As I mentioned in another thread, I’m the assistant director of a very small nonprofit and I’m trying to figure out how to implement Asana in our office. When I say “very small” I mean VERY small - only two full time staff, me and my boss. We have a lot of areas of work that are really different from each other - in addition to our substantive projects, we also do communications, fundraising, event planning, etc. Even our substantive projects are generally really different from each other - for instance, our current active projects include drafting and publishing a self-help publication, organizing a symposium, and helping a partner organization promote a bill for the next legislative session.
The consequence of all this is that our work isn’t very systematized, and most of our planning is pretty dynamic and takes place on a VERY short-term basis. There are of course some things we can plan for in advance (newsletters and other publications, board meetings, events, etc), but that tends to be the exception. Our usual workflow is that my boss and I have a staff meeting every week where we basically go through our major areas of work and figure out what the next step of each thing is. Since most things look so different from each other, there are very few known milestones we can really plot out in advance.
Since we’re such a small shop, being nimble in this way tends to work for us, but I’m struggling to figure out how to set up Asana for our workflow. Most of the use cases I see seem to involve work with known structure or at least pre-identified milestones or workflows that are repeated for loose variations of the same task (i.e. an editorial calendar with articles on different topics but that go through the same set of steps, or multiple clients who are contracted for similar services). Our work just isn’t like that right now, and is often just as much about “figuring out” and strategizing as actually “doing.”
I guess what I’m really curious about is hearing from other people whose work is similarly dynamic about how they set up their workspaces, and in particular, how they use projects. I’ve been playing around with multi-homing tasks in multiple projects, but it almost feels like “too much system” to me. Like, suppose our grantwriter asks us to pull together some financial documentation, should I add that to the Development project, or just add it directly to our Staff Meeting project, or directly to My Tasks? Adding it to Dev and then multi-homing it to the Staff Meeting project or My Tasks feels like the “correct” thing to do, but it also feels like an extra step that might not be necessary.
At the same time, I do need some way to at least know the current status of our substantive projects, even if we can’t plan very far in advance and the only immediate action item is “call so-and-so at the ACLU to talk about next steps.” A standalone project feels like overkill for just a handful of super-granular tasks like that, but at the same time, having just one task with a few subtasks for a major campaign that might last us months feels wrong too. It’s not that it’s a small project or a single unit of work - it’s just that I don’t know what most of the steps are right now, I’ll figure them out as I go.
Sorry this was so long! I like Asana, but I just can’t figure out where things should live and how to organize them without drowning in process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!