If you want to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment, you need to manage your work efficiently. And while there are hundreds of apps and tools you can use to do that, there are a few that dominate the market. And one of them is Asana. Why Asana?
There are many reasons why people choose Asana over other tools – we’ll explore key reasons in a minute). But, one of them is the ease of automating your work in Asana, both using its built-in automations (called rules) and the Asana Zapier integration.
In this guide, you’ll learn how (and why) to use Asana and Zapier to improve your workflow and get more done (in less time!). And, if you’ve never used Asana before but are curious about how it works – here’s a quick intro to the platform:
Why Use Asana to Manage Your Workflow?
On average, Asana makes teams 1.45 times more efficient. While this may not sound like much, if your team completes 100 tasks per month (just an example), with Asana, you’d be able to complete 145. Sounds much better right?
Whether you use Asana to manage your work, personal projects, or both, the tool gives you plenty of features that make workflow management convenient and efficient. Thanks to being one of the most popular project management tools, it’s frequently updated and on top of the latest trends. It also boasts an excellent product guide should you ever need help. But, you may not even need it. Why?
There are two benefits to using Asana that make it stand out – excellent UX coupled with simplicity and the number of available integrations.
- Simplicity and Ease of Use
In fact, Asana’s ease of use is part of its UVP (Unique Value Proposition) What makes the tool so easy to use?
The developers put plenty of work into Asana’s UX. Every part of the process – from onboarding to creating and managing tasks – is designed to be simple and easy to follow. The interface is clean and easy to navigate even for people who are not tech-savvy.
After all, you’re going to use Asana almost daily, so you’d rather not use a tool that’s slow, clunky, and unintuitive. And what about integrations?
- Built-in Integrations and Automations
To further help you improve your workflow management, Asana offers built-in integrations with dozens of popular management tools, including:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Suite/Workspace tools, including Calendar and Google Docs
- And, of course, Zapier
What’s important is that you can not only connect Asana with the two tools but also make some of them a part of your Asana rules workflow. “Rules” is Asana’s built-in automation system that allows you to create simple automation workflows:
The Rules you can set include anything from setting task priority, adding assignees, or sending notifications. And while there are plenty of triggers and actions to choose from, to take your workflow management to the next level, you want to Integrate Asana with Zapier. Here’s why.
Why Integrate Asana with Zapier?
The most obvious reason to leverage the Asana Zapier integration is the wealth of tools that you’ll be able to add to your Asana automation workflow. With over 5,000 apps, Zapier offers the biggest library of native integrations out of all integration platforms.
Moreover, when you integrate Asana with Zapier, you can use Asana Rules to trigger your Zaps. For example, you can use Asana to send an email to Gmail and then trigger the Gmail Zapier workflow.
Similarly, you can use Asana Rules to create Notion pages, and then take advantage of the Notion Zapier integration. That way, you can both save Zapier tasks (here’s an explanation of what is a task in Zapier and an in-depth guide to Zapier pricing), and get more control over your workflow.
Lastly, by connecting Asana to Zapier, you can use triggers and actions that may not be available in Zapier. Speaking of which – let’s look at how to connect Asana to Zapier and review the available Asana Zapier triggers and actions.
How to Connect Asana to Zapier
If you’re familiar with Zapier, you can connect Asana to it the same way you’d connect any other app. But if it’s the very first app that you’re connecting, there are two ways in which you can connect it:
- By going to the My Apps menu
- By connecting Asana while creating a new Zap
Let’s look at the first method (they’re very similar). First, locate and click My Apps in the main Zapier menu:
Next, search for Asana – if you haven’t connected it yet, you’ll see a “No matching connections” note. Click Connect:
Next, Asana will ask if you want to grant Zapier the necessary permissions:
And that’s it! Asana is now connected to your Zapier account.
Now, it’s time to look at the available Asana Zapier triggers and actions. But before we do that, there’s one more important thing that you’ll need to know when setting up Asana Zapier workflows – Asana’s structure.
Asana’s Project Structure
To understand Asana’s automation triggers and actions, we first need to look at its structure. Whenever you work with Asana, you can operate at one of the following levels:
Organization: This is the highest level and includes everything in your Asana domain.
Team: A team is a group of collaborators. Most of the time, you’ll separate collaborators into teams by department or scope of their work.
Project: A project is a venture that a group of collaborators or an entire team works on over a period of time. It’s made up of multiple different tasks.
Task: Usually, tasks are a part of one or multiple different projects. They can be as simple as you want and take a week, a day, an hour, or even 5 minutes to complete.
Subtask: Subtasks allow you to break tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps.
There’s also a thing called sections. Sections allow you to group related tasks, whether it’s by deadline, timeframe, task type, or one of a few other features. You can also enrich your task data with a custom field, which you can use to better manage and categorize your work.
Knowing the structure and the differences between projects, tasks, and sections allows you to better understand Asana Zapier Triggers and Actions. Now that you’re ready – let’s dive right into them!
Available Asana Zapier Triggers
Once you start setting Asana triggers in Zapier, you’ll realize they’re similar to what you can find in Asana Rules. That’s why, as mentioned earlier, it’s often a good idea to start the trigger inside Asana (using one of Asana’s many integrations) and then use that third-party app to trigger the Zap.
Of course, you are free to use Asana triggers – especially since there are quite a few to choose from:
- Completed Task. This will start the Zap whenever you complete a task within a specific project or workspace. Note that it doesn’t trigger the Zap for subtasks (keep that in mind when planning your automation setup).
- New Attachment Added to Task. This will trigger the Zap whenever you add a new attachment to a task. What’s interesting is that it’s one of a few of Asana’s instant Zapier triggers.
- New Project. Fires the Zap whenever you create a new project.
- New Story. This will start the workflow whenever you add a new story to the task.
- New Subtask. Use this to trigger your automation workflow for each new subtask.
- New Tag Created. Same as above, the only difference is that it’ll trigger the Zap when you create a new tag.
- New Task in Project. Starts the Zap when you add a new task to a project. Note that it’s an instant trigger.
- New Team. This trigger is useful mostly in big organizations or if you create a separate Asana team for each client.
- New User. Triggers the automation whenever you add a new user to your Asana workspace. It works great if you plan to use the Asana Zapier integration as part of your employee onboarding efforts.
- New Workspace/Organization. This trigger will start the Zap when you create a new Workspace or Organization. Due to Asana’s hierarchy, it’s likely one of the least used triggers.
- Tag Added to Task. Starts the workflow when you add a new tag to a task.
- Updated Task in a Project. One of the most useful triggers that will trigger the Zap whenever you update a task in a specific project. Thanks to it being instant, it can trigger the Zap the moment a particular change occurs.
As you can see, the available triggers cover most of the useful events you may want to use to trigger your automations. Now, let’s look at how things look in the actions department.
Available Asana Zapier Actions
Compared to its triggers, Asana Zapier actions may prove to be a lot more useful. Why? While Asana Rules can send data to quite a few apps, in general, you can’t trigger Asana automations using third-party apps (there are a few exceptions, though.
For example, the Asana Outlook integration allows you to turn emails into tasks. You could then have a rule to trigger automation whenever you create a new task). So, what actions can you use?
The available actions are split into two different categories: Create & Search. Actions in the create category allow you to:
- Add Task to Section of Project. This action lets you automatically add tasks to different sections – a very useful step if you want to group related tasks.
- Attach File – Add a file (for example, a Google Drive or Dropbox file) straight to a task.
- Create Duplicate Task. This action is useful especially if you want to duplicate template tasks.
- Create Project. Allows you to create an entire Asana project fully automatically.
- Create Project From Template. Same as above – but this time using an Asana template.
- Create Section. Use this to create a new section in a project which you can then use to group related tasks.
- Create Story. This Asana Zapier action allows you to add a story to a task.
- Create Subtask. Add a subtask to an existing task.
- Create Task. Create a brand new subtask in a selected project.
- Update Task. Lastly, you can use Zapier to update a task.
Of course, to update a task, you’ll most of the time need to find it first – that’s where the “Search” actions come into play:
The Search Asana Zapier actions allow you to:
- Find Project. Use this to find a project – often used together with the find section or find a task in a project.
- Find Section in Project. This action lets you find a section before you add a task to it (perfect if you’re managing multiple tasks and need to group them).
- Find Task by ID. This lets you search for a task by its ID.
- Find Task in Project. If you don’t know the task ID, you can try to find it in a specific project.
- Find User. Lastly, you can use this Zapier step to find Asana users.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do in Asana and plenty of ways in which you can trigger a Zapier workflow with Asana. Now, let’s look at a few examples of Asana Zaps.
5 Asana Zaps to Improve Your Productivity and Workflow
With so many triggers and actions, you can easily create dozens of Asana Zapier workflows – here are a few useful examples:
1. Create and Send Xero Invoices for Completed Asana Tasks
The first Asana Zapier workflow is extremely useful if you use Asana as both your PM and CRM tool. Of course, if you keep your client data elsewhere, you can always use Zapier to pull the data.
Whenever you close an Asana task, you want to automatically create and send a Xero invoice.
Just keep in mind that to make this Zap work, you may need to:
- Create custom fields that would store client details (unless you add CRM steps to the Zap)
- Create custom fields for storing product codes, prices, and Xero accounts (unless you use Google Sheets and Airtable as a searchable database).
- Use Zapier filters and Paths to trigger the automation for specified cases only.
Note that you can always keep a “summary task” that will have all the work (in the form of subtasks) for a particular month. Then, you can simply close it once a month.
2. Create a New Asana Task for Each Contact Form 7 Submission
Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular contact forms. It’s free, easy to customize, and, with a little work, it can be easily connected to Zapier. And, once you do that – you can connect it to Asana, and create tasks for each new Contact Form 7 inquiry.
First, you want to use Zapier to connect Contact Form 7 to webhook. Then, once you get the data from the CF7 webhook, you can use Zapier to pass it to the “create a new task” Asana action.
Of course, depending on the custom fields that you use in CF7 and Asana, you may need to use Zapier Formatter text action steps to format the incoming data.
And, don’t forget that nothing is stopping you from connecting Gmail or Microsoft Outlook and sending branded, automated replies. You can also connect to Slack and send a notification to a key member responsible for handling the submission.
3. Turn LinkedIn Leads into Asana Tasks
This Zap is simple yet powerful – it takes advantage of the Zapier LinkedIn integration. Basically, you want to create a new Asana task for each new lead that you get from LinkedIn.
The most basic form of this integration can be as simple as a trigger and one action step (creating a new task):
Alternatives to this setup may include:
- Creating tasks in a specific project depending on lead data
- Expanding the Zap with other integrations, for example, Pipedrive and Zapier.
- Adding formatter/filter steps to add only specific leads and/or formatting their details before sending them to Asana.
4. Send Notifications for Key Asana Events
Next, you want to notify your team whenever critical tasks are created or completed. The most popular way to do that? Slack!
Of course, you may think that you don’t necessarily need the Slack Zapier automation, as Asana has an integration with Slack. It also sends you email notifications whenever anything important happens.
But, sometimes it’s just more convenient to have everything in one workflow. Plus, by using Zapier, you get more control over who gets the notification, and which channel you should post it to. And let’s not forget that Slack is not the only channel you can use.
For example, by Using Asana, Zapier, and Microsoft Outlook, you can send emails whenever a key task gets assigned (or completed). You can also notify your clients about the progress.
While Asana has a direct Outlook integration, it allows you to turn emails into tasks only. To send emails whenever you complete a task, you need to use Zapier.
5. Turn New WooCommerce Orders Into Asana Tasks
The last Asana Zap idea lets you connect Asana with WooCommerce and Zapier and automate one of the key eCommerce processes – the management of incoming orders. At its core, it can be a simple two-step Zap that creates a new task whenever someone purchases a product in your online store.
But, if you’re running a big store, it can also be expanded to speed up your workflow. Examples include:
- Using Zapier paths to find projects responsible for different product categories.
- Creating tasks for the entire order flow (ordering, packaging, shipping) from templates.
- Notifying team members responsible for handling priority/high-ticket orders.
Connect Asana to Zapier and Start Automating Your Work!
Asana developers have long understood the importance that automation plays in efficient project management. It’s no surprise they developed dozens of native integrations and built-in automations into the platform.
With Asana Rules, you can automate hundreds of simple tasks, send data to one of many Asana integrations, or even trigger Zapier workflows.
Of course, to build robust, multi-step, and efficient automation workflows with advanced logic, you still need a tool like Zapier. With the Asana Zapier integration, you can automate most (if not all) project management tasks, significantly improve your workflow and get more done in less time. Sounds like something you’d like to achieve in your business?
Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at Clickleo.com
I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.
You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page