept all of my regular to do’s and calendar appointments in my paper planner and thought I’d try out Asana for one project first, then decide if I liked it.
Navigating around Asana at first was rather confusing. I knew you should write tasks in and then set dates, but that was about it.
The terminology Asana uses definitely confused me, do I need to be a workspace or an organization? Why was one better than the other? What about all these ‘teams’? I’m a one woman show, therefore I just have one team, right? Wrong.
The learning curve was steep, I used Asana only for part of that one project, and then found myself back to my old system of using my Notes app and paper planner to make sure I was on track and meeting deadlines.
Not wanting to miss anything, I kept checking back with my paper planner to stay on track, making opening and ticking things off in Asana a useless second step. I got part way through my project and completely forgot about Asana all together, I just never opened the thing anymore.
I have a feeling part of the failure was because I needed a clean move from one system to another, but I didn’t do that, and so in a way I was shooting myself in the foot.
I was organizing my business in two places, and habit had me keep referring back to the system I was used to.
I also really didn’t know how to use the thing correctly.
I knew other organizations much larger and more complex than mine were using Asana, which was rather confusing, because I didn’t see how they’d be kept organized from one massively long list of tasks on a page.
Admittedly, I gave a half-hearted attempt and went straight back to my paper planner, deciding online project management systems just weren’t for me.
There were a few things that made me realize the switch was definitely needed.
Thinking ahead about bringing on more team members made me think about how I was going to assign tasks and organize an amount of work for another person daily.
Hell, it took me long enough to figure out what to work on every day, let alone doing that for another person, or 3? I’d suddenly be spending all my day assigning to do’s and planning timelines.
What am I going to do, email my team daily with a list of tasks to do? Talk about an ineffective start to my day to write up a long email explaining and assigning to do’s to multiple people.
I also spent every Sunday planning out my week. I’d take an hour on the weekend to open my planner, write in my usual weekly tasks, and write in tasks for the project I had that week. I’d cross reference my planner with my process list in my Notes app for clients to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Any more unusual projects that weren’t client work or weekly tasks often were forgotten about.
I’d write a Google Doc of a new marketing strategy for guest posting, but because I’d forget to check the Google Doc, I wouldn’t add the tasks to my planner. I hardly ever checked back in with my business goals, because again it was in another Google Doc, ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ I just never remembered to check it.
I was also the worst at following up with leads, which definitely was costing me business. I would get an inquiry, and then write down to follow up in a Notes app I had all my leads in, and I’d forget to look at it for weeks, then feel awkward about following up with someone a month later. I tried setting reminders on my Mac or writing them into my planner, and I’d consistently drop the ball again and again.
The last straw was when I noticed that people were often typing ‘Asana’ and ‘Trello’ into the search bar of my site, clearly thinking I used a project management system more sophisticated than a Notes app and paper planner. Clearly, you all wanted me to write a post explaining how I managed my business with a project management system, but the truth was, I wasn’t using one at all.
The guilt of knowing I needed a better system kicked in, conveniently, right when Megan Minns launched her Asana HQ course.
I knew Megan was the organizational genius of online businesses and because she runs a business similar to mine, a completely online business that started as a one-woman show and turned into a small team, her teachings would probably relate to me and my business.
The last thing I wanted was some big corporate, super complex project management system that made no sense for me.
I hopped on Megan’s course during the pre-sale and waited a few days until it was ready to be taken.
The course is completely go-at-your-own-pace.
For me, just as I oddly get excited about buying organizational items and office materials, I was all excited to hop on this new organization system, and do it right this time! I whizzed through the course in just a couple days while I was also completing all my other client and business work.
I set up Asana as I went through the course, using the templates Megan provided to copy & paste in anything that was relevant to my business and I left out anything irrelevant.
I then took some time to go through my current planner for any upcoming dates, and those random Google Docs I’d always forget about weekly and put those tasks in too.
Megan provided really clear explanations of the (honestly, not always very self-explanatory) terms in Asana and gave tips on how to use each aspect of the platform most efficiently. She explained the pros and cons of the options available, and gave recommendations on how to set up Asana for your type of business.
She also provided a couple hacks to work around the couple limits on the free Asana plan, so I honestly don’t feel I’ll ever need to pay for Asana. (Sorry Asana.)
Y’all my business is a (very positively) changed lady!
I am a master at following up with leads now, they never slip through the cracks!
When I get sidetracked reading the news or down the rabbit hole of YouTube when I’m supposed to be working, I’m so much faster at getting back on track. Now I can easily refer back to my Asana tab, which is always open. My daily tasks are organized from top to bottom of what I need to be working on, unlike my sometimes wildly scribbled to do’s in my paper planner.
I don’t forget to keep tabs on my goals and work on the vital, yet more uncommon projects I take on (like a new marketing strategy, or one-time webinar series.)
My inbox even gets cleared faster because of Asana! I integrated Zapier to automatically add appointments booked to my Asana, so I’m never needing to take the time to write all the appointments down when they’re booked or changed.
Having Asana set up correctly means I won’t be forgetting when I need a yearly doctors checkup, and when I need to get a tetanus shot 10 years from now. I wouldn’t have ever added those things into my paper planner before. Now, it’s super easy to add and set dates months or years out.
If you decide to join too, my advice is simply this.
Go all in.
I learned from trying out Asana the first time that I wasn’t going to break the habit of referring back to my paper planner if I was given the option. Take all the dates and tasks from your paper planner and put them into Asana from the start.
Then place your planner on a shelf and maybe give it a nice funeral. I promise if you commit to making the switch and moving everything over, you’ll never use it again. I haven’t touched mine since I fully moved over to Asana.
Having tried to move over to Asana myself and failing miserably, it was totally worth it for me to be able to follow the steps, copy the templates, and be done with it. Because of Megan’s guidance and explanations, I know I did things correctly, and set things up right specifically for my type of business.
Not to mention, I would religiously spend $60-$70 every December for years now on a fancy Simplified Planner or Day Designer. I won’t ever buy a paper planner again. So again, darn well worth it in my mind.
So, I welcome you to get on the modern organization train with me, I can say I’m super thankful I did, and I have a funny feeling you will be too!
*I asked Megan to become an affiliate for the course, because I know that many of you run similar businesses to mine, so it’d be super helpful for you too! If you purchase Asana HQ through a link on this post, I’ll make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks gal!