People and Project Sorting

A step towards project and people reporting

David Braginsky and S. Alex Smith

One of the biggest challenges in project management is going from leading a single project to leading multiple projects. When you’re leading just one project, you can remember the entire context and easily see what needs to get done next. When you start to work across projects, you need to track separate goals and make sure that each team has what they need to make progress.

At Asana, we’re passionate about making teams more productive and giving teams the tools they need to make their coordination effortless. When we launched Asana Search Views last month, we took a big step towards that vision, and today we’re excited to announce the next big step: Project and Assignee Sorting in Asana Search Views.

Create custom reports across projects and people

  • Track progress of multiple projects. Search for projects and create custom project groupings to see complete and incomplete tasks grouped by Priority Heading.
  • Ensure your team isn’t overloaded, by quickly reassigning tasks. Group tasks by people and simply drag tasks to reassign.
  • Sort tasks in more ways using Search. See your Organization’s tasks grouped by people or Projects. Just leave the search field blank and press Search.
  • Find tasks faster. Search for tasks within projects or by assignee.

How it works

From any Search View, click on the Sort menu and choose Project or Assignee. Asana will remember the sort, so when you come back to a saved search it will be sorted the way you left it.

Sort by ProjectWhen you’re sorted by Project, you can Drag & Drop to reorder, or move a task between projects. You can also press ‘enter’ to create a new task.

When you’re sorted by Assignee, you can Drag & Drop to reassign tasks to another person.

To make the views more useful, the “In projects” field will now return tasks in any of the listed projects. If you want to combine the projects with AND, choose “In multiple projects” from “Search by another field”

Sort by Project and Assignee in search views is a relatively small feature, but we think it unlocks a lot of power for PMs, executives, and managers. It will be rolling out steadily over the next few days.

We’d love to know what kinds of reporting you’d like to see in Asana. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  1. avatarAnthony

    Would love user activity reporting (i.e. How many tasks are completed by user, by time period). Also would be cool to see by organization as well.

    1. avatarJackie Bavaro Asana Team Member

      You can do a search for completed tasks, completed in the last 7 days, and then sort by assignee.

    2. avatarDavid Braginsky Asana Team Member

      Great idea. Search for “Tasks completed in the last 7 days” and then Sort by Assignee.

    3. avatarDannielle

      I’m having trouble switching over to organizations. I emailed twice over two weeks ago and…no response =(

    4. avatarMichael

      I agree. I would love a way to see when a user started and completed a task so I can identify bottlenecks in our workflow. This would allow me to allocate more users to a task or re-assign tasks that I know some users have difficulty completing. I currently have my users move tasks through a workflow of priority headings, and then view the activity logs to determine time associated with a task as it moved from heading to heading, but it would be awesome to see some global reports based on user activity and even priority heading activity. I would actually pay a monthly fee for this type of reporting. That being said, we also use ZenDesk for oursupport interactions and their service has some really great report tools for task completion and agent touches, etc, but what they don’t have is the many features that I love about Asana… oh the joy of using multiple systems… Keep up the great work Asana <3

  2. avataruser

    If you sort a user tasks by project, the subtasks inside those tasks appear under “No Project”.

    This is obviously a bug. They should appear in a hierarchy inside its task, which by its turn is inside its project.

    If the hierarchy is this:
    Project A
    – task 1
    – subtask 12

    and I click sort by project, I get:
    Project A:
    – task 1

    No Project:
    – subtask 12 < task 1

    which is confusing.

    1. avatarguisim

      Subtasks and projects are kind of confusing in general.

      A subtask is not assigned to the parent task’s project by default.
      You can manually assign it to this project or to another project.

      I agree that this is confusing and feels like a bug but this new feature only highlights this problem further, it is not new.

    2. avatarSteve Coleman

      Yes, I noticed this sub task issue the other day. Not only do sub tasks not inherit the project of the parent task, but you cannot easily assign multiple sub tasks to the project in one shot.

      I do like the fact that if subtasks are not assigned to the parent task they do not appear in the task list in the middle pane only when looking at the task detail. This keeps the list clean.

      I do believe that logic would dictate though that any sub tasks inherit the properties of the parent……like people.

      1. avatarDenis Simakov

        Not necessarily. E.g., your task is a group of features, and sub-tasks are individual features. You try to decide which features will go into next release. To do so, you assign features (sub-tasks) into the “next release” project. This does not mean the whole group of features (parent task) should be in that project.

    3. avatarJackie Bavaro Asana Team Member

      Thanks for this feedback – we definitely agree and are thinking about some ways to bring subtasks under the correct projects. The obvious way is surprisingly costly unfortunately.

      1. avatarjon

        I had asked earlier if an icon could be shown on a main task that has sub-tasks, so that those are easier to spot from the center pane. Similar to how the project icons are placed on tasks when you are looking at a users tasks sorted by priority. I would think that would be fairly simple to do and would at least be a quick way to key in on the fact that there is additional work/detail tied to a “top level” or “main” task.

  3. avatarNate Nordstrom

    Great new feature! Keep up the good work. The one feature that would make me leap for joy would be some level of task dependencies and gantt chart or timeline tracking. My team needs a clear way to view timeline per project, and aggregate timeline across all projects – this would help tremendously so we can know what our capacity is for more work for any upcoming week. Any plans for these features?

    1. avatarRob Kunkle

      +1

      Timeline, time estimates, time tracking would help so much.

      Would be cool if there was an easy-to-use feature for estimating how long something would take, like one of those “star sliders” that are used for ratings, except instead of stars, it would be hours that you think it will take to do something.

      That sort of thing.

      Also it would be cool if multiple people could put their estimate in for something, and it would do an average for the task.

      So something like this:

      Bill ******
      Fred *
      Sue ***

      Average: *** (3 hours)

      It would be great if you got an email at the end of the day that said all the things that you thought you would work on that day, and you could quickly (star slider) enter how many hours you spent on each task.

        1. avatarDavid Dye

          I agree Andrew. We are now working in Asana on an enterprise wide basis, but have to go back to excel to enter the time spent on a billable task.

    2. avatarWichard Hulsbergen

      Putting projects (or tasks when zooming in on a project) in a gantt-like timeline would be great for planning and checking the planning is secure.

      Time tracking is nice-to-have.

    3. avatarTyler Cote

      My suggestion for time tracking needs: Use Focus Mode! When entering Focus Mode, Asana starts a hidden timer. When Focus Mode is disabled, a comment is written indicating “USER focused on this task for # hours and # minutes.” Let other people create APIs if they want to aggregate that data, which should be fairly simple.

      For me, elaborate time estimates and tracking get too much attention from PMs and projects should be completed with pure efficiency (no wasted time on complex estimates/tracking). The biggest problem with tracking in a task list is that people work on multiple tasks simultaneously. This Focus Mode solution should resolve it.

    4. avatarAC

      +1

      for Gantt Chart or Timeline, time estimates, time tracking.

      For a visual timeline overview of projects and tasks dependencies.

      It’s important that everyone can hav a timeline view

      Have been requesting this feature for some time.

  4. avatarsach

    Is there any way to search for people’s tasks across workspaces? I use workspaces to separate out projects instead of projects . . . at some point i want to figure out what someone on my team has on his/her plate across workspaces – can i do that?
    thnx!
    this is a great application btw

    1. avatarKrys Freeman

      Hi Sach,

      You should maybe update your workflow so that you use “teams” rather than discrete workspaces to distribute the work. This is a new feature but basically you could convert those workspaces into teams, and then you would house them under an organization — Check out the blog post about it here >> http://blog.asana.com/2013/05/organizations-in-asana/

  5. avatarrono

    yep, search is a giant leap. just some little thought. i think it’ll be great if you can add periode in search. all your date field search only provide before now or after now, wheter it’s within a week or a month. if we can search within specific date, such as all task completed within april 1st till 30th april, then search will be a huge leap :) btw, i love asana very much :)

  6. avatarSimon Josephson

    Hi David… probably not the right area though 2 questions – is there a way to option the display of messages so the last is first in the thread? And secondly, what software can you suggest whereby I could leave a “verbal note” as an attachment (I am working 100% remote – Sydney/Michigan – and every once in a while verbal is the way to go – thanks)
    BTW – ASANA is fantastic… way above others I have tried and tried with others to develop!

    1. avatarAlex Asana Team Member

      Searches are always sorted by something. The default is to sort by modification time, and if you choose that from the sort menu, you’ll go back to ungrouped results.

  7. avatarBobinson K B

    Cool !

    An idea would be – can we have an performance meter based on the completion of the tasks ? The idea is to create custom triggers for events & then use the API to read inputs from various sources – say punching machine & if someone appears in office on the same time everyday for a week, he can be given say “time keeper badge” … Can create custom triggers with filters like LoC etc etc.

  8. avatarBecky

    Any plans to search/sort on ‘completed by’?

    i really would like this feature as i don’t always assign myself a task before completing it. A colleague could have been assigned the task to sign something off (eg check typos for publication) and they comment that it is ok with them, but not necessarily assign it me (which they maybe should but don’t). I then publish the work and complete the task. I’d like to then see what tasks i have completed in the last 7 days without having to assign to me first. This is a fairly natural feeling extension to the inbox view where comments are digested and actions taking without using ‘my tasks’ so much.

    would be great to see this feature included.

      1. avatarAaron

        +1
        I love the search for blank and get an entire list of tasks sorted by project.
        Now… can we sort by project and priority (is that what you call the ‘today’, ‘upcoming’, later?).
        And then print.

        That would be super to take to a planning meeting.

  9. avatarTroy Bengford

    It would be GREAT to be able to email custom reports on a daily basis. Sending a snapshot of a projects tasks, completed and needs to be completed.

  10. avatarRon Ferraro

    I agree with Anthony above, in that the most critical reports I need as a manager are # of tasks completed by person in a certain time period (say, monthly). It would also be nice to know exactly how many total projects and archived projects we have open, or how many projects were archived within a certain period. It’s an important detail that Asana unfortunately doesn’t help with. It’s kind of our black hole in production right now is not knowing the total depth of our workload. There’s just an insane number of projects and it has become almost impossible to manage them all. In our case, removal of the show/hide archived projects features was a detrimental blow to our productivity.

    1. avatarJackie Bavaro Asana Team Member

      Are you thinking mostly of showing the Count of tasks for each person, rather than the full list? You can scroll down and look at the number of the last task assigned to them for now. I agree a count would be really useful.

  11. avatarRon Ferraro

    Oh, and the sub-tasks not existing as part of the project has been very confusing for many of my team members as well. Sub-tasks are a bit of a trash bin in that they are almost always forgotten about and never done since they do not seem to inherit the characteristics of their parent task. They always end up at the far bottom of the task list and no one can figure them out, so they are the first things to be ignored, even if they may be important to the project in question being completed. It has gotten to the point where we almost cannot use them anymore.

  12. avatarMarcus

    It would be really awesome if I could archive tasks from the search. For sprint review meetings, I need to see some of the completed tasks so I can review progress with the team. But since I can only make the completed tasks all visible or all hidden, it’s hard to use search for this workflow. Here’s how I’m doing it so far:

    - I visit a saved search for “All tasks assigned to [teammate] tagged with ‘sprint goal’”
    - The team reviews the goal items we completed, and the goal items that we missed, making any adjustments that we need to as a result
    - We then go through our projects adding new items to the ‘sprint goal’ tag

    That first step is the one that is pretty tough without archiving. It actually precludes me from using the new feature unless we change the workflow considerably.

    Thanks for the new feature, you guys are always making this thing awesomer than last week!

  13. avatarJared

    This is great and really useful.. but could really use a print and export function for the search results.

  14. avatarMatt Saunders

    YEEESSSSS!!! THANK YOU! I have not tested yet, but just knowing that you’re moving in this direction is so awesome! Thank you for listening to our requests!!!

  15. avatarRobyn

    Terrific! We keep getting requests in our group for project visualization tools such as Gantt charts. Any information on whether these types of visualization features will be slated for the future?

  16. avatarJoe Fletcher

    I was seriously looking for this sort feature just yesterday! Yes, small feature that helps a lot. Thanks!

  17. avatarMatt Saunders

    This is just about perfect!

    ONE NOTE: The “Print” option under the drop down arrow in the upper right, goes away for the search results. This option, as noted when trying to just use “FIle” -> “Print”, Gives a much better print result. This will be greatly valuable in generating PDF documents that can act as weekly reporting…

    Thank you again!!

  18. Pingback: Tech News Summary for May 8th, 2013. » Dave Enjoys

  19. avatarandrew

    BLUE BALLS!

    I thought I was going to orgasm… but…

    I’d still like to see a more intuitive system for reviewing a team member’s weekly top 3 – 5 priorities, as well as which weekly 3 – 5 priorities they accomplished from the week before.

    15five.com is a great execution of this time tested management concept taught by people like Dan Sullivan of the Strategic Coach.

  20. avatarChais Meyer

    Great work team!

    Additional feature request:
    - I would LOVE to have the ability to ‘default’ specific admin followers to every task created, that way our team can be updated on the status of each/every task in a project via email when a comment is made or task is completed.

    Sometimes we forget to add our core team members as followers to every todo and this would be a big time saver.

    Thanks again for making an amazing product!

  21. avatarVarr Willis

    As the Director of Development I like to be able to see how projects are progressing at a high level.

    - Which projects have a high overdue task to total task ratio
    - Which developers have a high consistency for completing tasks quickly or late
    - Which projects have taken too long to complete, etc

    I also concur with the need for task dependencies.

    Of course this feels a little like complaining that my Ferrari does have a large enough cup holder.

  22. avatarTomislav Mihajlovic

    It would be great to get all the Team tasks when clicking on the team name.

    Here we could sort them by project or assignee or some other way

    For now, by clicking on the team name, all the projects only collapse.

    Also, when you click on project, you can also sort by Project, which is kind of confusing

    1. avatarTomislav Mihajlovic

      Also,

      i would like to search tasks in some teams only.

      Now i search completed task in last 7 days and get the results for all my teams.

  23. avatarHeather

    Search for “Tasks completed in the last 7 days” is fantastic but I cannot print the results, which is a huge fail. We bill projects by week and this failure to print means I have to print the entire completed tasks list then manually highlight the ones for the last week to bill. Time consuming and frustrating. Please help and let us print the search results.

  24. avatarAndres O. Suarez

    Great work. Just one quick note (maybe someone has already answered this):
    Once I sort tasks by project, the completion dates appear all mixed up. Is there a way to preserve chronological order of completion once tasks are sorted by project?
    Keep up the good work!

  25. avatarAndrew Tingley

    Just started using this and it is GREAT, especially for printing (helps with old-school meetings)

    One request unless I’m missing something: being able to include BOTH incomplete and recently completed tasks

    Looks to me like the “Completed Within The Last” field overrides the Completed/Incomplete/Any toggle above it.

  26. avatarJon

    Love this addition as it helps us create some nice metrics for overall team productivity.

    would be nice to highlight overdue tasks as well – perhaps with a light red shading similar to how completed tasks are grayed out.

    if that is not possible, just having an additional item in the sort list to only show overdue tasks

    lastly – I would like to be able to setup a search/report that shows new tasks added within a specific time period to be used as another team KPI.

  27. avatarNic

    Dear Asana Team,

    It has been great using Asana as task management initially. As time goes by, the management of tasks has turn into a tedious task. I think each team have real pain using Asana when the team grow really big and there are too many tasks. There are few minor and major updates since we started using it one year ago, but it just doesn’t seems to hit the right thing. Following is some feedbacks,

    1) We’re spending more time to manage each team member task’s list as the clutter table list is really difficult to digest and manage. We sub-divide the project into smaller projects, but the time taking to jump from project to project is rather inconvenient (it takes time to load each project). We hate the the bottom loading, we just can’t wait.

    2) Managing the priority tasks is even not possible. We’ve to number it or tag it. But when times goes by, keeping track or changing the status is a tough thing. And as a start-up, communicating priority task to members is a must. There are number of times we use this and the member is focusing on the wrong thing, and as a result few weeks wasted. Priority should be assigned by management, or who assigned the task, not by the member itself. It is hard to align team’s vision using Asana.

    3) The overview for all members’ task is difficult. Going from one member to another. And overview for each project have to jump from one to the other. I don’t think it help but only on grouping the tasks.

    4) We’ve to setup another site using wiki, as the notes on Asana is really not design for documentation. This documentation is only use by the team, and having another site is not a good option. The focus mode is not solving the problem either.

    I think Asana will need to overcome this visual problem, especially on clutter tasks and users. Think out of box. It takes more than this to be a perfect tool for team. It is good for small tasks, but for complicated tasks that need a lot of communications, Asana is yet to fit in.

    We’ve been looking for those stuffs, but the whole solutions scattered in different sites like Binfire, Wrike, Trello, Basecamp & etc. We will not able to move until we found the ultimate solution. In terms of easiness to use, Asana is good, but without a good visual management, each leader will spend more time trying to keep all things in check.

    1. avatarNic

      And one more thing, it is necessary for each member to understand what other members are doing so that the whole team is in check and understand which direction we are moving.

  28. avatarEve

    This is great. One thing I will be using this for is a “creation date” seach and filter so that I can see what projects have been sitting for a long time incomplete. So, when the Search results come up, can the view also show the answers to the sort criteria? IE, I search for incomplete projects created within the last 30 days: I want the search results to list the normal view info (Assignee, Task, Due Date, tags) but also have a “Creation Date” since that is what I was searching for. Sorting by Creation Date is not enough since I can’t see if the oldest task’s creation date is last week or 3 weeks ago. Then I could print this out, take to a meeting, and the whole team can see what tasks have been on the lists for a longer time and now are priority.
    Thank you for continually making Asana a great resource for our group and projects!

  29. avatarNic

    The “Description” need to utilize Full Page View or HTML Editor, it will be more effective in terms for conveying communication. Text is just so insufficient.

    I hope the next major improvement is to improve the space on Task’s Description. It is real pain reading the description and allowing any members to edit is painful cause it prompt to human error (deletion or accidental insertion)

  30. avatarAC

    +1

    for Gantt Chart or Timeline, time estimates, time tracking.

    For a visual timeline overview of projects and tasks dependencies.

    It’s important that everyone can hav a timeline view

  31. avatarMatt Saunders

    I know you already have a 1,000 comments on this post, and I just posted the same thing on another thread, BUT can I just add here as well please:

    For a next step, can I suggest a couple of things in search/reports? To add better context to the results can you display not just the tasks due date, but also the completion date, and label both in the search results?

    I use the saved search as a weekly reporting tool and the management team is asking to see both completion and due date on the tasks…

    Thank you very much!

  32. avatarAdam

    Dear Asana,

    Exporting the report: Any thoughts around being able to export this report to Excel or PDF?

    It is common to have to share these production reports with stakeholders. I’d love to be able to go into a quarterly review and pull all my completed/archived projects for a quarter into a report.

    Thank you.

  33. avatarCree

    I would love to see and track staffing allocation. Some tasks may need more of my time allocated to it and another needs less. If I could add a task estimated start date and duration (NOT a due date) and a time allocation (20% of my time) and then report on that or see how over or under allocated I and my team are… I would be crazy happy!

    Example: I may have 10 tasks to work on that will take me 1 day, but my employee has 2 tasks that will take 1-2 weeks to complete. It would be great to have a timeline view. If I have a new task to assign to my employee I know that he can’t get to it for 2 weeks, or I need to re-prioritize an existing task.

  34. avatarAmy

    Hello, I found the Asana Time Track tool, but I’m a little confused at how it works. Do the time entries appear in the project? What I’m really looking to do is have a field where I can enter the time spent on a task. Is this possible?

  35. avatarNicholas McGill

    I’d like to see dynamic deal flow management similar to do.com deals mechanism that let’s me know the status of multiple projects visually.

  36. avatarJared Buswell

    I have the simplest feature request to make related to this topic, and I don’t know where else to request it:

    Currently, when “My Tasks” is sorted by “My Priority,” you can collapse or show the tasks under the Today, Upcoming and Later sections. Very nice. But when you sort by projects (thank you for offering that option!), the projects cannot be collapsed or expanded. It would change my wife’s workflow in a dramatic way to be able to do that, and the code and UI decisions are already in place. And adding that option doesn’t take away from anyone’s workflow. Please add this feature in your next “polish.” Thank you!

  37. avatarKat

    Thanks Asana! Was just looking for how to create a report of what I’ve accomplished in the past week & month.

    The search on completed tasks is definitely a good first run, but I’d love if the actual DATE that the task was completed on was shown in the list. Frustrating that you can only sort by “Last Modified” or by Project. Ideally, I’d love a list that’s sorted by date (reverse chronological) with the date it’s completed on and the time it took from assigned to completed shown.

    Would also like to view this information by Project (show all items completed within a project, with info about who completed it, when, and how long it took).

    Doit.im has a “Review” feature in beta that’s worth looking into :)

  38. avatarDillon Walker

    Adding a second filter level would be awesome! We enjoy prioritizing our tasks manually, but not always by date. There are times where we’d like to quickly see all our tasks by Project and then by Due Date within each project.

  39. avatarJoshua Mills

    The print feature is nice, but I wish I could email the search directly from the page. My team is on Asana, but I don’t want\need my boss to be a user. I do need to keep him up to date on the projects we’re working on though, so at the moment I send him a weekly print (PDF) of my teams tasks.

    1. avatarScott W.

      On this topic and as I have requested, being able to print just the task name, subtask name w/ description, i.e. something simple, would help understanding from 10000 ft what’s going on.

  40. avatarJüri Kaljundi, Weekdone

    A shameless plug, but useful to Asana users: we just launched the new version of our Asana reporting dashboard: https://blog.weekdone.com/asana-reporting-dashboard-got-even-better-get-it-now/

    You can try it out at http://weekdone.com/asana – it’s just one click to log in with your Asana Connect credentials. It allows you to analyze your team’s data in Asana and generate a nice visual one-page weekly report dashboard. You see open and closed task statistics and actual tasks for each person or project, completion ratios, overdue item counts and percentages, comparison to last week and much more. You get it via e-mail, in PDF and as an interactive web version.

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