Asana for One

Asana for One: Project Management When You Are Running Solo

Get the power of a project management software even when it is just you. Never lose sight of the big picture, getting things done, or organizing your personal life. This article covers how to use the Asana software for one person.

You are likely here because you are interested in a project management program, but you either don’t have a team, or your team doesn’t currently use specific software. Maybe you don’t have a job that requires project management, but do have a home life, kids, or extracurriculars that could use some organization. We could all use a little personal task management.

This article will cover how to use the popular Asana program for just one person.

What is project management software?

Basically, it is a to-do list on steroids. Take all the things you need to do, break a project into smaller pieces, assign each piece to a different person or different due dates, and track progress. While programs like this are wildly helpful in corporate or team environments (where you can see what others are working on), you can benefit from this software even by yourself.

Why Asana?

Because it is really popular and really easy to use. We wouldn’t say it is “the best” or even the best for one person. However, it has a free plan so you can get started quickly. And no, we at Office Otter don’t receive any kind of kick-back, sponsorship, or commission from Asana.

Wanna try a different program instead? Check out How to Pick a Task Management Software.

Whatever personal task management software you choose, make sure it has an app. Unlike office work environments, if you are using Asana for your life you won’t always be in front of a computer. Having an app version that syncs across devices can be helpful when wanting to add a task or check one off your list.

This article won’t cover the basics for how to use Asana, so be sure to follow the getting started instructions when you create an account.

Features, Adjusted

There are some features that will simply function differently (or not at all) when you are using the program by yourself.

Here are some adjustments:

  • The assignee is likely always you. Get used to selecting your own face – a lot.
  • Just because you aren’t trying to give a status update to anyone else, doesn’t mean you should skip the “comments” section! Leave notes for yourself so you remember where you left off on a project, or if you have something saved somewhere.
  • Stop using your email inbox as a file storage system – save the file to a project so you can set a deadline
  • Download the app – we mentioned this before, but feel it is worth restating. DOWNLOAD THE APP!

Features you won’t need?

  • Reports. Who are you reporting to?
  • Conversations. Comments are one thing, but you don’t need to send an email to a team.

Not Just For Work

The great thing about using a project management system for yourself is that you can add your whole life to it. Personal task management is, well, personal! This is especially helpful if you are trying to accommodate different areas of your life to ensure you don’t burn out.

Here are some example “projects” you can create:

  • Home Projects
  • Errands / Chores
  • Side Hustle
  • Regular Ol’ Work
  • Hobbies
  • Exercise
  • Kids
  • School

By creating separate projects, you can view everything together for that project while working on it. Additionally, all tasks assigned to you will show up on your home feed (from every project).

Different projects may need different layouts. Home projects may be lists upon lists:

Personal Task Management perfectly listed
Example of Creating List Sections

Whereas your exercise goals project may do better as a calendar:

Asana Project in Calendar View

One of the great things about Asana is that you can set the default view of each “project”. This way exercise always shows as a calendar, chores in lists, etc.

Get Detailed

As mentioned before, project management software is basically a glorified to-do list. But what if the items on your to-do list need their own lists?

Maybe you want to clean out the garage – but it is a huge undertaking! Break down each of the tasks needed to accomplish this goal, and even set due-dates across several Saturdays to complete.

Detail of a task with sub-tasks (and sub-tasks can have sub-tasks!)

The best part: you get to set the tasks and the schedule because YOU are the boss.

Start a side hustle (or other goals)

Say good-bye to “someday”. Now that you have a personal task management software under your belt, you can use it to help you accomplish your bigger dreams. Want to start a business? Thinking about completing a novel? Use Asana to create tasks and track your progress.

Share with Your Family

It takes a village, right? If your garage clean-out isn’t a solo act, share your project with your family and become your own family task-driver. Or, something more friendly. 🙂

How do you use Asana? What is your favorite project management software for one? Share in the comments below.

Posted by Amanda Parsons

Amanda has always had an appreciation for writing instructions that are easy to follow. When not curled up with her laptop trying to figure out why Word on the Mac is so weird, she can be found kayaking in the Pacific Northwest.

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