by Kris Rasmussen
August 6th, 2012
Asana is building a new way for groups to communicate and coordinate. We have designed our app to combine the flexibility of a piece of paper with the structure and intelligence of a digital brain. In support of this goal, Asana already offers multiple ways to connect items in a Workspace: Tasks can simultaneously live in multiple Projects, have multiple people as followers, and be connected across Projects by Tags.
But there are often more subtle relationships between Tasks, Projects, and People. We wanted a way to capture these nuanced relationships and make the process of establishing them happen at the speed of thought.
Hypertext is a new Asana feature that makes it lightning fast to create links between any two things in a Workspace. Just type “@” into any note or comment, and instantly search for Tasks, Projects, People, or Tags. Select the item you want, and Asana inserts a link to that item into the note or comment. While you’re commenting on a task, @-mention a teammate, and they’ll be automatically added as a follower and receive your comment.
Hypertext makes adding context easy, fluid, and flexible, enabling you to link to Tasks, Projects, People, and Tags nearly as fast as you can type. With Hypertext, you don’t have to forward long email threads to give your teammates the context they need. You don’t have to copy and paste URLs from one Task to another. You just type “@” and link. Hypertext gives you a new way to connect information inside Asana and lets you navigate these connections with a single click.
When will I use Hypertext?
Hypertext increases both the flexibility and the structure of Asana. There are dozens of ways you might use it. Here are just a few:
Linking to Tasks
Linking from one Task another is a great way to highlight related Tasks, point out dependencies, close out duplicates and link follow-up Tasks back to richer sources of information. You could, for example, capture a customer interview in the notes of one Task and link future tasks back to the that interview. You could link a feature you’re working on back to the customer request that inspired it. You could link a task to publish a blog post announcing a feature to the task to launch the feature, as seen here:
Linking to Projects
Linking from a Task to a Project is a great way to connect a high-level task to the Project that contains the execution details. This is great for sprint planning. You can also link Tasks to Projects to highlight dependencies between them.
Linking to People
Linking to a Person from a comment is the fastest way to bring him or her into the loop. You can also use links to People to direct comments:
The introduction of Hypertext is just the beginning. In the future, you’ll be able to view all of the Tasks that link to the current Task, enabling you to see dependencies, duplicates, and related Tasks at a glance. Hypertext will enable your team to represent and navigate the relationships between Tasks, Projects, People, and ideas in ways that haven’t been possible before. Ultimately, you’ll achieve your goals more quickly, and be even more empowered to do great things.