Dynein is a microtubule-based molecular motor that plays an important role in many cellular processes, including positioning the mitotic spindle during cell division. Microtubule motors are known to be regulated by a family of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), but how MAPs affect the appropriate positioning of dynein cargoes in the cell remains unclear. Previous work by the group of Steven Markus has shown that the yeast-specific MAP She1 binds to microtubules to negatively regulate dynein function and is a key effector of polarising dynein-mediated spindle positioning towards the daughter cell. In this work (Ecklund et al., 2021), Kari Ecklund and colleagues investigate the mechanisms by which She1 regulates dynein positioning of the spindle in the yeast cell by imaging a variety of carefully designed yeast mutants during mitosis. The authors show that She1 preferentially localises along astral microtubules within the mother cell, from where it inhibits the initiation of dynein-mediated spindle movements in this cell. The absence of She1 in the daughter cell therefore promotes daughter-cell-directed spindle positioning and ensures that the spindle remains close to the future site of cytokinesis. Although She1 does not have a homologue in other eukaryotes, these findings demonstrate how asymmetric localisation of an MAP can spatially modulate dynein activity, suggesting a general mechanism for MAP regulation of motor function in vivo.