Hello from Mercersburg Academy! My name is Alexandra Patterson and I am the Director of Library Services at Mercersburg Academy. I’m so excited to share about what we are doing in the Mercersburg Library with everyone.
It’s funny that Katie’s post earlier this week was about getting things done – I’m here to share a tool that I’ve found incredibly helpful for managing my every growing to do list!
After starting the position as Library Director over the summer, I began the daunting task of figuring out how to manage many projects and many moving pieces. At a boarding school, we serve as school library, public library and community center so we’ve got a lot going on! I tried a lot of online systems, but for my library Asana seems to work best.
Asana is a web-based to-do list manager that can be used by teams. You can create projects and individual tasks related to them. Each tasks can be assigned to a team member and can have a separate due date.
Though we are still figuring out the system here are 5 ways I use Asana in my library:
- For reminding us of recurring tasks – Sometimes things like updating a Libguide can slip through the cracks. I’ve created a recurring task “check all history guides for working database links” for each month to make sure we don’t forget.
- Planning for the future – Our display calendar now lives in Asana. It allows us to look at the year ahead and plan things, then link to books we’ll use, assign the task of pulling the books, and ordering the decorations! Tasks lists can also be downloaded by project or by team member to gCal and iCal.
- “Passively” moving projects along – As long as I spend a few minutes inputting tasks, I can schedule them for months in advance. This means that I can do one small step today and then forget about it until my next task for that project is due. Asana helpfully reminds me and I get to take it out of my mental filing cabinet!
- Fielding questions – I love that Asana has a feature for discussion. It’s nice to be able to answer questions about a particular task or project and have the answers stored in a place everyone can access. Goodbye email chain!
- Storing files related to a project – Asana lets you upload files and link to Google Docs. Having all of the files for a project accessible, along with any tasks that might need to be done, has been invaluable. No more hunting for the information — it’s all right there!
What are some other tools you use to get things done?