10, 9, 8, 7….Snaptask!

Greg Slovacek and Cliff Chang

At Asana, we’re re-imagining team communication from the ground up. While some tasks take months to complete, some only take a day, and others need to get done instantly. Until today, there was no direct and simple way to indicate task urgency in Asana. So, during our recent Hackathon, we added a new feature to Asana: Snaptask.

“We believe the future of workplace communication is fast–really fast” -Dustin Moskovitz

We think your team will discover your own exciting ways to use this feature, but here are some suggestions:

  • Have a teammate who doesn’t work fast enough and you want them to feel a little pressure to get things done? Send a Snaptask.

  • Love Snapchat, but can’t use it at work? We feel the same way! Send a Snaptask.

  • Have a request for your teammate, but want zero accountability and no transparency to the rest of the organization? Send a Snaptask.

  • Have a top secret assignment that you want someone to complete, but in case it goes poorly you want all record of its existence tossed down the memory hole? Send a Snaptask.

  • Love Men in Black and always wanted a neuralyzer? Send a Snaptask.

  • Want to send a coworker a funny face? Send a Snaptask.


How to send a Snaptask

Type Tab+` to create your Snaptask. Enter a task name and description, and add an assignee–this person will get the task, but only for a few seconds. You can even attach an ephemeral image if you’d like (perfect for that funny face photo you wanted to send).

The assignee will receive the Snaptask in their My Tasks list and Inbox, but the task name and details will be hidden until your teammate clicks on the task. Once they do, they’ll have 10 seconds to view the task before it automatically disappears.

Your team will get things done, or forget they needed to get things done, faster than ever before.


  1. avatarNick K

    I think this feature is useless.

    It would be greater if you would fix a middle click in Chome.
    I’m trying to open a task in new tab for further doing very often, but now I can’t just use middle click as always on other websites, I need to copy a link to task, open new tab in browser, paste my link, press enter and then return to my inbox in asana.
    Believe me, I do it every day and this is the most sad thing in Asana.

    Please, fix middle click everywhere in your app. Middle click is not the same as left click (but now your app thinks that they are equal)

    1. avatarJohn

      Probably related – I’m actually missing the ability to copy task links easily (without opening them in project view and then copying what I see in address bar) – because we’re often referencing to Asana tasks in other apps and also git commits.

      1. avatarNick K

        Yeap, this is another one big problem!
        I want to send link to task in skype, but I can’t easily find link to task, I should open it and then copy.
        It would be better if I would be able to just use right click and select “Copy link”.

    2. avatarSteve Pye

      Seems like this is an important workflow for you, but not everyone even has a middle-click option nor is it part of their workflow. Users without a middle mouse button (MOST laptop users with a trackpad, and Mac users who have a magic mouse or magic trackpad have no middle button. You’re asking for a niche feature based on a workflow that you use that isn’t generic to everyone.

      1. avatarShiraz

        I agree with you Steve. I personally have never seen a better project management software in my life and thats too free? Its hard to believe it. We should be grateful to Asana team instead of cribbing!
        I BIG thanks to Asana team!

    3. avatarJonas

      Hahahaha you made my day. Actually I miss the SnapTask feature right now. Today I wanted to send a hot pic to our narrow-minded CTO so he would open up for the first time.

    1. avatarDavid Zafra

      I thought it would be a problem on Spanish keyboards, but it woks fine. The hot key is not Tab+` but Tab+\ (left-upper corner, under ESC key).

  2. avatarpapernoise

    It’s actually a bit of a confusing April fool, because TAB+Q does a very similar thing. I think snaptasks should make your computer format itself if you don’t complete it before the time runs out!

  3. avatarGreg

    Hi there. Nice idea … but useless. And it does not work on german keyboards.

    Much more important is an export feature to back up tasks and/or the whole account to dropbox/onedrive etc.,

    How’s progress there?

  4. avatarbob

    really? I want to send little photos like I’m all fun, when real needs are not addressed?! currently i have no way to:
    assign a task to person A (so it shows in mytasks) and keep person B the manager ultimately responsible as the responsible person. To have this work really correctly, I should be able to assign it to a few people, while keeping the manager ultimately responsible. Having someone ultimately responsible, does not mean no one has it as a task!!!
    I have no way to see a master mytasks that shows me all my tasks accross over multiple organizations.

    1. avatarSteven

      Bob, you might try assigning the task to the manager, and then sub-tasks to those who need to accomplish them. It is a work-around, but seems to serve the purpose well for me.

  5. avatarEmile Bons

    We’re a software development company and use asana to assign developers to tasks and I have to admit this is a wonderful feature! Where sprints (development cycles) took up to two weeks before, we’re expecting to launch our next version by the end of the day just because developers have to fix their tasks in ten seconds instead of whatever they feel like. We now use a simple rule to see if people fit within the company called “within 10 or out”; it works amazing.

    Thanks guys!

    1. avatarJonas

      it’s called the directly develop garbage (DDG) model and invented by a known IT company because Apple already got the DRI.

  6. avatarEric CREMER

    Nice April fools
    Tradition is saved, but problems remain
    I still can’t use Asana iOS app at all, when no or poor Internet connexion
    Why not fix this problem ?
    Probably a top priority for all your clients who travel regularly

  7. avatarMohammed

    At first I thought this is an interesting feature but he more I read the more I thought well done guys, this is a good APRIL FOOLS message lol

    I particularly liked the ‘This data will delete itself in 10 seconds’ lol

  8. avatarSharon

    Was just about to comment about how pointless this feature would be and that it actually seems to promote messing around more than getting any work done when I noticed the April Fool’s Day comments. Thank goodness this isn’t a real feature!

  9. avatarMichael

    How do you type “Tab+`” on a German Keyboard?
    You really do not mean to target international customers, do you? (As in AM/PM and other non ISO standard formats you use).

    1. avatarMichael

      OK … hahaha … either way, date and time formats in international lSO 8601 format would be more “internet like” (I believe the internet is global and not US-owned, even if the NSA thinks otherwise).

  10. avatarMichael

    Just a moment … that is not the “backtick” `
    it is the “forwardtick” ´
    I was trying the “backtick” which should have been “Tab + Shift + ´
    whatever …

  11. avatarKiran

    This is really useless while reading description i thought this will have some priority tagging or something like that which will show priority or urgency of task .
    But this is really useless!!

  12. avatarMyroslav

    I do hope that this April’s experiment will provide some more data towards “gamification” to Asana. We already have hearts, and they work, and we have some interactivity that works too.

    As we go on to more and more interactivity, the ability to look through Asana Goggles, that will show me who of the team is active in Asana, and what project/task she has opened, to go there and comment (or react in any other way) back immediately. This will enable (and fuel) chats in Asana tasks.

    When in a Skype conference meeting, I often find myself verbosely explaining what task I’m switching to in Asana for everyone to be on the same page. It would be great if I’ll be able to switch to different task and others to be able to see what task I’d switched to. In future some highlighting of changed items (assignee, due date, subtasks, tags, etc.) and who did the change, or even ApacheWave or Google Docs-like collaborative editing of Notes would be excellent.

    Some privacy controls are also necessary. I.e. ability to visualize yourself or conceal yourself from this kind of tracking (i.e. fair rule would be – to see someone you’d have to reveal yourself first).

  13. avatarMark

    But why tempt me this way? Sure it’s a joke, but you know what, it could definitely whip some minions up to work to speed!

  14. avatarLeonard

    Ironic really that people spend time dreaming up pranks like this. Waste everyone’s time. Apply your minds constructively please.

  15. avatarMichelle

    This is an awesome new “feature”. The keyboard shortcuts brought up a real window and everything. Seems totally legit. ;) Well done.

  16. avatarDouglsa

    It worked for me, Tab and the key above tab. “send a snaptask”. The only challenge is, the person that received it, it appeared no where in a list, queue. They had to search it. They did vanish as well.

    I do like it from the perspective “hey I finished that can you review x/y/z” where I don’t need a tasks set up to clutter up the quick hits.

    1. avatarDouglas

      Never mind, it was the reconnect to website. Appears in my tasks in my org. It’s not a joke and worked. Nice to then be out of gchat (focus on asana) versus the gmail /apps domain we use at work.

  17. avatarEric CREMER

    Translation of your strange shortcut for french keyboards: Tab+` => Tab+ù
    Not very easy for non US users , is it ?…

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  22. avatarMike G

    Really, Guys! Some on. Pay attention to the details. I just send a snap task to my boss to get me coffee. Hopefully it goes over well or else.

  23. avatarBrian

    Even though it’s an April Fool’s Day joke, this sounds like something Asana would do. It’s about as useful and professional as the heart button.

  24. avatarChrissie

    I knew this was a joke! But I was genuinely excited for an urgency or priority feature! Priority color labels like zendesk uses would be great!

  25. avatarAndy

    Thanks Asana, this is perfect! Keeping us hip over here. During the next hackathon, please develop WhatsTasks so I can assign tasks to all my teenage friends. Or maybe we should switch to TeleTask……

  26. avatarCamden

    April Fools is the day you realize your favorite software companies fooled you into thinking they spent the last few weeks working on useful features to help your business.

    1. avatarJustin Rosenstein Asana Team Member

      This took two people a few hours over an evening :-) So >99% of the last few weeks were spent on useful features to help your business. But, I admit, sometimes we have fun.

      1. avatarCamden

        Well… I suppose you can have fun with < 1% of your time… if you must ;)

        Sorry to be a hater. You do have my gratitude and admiration for the 99%+ of everything else you do that does make our business run smoother! All the best.

  27. avatarTom

    I love you guys, thank you for a very well-done April Fool’s joke – and one that actually works! don’t nuke the capability after today, though – it’s actually kind of cool…

  28. avatarMuslim Shortanov

    I believe this useless also, much better you do comment on comment, for me to comment a comment in a thread. I need to point opinion against exact comment. Also, will be great to @user, to mention in the comment (maybe it is possible, but I did not tried).
    Thanks !
    Meanwhile, ASANA is great and you did a great job guys !
    Take care and do it !!!

  29. avatarStephen

    Quick task adding is vital but I wish you spent the time improving the chrome extension to allow direct project tasking as that is what people would be using more I think

  30. avatarMindy

    Bwhahahahaha – these lines totally cracked me up:

    “Have a request for your teammate, but want zero accountability and no transparency to the rest of the organization? Send a Snaptask.

    “Have a top secret assignment that you want someone to complete, but in case it goes poorly you want all record of its existence tossed down the memory hole? Send a Snaptask

    That’s some funny stuff right there!! Good job, guys! I loved it!!

    April Fool’s right back atcha!!

  31. avatarJohnny @ PhoenixAfterglow.com

    I think this is a great idea. I’d like to add another area that gets confusing is if you have a project private, then you invite someone to a task within that private project, they don’t know who it’s for. I.e. Joe’s website (private – 1 person); employee Frank gets invited to the task “purchase domain.” But then Frank comes back to me and asks, “For who?” And the reason being – the name of the project and name is not there. All they see is “purchase domain” and the deadline. We would greatly appreciate this update!! Keep up the great work.

    1. avatarJohnny @ PhoenixAfterglow.com

      To further clarify, I understand you may want a project private, but maybe you want everything private except that 1 task in my example i.e. “purchase domain.” That functionality would really work. Thanks a bunch!

  32. avatarKarl O'Neill

    I’d like you to keep it. I have been wanting to occasionally chat without directly linking to a task. Background noise perhaps but I would like to be able to ask questions and have them answered without having to be on the record. Would also encourage a bit more to and fro.

    But whatever you guys think. Love what you’re doing so far.

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  34. avatarAvital G


    Still adding some sort of task priority or severity would be good.
    Also, really need to be able to define a task that takes several days and see it clearly on the calendar, right now you just see it on the end date instead of being able to see when it starts and when it ends…

    Need a Gantt like feature really.

  35. avatarAdam

    It was really funny when Google started the corporate April Fool’s joke several years ago, but it can stop now…

  36. avatarSo sad...

    I’ve been trying to access snaptask ALL DAY. I’ve honestly hit refresh 400 times in the last hour hoping I’d be invited to Beta…. so disappointed in you Asana folk.

  37. avatarJohn

    Best April Fools joke of 2014. Utterly confused everyone on the team until slowly (oh so slowly) they woke up and smelt the (April, Spring) flowers. Thank you!

    Of course, you should have left it on. With that kind of dynamic, up to the minute feature you could have expected an unexpected take over offer for $20B more than you might otherwise be worth….

  38. avatarAndrew C

    Best part of this April fools is that it let you prank other people too. I sent my fair share of Snaptasks before the feature died.

  39. avatarJeff P

    So I know it was a prank… but it was actually really useful for communicating quick “FYI” info (i.e. want to go to lunch?) that I otherwise would use a messenger app for. Maybe not this exact feature, but something similar could be a legit value.

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  43. avatarFrank Marciano

    I was a little sad that April fools had come and gone and no one even tried to fool me, but after trying to get this to work, again for the like 20th time, I realized that I am indeed an April fool, it sounded like a really good idea, so seriously I take all the crazy internet ideas, I was fooled into thinking, this silly idea was actually a good idea.

  44. avatarChayce

    Haha I was here for about 10 minutes trying to get this to work and didnt realize this was posted on April 1st!

    This would be awesome though as an instant messenger service between asana users in my office who aren’t sitting next to each other, but just need to send a quick message, reminder, question, or update about a task instead of clogging up email inboxes, the tasks pane comments section.

    It would also be useful because all communication would be done while still on the asana screen instead of switching back and forth between asana window, and email or IM windows.

  45. avatarGem

    You really should stop wasting time, resources and efforts on removing silly (but useful) features such as this one was. Bring it back, please!

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