I answered a post in a homeschool group the other day for recommendations for a easy homeschool planning app. I shared what we use and how we use it and realised it would make a good blog post. I think I have mentioned this in the past, but I’ve never done a full post on it.    

Like always, I am just sharing what we used. I have nothing to sell here. I’ll share the free app I use, how we had it set up the easy way and also the reasons why I chose this app and how it’s been beneficial for my son over the years. 

We all have different homes, kids, and homeschool set up so although I think this app will work for anyone, I don’t believe in a one size fits all. The way I did it might not meet your needs, tweak it and make it your own. The ultimate homeschool planner doesn’t really exist. Stop looking for the unicorn and instead set things up to suit your family situation.

Why did I choose Asana?

I have used Asana as my main project planning tools for many years with my productivity and accountability clients. It’s because of its ease of use, really, anyone can use it. And anywhere, as you can use it on the computer and as a mobile app, giving all the family easy access, no matter what you are working on.

It can set it up in several ways, depending on the situation and the type of person who is using it. I prefer the board view in many cases, but I know some people prefer the list view for example. And, of course, my favorite feature, the zooming, unicorns, otters and yeti when you complete tasks. This makes Asana so much cuter than all the other project planning apps and much more fun for kids to use.

It is also a very robust project planning app that is used in big companies and corporations, but the free version is more than enough to use for homeschooling parents.

Why Asana over a online homeschool planner?

One of the reasons I chose Asana over a digital homeschool planner was that I already knew how to use it. But the other reason was that I know, moving forward as my child grows and goes and gets a job. There is a very high probability that he will need to use some of the industry standard apps that are used in large companies. Asana is one of those apps and I felt that the skills that he would learn to use Asana would then be transferable to other apps, such as Monday and Trello, that are used in a similar fashion.

So, I didn’t see this just as a homeschool tracker, rather that homeschool and schedule project planning was a lesson in itself. We have used it for scholarship applications and family projects too (not specifically homeschool lessons). 

How to set up your Homeschool planning app

I have an international readership. I personally am based in Japan, and our homeschooling was a bit of a mashup. Sharing our exact set-up won’t be especially helpful to everyone out there, so I will give you guidelines, the same I use with my coaching clients.

When setting up your homeschool planning app, you need to keep in mind that all homeschool families are different. That might sound obvious, but from years of working with different clients, I know many try to follow the instructions step-by-step to fit their situation to somebody else’s blueprint. This is not the way to go. You need to create the projects to fit your personal family situation.

For example, where you live, you might need to submit your homeschool schedule, weekly lesson, plans, or homeschool record-keeping to the authorities, and so you need to set up your homeschool planning app in a way that works for that too.

This is basically the set up I use for all project planning, it is flexible, so it easy to make your own.

  1. Assign one project to each child. That way, they can take control of their own project, eventually. 
  2. Brainstorm which sections you need. This will totally depend on how you are homeschooling, so these could be subjects, math, English, etc. It might help to think of them as buckets. More on buckets below.
  3. Plug them into Asana. Visually, I prefer board view as it looks less overwhelming. I create a graphic in Canva to top each section for easy viewing.
  4. Add your tasks, look at your homeschool year for the completion dates, make sure to add them too.
  5. Then break it down and add the sub tasks and dates. This is the time-consuming bit. Get the kids helping! And don’t forget, there are recurring tasks available too.

If you are following a specific curriculum, this is fairly easy because you can just plug in what you need to do and by which date. If you are creating your own curriculum, then this can be a bit more tricky and might take a little longer to set up.

My son’s Japanese junior high curriculum had subjects grouped together, so we used that to decide on the sections. (read more about our homeschool curriculum here). We included the extra-curriculum activities too, mainly because I wanted him to learn time management. We sat down together and looked at how long different lessons would take vs. how much time he had available. 

Choosing Your Buckets

For your buckets (sections) you need to decide on what makes sense to your homeschooling family needs. Below are some ideas, pick and choose or create your own, you don’t need them all! I do recommend using buckets rather than having a section set up for each subject purely because it can look completely overwhelming if faced with 10 subjects and all the extras. Sections, tasks and sub-tasks are a less anxiety inducing system!

  • Core subjects (math, science, English…)
  • Humanities
  • National curriculum subjects
  • Extra online classes – Outschool, pre-made lesson plans, Skillshare, TED, etc.
  • Field trips
  • Co-op classes, homeschool family meet-ups, etc.
  • Sports, swimming, ballet, art class, etc.
  • Passions, projects, hobbies
  • Self care – brushing teeth, brushing hair, etc.
  • Home jobs (if the kids have their own jobs to do) feed the dog, put away laundry, clean room, etc
  • Dailies – tasks you want the kids to practise each day, piano, meditation, yoga, kanji, Spanish…

Allowing a flexible school schedule

We set it up more as a weekly planner rather than set in stone daily lesson plans so that he had the freedom to choose what to study and when. This gave us more flexibility, allowing to have impromptu field trips or days off. For example, say he had each week:

  • 3x math lessons
  • 3x Japanese lessons
  • 2x science lessons
  • 2x history lessons

He knew all this needed to be completed by the end of the week, but he decided when he would do what. I stepped back and allowed him to work out what kind of scheduled worked best for him. You can check in daily and weekly with the child’s progress and step in to help if it looks like they are not keeping up. Obviously, younger students need more guidance. But if you always keep in mind that this is also a lesson in itself, there is no issue.

Having this kind of flexible homeschooling app means you can easily plan out your entire year and fit your needs around holidays and other events that you might have going on. It’s up to you whether you include detailed lesson plans or basically have a checklist, if your kids know what they need to do.

TIP – always maintain a buffer while working so that you can easily accommodate unexpected changes, illness, snow days, and extra visitors coming to stay.

Better than a paper planner

Don’t shoot me. I love a paper planner, but a paper planner doesn’t give you the flexibility that a digital planner does. And a project planning app does far more than a simple to-do lists app. 

The reason the digital planner is better than a paper planner is that you can change the view to suit the person who is using it. For somebody with ADHD, often the board view feels less overwhelming and easier to consume than the list view. And being able to toggle between the board view and the calendar view makes it really easy to see what needs to be done today and this week versus the overview of what needs to be completed by the end of your set term.

There is also the bonus of being able to connect your Asana app with a Google calendar, which for homeschool moms is quite important, if you are using your Google calendar for all your parenting and home planning.

It is also easy to move tasks around. You can just drag and drop, whereas with a paper planner, when you want to change something, everything starts to get very messy, very quickly. I actually prefer a bullet journal system for paper planning rather than a physical printed planner for this reason.

Add extra information

If you are using a lot of digital content, it is easy to drop in links and attachments for extra information, making it easy for your child to find what they need. Or you can pop in the name of the book to use or anything else they might need to complete the task.

screen shot of Asana being used as a homeschool planning app. showing where to add extra information in the description box

Board View:


This feature gives a comprehensive overview of everything and simplifies the process of identifying the requirements for each subject. It also feels less overwhelming that List View.

This is how we had ours set up. We worked it out together on how many lessons of each subject he needed to do a week to stay on track and put dates on everything.

screen shot of Asana being used as a homeschool planning app. showing the board view set up

Beat overwhelm with sub-tasks

You can see there are 16 sub-tasks for creative writing. These are listed as sub-tasks within that task, shown on the right. Again, dates added for everything. Above that list of subtasks is a description box. If you have extra information that the kids need, links or name of work books, publisher-created lesson plans, unit study pages etc. you can add it there.

screen shot of Asana being used as a homeschool planning app. showing where the use of subtasks

Calendar view:


This is actually my work account since my son is no longer homeschooling, university bound soon. But I wanted to share an example. Open the calendar view each day so you can see what is needed for the week. You can also add priority to tasks, if you have something important, for example, that really can’t be skipped. And colour co-ordinate tasks which help me visually see where I am up to and what I need to work on.

If you or your child has ADHD, you might find that using emoji and color coding can really help.

screen shot of Asana being used as a homeschool planning app. showing the calendar view

Nifty schedule features of this program app

Another thing I love is the recurring tasks. I use it all the time in my business so that I don’t drop the ball. For your weekly schedule, you might want your child to practise piano 3 times a week and study 3 kanji a day, Monday through Friday. Or fill in maths report sheet every Friday. You can set it so the task repeats once you have checked it off. which saves you having to set up multiple tasks. There are different options to choose from, so you can set it up for your own needs. See this post on how to set recurring tasks up.

​Some people are motivated by what they have already completed. If that is the case, you can keep the completed tasks showing, it is quite the adrenaline boost when you can see that you can already done so much. Other people find that overwhelming, so turn it off and just show tasks waiting to be completed.

💡TIP

Using Asana or any other homeschool planner app only works if you stick to it. We had a bumpy start, my son would forget to check it or check tasks off as done. To help with that, I did what I do with my accountability clients. I created a daily habit.

Set a time each day for every family member to check in, maybe straight after breakfast or when you know you are all together. Set a reminder on your phone to do the check in. You can also set reminders in the app for anyone who needs an extra nudge!”

Everyone looks at their own calendar, talk about what you have planned for the day, then at the end of the day, make sure everyone has checked off completed tasks.

As a productivity coach, I can tell you that the type of planner you use doesn’t matter. It is the daily check-in that makes all the difference!

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a boy and dad planning their homeschooling day