Control the Inbox

inbox

#1

How do you set the notifications for inbox. Ideally, I would only see messages here where I have been tagged. I generally avoid it because… TMI! Thanks!


#2

Thanks for the insight, @AvalonJoe. You can see all of the activity that triggers Inbox notifications here. Essentially, any task you are a follower of or project you’re a member of will send you inbox stories when updates are made to those items.

I understand your thoughts on being overwhelmed with too much information, but would you be afraid of losing context if you didn’t have a place to get all updates on your team’s work? In an ideal world, would you like to see a separate area just for mentions?


#3

@Kaitie Yes, I think some toggle control over which activities trigger an inbox notification, but a separate mentions area might do the trick. We just have a lot of routine work that I don’t need to be kept abreast of. This makes inbox a place I avoid, but can see a lot of potential here to enhance our team communication.


#4

Thanks for the follow up, @AvalonJoe. Have you tried using the “Unfollow” link for the routine work you don’t need updates on?

I’ve found that if I unfollow the projects and tasks I don’t need updates on again, the majority of the notifications in my inbox are either actionable or informational. I do still think there are ways we can work on making the Inbox more manageable from a functionality standpoint (and we’ll pass your suggestions along), but I’ve been able to find a good groove of information by regularly attending to the items I’m following and unfollowing.

Would love to hear thoughts from anyone else who finds the Inbox useful and how they achieved a good balance?


#5

I use the inbox often, Im the team manager and we are still relatively new to Asana so I definitely want TMI at this point. I would like to see an option where my inbox notifications are able to be separated by the user that made the activity, and also have more distinct date stamps for activity. I find it hard to determine when the item was put into my inbox without reading all the details. It would be great if there was sections, IE: Monday, Tuesday, and that section/sorting functionality could be used for user as well.


#6

Pro-Tip-- don’t spend too much time in your inbox; just spend time working on your tasks and assigning other tasks;

I am anti-micro-management; the more you focus on the inbox, the less time you’re spending getting things done

the point of Asana is to get out of your email and get tasks done

time spent in the inbox is somewhat a waste of time

the feature itself is good but I don’t care about beefing it up

I worry more about the “My Tasks” tab

since that is rather large and never decreasing

but yes,

“to each his/her own”

use Asana to your own liking obviously


#7

I manage a team spread across a state, and I oversee 60+ projects at one time. I live in my inbox not due to being a micro-manager but because I am project oversight for my department and this is the best way to be sure my team has what they need to do their jobs. I would appreciate upgrades to the Inbox.


#8

@AvalonJoe thanks for starting this conversation. This is something I’ve certainly been thinking about as I’ve been spending more time at Asana. At first I found my inbox rather scary. So much info! But after spending time unfollowing projects and having practice scanning through things, I find myself much more able to look through things quickly without getting overwhelmed. The “Create Follow Up Task” feature is great for me, so I don’t have to forget about anything.

Another thing I find useful is setting a time to look at my inbox. We’ve all probably heard this as a productivity technique to avoid distractions with email, but it’s hard to internalize. If we’re worried about distractions / being overwhelmed / not being able to get to everything, setting 30 minutes just for inbox could be a good solution.

@savannahrucker I can absolutely see the benefits of the inbox when you’re overseeing projects. It certainly helps with team transparency and keeping everyone on the same page. Alternatively, it sounds like it could be a lot to handle with your My Tasks. How do you balance Inbox with My Tasks to keep from being overwhelmed or distracted? Do you have a timeline you use to go back and forth?


#9

@Alexis I don’t have as many individual tasks when compared to my team, however, in the morning I go into my tasks and prioritize them based on what must be done today, and get to work on my list. I make sure my must do’s get done that day, while also ensuring my team isn’t waiting on me to complete their work by checking my inbox several times daily. At around 4pm I revisit my task list to see how I did, and complete any tasks that need to be done that day.

The ability to assign priority within my task list, or even rearrange tasks in my task list would be very beneficial to help assign priority.


#10

Thanks for the detail @savannahrucker ! I like that you mention “waiting on” because this is a need for all of us and particularly managers like you. Do you use Asana’s “Waiting on” / dependencies feature? If yes - woo! If not, I think it will be a huge help to you and all the managers out there reading this.

I hear you about the ability to assign priority in My Tasks. You mention that you’d like to be able to move things around in My Tasks. Is that something you haven’t been doing? Dragging and dropping tasks and arranging them in priority order is hugely helpful! If you have been doing this, then you already know the benefits! :slight_smile:

Also, I like your 4pm check in. That’s a great idea. I check in on my tasks periodically, but I like the idea of having a set time every day that I dedicate to my priorities and productivity. It also allows enough time for end of day communication with my team.


#11

It’d be great to be able to turn off new/assigned/completed stuff in the inbox.

I find it useful to keep track of conversations, but I don’t need it clogged up with notices that I’ve completed a task, or been added to a task. Let us focus it down to the things we want to see.


#12

@Alexis Hi I just stumbled upon this thread and was wondering if any action was taken on the suggestion of having a toggle control of which activities trigger the inbox notification. I oversee a large volume of projects per week and would ideally like my inbox to show when I get tagged/mentioned in my inbox rather than see all activity.


#13

Hi @Kristen_Park,

At this time we’re not able to provide a product roadmap or the details on specific feature requests from the Community. I think you’ll be interested in checking out this post about how we capture feature requests in the Community and what happens next:

Thanks!


#14

I totally sign this. I get up to a hundred or more notifications (and we’re just a team of three) per day for every minor detail or subtask that has changed because you automatically follow everything you create (which is the normal thing as a project manager). Only 2-3 of them are direct mentions/questions in comments. The inbox is, as mentioned in other threads, absolutely unmanageable if no filters can be applied to it or we have a seperate area for comments. Asana does a lot of things great, but that’s not one of them :slight_smile:


#15

As @Kaitie said, you should start by unfollowing projects and tasks that you do not want to follow every detail on. You will still get notified on mention. This helped me out a lot. I still don’t understand why I get a notification when I have a task due that day. I look at “My Tasks:” for that. Still hoping for more control, but the above helped to the point that I actually use inbox now.


#16

Yeah, but you automatically follow everything create and when assignig the task to someone else, you and the person that has the task assigned follows it. There’s seemingly no way to prevent this beheviour, execept for manually unfollowing every task (whis is doable, but asana makes my job harder than it has to be at that point). Are you manually unfollowing everything you get assigned to or create yourself?


#17

Yes, I manually stop following those task. I can see the dilemma here for Asana and would side with them on this one - it’s probably better to default to follow tasks that you have created and assigned than to miss activity on a task that you want to know about. Would be nice to have the choice, but that’s probably getting a bit deep into a development area with little return.


#18

Hi @AvalonJoe

I agree about the redundancy of having notifications for tasks that are due today. The first place I go every morning is My Tasks, so I already know what’s due.

There’s another thread on this feature if you want to vote for it: