In the first part we covered the basics of Asana and we also set up specific projects that have a similar use to context tags in Evernote. In this second addition we’re going deeper into specifying tasks and projects by setting up context tags, time tags, and importance tags.
Again, if you feel like listening to music or just want to give your ears a rest, then read the post. Otherwise, enjoy the video!
Why You Should Use Tags
Why do we need tags if we’ve already got specific projects? Isn’t that a bit redundant?
Tags help us become organized even further, but it all depends on how you use them. In Evernote, many people use tags as a way to categorize certain tasks - Home, Work, Errands, etc.
Since we’ve already got these set as projects there’s no point in creating tags with the same name. That would be redundant.
Instead, we’re going to create three sets of tags based on context, time, and importance.
To create our tags we’re going to make an empty task, it doesn’t matter what project you put it under, in fact you can just create it in My Tasks for now.
After that you’re going to click on the tag icon in the task’s details box to be presented with a highlighted box where you can enter a new tag.
As soon as you type some text in, you’ll get a New Tag option, that’s exactly what we want.
But wait… we’ve got projects for that?
Yes, we do. But there’s no reason why we create some loose context tags. Example – you may want to do a research task on something you’re interested in that lies in the Someday/Maybe project, and also a research task that is more important in the Projects List. If one day you felt like doing some research, all you’d need to do is type the word ‘research’ into the search box; all your research tasks would come up.
It’s a great way to further categorize things and stay organized.
These context tags will change depending on what kind of work you do, I only use a couple:
As you can see I’ve got some very basic tags there, mainly revolving around producing content. You should tailor these accordingly, just keep in mind that they should be used as an addition to projects and not instead of.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
I was introduced to time tags from Lars Shirey as a member of the Asana Google+ Community. I tried them out and found that they were incredibly helpful when it came to getting things done.
In the picture below, you can see how I’ve set up my time tags
If you’ve watched the video then you’ll find these tags a little different to the ones in the video.
Using time tags is simple. Each time you create a task, estimate the time it’ll take to complete, and assign a time tag to it. This provides a load of benefits, for example: You need to go to a meeting in 20 minutes, and you’re not sure what to do in the meantime, so you search ‘< 15m’ in Asana to pull up a quick task that’ll take you less than 15 minutes.
Amazingly simple and effective. The ongoing tag is for… well, ongoing items – things that don’t have an endpoint. And as much as I advise against putting these types of items in Asana, it’s a good reminder and progress tracker for ongoing practice.
Ahh yes, the simplest of them all. In fact these tags are so simple that I’m not even going to provide a screenshot this time. (You probably didn’t need the others either, oh well.)
Importance tags can be in any form you like, I recommend using either numbers or a symbol, and keeping them to a maximum of three.
Example – tag 1 is the most important, followed by tag 2, then tag 3.
tag ! is the most important, followed by tag !!, then tag !!!
The latter may work better if you have other tags starting with numbers, as it allows you to assign tags quicker when creating tasks.
Summary + a Few Tips
Now you’ve got projects and tags under your belt, feel proud – you’re on your way to become a productivity master.
If you’ve already created quite a few tasks in Asana, then take the time to tag them all up now (no, not with a spray can).
I’ll just leave you with a few tips for your tagging:
- Keep tags to a minimum – you don’t need to be overly specific
- Don’t tag extremely small tasks such as hanging out the washing
- Consider using tags for people you interact with regularly, or regular clients
- Be creative and figure out other ways to use tags
That’s it for now, in part 3 we’ll be going over master projects… Exciting stuff indeed!