Create, assign, and respond to tasks

What are tasks?

Tasks typically 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. 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.

For example, you might have a task to animate a video for an upcoming campaign, and another teammate is responsible for reviewing it. These tasks can be tracked in a campaign management project that is stored in a Marketing and Communications team in Asana.

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, specific task names. For example, you might want to say “Complete first draft of blog post” versus “Write blog.”
  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Some tasks might depend on other work being finished first. Set task dependencies so work happens in the right order, at the right time.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons


Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes


Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes


Inbox Lessons

Communicate even faster

3 Minutes

You can use tasks to track, collaborate on, and organize all your work.

Tasks can be to-dos, ideas, notes, or reminders.

Assign a task to yourself or a teammate.

Press Tab+M to quickly assign a task to yourself.

Add a due date so your deadline is clear.

Add instructions and expectations in the task description field.

Type @ to link to other tasks, people, conversations, or projects.

When you @mention someone, they’ll be added to your task as a follower.

Followers get notified when new comments or attachments are added.

Add anyone who needs to stay up to date on your task as a follower.

They can always unfollow to stop getting notifications on your task.

Add comments to ask questions or give followers updates.

Heart a comment to let followers know you’ve seen it.

Add relevant files or irrelevant GIFs as attachments.

You can also attach directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

Create subtasks to break your task into smaller steps.

When you’ve added a subtask, press enter to add another.

Subtasks can contain all the same details as regular tasks.

Click the comment bubble to add comments or attachments to a subtask.

You can create tasks from any screen using your top bar.

Every Task has a unique URL to easily copy and share.

Congrats! Looks like you’re up to the task.

On to the next lesson!

Always know what to do next with My Tasks.

My Tasks is a list of every task assigned to you.

It makes managing your work simple.

Click on your My Tasks list and start typing to add tasks.

Like a text document, add a new line for each new task or paste in any list.

Forward to to turn your emails into tasks.

Asana will translate your email into a task, including your attachments.

New tasks will appear at the top of your list in Recently Assigned.

Tasks you add to My Tasks are private to you.

Click Make Public to share them with your team.

Prioritize tasks as Today, Upcoming, or Later.

Click on the blue dot next to the task, to quickly sort it.

Mark the tasks you’ll have time for Today.

Teammates can view your My Tasks list to see what you’re up to.

They’ll only see tasks you’ve made public or shared in a project (more on projects later).

Mark tasks due within a week as Upcoming so you can see what will be due soon.

On its due date, your task will move from Upcoming to Today.

Just like magic.

Mark tasks due in more than a week for Later.

They’ll be out of your way until their due date approaches.

Your tasks will move from Later to Upcoming a week before they’re due.

Keep My Tasks prioritized to always know what to work on and what’s coming next.

Now you know how to track and plan your work!

Next, learn how to work with your team in Asana.

Work together on groups of tasks with projects.

Projects help you track and organize the steps in a process or initiative.

Like an event plan, product launch, or editorial calendar.

Like My Tasks, simply click and type to add tasks to your project.

If you have your steps in a document or email already, paste in that list.

Add tasks to your project from email.

View your project’s unique email address from the project dropdown menu.

Add your tasks to other related projects.

Tasks can be included in multiple projects.

Add sections to organize tasks in a list project.

Type Tab+N in any task row to create a new section.

Or, add columns to organize tasks in a boards project.

Drag and drop tasks between or within columns to reorder.

Assign your tasks and set due dates.

Never miss a deadline with your project calendar.

Drag and drop tasks on your calendar to change their due dates.

Add everyone who needs to stay updated on your project as members.

Project members will get notified of new conversations, statuses, and tasks.

Post conversations to make announcements or start discussions.

Your post will be sent to all project members.

Use Progress to see how your project is moving forward.

Set a project status to update your team on how it’s going.

The Project Owner will be reminded to set a status once a week.

Open and organize projects from your sidebar.

Favorite projects to pin them to the top of your sidebar.

Click the star button on the left of your project name to favorite it.

Create new projects from any screen using your top bar.

Now you can move projects forward with your team.

Just one more lesson before you dive in.

Communicate and coordinate faster with Inbox.

Check Inbox to quickly read and respond to your latest updates.

Inbox will notify you when you have a task due…

and when teammates update tasks, conversations, and projects you follow.

Open and respond to updates without leaving Inbox.

Click an update and you’ll have all the context you need to respond.

Archive updates you’re ready to dismiss.

Click the X that appears on the right of an update to archive it.

Open Archive to move dismissed updates back to your Inbox.

Click the arrow that appears on the right of an archived update to move it back to Inbox.

Unfollow tasks or projects to stop receiving updates about them.

In the end, you have control over the updates you receive (or choose not to receive)

When you’re ready, you can turn Asana’s Email notifications off.

Most communication with your team can be more easily managed from Inbox. Just remember to check it often.

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to have a great work day with Asana.