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January 13, 2015

Product Review: Carissa Uses Asana for To-Do’s!

One of my favorite parts of my job is facilitating trainings for new teacher preparation programs and residencies. A few months ago, I made my fifth annual visit to MATCH’s Teacher Residency in Boston, where their 80-plus teachers-in-training were all about the digital To-Do’s (it must be generational!).

This visit reminded me that it’s high time I post a review of how Asana, a team communication app that combines conversations and tasks, could be used to manage your To-Do’s – both short and long-term.

Let’s start with the basics. Carissa’s Together Teacher system is a Google Calendar + Asana. Great start for the digital set!

Carissa set up a few checklists within Asana. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. The Full Checklist

Carissa set up a big checklist with broad categories for her work and life, such as MATCH Next, MTR (her residency program), October (for the future), and Other (like grocery lists!). Categorizing helps ensure she doesn’t have to sift through a mega-list to figure out what to do at any given moment. Within her big buckets, she stores sub-lists for Daily Wrap-Up (more on that in #2), TA Duties, Grad School and more.

Full Checklist - Edited
Click to enlarge

2. The End of Day Checklist

Let’s take a closer look at her End of Day Checklist. Carissa tells us,

This checklist starts off all unchecked. I know I can leave school once everything is checked off.

Smart, smart, smart!

IMG_40123. The Home Checklist

Because I care about both teacher success AND personal sanity, let’s also peek at Carissa’s “When home” list. Hear, hear for keeping in touch with friends, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and writing thank you notes!

When Home Checklist - Edited
Click to enlarge

Reminder! Checklists alone are not enough, as they don’t account for how much time you actually have to accomplish your tasks. Carissa takes it a step further by blocking off “Asana task time” In her Google Calendar:

Calendared Asana Checklist Time - Edited
Click to enlarge

Asana seems like a great option for those of you who like digital tools with the ability to create categories. A lot of leaders also use Asana for team project management.

As always, whatever your tool of choice, it’s the habit that’s key. By thoughtfully combining her To-Do system with her calendar, Carissa has created a true reconciliation of her time and tasks.

Thanks for sharing with us, Carissa!

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