When you work with clients, there are lots of tasks to do, deadlines to meet and questions to answer and it’s hard to keep up with all of them. Before I discovered Asana, my work was unorganized and working with clients was a mess, both for me and for them. Countless emails, unanswered questions, unsure deadlines and a lot of stress.
Asana literally changed my business! I used to hate making to-do lists or setting up deadlines (especially for business, not client related tasks), but now, I’m organized and focused because my clients and I can see what’s next in design process task lists for my brand & website design packages.
Today I’ll take you behind the scenes of how I collaborate with my design clients using Asana. You’ll see step-by-step how I use Asana to manage my brand & website design packages. I’ll also show you how to create workflow for your own services in Asana
FIRST OFF, WHAT IS ASANA?
Asana is a free project management tool to be more organized and productive. I’ve been using Asana for 1,5 years now, mostly for my brand & web design clients, but since the beginning of this year, I started to create to-do lists for MintSwift there. Asana helps me manage workflow for my design packages and make sure that both my clients and I, will meet the deadlines for the tasks from the workflow.
I know Asana might seem complicated when you first log in (but it isn’t), so before I show you how I collaborate with my design clients using Asana, I wanted to show you how to create a workflow for your own packages or services in Asana. I assure you, it’s not as hard as it seems ;)
HOW TO CREATE WORKFLOW FOR YOUR SERVICES IN ASANA:
1. CREATE A PROJECT
Go to the left sidebar and on the right of Projects, there’s a plus icon. Hover over it and click Create a Project. You can either choose list or boards (like Trello), I use lists for the brand & website design packages workflows. I always call it by client’s business name. Then click on Create Project
2. ADD TASKS TO PROJECT
I like to create sections for milestones of the project and then list all of the tasks included. To add Sections, move your mouse to the right of Add Tasks button and you’ll see Add Section. Or simply start typing and add “:” after the word. Make sure to list both your and your client’s tasks that go into the workflow.
3. ADD DEADLINES TO PROJECT
Once you list all your and your client’s tasks, it’s time to set up deadlines for them. Click on the task and then on the right, you’ll see detailed view for it, where you can type comments of add subtasks if you want. Hover over Due Date and choose a date from the calendar.
4. INVITE CLIENT TO ASANA
Once you set up your project workflow, click the plus icon on the top and choose Invite. Type your client’s email and click Invite. Make sure your other projects are set up private (unless you want to give access to all your projects)
5. ASSIGN TASKS
After you sent the invitation, now it’s time to assign tasks. Hover over the end of the task and you’ll see Assign this task. If this task is yours assign it to you and if it’s client assign it to them. This way, the client will receive notification about their tasks and deadlines.
You can save the workflow we just created as a template (before you mark any of the tasks as complete) so when the new client books your services, you’ll just need to copy it and won’t have to create it from scratch. It’ll save you a lot of time, trust me!
Once the workflow is set up, let’s move on how I use Asana when working with clients on a design project. Again, Asana might seem complicated at first, but I only use three features when working with my design clients. Asana is versatile and you can use it in different ways than I do, but let’s see how I use it, shall we?!
HOW I USE ASANA TO MANAGE MY BRAND & WEBSITE DESIGN PACKAGES:
1. ONCE I FINISH THE TASK, I MARK IT AS COMPLETED
This way client knows where we at and what task is next. I also ask my client to mark as complete their own tasks, but if they don’t I do it for them.
2. I USE CONVERSATIONS FEATURE TO SHARE CONCEPTS AND REVISIONS
Instead of sending the concepts and revisions in the comment sections in the tasks, every time I have one to share, I create a new conversation. This way, the client can easily go through the files and my messages without endless scrolling (like in email). I send out either concepts or revisions in one PDF instead of showing each concept or revisions as separate JPG.
3. I USE COMMENT SECTION TO ASK QUESTIONS
In case I have a question (or my client) about any of the tasks during our time of working together, I ask it in the comment section for the specific task (not in the conversation). Again, it makes things easy, since the question is about the specific task (not entire project). It’s clear what the question is about without even reading it first.
What is great in Asana, is that there’s a Files tab, in which client can have easy access to all the PDFs I previously sent. Even though I send out the final files via Google Drive, it comes in really handy.
Since using Asana, I’m less stressed, more organized and my process improved exponentially. I can manage my brand & website design packages with an ease and make sure collaboration with my clients is a great experience. I think that showing all the tasks that go into brand & website design is beneficial for both me and my clients. It builds trust because I transparently show what goes into my packages, in other words for what client is actually paying for.
I can’t recommend Asana enough. I highly encourage you to give it a try, especially if you have a hard time keeping up with all the tasks for either your business in general or in your services.