How do you run meetings in Asana?


#1

Here at Asana we do most…well, nearly all…of our work in the Asana app. In fact, many of us find Asana to be a helpful resource for running meetings! For example, I have a meetings project that lives in my side bar, where I create a new task for each meeting I hold. The task titles include the date of a meeting, attendees, and a description (ex. “2/10 Community with Kaitie”) and then I take notes for each meeting in the task description. This allows me to easily reference what was discussed and assign subtasks for the meeting in one place. I don’t check off any of these meeting tasks; instead I don’t assign them to anyone and they live as reference materials in the meetings project.

How do you run meetings in Asana and what systems do you have in place to support you?


How do you use Asana to schedule/invite for a meeting?
#2

I use one project for our weekly staff meeting. The sections are:

  • New Topics (Team members can add tasks here during the week for us to discuss at the next meeting)
  • Followup (Tasks are dragged here from New Topics if we run out time to deal with them properly at a meeting)
  • Check-ins (There’s one task here for each member of the team, and we go around and make sure everyone has been heard. This can also be a place to put assignments from the meeting if they don’t relate to other projects. If they’re created in My Tasks and assigned to someone else, they disappear unless you remember what words to search for.)
  • For Future Meetings (This is for items that we think of but know we don’t need to deal with for a while.)

#3

Thanks for this detail @Craig_Fifer! We use a similar process for our customer success team meetings. Your post makes me think that we could take the Asana system for running synchronous/live meetings and apply it to an asynchronous meeting of sorts. Perhaps we could further reduce our in person meeting time by having a weekly asynchronous discussion in a similar Asana project! Something like - join this project between 9am and 12pm on Mondays so our team is on the same page for the week.


#4

I :heart: meetings in Asana! Thanks for mentioning this, @Alexis. I think they are awesome for lots of reasons, including…

  • They are one of the best ways to help teams get up and running in Asana. By using Asana as the agenda and assigning action items that come out of meetings, people are crystal clear on where the Task they were assigned came from and where to go to show their team that they completed it. No mysterious Asana-bombing :slight_smile:
  • You can pull in Tasks from other Projects to seamlessly update work that’s happening all over Asana. Tether a Blog Post Task you’re working on to the “This Week’s Topic” section of your meeting and you can change the Due Date, attach new files or make comments in the meeting that will persist afterwards.
  • Creating a Custom Field called “Minutes” in your Meeting Project gives attendees clarity on how long agenda items are anticipated to take, and is a good signal that the meeting might be overbooked (and that discussion topic should be added to “Next Week’s Topics!” instead). We also have a section called “If Time Allows” for small items that we can cover if we have extra room in the schedule.

Seeing meetings run out of Asana here at Asana has cured pre-meeting dread for me! Excited to hear how other folks might be using the tool, too.


#5

My Meetings Template Project is by far the most copied project I have. In fact I now have two…

One is a list project and the other is a Board Project, reason being I am trying to work out if one style best suits meetings.

They have standard structure as per below;

List Project:

Board Project:

The call out tasks in this are the following;
“Standup For” (in the overview section of the Board Project) and “Update - With the purpose of the meeting” (in the List Project). I use this task to link back to the Project that this meeting belongs to and also to my “Master List Project” both of these have a section that relate to all the meetings. Which means I can easily reference any meeting associated with a project and hopefully not lose the information for the meeting the ever expanding Project List.

I also specifically have task created to make sure I follow up on the notes/actions I took from the meeting and set a specific task if the meeting is reoccurring so I try and review the previous meeting notes before going into the next one.

A couple of things have come out of me using this process for quite a while. I really really really would like the ability to store my own template project (ie like Templana) yes I know it is coming but am just impatient. Also I need to think more about how I use the task name as I end up having 5 plus tasks due today with the name “Reoccurring Meeting Scheduled” and/or “Check and review etc” which doesn’t help me much.

@Alexis I like you idea of having [quote=“Alexis, post:1, topic:456”]
The task titles include the date of a meeting, attendees, and a description (ex. “2/10 Community with Kaitie”) and then I take notes for each meeting in the task description.
[/quote]

Might explore that further in how I name my tasks and also having a specific project for Meetings which the Purpose Task can go into.

ps. Really like the Quote option when posting…

Jason.


#6

Hi @Jason_Woods, could you please share how to organize your project. If you have 3 meetings a day that would be a lot of project in your list. or do you simply use a reference project to organize?


#7

My inclination has been to use a reserved Tag for each meeting (ex: TeamWeekly, ManagerReportUp, etc.). I then tag tasks that I want discussed in each meeting. I end up having lots of “report up” meetings to different groups, so I have a separate tag for each and can customize which shows up where. Biggest con of this thus far is I can’t control the ordering as I’d like, so end up either going down the list (not ideal), or bouncing around and trying not to forget some.

Others noting using a Project (vs a Tag) seems to have an advantage of being able to group/organize the meeting separately from the project order; however this seems to then lose the grouping by project.

Honestly I’m still struggling to make driving meetings with Asana (I’m a lone wolf using this tool still) - it is so close but I want more:

  • Attendees
  • Task updates (stories) associated with the meeting event
  • Export reports to non-Asana users (big company, lots of various groups/managers) - in a clean, well organized format

#8

I utilize projects for meetings that are repeating. My department has a bi-weekly meeting for project management that is a touch-base for everything we are working on, alerts about upcoming matters and brainstorming. I also keep a meeting projects for 1-1s I have with colleagues. I use the same project over and over for these. If it’s not a repeating meeting, I will just create a section within the project the meeting relates to.

I pretty much use Asana’s format for meetings however I have found I really don’t like subtasks in meeting agendas. For meetings I have found subtasks involve too much clicking and if someone is following along on a shared screen, I lose their focus.

So to avoid using subtasks, I format my text. I use all-caps for highest level section and indent subsections and tasks. I also like to use Alt Codes to create icons in the section headers so the text stands apart a bit.

Not a revolutionary way to do it, but it took me awhile to find the formats that worked for me.


#9

It doesn’t seem that Asana has a Folder option. So do you just have 10-100’s of projects by meeting date? I like the setup of the agenda but I am confused at the implementation.


#10

Hi @Nick_Nicolaysen, I do re-use the same project for each meeting to avoid have a lot of projects that are for the same repeating meeting. I simply change headings as needed and uncheck tasks if I want them on the agenda again.

If it’s not a meeting that repeats, then I just create a section in the project for a meeting. Does that make sense?


#11

Really interesting tread here. I have a question regarding the meeting minutes to report the decision taken following the meeting ends.
We do use Asana, but need to keep track of discussion and decisions. We used to create a new project for each recurring meeting, but we then multiplicated the tasks, either in the projects or for the assignee. Do you have any way of keeping a “snapshot” of the meeting?


#12

Could you elaborate on what you mean by keeping a snapshot of the meeting?

We tend to take meeting notes within a task description (including assignees, meeting goal, agenda, notes, action items) and assign out next steps via subtask. Does that answer your question?


#13

Hi @Alexis.
We do have currently about 15 projects from which we select specific tasks or sub-tasks to add them to our internal meeting (project dedicated to internal discussion).

Most of the assignees are present during this meeting, but we also need to report information and decision to people that are not assignee, or even not part of Asana (for now :wink: at least). Just like we did previoulsy using Word meeting minutes document that we shared with our organization.

So, we do tried to export the internal meeting in PDF (export to print) but can’t have all of the information, as only the task name and description are exported, and completed task are crossed out. Description is not as good as comment section to document meeting notes, as we do not see easily who wrote it and
sometimes a lot of different comments cannot always be summarized in the description section. We would like to have the possibility of export either the task name, description, completion, and comments, as well as assignee and due date, for parent and sub-tasks. This export would be to show the status of each task at the meeting date. A way of freezing the information at that time. Then, following the meeting, the tasks will be updated and then completed, so we can have different view for the next meeting.

Am I more clear?
Do you know how we can have the possibility of getting this information every week?


Meeting Schedule in Asana
#14

Thanks for the additional detail! It sounds like you’re already very familiar with the current export functionality.

If you’d like everyone on your team to have a consistent record of these meetings, the most obvious solution is to add everyone as a guest in Asana and give them access to the tasks and/or projects that are relevant to them.

For a more specific export of this data than Asana currently provides, you might consider an integration like Zapier to transfer information from Asana to another tool.


#15

Thank you for your reply.
I’m also looking at Bridge24 integration but it will require some macro management to the excel file to make sure we do have the view witha ll of the information needed.
Tx


#16

I usually do these steps.

  1. Create a task assigned to myself, add due time as to when the meeting begins.
  2. Add all the people I want to invite to follow the task so they can see this task.
  3. Add sub tasks and assign each subtask to each individual person so that it appears to their “my task” calendar.

As you can see, there are so many steps and lots of works to do.
Do you guys have a better way to do it and give similar result?


#17

Hi Team - there is some good ideas here but I dont see any suggestions on how to bundle meeting items/action items into a nice little bow and send them to external users that do not yet use Asana…

We have many suppliers and clients that are not in the Asana loop and I currently have to export into an excel sheet, make them look nice and pretty and then email out separately to these users…

Ideas?


#18

Hi @Nigel_Aitken - If you’d like to send specific action items to guests and would prefer not to export to an excel sheet, you could do something as simple as copying the tasks as you would in an ordinary text editor. Just “highlight” the tasks and paste into an email/word doc/google doc, etc. You’ll need to manually write the assignee, but other than that you’ll be set. The one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is highlighting and copy/pasting tasks in this way means when they’re pasted they appear as hyperlinks to the tasks themselves. I recommend confirming the privacy settings on these tasks to be safe, if you’d like to keep the tasks themselves private.


#19

Thanks Alexis - I’ve got a couple of work-arounds that seem to get me through it but its not as fluid as it could be… I took another suggestion out of this thread to use Bridge24 to link the data into a sheet and then use a macro to pretty it up and allocate action numbers that are identifiable to all users on the call…

I think my suggestion for you would be to entertain the idea of allowing people to view a task list (I use a tag to put mine together) so as to allow someone to run a meeting with people who refuse to access Asana (or a combination of both). I work in the banking sector and its generally a big no-no to store sensitive data outside of approved networks so its not as simple as just asking them to join so they can see the list. Cheers!


#20

Thanks for the feedback @Nigel_Aitken! I’m glad you found a solution that works for you right now. As for your ideas, feel free to add them to the #productfeedback category and our product team will take note.