The following is a note to myself to go over what I did before I kicked myself thoroughly. Asana has great documentation, but it feels a bit overwhelming. Especially for someone who is inclined to just poke at it for five minutes then just keyword search my questions instead of patiently reading through the docs. Here’s what I did while testing a scenario:
Created a Publicity folder in my personal Gmail account and a Google Form + Response sheet.
Set up an Asana workspace titled “Publicity.” Created a project titled “Publicity Submissions Inbox” so that emails from the Google Form would go into there to then be assigned to projects themselves. Why Google Forms? It’s one of the two form products suggested on their site (the other is Wufoo).
Ran into an issue where I need a way to allow people to upload images and related documents since Google Form doesn’t natively allow that. I tried this method, but it just sends people an email which they then need to click through. There’s another option but it costs $30 (wait, may be free). Another option to try is this one. We’ll just need to have an HTML page uploaded to our server somewhere.
OR I could create a JotForm which allows attachments, send that to me, but then have Outlook auto-forward it to Asana. What I’m trying to do is just avoid me having to hand type this stuff up myself in Asana. I bet it’d work if I just had JotForm send the emails directly to Asana too… I’m not sure if I can have emails dump into a generic “catch all” inbox to then turn into projects or if I have to send them to a workspace first as I did with “Publicity Submissions Inbox” as a project described above.
Another challenge: how hard is it to change the descriptions into tasks in Asana? Emails are treated as a task. May be able to send a task directly to a workspace and skip the step of creating a project from each submitted task.
Started Using Asana
After fussing with the above, I decided to just copy my colleague’s publicity uh…to-do sheet into Asana. I pulled it into pieces then set up a little structure showing what’s due 4 weeks ahead of time, 3 weeks, etc. I then started commenting and adding attachments. I didn’t get the lawn sign finished so I can check-off one of the tasks, but will do so in the morning. I’m really excited to get that first checkbox.
On Monday I’m going to my first public service desk meeting to tell the department heads what’s up and the new publicity process. My boss agrees that a form would be the best way to gather data from staff. They’ll likely be unhappy since I’m going to require they start thinking about their projects way in advance. I’m doing that because the lazy rule has been to send me things three weeks in advance. That’s fine, I can usually get something done. But with such a short turn around, this means I can’t get it into the newspaper, the weekly email, etc. So by moving the date to notify me way out, this means we can look for patterns and figure out which pieces play well together.
For example, there were two different college programs happening recently. As far as I can tell, no one had thought to tie them together. My colleague who is over adult programming saw the opportunity and reached out to the other department. Now they’ve got a two-hit wonder program which makes the Library shine. That’s what I’m seeking to accomplish. Better value for our patrons’ buck.