Creating "summary" projects

productivity
projects
boards

#1

I was chatting to @Kaitie earlier about my use of “summary” projects in Asana.

I define a “summary” project is a project that contains no unique tasks. The project instead contains tasks from other projects. For example, I have a “summary” project called “Kanban” (set up as a board) which I use to pull in tasks from other projects. I can then get a summary of my most important tasks across a variety of projects in one place and then plan when to work on various tasks.

I’m curious, does anyone else use projects like this?


Section Headings on Dashboard?
Where to store attributes of a project?
#2

Hi @paulminors

I use what you call “summary” projects for development sprints. Every implementation task is in some specific projects. When we run the sprint planning meeting we add certain tasks in a new project/board which contains the stages of the sprint.

This allows us to keep an eye on the general backlog and the sprint at the same time without duplicating tasks

There are couple of other ways I am trying to use the project summary (goals for example) in which one project is actionable, and the other is informative (and I normally use boards’ columns or custom fields to specify different info)

Ciao

Carlo


#3

I have a private “Sara’s Notes” Project that I use as a learning and development reference. When I see Tasks with comment threads that I’d like to refer to later, or questions that have been answered in a “Questions” or “Inbox” Project for another team that fit in with an area I’m learning about, I tether them in my Project “Sara’s Notes”, which I’ve organized with sections to keep topics clear and easy to parse. It’s one of my favorite Projects in my sidebar!


#4

I don’t use projects like that @paulminors as I feel like that’s reinventing the my tasks wheel for me.

However, most of us will have some sort of regular meeting with managers/etc. and I’ll add the major tasks from the various areas to that meeting’s agenda project across the week or in preparation for the meeting. So that project is always changing, but I keep a task for meeting notes where I’ll link to each task we spoke about, with any additional notes added. I find that to be a useful high-level view of priorities. I think once we’re able to switch projects between boards and lists, those will become even more important and flexible for prioritization and leadership.

I think how you’re using them @carlo is exactly how I would use it if my department did sprints!


#5

Oh that’s a great idea Sara! I know a lot of people use stuff like the evernote web clipper and such, but I’ve never liked how messy it could get. While that situation doesn’t come up a lot for me, I think it’s really worthwhile - for awhile I had a ‘to read’ project, that was mainly used for articles that I come across.

What is an example of a Questions project for your team? I’m curious about that.


#6

There are lots of different “Questions”/“Inbox” Projects across our internal use of Asana.

For example, if you have a question about Security for our Security Team, you can create a new Task in the “Security Questions” Project. Our Security Team are Project members and have Task Creation notifications turned on, so that they are notified when a new question is filed and they can respond within the Task. Besides timely communication, one of the major advantages is that the question-answer cycle scales easily – I can search the Project to see if my question has been asked before, or at-mention the question in another thread if it pertains. Valuable information doesn’t get lost in chat threads or 1-1 communication :slight_smile:

Projects like these are one of the main ways that Teams interact cross-functionally here at Asana! Imagine a “Sales Inbox” for questions for the sales team, or a “CS Inbox” where we can pose tough questions we’ve gotten from customers. I love them!


#7

That’s really really useful, I would love it if my company decided to do things like that - I’ll have to think about ways that might work for us… I have something similar set up with a project of universal processes (for things like employee onboarding, etc.) so if someone has a question about how to do xyz I can @ the task for them.


#8

@Caisha, that’s a great idea! We have a similar “CS Processes and Workflows” Project that acts as a reference.


Asana Project Side Bar
#9

@paulminors this topic reminds me of what I call “Reference Projects,” or projects that I use as a table of contents for other projects I’m working on. It sounds more or less like your Summary project! If folks are curious, I recently described how I create reference projects here Creating a Reference Project in Asana


#10

Thanks for sharing @carlo. I have another summary project called 2017 goals as well.

@Caisha I like the idea of using a project like this for meetings.


#11

Love the idea of using this approach for a table of contents. Particularly useful for people with lots of projects.


#12

@paulminors there is another case in which I heavily use additional projects and I completely forgot to mention: automation!

I use Zapier for a lot of things, and because I use asana as CRM as well, I am not using my mailbox to see which emails I need to reply to, but I converge all the emails as tasks in asana.

As Zapier does not have the possibility to search subtasks, I have some projects (which I don’t use directly) which only reason to exist is to give Zapier the ability to find subtasks.

For example:
Every time I receive and email, I add the content of the email to a subtask of my contact. (and I do this to have a centralised repository for contact information without using a CRM *). In order to do so, my contacts have a subtasks with their email address. This subtask is part of a project called “Timeline”. When I receive an email, Zapier looks for the sender email address in Timeline, and when it finds it I can link the contact to the email.

* for how much nonsensical it may seem, for this specific business I don’t want to have an additional CRM that duplicates information I already have in Asana. Hence I bypass the need of a proper CRM using asana for it. If only mailtrack.io would offer a public API to identify when an email has been read, I would rule the world by creating automations just between gmail, asana, zapier and mailtrack :slight_smile:

Ciao

Carlo


#13

Ah, that’s really clever. So Zapier let’s you add these emails so you have a record of the conversations in Asana? Do you copy your replies there as well?