Today, I’m so stoked because I’m going to show you my planning system, my Asana!
It’s where we keep all my tasks and projects, and I have an amazing task-batching, color-coded system.
And when I say never have meetings, like, NEVER have meetings. the last meeting I think we had was two months ago and it was a staff social. 🤷♀️
I was chatting with my husband’s cousin the other day—he runs an Amazon marketing business, and so he also has team members all over the world in different time zones—and he shared:
I was just like…’What are you even meeting about?’
Like, what are you talking about on all these meetings? I don’t understand.
But the reason they needed so many meetings was because there wasn’t a bigger organization system to the business in general.
They constantly had to meet to figure out what people are working on, who’s doing what on a project, and where a project is at.
But my team and I do this all in my Asana system, instead!
Before I actually do a tour of my Asana Dashboard, I just want to talk about how I generally approach planning of my life and my business.
My goal is to have—in one week—just one ‘to do’ or one major task.
Any week I do this, I get so much more done (like, SO much more.)
This might be true for everyone, but I feel for me, I’m just really not good at doing multiple things at a time!
So for example, my one goal for the week could look like creating course content, planning a launch, running a launch, recording a bunch of YouTube videos…
(I don’t record a YouTube video every week. These are definitely pre-recorded like in batches.)
Maybe you hear this and think:
“I have all these clients…”
Or “I have all these different projects and they’re all overlapping all the time…”
It truly is possible once you have really nailed it.
So for example…
Back in the day, when I was still designing clients full-time, I found that most designers I talked to were juggling like 5 clients over 4 6, 8, or 12 weeks.
They just constantly had a ton of clients on the go. Always super busy but never feeling like they got to check anything off their list for good.
Whereas I would just do one client for one week. Or one client for two weeks, depending on the project. Projects never dragged on and I was always so focused and productive when I did sit down to work.
So I highly suggest, if at all possible, this whole “one week, one task” thing to totally overhaul what you are able to accomplish in a week.
So anytime I need to do a bunch of tasks that use similar workflows, or that require the same type of mental capacity from me, I try to batch them all into one day or one sitting.
So for example, anytime I do have calls, like mastermind calls, student interviews, or affiliate calls, I try to batch them all onto Wednesday.
Like, “oh, I have to email that person back…”
Or “I have to get something together for my taxes…”
You know, all those little things? I also tend to put them on Wednesdays!
I basically just choose that anytime little things that pop up, I just push them all to one day in the week in my Asana.
This way, I’m not spending half my day every time I sit down to work, being distracted by all the little things I have to do behind-the-scenes of my business, and I have time to just focus on the one major to-do I set out to accomplish that week.
But I still know that I’ve set aside time to knock all of these little things out.
Now I’ve covered my general planning, let’s take you behind the scenes and show you my Asana!
(You’re going to watch to watch the YouTube video starting at the 4:48 mark to follow along with this bit!) 👇
So my Asana is the first place I come every single day when I sit down to work. It tells me exactly what should I be doing that day.
BTW, any tasks I have in here populated because, at some point, my team or I have added it onto my calendar (not some fancy Asana algorithm analyzing my business and literally telling me what I should do – it’s great, but not that great!)
When new tasks get assigned to me or I add things, they pop up here into “recently assigned” and you can either assign them for “today” or for “upcoming.”
Then, using Asana List View you can drag and drop tasks to reorder them. So if I have a call at 5:00 PM, I’m going to drag that towards the bottom, bringing other tasks I plan to work on first to the top.
I also take into account what my day looks like that day…am I going to go to a coffee shop and work? Then I can’t be recording videos or course materials.
So I just drag my tasks so that they are in the order I want to accomplish them in that day.
If I see a task on my to-do’s for today that I know I don’t want to be tackling, I crack open my Asana Calendar View, and move it to a day that feels like a better option.
If I see on one day, I have like 57 things to do—just way more tasks than I can reasonably accomplish, using Calendar view, I can be dragging and dropping them to any date I want.
I use Asana, not just as a project management system, but also as a calendar for my personal life.
Because a lot of my personal life plans interacts with my business stuff.
ie. I have a flight to Toronto on Saturday, or I’m going for a horseback riding assessment lesson tomorrow at 11:00 AM…those things affect when I’m going to do things in my business.
Anytime I have an appointment in my life, I put it into my Asana.
(I’ll put people’s birthdays in here too, because I know I’ll be looking in here everyday, and therefore much more likely to remember to wish them a Happy B-day!)
This is especially important when dealing with different timezones!
I’m in London, but my audience tends to be in the US and Canada, so this means I’m often having to do calls in the evening my time.
So by having both my business and personal calendar in one easy to view place, I don’t have to worry about a bunch of different apps or calendars syncing properly, or about accidentally double-booking with life plans.
The other thing you’ll notice when you watch the video is that most of the tasks on my to-do list are green.
There’s a reason for that!
In order to enable everyone in my team to see each other’s tasks and see what each of us are working on that day, we all have our own dedicated Asana ‘Project’.
Anytime a task is created and assigned, it is also added to that person’s project. This way, the whole team can view that task, not just the assignor and assignee.
This is super helpful, because if I have a project or task in mind that I want to delegate to a team member, I can look in their Asana and see their current workload and decide whether or not they look like they have bandwidth for that thing, or if it needs to be assigned for a later date, or potentially push another less priority task back to make room for it.
If any of us are out of pocket and don’t plan on working on a certain day, whether that’s for a planned vacay or time-off needed for life stuff, then we stick it in our Asana.
Key being is that if someone goes to assign you a task, they will see and realize you’re out of office that day.
Whereas if you have your vacation calendar somewhere else like a Google calendar, I’m realistically not actually going to look at every single time I go to assign someone a task.
I don’t want to assign someone work when they’re on vacation. So now we create ourselves a task that say “Paige OOO” (out of office) and put it on our public ‘project’ so that everyone can see.
So you may be wondering, with a team of 5 people, how we manage pretty much never having team meetings?
It’s because EVERYTHING lives in Asana. There is no task, reminder, or to-do that exists outside of Asana.
In my business, meetings aren’t needed to discuss tasks, because every task assigned has a clear explainer video linked (we use Loom)!
Some tasks are just one-off projects, and so a new video will be needed to quickly explain that task.
But most of the things we are doing in the business are repeatable processes we will use time and time again, so by taking the time to record a quick loom explainer, now every person whoever has to do that task in the future can just watch the original video.
So say my team and I are getting ready to launch a course.
Inside Asana, we have a project set up that contains all launch-related tasks…all the little steps that need to happen in the 6+ weeks leading up to launch day.
After the first launch, this project became our launch template we would duplicate for all future launches to make sure they ran smoothly and everyone knew exactly what they should be doing and when.
If a new person is now responsible for running the launch, we don’t have to set aside hours to do some giant onboarding meeting where we train them on the process.
We show them the template, have them go through the tasks and watch all the linked orientation videos, and say “let me know if you have any questions!
When you create a template to be duplicated and used again and again, you won’t have to worry about things slipping through the cracks, or forgetting or dropping the ball on all the little behind the scenes things that need to happen for that project, because all the steps are recorded.
You don’t have to spend time planning who will handle what and when it should be done, because you already have it all thought up and laid out in your template, and the tasks simply just need to be assigned.
If new tasks or steps pop up during a launch, they simply get added to the template for next time.
Similarly for our editorial calendar, for every single video we idea we have, a YouTube Episode Template Task is duplicated and added to the Calendar.
Inside the task description for each Episode lives:
Then, the actual steps in the content creation process are added as subtasks inside the main task, and the assignee and due date for each step get added there.
Inside each subtask, the assignee will find the orientation materials and reminders for how to complete that step.
Duplicating the same general workflow template again and again means you don’t have to manually track down all the links to the orientation videos explaining how to do that step each time you assign someone a task relating to content creation.
Each Episode’s task is also given a “status” or where exactly it is in the creation process using Asana Tags. (ie. Idea outlined, needs recording, needs editing, needs prepping & scheduling, done)
The closer a piece of content gets to being finished, the darker our color coding system gets.
Head over to the video and leave me a quick comment! If enough people comment, I’ll know it’s worth me making a video on that in the future!
(Comment on the video here! -> 🗓Asana Tour – How I Organize My Life & Online Business (Task Batching, Productivity, No-Meetings)
I hope that was helpful for you getting a peek into how I organize my life in business with Asana!
But remember, if your biggest issue in your business right now, isn’t just the organization of the backend of your business, but maybe it’s also finding clients (so you have some clients put in your sauna projects!) then do be sure to get your hands on my creepily accurate quiz! 👇