Tasks about receiving feedbacks/material should have a different visualization


#1

As project manager I need to track due dates and deadlines for receiving stuff from esternal collaborators, in order to remember what and when I must receive the stuff needed and send follow emails.
I now create tasks and assign them to me. But this is very frustrating because they appear in “my tasks list” together with all the tasks I have to do and it is confusing.

It would be great if there was a different category for these kind of tasks!


#2

Is the frustration due to having tasks that are truly someone else’s responsibility? Is your involvement generally just staying on top of things and following up (it sounds a little bit like there might be a step for you to receive items)?

I’ve had tasks like this where I’m waiting on something, generally a task someone else needs to complete (generally outside Asana so I won’t get notification). Here is the process that’s still kind of developing for me for these “follow-up” tasks (although I wouldn’t mind some better suggestions).

  • I create a task and say “follow-up” in it’s name (although now I’m considering a follow-up tag or potentially tracking them in a separate project)
  • I set the due date for when I need to follow up and mark the task as Upcoming
  • When I get my inbox notification that the task is due, I mark the task for Today (it may get put there automatically, I haven’t paid enough attention)
  • When I get to the task during the day, I address it in one of two ways:
    • If the item I had to follow-up on is complete, I close the task or turn it into what I need to do (For instance you could maybe change it into the “Receive stuff” task now that you have something to do - or close this one and make a new one, whatever suits you)
    • If the follow-up isn’t complete, I send my follow-up email, redo the due date for the next follow-up, and mark the task for Upcoming again

Maybe that helps.


#3

Yeah this is helpful! But still, wouldn’t it be much smoother to have a
sort of side-list with the tasks which just need a follow up? This would
separate them from actual stuff that I need to do…
Eg. all tasks with “follow-up” category/tag do not show up in "my tasks"
section among all my tasks but they are separated - on the right or on the
bottom of the page.


#4

I struggle with that sometimes. I have a lot of tasks that I feel fall into these categories. There are some days where I feel like I’m just “playing Asana” half the day instead of working. Generally, when I step back though, I realize this is because that’s literally what’s happening: I have too much going on. So generally I forgive Asana, accept I’m powerless to do anything but remind other people of their obligations to me or my team, and then try to feel good that at least I’m not letting anything fall through the cracks.

I know everyone works differently and I don’t actually know what you’re working with so I tried to think of a way to do what you’re saying within Asana as it is now, and now that I’m done I like it and think I might start using it. Hopefully it’s what you had in mind and it works for you too.

Summary:
If you created a “Follow-Up Tasks” project, placed all these follow-up type tasks into that project, and then marked them all for Later in your My Tasks, then they’d always be sorted down to the bottom of your My Tasks and organized into the “Follow-Up Tasks” project. There’s a little bit of work to set this up and some things I discovered trying that might prove helpful.

How to Accomplish This:
It’s basically just a few steps, but I’ll describe the subtleties as well.

  • Create the “Follow-Up Tasks” project
    • It needs to be a List project, not boards (this is so you can muti-select in it)
    • Make it private to you (this keeps it from cluttering up your team member’s project list)
  • Add the “Follow-Up Tasks” project to all your follow-up tasks
    • Don’t remove any existing projects on the tasks as this is just adding a layer of organization for your personal use and removing other projects may remove visibility for your team
  • Go to the “Follow-Up Tasks” project and multi-select all the tasks (Click the top task, hold down SHIFT and select the bottom task)
  • Mark all the selected tasks for Later (Hold down Tab+L – this is the keyboard shortcut for marking tasks as Later in your My Tasks and these shortcuts can be used anywhere)

Here’s How It Looks
This is what it looks like once you’ve added all the tasks to the follow-up project and you’ve selected them all:

After you’ve marked all the tasks for Later with TAB+L, the screenshot below shows they all end up in your My Tasks. Of note, I left one project expanded so you can see how tasks still show up in their relevant projects in Later, but also show up in the Follow-Up Project:

This felt pretty powerful to me in that I don’t completely lose visibility of follow-up tasks. I just have to remember to add this project to the relevant tasks. I can see and manage them all in this special project, but they’re also still in My Tasks if I want to drag any around.

Maybe give that a try. I’m still interested in what other people might do. I’m going to experiment with this for awhile and see what I think.


#5

Thank you very much Ryan, this is a powerful solution indeed. And I totally
feel you when you say that you are “doing” to much to remember people to
send feedbacks with follow-ups…it si true!

I will try what you suggest since it does make a half-way solution to my
problem!

What would be powerful would be to be able to give due dates to the
follow-up tasks instead of grouping them all in “later” since what I need
asana to remember me is the date I must follow up! Don’t you think? But
still, thatnk you for your suggestion, I’m a newbee with asana is always
very helpful to hear how other people use it - it’s so powerful!!!


#6

Hi Catererina,
You can set a due date for a task next to where you assign it to a user.


#7

yes of course. but that would put my follow up tasks into my tasks list all
mixed together, which is the initial problem that i wuld like to solve


#8

Hi Caterina, I wanted to wait for today to reply because I was doing a test of the My Tasks behavior with respect to setting Due Dates.

My feeling was you shouldn’t have to worry about setting Due Dates, in fact you need them for this to work. You just have to make sure that as you set them you’re keeping the tasks marked for Later in My Tasks.

I’ll try to explain how I’ve been using the “Follow-Up Tasks” project for myself since last week.

When I have a task that I’ve created to follow up on something, I do the following:

  • I set a due date for the day I plan to follow up on the task
  • I add the task to my “Follow-Up Tasks” project
  • I mark the tasks for later (with TAB+L)

Then, when one of the tasks’ due date arrives, it’ll be automatically marked for Today in your My Tasks and put at the bottom of the list.

I tested this with several follow-up tasks I’d made due for today. This morning when I checked My Tasks in Asana they were all moved into my “Today” list:
image

If I complete them, I’m done and close them. But if I have to send follow-ups to people and need to set a new due date to check up on them again in the future, I can handle them all at once by multi-selecting them all, setting the new due date, and then hitting TAB+L to mark them for Later once again. Then when the next due date arrives they’ll come back into Today again.

So far I’m really liking how this works and appreciate you making me think about it because follow-ups have been a pain for me too. They cluttered things up and I felt like I just had to deal with it.

The main downside is this is a kind of a lot to take in and it requires some set-up and processes to make it work. Now that I’ve done it I’m trying to think what things could be done within Asana to make it more automatic, but right now I have other things I need to get to so I’ll have to leave it for future ruminating. Let me know if you have questions.