Asana tip: How to make sure you never miss an important update

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At work, it’s crucial to stay up to date with what’s happening day-to-day. When we know what’s going on, we can do our job better, and we can avoid problems and delays.

But that’s easier said than done, right? For many of us, this means diving into long, cluttered email threads or arranging time-consuming status update meetings. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Here’s how to use Asana to make sure you always know what’s occurring.

Introducing the Inbox

The Asana Inbox is your Notification Centre – It tells you what’s happened recently. Every time something happens that you need to know about, it will appear as a notification in your Inbox. 

Here’s a helpful way to think of it. If the My Tasks section is everything that you need to do, then think of the Inbox as everything you need to know.

⚠️ Important: Inbox is an essential feature for teams using Asana. Ignore it at your peril!

Now, first things first, don’t panic. I hate email just as much as you. The Asana Inbox has nothing to do with email (phew!). This is a common misconception among new users. Both the Asana Inbox and your Email Inbox receive new information, yes. But that’s where the similarity ends. One receives notifications about task updates and other changes; the other receives emails. 

Does it spam you with everything? No. It only tells you about the things you’re collaborating on or are responsible for doing.

However, when you work in a team (especially a productive or busy one), these notifications can pile up… quickly. If you don’t maintain it, important notifications will soon become buried in a big long list. This will cause you to miss important updates and requests from your colleagues.

The answer?…

✅ Check and clear your Inbox daily.

…(ideally more often). Simple! And easy too.

Managing the Inbox

How do you clear it?

The first step is to read through and decide what action (if any) to take. Once you’re clear on that, you can either do it now (if it’s quick) or create a followup task to remind you to do it later.

Then, once you’ve finished with a notification, archive it. Every. Single. One.

📋 Note: Notifications are not tasks. Clicking on a notification will load the task in a new panel to the right. In other words, your Inbox is not your task list. It is a list of updates about tasks. So don’t worry. Archiving a notification will not muck up your to-do list by hiding, or deleting the task. It will only move the notification to the archive tab, out of sight.

So why do we archive?

Why it works

Archiving every notification means that your Inbox only ever contains new items. This way, you won’t miss anything important. If you don’t archive things once you’ve read them, you’ll never know what’s new or old. So don’t let it get clogged up!

Sounds like a slog, right? Well, no. In fact, it couldn’t be easier.

To archive a notification, hover over it and click the icon. One click is all it takes.

Screenshot of the Asana Inbox showing the icon to archive a notification

Simple.

Summary

In conclusion, the Asana Inbox does a stellar job of keeping you and your team always up to date – as long as you use it properly.

Here’s what to do with each notification:

  • If you need to take action or respond, do so, then archive it.
  • If you can’t right now, create a followup task and then archive it.
  • If you don’t need to do anything at all, archive it right away.

As you can see, notifications need not stick around for long. Every single one ends up in the archive. Either way, when you’re done, your list will be empty and you can be sure that you won’t miss any crucial updates.

⚠️ Important: Only archive a notification if there’s no further action to take. Don’t just clear everything to get it out of the way. 

💡 Tip 1: The quickest way to access your Inbox is by using the Tab + I shortcut (think I for Inbox).

💡 Tip 2: Accidentally archived something important? Don’t worry; you can restore it from the Archive tab at the top of the screen.

Here’s to being always up to date!

Dave J Mason
Solutions Partner
How to make sure you never miss an important update

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