Does Asana simply not possess any of the basic functionality one would expect in a task management app?


Am I missing something?

I’m using a Chromebook and Android. Everything is up to date. I am utterly mystified why people are using this application. I’m really not wanting to flame anything here. The interface is so beautiful that I really want to understand how to incorporate Asana into my life. Here are a few things that totally baffle me:

  1. Android notifications are not in real time. You can set a time deadline for a task but there is no notification of that task anywhere. It just sails by with no awareness of it at all. Users must manually remember to go check all of their various workspaces regularly and scour all of their various projects to make sure they’re on top of deadlines?

  2. The Inbox doesn’t show any past due items at all and only a couple of current tasks due (apparently randomly selected by Asana) so it’s possible to have zero insight about current tasks and deadlines and progress and past due project tasks.

  3. There are no flags on the sidebar of past due or pending tasks so users must manually go check all of their projects on a regular basis to see if they have any upcoming tasks or if they’ve missed those deadines and now have past due tasks. They won’t receive any notifications of anything and tasks due and past due may or may not show up in their Inbox.

  4. It’s not possible to place workspaces on the sidebar so there is no real time insight about any other workspace than the one you’re in and you have to manually remember to go to the top menu bar to check on your other workspaces.

  5. There is no way to go to a single dashboard and see all of your due and past due and upcoming tasks from all of your organizations and workspaces and projects. Again you have to manually remember to go to each workspace and organization to check on what’s due and past due and coming up since there are no notifications and no reliability or completeness within the Inbox.

Am I just unreasonably attached to things like automation and real-time notifications and having an overview of everything I’m responsible for? I seem to be totally missing something super fundamental about Asana and why and how people are using it.

Is this program primarily designed so that people can chat easily with each other about projects? Are they keeping reminders and due dates in some other application? Does Asana exist primarily as a brainstorming app just so you can create scads of project task lists that then need to be imported into another task management system that can provide things like reminders and overviews of due tasks?

Am I supposed to integrate this with my Google Calendar and set up additional calendars for every Asana project in order to keep track of deadlines and get reminders for tasks?

Am I simply trying to use Asana in the wrong way and expecting it to do things it isn’t designed to do like send me task reminders and keep track of past due items and show me an overview of all the tasks that are assigned to me and to the members of my team?

Any insights about how I may be looking at this all wrong and how others are using this and integrating it in order to achieve that basic functionality would be really helpful. Thanks so much!


I am new to this too but if you are willing to invest 30mins or so picking out some items from the category of this community called “Use Cases” then I think you will find how this works. Apart from the android notification (I am on iOS), I saw answers to pretty much everything you asked. Perhaps one video worth watching is this one:

and this one on objectives cascade may also help you see the possibilities

Please also see my post on Outplanr

Good luck!


Hi Jill. If I do not miss anything: you get real time reminders only through the phone apps (I have deactivated the notifications however :smile:)
I use Asana so that at any given time I only work within one Workspace. When doing so, I truly do not worry about any of the other workspaces. For example, I have everything work related in one single Workspace and there separated by Projects and Teams. Within one workspace I am not afraid to lose or oversee a due task.
For those who want or need it, however, it could be pretty handy to have an “ALL my tasks across ALL my Workspaces”… Maybe you could use the daily digest mails from Asana. (or someone else has a better idea here)


It sounds to me as though, yes you are used to automation and want most of these things to run as such. I believe most things are available in Asana but require setting up and or tweaking.

For instance, past due items are noted by the due date being displayed in red in “My Tasks”. You can also set up an advanced search for tasks that are incomplete and due in the last x-number of days. You can then save that and look at any time you want.

Have you looked into “My Tasks” being your main hub rather than your inbox? That should be an overview off ALL your tasks and due dates.

It seems like reminders is your main concern as it pops up several times in your post. I personally don’t want more than one email summary a day as I have a ton of tasks and I’d just get constantly hit with notifications so maybe someone else can answer that for you.


Outplanr seems to be able to create a unified workspace view. I have been using Todoist and Toodledo for my own productivty and typically had 400 tasks captured on those platforms. I am just experimenting with Asana at this stage so it may be worth someone who has spent more time on Asana trying out Outplanr


I agree with your suggestion that the focus should be on “My Tasks” not Inbox.


Thank you Neil for taking the time to respond and to provide such great examples. They were indeed helpful for shifting from a small team needs focus to seeing Asana in the context of the expanded needs larger companies face in simply defining project tasks and tracking timelines across multiple departments and supervisors and objectives. I suspected I was trying to approach Asana in a way that it was simply never designed for.

The custom fields video with Rashad Issa of Workplace Options was particularly helpful in shifting from a task tracking and reminder based mindset to seeing the potential of shuttling everything into a strategic, trackable framework and moving those larger goals from inside my head to inside the project management app where they can be quantified. Thanks again!


Thank you Hendrik. I really appreciate you taking time out to respond. I’ve been using multiple services to juggle a lot of ideas, tasks, projects, research and deadlines and trying to find a single system that would bring all of that down to a simple interface to eliminate overwhelm. I can totally see the benefit of focusing within a single workspace and letting go of the overwhelming everything else that needs to be done while you’re working within that space. It’s funny to see that I’ve been trying to find a system to eliminate that overwhelm but also expecting that system to do all of those things that actually produce the overwhelm. :slight_smile: I knew I was missing something. Thanks again!


Thanks so much Crystal. You’re right. I’ve definitely gotten hooked on reminders. And my experience with them in practice is pretty much the same as yours. When the reminder pops up, I’m always in the middle of something else and so the reminder gets ignored. And because I pretty much ignore all of my reminders, I think it just creates a feeling of not keeping up with things. Apparently though it’s just my reminders that I’m not keeping up with. Funny the things we hold onto! Thank you for your time in responding. Your perspective definitely helps me pull back and recognize that the reminders are exactly part of the problem I’m trying to solve. :slight_smile:


Hi Jill, could you point me to the custom fields video you mentioned? Thanks!


This is the video Neil pointed me to …


Well, I think that didn’t work. :slight_smile: Let’s see if I can get the link in there for you.

How Workplace Options Uses Custom Fields in Asana


I’m on Android Marshmallow and real-time notifications have stopped. Not having them has kept me from fully embracing Asana and feeling like I have a true, trusted system. It seems silly to have due dates with times and yet, no notifications. And yes, as a creative, I live by reminders. Rabbit trails and interruptions are impossible to avoid with my client work.

Are any of you getting real-time push notifications on older Android devices? I can’t seem to get a clear answer from the Asana website nor from this group.


I was on Android Lollipop and just updated to Marshmallow. I never received real-time notifications on Lollipop and I’m realizing now I may not have tried with Marshmallow yet. I’m receiving a daily notification in the morning but no other push notifications. The daily Inbox summary I receive only contains about 3-4 things that are due for the day. I’ve decided that Asana is maybe trying to live up to its name and be very Zen and not overwhelm users with stressful things like all the pending tasks and deadlines facing them for the day. :slight_smile:

I haven’t quite sorted out how I’m using it yet but I’ve added some of my Asana projects as additional calendars in Google Calendar so I can get real-time notifications. I’m totally perplexed that you can’t get notifications in Asana. It just seems like the most basic functionality ever. But alas. I saw an official reply on another forum thread that the Android app can’t provide real-time notifications but I’m not sure how old that was. I really can’t fathom it.

I’m very attached to my reminders too. I like having that situational awareness. Everything I have is automated and I get my Android phone notifications and calls on my Chromebook so that my two devices work interchangeably. I’m super used to all the automation and notifications. I use Trello like a fiend but, as great as it is for capturing zillions of things, I haven’t really mastered using it for tasks. I think it’s the absence of check boxes. I tried Wunderlist but it doesn’t seem as robust as Asana and I’m not really into the military insignia icon on Todoist and the interface isn’t as pretty as Asana.

My goal was to use Asana as a task and project system for work and personal. I’m also hoping to use Asana to create dedicated workspaces for guest users. I’m currently trying to embrace the suggestions I received from others that maybe I’m just a little too attached to notifications. :slight_smile: I haven’t figured out yet how to get the Inbox to show me more than a few items for the day but I’ve been sticking to the My Tasks where I can see everything separately for each workspace and getting things checked off.

I’m still testing it out on the free version but starting to play around with the Dashboard. It seems so obvious that you would want to have a dashboard where you could see all of your tasks and deadlines from all of your projects every day. But apparently not. I’m sort of adapting to the intensified focus that being in one workspace provides and getting used to just switching around between them to check on stuff.

If you really want the notifications you might try syncing calendars. If you use Google Calendar it’s super simple. Sync Asana with Google, Outlook and Apple Calendars

Good luck!


Thank you for your reply. It’s nice to find another someone who seems to work like I do. I’ve also tried Todoist, Remember the Milk, GTasks, Wunderlist, Springpad, Nozbe… if it’s out there and PC-based I’ve tried it. I’ve tried GCal and even though the integration was seamless, the creation of a separate calendar for each project didn’t work for me. I didn’t like having to add and remove calendars based on whether the project was active. If you’re trying to use GTD (everything is a project), it got messy and still spent the time going through the projects to keep the calendar/project setup current.

I’m a solo freelancer with clients and grad school, so the inbox doesn’t add much value to my particular workflow so the digest isn’t really helpful. (Great feature though!) Asana is the most attractive and robust platform out there. I would even pay for the notifications as it seems several of the other task managers put the good stuff in their premium levels. I just get frustrated that once again it seems like the iOS works and works well and the PC/Android platform does not. If the option is there, it should work and work well. I hope it will someday. I want to trust my system and without trusting the notifications, I can’t really do that.


I’m running Android Nougat 7.1.2. on my Pixel XL. I have gotten pop-up notifications from Asana but to be honest, I tend to swipe them away without even looking at them. I’ll try to test this out for you guys.


Crystal – The notifications apparently work for Nougat, but not any other versions of Android. The Asana website isn’t clear about which version. I only found a “by-the way” in the blog announcement. Nougat was only rolled out last August but my phone will not be receiving the upgrade. Seems like Android M should be recent enough for notifications to work.


Thank you Crystal. I’m checking to see if I can update but I’m also waiting out the September release date on the Samsung Note 8. Maybe my notifications are not too far off! :slight_smile:


Sounds like you may not have everything set up correctly. I get real time notifications on my phone all day long every time a task is updated, completed, created, etc. Is this what you are referring to? Also, I can see on my task list immediately when things are overdue.


The notifications seem to work on iOS phones and Android phones running N/Nougat, but no others. Real time notifications do not work on Android Marshmellow phones - which both Jill and I are using.

See: under the “Updated Push Notifications” section.