Create, assign, and respond to tasks

What are tasks?

Tasks represent actionable steps or to-do’s to make it clear who’s responsible for what by when—but they can also represent ideas and reference items. If you're used to sending emails every time you need something from a teammate, try a task instead.

For example, you might have a task to animate a video for an upcoming campaign, and another teammate is responsible for staging it. These tasks can be tracked in a campaign management project.

Tasks store all the files, conversations, and instructions related to it so information stays in the right place (and one place). Tasks are usually part of a project so they’re easy to find and visible to your teammates.

Watch a tutorial

How to Asana is a short tutorial series that you can follow along with to practice and learn Asana quickly. Or you can click through our short Asana Lesson.

How to create tasks

GIF of task creation in Asana

There are three main ways to create tasks:

  1. From the orange + button in the top bar.
  2. From Add Task button in a project.
  3. Click into any task list, press enter, and start typing.

You can also create tasks from emails or Slack messages. Asana integrates with top tools to save you time and make it easier to manage your tasks.

Task tips and best practices

These tips teach you how to create a great task and how to respond to tasks assigned to you.

Creating a great task

SCREENSHOT of a task in Asana with assignee, due date, description, attachment to manage work

  1. Write clear, actionable task names. For example, you might want to say “Complete first draft of blog post” versus “Blog post.”
  2. Assign the task to yourself or a teammate. Tasks have only one assignee so there’s no confusion about who’s responsible for the work.
  • You can break up a task into subtasks if multiple people need to contribute to its completion.
  1. Add a start date and due date to show a task’s duration and final deadline. Teammates can budget time on the task more effectively and know when it’s expected.
  2. Use the task description to give more details, instructions, or context to the task, so the assignee has all the information they need to start and finish the work.
  3. Attach any needed files. Asana integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box to make it easy to attach files from the tools you already use.
  4. Some tasks might depend on other work being finished first. Set task dependencies so work happens in the right order, at the right time.
  5. Finally, you can add collaborators to the task (it’s like CCing them on an email.) They will receive notifications about any activity on the task. You can add or remove collaborators at any time.
  6. When you've completed a task, click the checkmark next to the task name. Post a comment so teammates know what you achieved.

You can also create task milestones to represent major project goals (like hitting a revenue target) or major pieces of work that unblock the next phase (like confirming an event site).

To project, task, or subtask?

Lots of customers have this question, and the answer is usually that it simply depends on what you're trying to achieve, and how you want to see information. Check out our framework below, along with a few pointers to help you choose the right way to go:

IMAGE of Asana hierarchy from organization to team to project to task to subtask with examples of each

Create a project... Create a task... Create a subtask... Examples
Effort level It's a large effort with a group of stakeholders working towards a goal over time, or you want a central place to track work. You're trying to capture a singular to-do for one person that can be achieved within a few minutes or work days. Multiple people are contributing to a task’s completion to help you divide and conquer. Project: Editorial calendar
Task: Publish blog
Subtask: Gather customer quotes for blog
Views You want to see the project and its tasks across different views (List, Board, Timeline, Calendar) and report on them with Portfolios and Dashboard. You want the work to be visible in Timeline, Dashboard, or Workload views (subtasks won't show up here.) You don't need to see the subtasks in Timeline, Dashboard, or Workload views. (If you do, convert the parent task into a project.) Project: Product launch
Task: Perform market research
Subtask: Write research summary for marketing
Complexity What you're doing has a lot of steps, stages, stakeholders, or layers. You want to communicate with a subset of stakeholders about a specific piece of work (versus the whole project). You're trying to break down a task into more bite-sized pieces. (But if you have more than five subtasks assigned to different stakeholders, make sure it's not a project in disguise.) Project: New Year's campaign
Task: Finalize campaign messaging
Subtask: Review campaign messaging

Responding to and collaborating on tasks

Tasks are meant to be created and assigned by anyone, for anyone in your Asana domain. Make collaboration extra tight with these tips:

  • If someone assigns you a task, you can acknowledge it with a like to show that you've seen it and can work on it.
  • If you’re not the right person to work on the task, you can reassign it or start a conversation in the task comments.
  • As you work on the task, provide updates with task comments so task collaborators can respond and follow along with progress.
  • If a comment contains key details or is a final takeaway, you can pin to top to make it easy to find.
  • If you need to draw someone’s attention to a task or comment, use @mentioning. They’ll be notified and can quickly navigate to that specific task. @mentioning someone on a task automatically adds them as a collaborator.
  • You can also @mention project, task, and conversation names to connect your work and make it easy to reference.

Type @ in a comment or description field and then the name of a teammate to @mention them

More resources to master tasks

More of a visual learner or want in-depth training ? Check out these resources:

Resources Link
Asana Lessons Learn task basics in 5 minutes
Task video tutorial Watch How to Asana
On-demand task management course Register for Asana Academy
Connect with Community Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum about tasks 

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