Our plans for completed tasks

Jackie Bavaro, Phips Peter, and Jack Heart

We are changing the way completed tasks work in Asana. We think you’ll like what we’ve done, but we want to tell you what’s coming before we launch the changes, since this might affect your workflow.

Keeping track of the tasks you’ve completed is often just as important as knowing what tasks are next. Completed tasks include conversations, attachments, and notes that are essential to your team’s work and communication. It’s no surprise that teams frequently ask to keep completed tasks in their Sections, and for better ways to view those completed tasks. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see updates that deliver these improvements.

inline completed tasks v2

Completed tasks stay in Sections

What’s new?

  • Inline completed tasks – You’ll see your completed tasks right next to your active (incomplete) tasks, instead of having them pile up at the top of your task list.
  • Completed tasks stay in Sections – Completed tasks will stay in their Sections, so when you view completed tasks they’ll be right where they should be.
  • More views and sorting options – Select from several pre-made views for fast sorting. Views will include completed and active tasks, or just active tasks.
  • Default views for your team - You’ll be able to choose a default view for each project and save it for everyone on your team.
  • No manual archiving - Tasks will no longer pile up at the top of your task list until you archive them. Instead, you’ll adjust the project view to include or exclude completed tasks.

How could this affect or improve my workflow?

  • Archived tasks are going away – Instead of completing and then manually archiving tasks, you’ll choose when to view completed tasks inline with your active tasks. This is a simplification that makes keeping track of tasks and status easier.
  • Completed tasks list – You will no longer see a consolidated list of completed tasks at the top of My Tasks and projects. For teams that rely on manual archiving and like to keep completed tasks and archived tasks separate, we recommend creating Sections for these tasks now. Create a Section for the stage these tasks represent in your workflow (such as “Completed – In Review” or “Needs Verification”), then move all of your on-screen completed tasks to this Section. This will preserve this view after we make these feature changes.
  • Better SectionsSections will be more useful for your workflow, since they will include completed tasks.
  • Changes will apply to all previously completed tasks – When you choose to view completed tasks, old completed tasks will appear inline with active tasks and in their Sections.

You should expect to see the first of these changes in January. If your team relies on completed-but-not-archived tasks in your workflow, you should create a Section for those tasks now to get ready for the new updates. We’re excited to hear what you think.

  1. avatarWally Timbo

    How, if at all, will this behavior affect completed subtasks shown in the right-hand pane? Would be nice to include or exclude completed tasks there as well.

    1. avatarPål

      Yes, please add the display filter to the right pane of sub tasks as well. Could be as easy as applying the same settings as for the left pane.

  2. avatarRoss

    Please please please please can you update us on the whereabouts of the dedicated iPad app. The current iPhone app is really not good and until the proper iPad app is released, my mobile productivity is seriously limited.
    Cheers

    1. avatarJ.J.

      I know you guys are working on this. But an update would be greatly appreciated. iPad? I can’t even edit a due date. Very tough to be productive on iPad & Asana. Thanks for listening!

      1. avatarV.A.

        I will eco you J.J. iOS update would be great! Usually is hard for me to take my laptop to meetings and the ipad and iphone are the solution but the app…. :/

  3. avatarDavid Glasser

    This seems basically positive to me: being able to see that a section is 3/5 done instead of having tasks lose their section-ness is great!

    What happens when you finish all the tasks in a section? Will the section itself disappear from the “only active” view or will the section header stay there? I can imagine cases where you’d want both. Is the idea that when you’re done with a whole section, you should check the section itself off in the right-hand pane?

  4. avatarDave Mackey

    I’m becoming a little disillusioned. I feel like Asana is powerful software, but difficult software. The thought of having to refine views on each project to determine whether completed tasks are shown or not…I don’t like it. Instead there could just be a toggle button at the top of the project that when clicked showed all tasks, when unclicked showed only active tasks.

    1. avatarKen

      I concur – one risk with Asana is that it becomes so complicated that the average user cannot understand it. I live in Asana everyday and can understand/learn the product, but my team is not as advanced. Please look for any way to simplify the tool and make it as intuitive as possible for the “casual user.”

    2. avatarChris Luke

      Asana is as difficult as you make it. I have clients who only use the My Tasks area and don’t even organize it by Today, Upcoming, etc and it is working out great for them. I have other clients who use a single Project for everything and just use different Sections to organize things.

      Then I have power users who have multiple projects, tags, sections, linking, etc etc. If your company NEEDS that level of complexity for organizing things, Asana offers it. If it doesn’t need it, don’t try to use it – you’re just complicating things for no reason.

      In my experience, a company that needs all the complex options usually has personnel that can “keep up” with it. It’s not an intelligence thing, but rather stems from the complexity of the company itself.

      If you just need to assign tasks to people and have them check it off, just stick with My Tasks. Done!

      1. avatarV.A.

        I couldn’t agree more Chris. I do understand what Ken and Dave are saying, but Asana needs to get to a higher level of complexity to be able to serve bigger clients. The magic is doing that as simple as possible. Personally I think they are acheiving that goal. I coorditane a team of 10 people using Asana and I try to keep things as simple as possible at their side just because I konw they would be reluctant to using Asana if I present them with all the possibilities.

    3. avatarEmily Kramer Asana Team Member

      Thanks for your feedback. Good news! There will be simple pre-made views for each project, so you can quickly see just active tasks or all tasks (completed and active). So, it will be as simple as a toggle.

      We try to make the basic features simple enough for any team to use, but provide enough functionality for complex workflows and use cases as well. You may be interested in our Design Principles blog post: http://blog.asana.com/2013/10/design-principles/

  5. avatarKunal Nagar

    This is absolutely brilliant! Loved the part where the completed tasks don’t pile up at the top. This just made my day. Thanks!

  6. avatarMENACHEM

    Maybe someone knows if it is possible to use a few tags in looking for tasks that have the same tags ?
    And is it possible to tag a project ?

  7. avatarJohn

    One thing about completed tasks that would be really useful is a way to set the completed date. It’s OK that it defaults to the date the “complete” checkbox is checked, but occasionally I find I’ve put some tasks in my “later” list and when I do a weekly review, I’ve knocked them off days ago as part of some other project or discussion but their completion date is then inaccurate. We tie our Asana work back to timesheets that outline work by day and it’s useful to be able to look back over a week and make sure all the completed tasks are reflected in the timesheets accurately. So, could the task (or sub-task) completed date be editable?

    1. avatarBen

      Hey John, I know exactly how you feel. I have to run reports on projects once they are complete and having a correct end date of a task is important. The way I work around this is, and how I have my team document their work, is before a task is complete I / a team member will make a final comment, for example “this is complete”. Then check it off. When you do that you get a timestamp/date in the task box. Furthermore you get the timestamp when you simply check off a task. So no matter what the scheduled due date is you always know when something is actually completed. Hopefully this helps.

    2. avatarDouglas

      I am on the same page! I just asked this question to Jerry on the team earlier today. What I have done for myself is create a quick subtask to check it off with the due date it actually was done since it tracks in the comments but not in the screen or views. I agree this would be really helpful.

    3. avatarShahryar Rizvi

      +1 for the ability to update the date of the completed tasks and subtasks.  Without this feature, I can’t accurately track how long things are taking. And knowing that I can’t have an accurate date anyways, I’m just leaving dates blank.

      Ultimately, I would like the ability to keep track of three things for each task: When it was originally planned to be completed, what its revised plan date was after the project started, and what its actual completion date was.  It would be nice to also record “planned start date” and “revised start date” too so I can capture duration.

  8. avatarMatt

    Bummer, I always liked clicking the “archive completed tasks” button at the end of the day and watching all the stuff I had gotten done disappear.

    Oh well, change is inevitable. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

  9. avatarChris

    I like this change, nice work absorbing feedback from users. I love Asana, and have many coworkers (as well as family and friends) hooked :-)

    I too am in need of a more useful iPad app … That’s where I do all my work, and it’s frustrating to be so limited in iOS. I’d love it if there was the kind of functionality similar to Omnifocus’ iOS app, which is actually even better than the desktop app. When using OF, I actually looked forward to my weekly review. That says a lot about their UI.

    I’m sure you’re working hard on something … Looking forward to it.

    Keep up the great work!

  10. avatarLuísa Mano

    For me this is very good news! I use sections a lot and didn’t like to see sections’ completed tasks in a pile, were I couldn’t sort them out.

  11. avatarAdam

    Excellent. My current workflow is:

    Mark complete -> Archive -> Mark Complete -> Archive…

    when it should be:

    Mark complete -> Mark Complete -> Mark Complete….

  12. avatarJoao Carvalhinho

    Perfect. I used an app in windows phone that already kept the concluded tasks inline in the sections…

    THis is perfect for shopping lists. You create the “beverages” section, and go on completing the shoping list. When you need to buy the item again, you go directly to Beverages, and uncheck the one you need… instead of browsing in a list of stuff that keeps no apparent order :)

    SPOT ON!!!!

    JPC

  13. avatarMichael Eldridge

    I think this is an excellent improvement and will help keep the continuity of tasks within projects and sections. It always bothered me that completed tasks would get piled up at the top of a project.

    When do you expect this enhancement to become active in January?

    1. avatarEmily Kramer Asana Team Member

      We’ll be rolling this out to groups of users throughout the month. Thanks for your patience.

  14. avatarJames Valentine

    I love this concept. One follow up question, how does this interact with repeating tasks? My expectation would be that it would show up in the task history/discussion/log each time it gets completed so not to collect a bunch of tasks by the same name in one section.

  15. avatarKeith

    You guys read my mind. I came to the blog looking for some way to handle all of my completed tasks because I really dislike manually archiving them.

  16. avatarDerek Birnie

    great! we’re a new team just adopting asana this week and this was one of our first stumbling blocks. glad to know it’s getting cleared right away.

  17. avatarClaudine

    Love love love that completed tasks will no longer lose their place in their respective sections, and that seeing the completed tasks or not will be easy to do with just one click.

  18. avatarReiner

    I love the change! I frequently use Asana with other teammates to track mundane tasks like relocating or moving data around within our IT environment. The projects can often contain 100+ tasks with the need to keep the completed tasks in order to accurately display the info using an Asana 3rd party app, SprintBoards. Since it gives percentages for completed projects, if completed tasks are archived then they no longer pull into the percentages. Also, we use sections quite often to break up the work flow within projects, so being able to see the completed tasks grouped with their sections makes a HUGE difference in keeping our view “clean”.

  19. avatarAshley

    Would be nice if one of your new features ever worked with subtasks. So far subtasks don’t work with anything (search, projects, ect…).
    Same with this feature. Create a task in a project and then add subtasks, now check them off and they archive correctly, but there is no option to remove them from view or re-show them.

  20. avatarPål

    The changes sounds like a very good strategy for most tasks. But how will this affect reoccurring tasks? I would “kill” for the possibility to specify in which section a reoccurring task should reappear.

    Say that you have a workflow consisting 3 sections; planned, ongoing and done. If I close a reoccurring task in the done sections I would like it reappear in the planned sections. The done task can perfectly well stick in the done section. But for the new task to reappear in the done sections, doesn’t make much change.

    I hope you can look into this request. It would make Asana an even better tool for handling system operations and routine tasks.

  21. avatarNeil

    I’m really glad that this feature is finally being implemented (it was something I specifically emailed support to ask about!) and I know you’re rolling it out, but can you guys hurry up a little? I could really use this feature like yesterday ;-P

    1. avatarJacob

      Yes, please. Hurry! How about less TV time and team building and more production time and application building! Really, guys! You’ve got a promising application with a couple of nice touches. But at this rate, you’ll never catch up with the likes of Wrike and Flow, any one of which kicks butt with their email integration and range of features. Asana is tops as a free service, but not quite there to justify paying for it. How about getting some real life experience on your team, or are you content with delivering an application developed by IT geeks, for IT geeks, to solve IT geeky problems? ;)

  22. avatarKen

    ETA on the updates being implemented? Like the idea, but would also be nice to add a Filter for Open/Incomplete vs Complete, which allows you to keep Completed tasks in-line, but still gives the option to filter for Open only tasks for discussion in work sessions/meetings.

  23. avatarLewis Urwin

    Itching for this update, but haven’t received as of yet! Will completely wipe out the workarounds I currently have to use.

    Any ETA?

  24. avatarOliver

    Still missing the ability to cancel a task. Often something can become unnecessary after lots of conversation. We dont want to delete that task, and it wasn’t completed – it was canceled.

  25. avatarCallen

    I like the idea behind the new feature, however its implementation is making me rip my hair out.
    -Why does a task become completely unselectable after I check it off? (What do I do when I hit the wrong checkbox – switch Views, find the task I didn’t mean to check, uncheck it, come back to my default view… compared to “uncheck the one that was wrong” in the old system)
    -Why doesn’t a task disappear when I check it off my ToDo list? It just clutters up my workspace, and the Archive button was an easy solution.

    I feel like you were trying to solve a simple problem (two states for a completed task, archived/not archived), but the solution changed a lot of the functionality we’re used to. Hopefully you consider some of this as you continue to improve asana.

  26. avatarCallen

    OK, things are already going better… the unselectable task issue already corrected itself. And I have found the equivalent functionality to clear checked tasks from My To Do view, by simply clicking the To Do View button again. Kudos, asana.

  27. avatarRadley

    Removing Archives makes QC more difficult. Completed tasks are not always done correctly. We need to confirm they’re complete. Then once we confirm, we don’t need to see them. Archive acted as a QC gate. Now we need a new system for keeping track of completed items.

    Section-based Completed tasks are flaky. They only stick around as long as I never switch to the Recently Completed Tasks view or refresh the page/browser. I can’t remove them individually when I confirm the task is complete. It’s all or nothing. The only work-around is to keep Recently Completed Tasks open in another browser tab and refresh each time I need to review.

  28. avatarAnand

    Fantastic. Have been struggling with this problem. When can we see it?
    Radley: We have a section called Release. So Once the task is ready to make the release from “Ready For QA” or “Failed QA”, we move it to “Release” section. That way we know all the functions and issues that are part of the release.

  29. avatarMaximilian

    I really hate that archived tasks are gone. We used them to discuss and announce completed tasks in the dailies and to check for completion as QA check. None of the new features nearly replaces the archive function.
    NOT COOL!

  30. avatarKen

    Has rollout been put on hold due to some of the issues [mentioned above] related to companies/users utilizing archive functionality for QA process(es)?

  31. avatarPaul

    I would like to see an option to re-enable manual archiving of completed tasks. It’s nice to be able to see what’s been completed over the past day/2 days etc then manually archive.

    Either an option to enable auto archive or a filter that shows all completed tasks that haven’t been manually archived along with outstanding ones would be great

  32. avatarKevin

    I would really like the ability to manually archive completed tasks. It helps me keep track of the amount of work I get done. Would it be so bad to make it an option in the settings?

    Please bring it back!

  33. avatarWaruna

    Inline completed tasks – You’ll see your completed tasks right next to your active (incomplete) tasks, instead of having them pile up at the top of your task list. (NOT AVAILABLE IN My account) Where to enable, please help

    1. avatarJosh Torres Asana Team Member

      We are slowly rolling this feature out to all users over the next few weeks. Contact us at asana.com/support if you don’t see it within the next week or so!

  34. avatarAnnika

    When I’ve completed a task, and mark it as “complete”. Why can I not continue clicking on this completed task, and get the information on it, and unclick the completed option? I can’t select the task at all as soon as I have marked it as “complete”. I used to be able to do this. And now it feels like I have less control!

      1. avatarAnnika

        Hi Josh,
        Thank you, but is this the only option? Are you going to keep it like this? I would really LOVE to be able to “unclick” the completion of task, and be able to edit it even if it has been checked as completed inside the to do tasks list. :)

  35. Pingback: New project Views have arrived in Asana at The Asana Blog

  36. avatarBrian

    Awesome! I have been waiting for this for awhile now. Thank you.

    Question: Are there plans to update the android app with the ability to view All Tasks, so that you can see the completed tasks? As of now, if you complete a task on the mobile app, you cannot go back and see it later; it’s gone.

    1. avatarJosh Torres Asana Team Member

      We’re making lots of improvements to mobile in the coming months. We’ll note this request for the Team!

  37. avatarStephanie

    I would very much like an option to bring back manual archiving of tasks, for a number of reasons – all of which have been previous mentioned!:

    - Quality Control in team projects
    - Post-project discussion & next-step planning in team projects
    - A sense of “look what I did!” at the end of the day

  38. avatarMelissa

    Alas, I really loved the way it worked previously. Is there any chance that the old way can also become a View option? I loved Archiving Completed Tasks after certain meetings and stand-ups, and only having “day” increments makes it difficult for me to achieve this same sense of “Complete” versus “Open”. I’m only realizing now how important this feature was to me!

    Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, alas! And on Valentine’s Day too, no less! ;-) (But I still love you, Asana.)

  39. avatarMike Wall

    Was this ever actually implemented? When I complete a task it disappears from the List view and is only visible on the calendar. I’ve played with the view settings and the only option is to view ALL complete/incomplete tasks regardless of project. I’d like to see all the tasks in a single project regardless of whether they are complete or incomplete.

  40. avatarMarisol Vargas

    Did I really just see a unicorn on a rainbow fly across my screen saying Nice!? Lol no one in the office believes me but I must admit it was pretty nice. Havent been able to have it happen again. It happened when I hit completed task.

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