Genealogy How Tos · How To Videos

Using Asana for genealogy

In this post I share one of my favourite, most-used, most important genealogy tools. No, it’s not an archive, it’s a project management tool. It’s a to do list on steroids, a calendar, a way to get email out of the inbox, and a way to keep track of projects over time – all in one place. It’s not just for genealogy… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Read on.

10 reasons why you might need Asana

  1. You are afraid of closing your browser tabs for fear you’ll forget why it’s important.
  2. You can’t file or delete any of your email because they’re the only reminders you have about projects on the go.
  3. Your to do list is a deep and unwieldy stack of printed papers on your desk.
  4. If anyone were to ask you about how a project is going, you’d be able to answer them as soon as you checked your phone, computer, and to do list.
  5. You’ve lost the email for that archivist you found last year who really knew what they were talking about.
  6. You can’t remember how to get that discount for Ancestry… the way you did last year and the year before.
  7. You’re coordinating the family genealogy book, website, tree, or research in the home village.
  8. You’re doing research in another country where the communications are by mail. Not e-mail, the kind that uses postage.
  9. You have a brilliant idea for a new blog post after you finish the current blog post.
  10. You’ve been locked out of archives for 18 months and you’ve got a long list of records to find (as soon as you find the list).

Asana for genealogy, a demo

In this brief video I demonstrate Asana for genealogy, covering the list and board views, tasks and subtasks, categories, searching, deadlines, and attachments.

HINT: to see the video fullscreen, hover and click the fullscreen button.

Full screen button for videos


I’ve been organizing people for over thirty years. I have experience using three types of project management software: Asana, Trello, and MS Project. I much prefer Asana. It’s become an essential tool for me to stay on track with my life, and not only family history. I have Asana projects for home reno projects, my two businesses, and even a project to help me take care of my mom’s affairs. If you’re like me and you struggle to manage all that’s going on in your life without getting overwhelmed, try Asana. One of the best aspects about Asana is the fact that the program can grow with you as you get more comfortable using it, including sending tasks to Asana by email; assigning tasks to other people (like a family member or a bookkeeper); checking the daily task list for things to do today, next week, next month, end of year; and right on up to managing projects with interrelated dependencies (a fancy term for tasks that are waiting on others to finish before they can be done).

I have no affiliations with Asana, and I have yet to hit the limits of the free version. Yes, that’s right: total control of my life, for free.

If you’d like to know more, I have a presentation on Using Asana for Genealogy, which I first presented to the BC Genealogical Society in January, 2021.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who’s entrusted me with their monster projects and let me organize them my way; to everyone who was nervous about moving away from paper; and everyone who overcame their shame and overwhelm to ask me for help in tackling what was on their plates. Especial thanks to the teams of people in my care who trusted me to lead them back when I was learning and had no idea what I was doing. Also thanks to the folks who let me learn MS Project on the job… and their patience for all the SNAFUs I made. And thanks to my sister, for a tag-team effort in taking care of the interlocking and complicated project that is supporting our mother.

Oh yes, it’s been a long, long road. But getting organized tomorrow only takes one forward step today.

5 thoughts on “Using Asana for genealogy

  1. Very interesting…for me, though, I can see me going down a rabbit hole and spending so much time in Asana, that I don’t get other work done.

    I will keep it in mind to try, though, if I come up against a bigger project that needs organizing.


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