Project Sections - What's the proper use? Goal, Assignee, Dates?


#1

Hello, In watching the Asana Academy tutorials I have seen people use Sections to put an assignee as the section name, I have seen goals written in the section name, and dates listed in the section name. I’m not sure the best way to use Sections myself since there are so many different ways to do it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!


#2

You can see sections as a wrapper for tasks. But that only make sense if your scope is the project itself, because the section a task belongs to is not displayed on many locations… Not sure what I said makes any sense :sweat_smile:


#3

The approach I’m probably going to take is use sections and task dependencies


#4

Hi Garrett,

I think how you use sections will depend on the type of projects that you are working on and I think that different projects can be structured differently in Asana. I like to think about the workflow as well as the milestones when I am building a project in Asana. If the workflow is really important for me while working through my project I will use section headers that help me define the workflow (i.e. Survey Tool Development, Survey Administration, Data Analysis, Closeout, etc). There are other projects that span over a year’s time and there are a few tasks per month that I need to keep an eye on. On those projects I will probably use months as my headers. Lastly, there might be projects were there are milestones that are really important to monitor and get completed. Those I might use the milestones as my sections headers so I know when I get close to a milestone I can report it out. I would consider the categories of the types of projects that you would like to track within Asana and you might find that each project type you might organize slightly differently. Don’t be afraid to play with a project and put it in two different ways to figure out which you and/or your team prefers.

I hope that helps,
Katie


#5

@Garrett_Jockel, The suggestions from @Katie_Reynolds are all great ones, as is @Bastien_Siebman’s caveat. Here’s another way to look at it:

A very detailed answer is: Use Asana project sections in the same way you use section headers in a document you’re writing: it depends on the nature of the document, of course; no one answer.

But more generally, how you structure an Asana project depends on what you’re trying to get out of it–the ways in which you intend to use it. And you have to weigh among many approaches: sections and/or custom fields/sorting by custom fields, multi-homing, multiple projects, tasks/subtasks, tagging, etc. When sorting (grouping) by a custom field, sections offer a second-level of grouping for example.


#6

My team manages different external working groups at a time. This includes different types of communication, deliverables and meetings. We have a project for each group and then projects for each meeting. We use sections to group communication, planning, and other group specific activities. We then use custom fields to track status and if our boss needs to review. This way, I can go in and see what is on the project/group owner’s plate and the status at a glance.

Another way we have been using sections, is to denote different meetings under one umbrella project. This way the team can see that there are three meetings this month and begin working on the supporting documents. Once a meeting is complete, we mark all tasks and the section complete, so we can go back and look at everything we need.


#7

Thank you for the note @April_Koehler @lpb @Katie_Reynolds . It really helps hearing these different use cases. Based on all of the responses received in here it looks like I really need to think about our processes for the workflow of a project and how we intend to manage it. This may differ from project to project based on what I’m hearing.

This is a good way to look at it @lpb “A very detailed answer is: Use Asana project sections in the same way you use section headers in a document you’re writing: it depends on the nature of the document, of course; no one answer.”


#8

As others have said, the way you use Sections depends directly on which project it’s in and what “headers/sections/categories/etc” you want to group tasks in.

Please keep in mind that Sections are about to get a HUGE overhaul and will no longer be “fancy” tasks. They will actually contain the tasks below them (which we’ve mostly all wanted since the beginning). This will change their data models and should theoretically allow sections to show up in places they currently do not as well as add linking features that didn’t exist before. It’s exciting that they are finally doing this, but it may change the way we all use sections at least a little.

A rule of thumb in Asana is to pick a method and have everyone stick to it. See what works and what doesn’t then change it quickly. Keep doing this over and over till you have an Asana that’s customized to what you do. DO NOT be afraid to change how you do things inside Asana. Chances are you got it wrong the first few times. BUT, until you make mistakes you can’t learn from them :slight_smile: Don’t be afraid to just implement something and see how it works.