Between work and this blog, I often feel like there’s a lot to keep track of in my life. Meetings, to-dos, WIPs, things to buy, plans with friends,,, and I’m just one person! I can’t imagine having to manage all the things that go along with families and kids. Having a good organizational system is key for getting things done. When it comes to planning out sewing projects and blog posts, I swear by Asana. I use it in conjunction with my paper planner to stay on top of WIPs, deadlines, and plans. Could Asana be the right tool for you and your own blog planning? Let me tell you how I use it and you can see!
*some of the links on this page are affiliate links. this means that I get a small commission from purchases you make using them, but doesn’t cost you anything! I only share things I love and that I think you’ll love too. affiliate links help me pay for hosting, fabric, and patterns.*
Asana for Bloggers
A Quick Intro to Asana
What exactly is Asana? Well, it’s a project management tool, basically. It allows you to organize the things you’re working on in all kinds of ways, including setting deadlines and working with team members. It has both free and paid options. I use the free, and while there are definitely paid features I’d love, it’s not worth it to me to upgrade just yet.
I primarily use the web version of Asana so I can see lots of things at one time. There’s also an app for iPhone and Android! It’s easy to sync items you’ve created a due date for to your Outlook or Gmail calendar as well.
Asana has two primary “views” for organizing your projects: list view or board view. If you’re familiar with Trello, Asana’s board view is very similar. When I first started using Asana, I found its customizability a little overwhelming! What helped me most was seeing how other people used Asana to organize projects. Here’s a few examples of how I use Asana to plan out my blogging life.
Planning out Blog Posts
I started using Asana primarily to plan out blog posts. For a while I would write posts and schedule them out in WordPress, but I often found myself scrambling for ideas after a long period of scheduled posts. There needed to be a place to write all my ideas down, to keep track of unblogged projects, and to see what blog posts were coming up next!
I use the board view to organize blog ideas. Each topic has a list: scheduled posts, backlogged makes (made but unblogged pieces), ideas of things I want to make, tips and tricks, holiday post ideas, housekeeping, and roundups and reports. Each idea gets its own card. Within the card, you can do things like set a deadline, add notes or a to-do list, or use tags to help link projects across boards.
I really love the tag feature. I use it to track patterns I’ve tested, Project #SewMyStyle2018 posts, and other categories. Not only does it link items across projects — it also can color code them! I like switching into the calendar views of my boards and seeing the diversity of types of projects I’m working on.
You can also copy to-dos or cards to other projects! This feature is a lifesaver when I’m planning out my Instagram posts.
Planning out Instagrams
To plan out my Instagrams, I use the list view. I have one to-do list for Instagram posts for the whole year, separated by month. On Sunday nights I sit down to see what blog posts are coming this week, and what days need content filled in. My blog posts are already copied from the blog post project board to this one. Since they have due dates attached to them, they’re already on the calendar for that day!
Instagram is another place where having the tag feature comes in handy. Since everything is color coded, I can quickly see if I’ve been posting a lot of one type of photo, or ignoring a category altogether.
Keeping Track of WIPs
I’ve mentioned before that I’m the kind of person who loves to have a checkbox for every step of a task. Asana is totally an enabler when it comes to that! My WIPs are in a board view, like my blog posts.
Each WIP gets its own column, and then all the steps come below. I can attach inspiration images to the cards, or links to products. I break down everything: print pattern, cut and tape pattern, wash fabric, cut out fabric, sew garment, photo garment, write post. So many boxes to check!
One important thing I’ve learned about Asana is that you really have to think about the stages of your blogging process. It’s so easy to copy project steps between boards, which is great! But I’m the kind of person who likes to have everything just so. When it comes to Asana, that means I don’t want any task or card that has to do with the same project to not be connected. That’s why the “blog post” card for a WIP is key to me. If I have a project board for a Kalle shirt that has a blog post card attached to it, I make sure that that card also gets copied to my blog post board. I don’t want a separate card on my blog post board for it. I’m not sure if that makes sense if you’re not an Asana user, but hopefully if you try it out you’ll see what I’m talking about!
Asana for Business
Asana is a lifesaver for organizing all my ideas for my Etsy shop. I have all kinds of lists in another board layout. There’s columns for quotes and design ideas I’d like to incorporate, tagged by genre (lyrics, seasons, podcasts, fandoms, etc.). Then I have a board for each step of the process: sketching, digitizing, whether or not they’re listed, and whether or not I’ve embroidered them. This totally streamlines my workflow, as I can easily see what patterns are nearly ready to go! It’s way easier to keep track of my ideas this way, and I love the satisfaction of moving cards into a new column at each step.
The last section I want to talk about is the “My Tasks” area of Asana. This is actually the first page that you see when you open up the webpage!
I use this space as my week’s to-do list, basically. I have a few categories I fill out, like miscellaneous things to do, items to buy, patterns to print, and projects to sew. On Sunday nights I take a look at Asana and see what I need to get done during the week on the blog front. You can’t copy tasks and cards from project boards to the My Task section, unfortunately. Once I’ve rewritten them into their categories, I fill out my paper planner for the week.
As an aside, my paper planner is a Day Designer, which I love. They’re a little pricey, but I love that each weekday has a schedule side and a list side. It really helps me keep track of meetings! They’re high quality, and I see them as being my diary for the year. I actually just ordered my new one, since mine is an academic year planner! If you’re in the market for a paper planner, I definitely recommend them.
Is Asana the right organizational tool for you? Or is there another way you keep track of your blog life that you’d love to share? I want to hear all about it in the comments!