I want to talk to you today about tools that run your online business. It can get really overwhelming because there is a constant stream of new tools and software we can use. I have to admit, at times I’ve been tempted to try new tools that may just work better than the last in my business. I’m pretty much over that now and have a few tried and true ones that work great and I now wonder how I ever ran my business without them! The one I want to focus on now is Asana for project management.
When I think of project management, I think kinda boring, charts, graphs, and lots of busy work. But as a Virtual Assistant you are involved with project management on a regular basis whether you realize it or not. Now you might be the one planning the project or maybe you are the one working on tasks to complete the project (or both). Either way, you should have a system in place for tracking all those to do’s. I suggest getting started with Asana if you are not using a project management system because it’s free and it offers a lot of features in the free version. If you already use a project management system then great, I know there are many great ones. Asana is simply what I prefer and what the majority of my online clients use.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a project management system and yes, Asana has all these things:
- Free or low cost. Now I am all for paying money for a tool that provides value. But about 90% of the time when I see someone first start using a project management system they really don’t use it much. It takes them time to learn and really get used to using it. That being said, I don’t want you paying money for a tool you don’t use. It’s also good because if you use it and really don’t like it, you can switch to another platform and no money lost.
- Make sure the free or low-cost account allows you to easily add team members. Asana lets you have a total of 15 people, that’s pretty good for a free account. I’ve seen many project management systems that only allow 2 to 5 so you need to think about your team member needs when getting started with a new platform.
- Are you a list person or more visual and like boards? Good news, Asana does both! You can set up projects as a list or a board. Just know once you do this you cannot change it. But depending on how you work best this can be really useful. Asana used to be list only and I would have clients that used Asana and another project management system for this very reason. Once they started working with me I made them choose only one though, using two platforms makes no sense really.
- This next thing is something people often don’t think about when searching for a project management system but make sure you can set up recurring tasks. I know there is a popular project management system out there that graphic designers love but you can’t set up recurring tasks. And as someone that managers a team and see’s how many tasks are recurring this is a huge time saver! With Asana you can set up recurring tasks and then you never have to set that task up again. I highly suggest you find a platform that allows this to save you time in the long run.
Bonus Tip: Find a project management system that will allow you to set up a personal workspace or section separate from your business and client stuff. I have done this with my Asana and it’s amazing for tracking to do’s in my person life! It works just like my business space and has been a life changer in tracking important things like making doctor appoints, my dog’s vet appointments, and so much more!
There are a few more things to keep in mind when searching for a project management system but these above are the main ones. I love systems and tools that help run an online business and have tried so many. If I can share my experience and tips to save you time in your search then that makes me happy. And if you want to learn more about how to best use Asana for your business check out my session!
Sara is an Online Business Strategist and the founder of Virtual Biz Partner. She teams up with empire building online business owners to help take care of day-to-day business management and set a strategy for lasting growth. With 5 years experience in this role, plus 10 years as a bookkeeper, Sara has a proven track record of managing and growing businesses while simplifying strategies, systems and technology. Based in small town Missouri, Sara is the busy mom to an amazing son. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, music, art, traveling and is currently learning to play the guitar.