Syed Balkhi8 min readPartner postsMay 6, 2020

How to manage a remote team with Asana

How to manage a remote team with Asana

Do you need help managing your remote team? If you’re using email as your primary means of work communication, you know there’s room for improvement. At best, tasks are a little disorganized. At worst, most of your team is utterly clueless about their next assignment.

Your staff needs a clear sense of direction, especially if they are working on different projects at the same time. When you collaborate only using email, there are about a million things that could go wrong along the way and derail your project. These problems are only amplified when you look at the big picture from the perspective of a business owner or manager. 

Lucky for us, there’s now a better way to keep your projects organized and your staff on task. We are going to show you how we manage our remote team at OptinMonster using the project management tool Asana. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is create your Asana account and add your employees through their work email. Once everyone starts joining, start creating teams for your large scale projects. 

Assigning employees to different departments will make it so they can quickly see what their team is doing for the week. As an added bonus, you’ll filter out notifications across teams, which will help them stay more productive and organized. 

There are several ways you can divide your teams. In our case, we primarily use the team feature to create different groups for each of our brands. For example, we have an Asana team for WPBeginner, another for OptinMonster, and so on. 

It’s also a good idea to create different teams based on writing assignments, development projects, and social media management scheduling. Because you wouldn’t want someone on the development team seeing all of the updates from the online giveaway project taking place on your social media account. 

Creating a new team with Asana is a breeze. First, click on the Add Team button on your Asana sidebar. 

creating separate teams on asana

Now, you’ll see a popup that will ask for details about the team you want to create. 

creating separate teams on asana additional details

Enter the name of the team, and add members right now if you want. You can add members later by clicking the Invite button at the top of the page when you’re in a team project. Finally, set the privacy rules for the project and click Create Team. That’s all there is to it! 

Another excellent way to use Asana is as an onboarding tool. New employees are often unsure of what to expect when they start a job, especially if this is their first experience working remotely. Asana makes creating tasks and setting expectations for new hires ridiculously easy. 

Our onboarding process consists of tasks over several weeks, where new hires are expected to get familiar with our software. We outline their goals for the day and provide any documentation that will help them within the task. When they are done with the assignment for the day, they click Complete on the task. The next day we can follow up to see what they’ve learned.

After the onboarding, new employees will already have a good understanding of the Asana application. Consequently, there’s less confusion during the transitional period between training and their first real assignment. 

New hires can look at their schedule and see what is expected of them as they work throughout the week. They don’t have to worry about keeping track of emails, hunting down deadlines, or worrying about what they are supposed to start next. We believe that using Asana for training new hires helps reduce stress and makes the onboarding process a pleasant experience for everyone involved.

When you first start using this tool, you’ll probably have a few pending emails with assignments that you want to add to your Asana task list. Alternatively, new projects can stem from conversations you have with people outside your company, like a client or partner brand. You don’t have to worry about manually adding these entries! In fact, you can take existing emails and turn them into tasks with ease. 

First, use the email associated with your Asana account. Create an email and put the recipient as This is the email address that takes the information you include in the message and turns it into an Asana task. Here’s an example: 

turning emails into assignments using asana

There’s a couple of things you should know about the content of your email. If you CC anyone on your team, they will become collaborators on the task. The email subject line becomes the name of the project. Your text body will go to the description portion of the task. Once you’ve filled out the required fields, click Send

You won’t get an email confirming your new task, but it will appear on your Asana list in less than five minutes. Let’s check in on the assignment we created.

turning emails into assignments using asana 2

Everything translated over, just like we expected. Now you can change the details from within the task and add a due date. 

By the way, at the bottom of the task, you can see the image we included in the email.

turning emails into assignments using asana 3

There are plenty of benefits that come with this project management application, and we think the ability to transfer your emails into assignments is one of the most noteworthy functions. 

One of the ways we have used this feature recently is when we decided to ask a part-time writer if they wanted to join our team full-time. They said yes, and we were quickly able to send our emails with future writing assignment ideas to Asana. There’s no doubt that the email to task feature helps us speed up the process of transferring titles and assignments, which keeps our blogging schedule on track. 

Integrations occur when various plugins, software, or applications work together seamlessly. Your website is likely integrated with Google Analytics to track your traffic and sales, for instance. We love Asana because it allows us to combine the tools you already use with their project management program.

The Asana team has hundreds of apps that you probably use ready to integrate with your account. For starters, they support all of Google’s tools like Google Drives, Sheets, and Calendar. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. 

If you dive deeper, you’ll see that Asana integrates with everything from DropBox to MailerLite, making it a tool you can use to bring everyone together. We use several of the integrations included with the program, but they also give you the tools you need to make your own. That’s right; you can take a software you like (or even own) and create a unique integration with their open API. The possibilities are endless.

There’s a ton of value in the integrations that allow you to create survey forms for your audience, and then check the results under an assigned project in Asana. We use the information from our surveys to make marketing decisions as we learn more about our target audience. While this would still be possible with Asana, it’s safe to say that with this program, we save time by making the relevant data instantly available to our teams. 

The remote workforce is growing at a rapid rate, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Many business owners are taking their traditional office and making it virtual through project management software. If you’re in this position, or just looking for a better way to manage your remote team, you can give Asana a try for free and experience it for yourself. We are a big fan of this program and would recommend it to businesses, both small and large. 

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, the most popular lead generation software for marketers. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.