Leave it up to the client as to how they like to work and share information. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Let your client take the lead because they may not want the extra step. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
If the client has not mentioned using a project management tool, we don’t do it. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi and welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host, Tiffany Parson, and you are listening to and watching episode #98.
Today’s episode, I am answering a listener question in regards to a project management software, and the question came in from Deborah via the website. It was a comment on episode #97. This is Deborah’s question:
Hey! I’ve been listening on and off for the last 6 months. I’ve been looking for a project management software. I’m looking into Asana. Was wondering if you invite your clients as guests to their particular tasks?
I love this question because it’s not something that we have dove into on the podcast and I know that there may be other VA business owners with a similar question.
Now, Asana is a project management tool just like Basecamp. You may have heard of it. Asana has a free version as well as a paid version. Either one is fine. I actually started out with the free version and haven’t seen a need to upgrade at this point because of how we use Asana.
Now, to answer Deborah’s question, first off, thank you, Deborah, so much for listening on and off for the last six months. I appreciate you so much and I’m glad that you submitted your question. Now, there have been times that I have invited clients to a project on Asana, and there’s been times where they have invited me. There’s also been times where it was not a part of how we did the project at all, which is mostly what happens.
Let me tell you the way it works. For those of you who have never used it before, if you are watching, I’m going to share my screen. If you are not watching, once you’re done listening to the podcast, you can listen and pull up on the website as well. You go to Asana.com and you’ll be able to find it that way.
Let me share my screen so those of you that are watching can see while I talk to you about how this is used. Now, I’m giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes as to how we use it for my social media project.
The way it works is you would invite a client to a project and then they are able to see all the tasks associated with that particular project. I would leave it up to the client as to how they would like to work. Some may just want to send you instructions and directions, their logins and things like that. They may want to send it to you via email. I have a client that sends it via a Google Drive document that is shared and a bit more secure than sending through email. It’s completely up to how the client wants to work. What is their comfort level?
It’s best if this is something that they already use themselves. Otherwise, you will be teaching your client how to use the software.
So just a matter of if you’re up for that. If your clients are using it for the first time and they want to use it, you may want to think about creating a generic help video to show them how to work Asana.
When I first started using it with my team, we didn’t find it as intuitive as it could be. We’re used to using it now, but I’m sure there’s some things that we could do better, but we use it enough to get what we need to get done.
If you are going to use it with a client that has never used it before, but they like the idea, they want to start using it and you invite them to a project, I would do a generic recorded training so they know exactly how to do it.
Now, this adds an extra step for your client, which is why I say let them take the lead on this because they may or may not want the extra step.
Also keep in mind that when you invite them to a project, they have access to seeing all the tasks in that project. If your client uses it on a regular basis, they already know that. If they have multiple people on one project, then everybody can see everybody’s task. Just know that.
Now, if a client invites you, they may not be using Asana. They may be using Basecamp. I’ve had clients use Basecamp. I go with what they use, and if they are using Basecamp, they will invite you to the Basecamp system and assign you to do different projects within Basecamp.
Again, the key here is to let your client take the lead.
Now, the way you can use it if you have a client that’s not into it, it’s not even mentioned, you can work it – I just realized those on the video are seeing – I think you’re seeing my Audacity because I was checking to make sure that you could see it.
I have to get used to sharing screen and all that stuff. Hopefully, you weren’t seeing the Audacity thing. But if you were, that’s how I record the audio. You may have ended up watching it for a few minutes, not what I wanted you to see.
But anyway, let’s say it’s you only. This is how my team and I use Asana. What we do is I use it, obviously, as a way of communicating. Now, it doesn’t totally eliminate email because you still get the notifications. But it just makes it easier to track conversations, tasks, what do you do.
I use with them to send them information about my social media. I use it for the podcast to send my VA – to let her know the audio files are in Dropbox. She sends everything back to me through Asana. That’s how we use it.
Let’s say it’s you only. You want to use it for yourself. I would recommend that you start out just using Asana for your projects without involving your clients so you can get used to how to use it. Whether you decide to use Asana or Basecamp or something else, whatever system it is, use it yourself first to understand how it works and to get the flow of it so that when you bring your client in, especially if you’re inviting them in, you already are very familiar with the tool and how to work with it.
Because if it’s their first time, they’re going to lean on you, depending on you to show them all about it, how to work it. They’re going to ask you questions, and if you’re fumbling and bumbling around, again, now, you’re adding on more work for your client and you don’t want to do that.
I use it to create to-do lists for myself, to put in notes, get details about a project. For example, if I am working on a website project for a client and I put in all the requirements that we’re doing for that project. I put their logins in there. I make notes. If I am sending them to review the website, then I’ll put a note that I’m pending their review, and once I get it back, then I add the next thing. Those are some things that I may not want them to see. I don’t necessarily want them to see my whole entire thought process in regards to how we work the project.
Again, if they have not mentioned using a project management tool, we don’t do it. It is an added thing. I’m stressing that because it adds an extra element on that doesn’t have to be there unless that’s just how your client likes to work.
I had a client at one point that used Basecamp for all – there were several different subcontractors on the team. We used Basecamp and I did not like seeing all the tasks for everybody. I didn’t like getting a notification every time somebody touched something. The way it was being used, it was just like ugh. But you do it if that is the client’s preference. Fortunately, I don’t work with that client anymore, so don’t have to worry about that. But I like a nice clean usage of the project management system.
The main thing is use it yourself first. Get adjusted to it and let your client take lead as to whether or not this is a tool that they want to use for their own project. If they don’t mention it, you don’t mention it. Otherwise, be ready to train and teach them on how to use this tool.
Thank you again, Deborah, for submitting your question. I like to get questions in because it lets me know, number one, that you’re listening. Also lets me know what type of information you want to get out of the podcast. You help me, I help you, and everything goes round and round and round nice and smooth.
Anyway, I want to thank you for listening to today’s episode. Let me know what project management tool you settle on. Do you decide you end up using Asana or do you end up using Basecamp, or do you just decide to have a regular old checklist on pen and paper and just work it out that way? I love to hear from you, so let me know, and you let me know the best way that works for you. You can put it in comments just like Deborah did, or ask me over on Facebook.
I got a message on LinkedIn recently. I still haven’t gotten friendly with LinkedIn. I don’t like LinkedIn. Let me just put it out there. I still haven’t gotten used to LinkedIn. At one point, I was going to do more stuff on LinkedIn, but I don’t like LinkedIn. Okay, enough said.
I don’t go on LinkedIn every single day. I probably look on LinkedIn once a month. I get emails about people that want to connect. I see those emails. I delete them and I get to LinkedIn when I get a chance. That is how I work with LinkedIn. I prefer Facebook, Instagram. Twitter is even lower on the list, but I do check it more frequently than LinkedIn.
So you want to send me a question? Put it on my Facebook page: TiffanyParsonBiz or just look up Tiffany Parson. You’ll find me on Facebook. Twitter, I’ll get a notification on Twitter. Then Instagram, I’m there as well doing different posts there.
But the best, best way – because I am on Facebook every single day because of a client project that I have that requires me to be on Facebook every day. That’s the best place to catch me and to ask me a question.
But I love hearing from you and thank you again, Deborah, for submitting your question. I hope that helps. If you have a follow-up question, just let me know. You guys have a wonderful and fabulous day, and I look forward to the next question.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!