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Export Asana data just the way you want with Bridge24

Bridge24 provides enhanced reporting and exporting capabilities for Asana, as well as a few other tools like Trello and Basecamp. It provides a separate interface that—while not as pretty as Asana—allows more functionality around building custom filters for sorting, viewing, and combining your projects in specific ways.

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Finally, create nice-looking reports for Asana with the Asana2Go Chrome extension

Most people can get all the information they need to do their work directly within Asana, but from our consulting experience we've noticed that there is often a need to report to people who aren't using Asana. This might be an executive team, another department, or an offsite meeting where paper handouts are helpful.

Asana's reporting and exporting features are unfortunately very basic.

You can export data into a CSV file, but it's formatted poorly and the tasks (and subtasks) don't appear in any discernible order. Or...

  1. You can print a list view or save it as a PDF, but it's not customizable at all so you're forced to print subtasks and task descriptions that you'd rather not.
  2. Despite continuous grumbling in the Asana community, improving Asana's reporting capabilities does not seem to be a priority for Asana, Inc. The ability to create nice-looking reports has been noticeably absent for years, which is a bit surprising for such a cutting-edge project management solution.

However, an ambitious developer has created Asana2Go, a Chrome extension that makes it possible to create perfectly formatted, customizable reports in a few clicks. It's currently free while in beta.

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Filed Under:   Best practices
 

The best way to set up dependencies in Asana

With dependencies in Asana, you can mark a task as unable to start until another task is completed. After a task is "Marked as Dependent On...", it shows a shaded, yellow box with the details about the task that must be completed first. Once the predecessor task is completed, it also triggers a special notification in the Asana Inbox that the successor task can then be started. (It also notifies you if the date changes on the predecessor task.)

Dependencies are helpful when planning out projects, especially when using templates that create steps at the end of a workflow that can't be started yet. But the problem has been that setting up dependencies through the task details pane is time-consuming. You have to click 3 times in the task action menu and type the name of the task you're waiting on. This made it challenging to use in day-to-day work.

Asana recently upgraded the Timeline view to allow you to add dependencies with a simple drag-and-drop interface. This is now the best way to add dependencies in Asana.

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How to integrate Slack & Asana

Slack is a widely-used communication platform boasting around 3 million daily active users (DAU). Essentially, it's texting for business. For those with corporate backgrounds, it's a sexier and more useful Yammer.

Slack allows you to group your conversations into threads (marked by a hashtag), and it's many integrations allow it to serve as a notifications hub for different web services.

Asana began adding communication features in May 2015, so why would a business want to use both Slack and Asana?

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Asana shares future product roadmap: Automatic project scheduling, resource planning, OKR tracking

Justin Rosenstein, an Asana co-founder, recently offered a rare look at Asana's vision for their future product roadmap. The video talked about innovation beyond the new Timeline, focusing on some new features based on machine learning that are only possible with today's technology.

The new UI demo seems like it's still potentially years away, but offers some pretty neat ideas and improvements. Check it out!

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Asana releases new Timeline view (i.e. Gantt charts)

One commonly requested feature by project managers for Asana is a Gantt chart view for projects. As we predicted, Asana just released a new view for this called Timeline. Timeline is a Premium-only feature as it requires Start Dates (which is also a Premium feature).

The purpose of the Timeline is to visualize how work is progressing and make adjustments as needed. It also makes dependencies much more apparent so you can focus on the critical path of a project.

Here's more information about how Timelines will work in Asana.

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Set communication expectations for your team

A common question we field in our workshops is, "How often do I need to check Asana?" It's a little tricky to handle since different types of roles have different requirements about notifications (i.e. administrative assistant vs. maintenance worker). But our best response is, "How often do you check your email? Probably that much." That's because Asana should become the de facto place to see new tasks and work communication.

But there is often still confusion around when to use Asana rather than some of the other tools you may be using, like email, Slack, phone calls, meetings, etc. What if you need an immediate answer? Does that change anything?

We suggest you create an Asana conventions (or policies) document to set expectations for your team. And part of that document should outline communications protocol for your team.

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Meet Screenful, Asana’s dashboards on steroids

Asana is a fantastic tool, but one area that could use improvement is with reporting. One tool that has stepped up to provide better visual dashboards is Screenful

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Screenful focuses on improving communication between all stakeholders in software development (especially using an Agile methodology), but it's generic enough that it works for all sorts of teams that use a "Not Started, In Progress, Done" approach. Examples of customer use cases include tracking things like manufacturing, sales pipelines, marketing campaigns, house building, order processing, content production, and more.

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