So, there are these things called project management tools. Asana happens to be my personal favorite, but there are others. If you’ve never tried using Asana before, or any other project management tool for that matter, here are some reasons why they are awesome.
See who’s responsible.
When there are multiple people involved in a process, it can be difficult to define who’s responsible for each part. Asana allows you to assign tasks to different team members. Asana has a paid function which allows you to make tasks “dependent” on one another, but you don’t need to pay for it. Just put the tasks in the order you plan to do them and assign them to someone.
Get your on a calendar.
Projects on Asana can be viewed a few different ways. You can look at tasks as a list, as a board (think Trello or post-it note view) or as a calendar. If you pay for the upgrade, there are a few more bells and whistles, but you probably don’t need them. When you assign tasks and give them a due date, they will display on the calendar.
Keep comments and progress on task.
Literally. All tasks have a place for comments. You can attach files, set sub-tasks, which can also be assigned to people and given due dates. Within the comments, you can use emojis, attach files and tag people or tasks. Everyone who is mentioned in the comments, assigned a task in the projects or is marked a collaborator will receive updates when a comment is made in Asana’s inbox, as well as an email and push notification. Finally, if someone forgets and sends an email or text, you can just copy and paste it into the comments for the task it applies to.
It integrates with everything.
Asana integrates with pretty much any other app you can think of. It has apps for iOS and Android. Having used it with a few different teams, I’ve yet to encounter a barrier that keeps someone from using it.
The search bar.
Can’t remember where the task is? Start typing what you’re looking for in the search bar and it will show you associated tasks.
There are limits and work-arounds.
As much as I love Asana and use it in several different contexts, it has its limitations. If you’re working in a large Church, it’s probably worth it to upgrade to premium, so you can access the more premium features.
However, if you are running a smaller church (as I am) or a church plant, there are ways around Asana’s limits as you’re growing. Each workspace can have up to 15 members and you can have many workspaces. The easy solution to the 15 member cap is to have different workspaces for different teams. If your teams (worship, greeters, deacons, elders, pastors, etc.) need more than 15 people in them, you are definitely ready to upgrade to a paid plan.
Case Study: How I Use Asana in Our Church
If you’ve read all of this and you’re curious how this might work in practice, here are a few examples from my own Asana set up.
Tasks at a Glance
Everyone can see what they are responsible for by opening My Tasks on the menu. They can also see any changes that have been made to tasks they are tagged in by checking the Inbox.
I’m the associate pastor’s wife in a small church. I have my hand in several ministries, including worship, children and food prep. Post-COVID, we still haven’t resurrected the children or food prep ministries, but this is what our schedule looked like last year.
I created the schedule in board view (slightly counter intuitive) because it will not automatically sort that way. Once tasks are created, you assign them due dates and they will automatically appear properly in the calendar view.
When in the calendar view, you can create tasks by double clicking a date. You can also move tasks which have been set up in board view without changing their column placement.
List view can automatically sort tasks according to due date, assignee, or completion date. You can also search and filter tasks more easily in this view.
Worship Team Coordination
We have a Google Drive folder where we keep our songs, but it was getting unwieldy to keep track of things, even with my obsessive filing practices. Sometimes we need to make changes to something associated with the song, and when it’s assigned to someone, it’s easier to make sure it gets done.
We are a Brazilian church, so we have simultaneous translation into Portuguese for our services. We also have several members who speak Spanish. That being said, when I input our repertoire in Asana I used the board view again to organize our songs by language.
You may also notice that in addition to songs, on the far right is a Resources column where we have our full song list, including most songs we’ve used in the past. I also have our SOP’s in the Procedures for Leading Worship task. When I open up list view, they stay organized in this way.
Each song is a “task” and within each task, I attach whatever music, lyric slides, practice tracks and anything else associated with the song.
Every week, I create a task for the date and I tag each song we’re going to use. Through that, my tech team can open up everything we need on our computer and have a relatively easy set up. The tagged songs open up their tasks and all of their associated files. We also use the song list task to note changes (last minute or otherwise).
Tech Set Up
Asana has a function which allows a task to repopulate when it’s completed. You enter a due date, then you set it to repeat and you pick a number of days. A task that repeats every 7 days will automatically reappear after marked complete, ready to be completed again.
My wonderful deacons (who happen to be techies) chronicled our set up process in painstaking detail so anyone could open service if they weren’t able to. The process can be set to repeat. Anyone could follow the steps and mark their tasks as they go to make sure nothing is left out. The task would reappear the following Sunday.
All of that to say, there are so many ways that you can use Asana to organize your church’s projects. If Asana isn’t your jam, maybe you’ve found some creative ways you can use your current project management tool. If your church has never used one at all, I hope I’ve inspired you to try one.
At Share, we connect churches with creative ministry talent on demand. Creative projects, like social media management, video post-production, and web design, are so much easier to complete using tools like Asana.
We also offer Share Squad Service to churches who are looking to use more project management in their operations. It’s like a creative team in-a-box.
If you need a freelancer to help you with your ministry’s creative demands, we hope you’ll check us out at ShareTalent.co.