At Asana, we’re passionate about tasks. Indeed, we’ve built our company on the notion that tasks lie at the foundation of collaborative work. It is by breaking down ambitious goals into component parts and then distributing each one to the team member most qualified to execute it that collectives of like-minded people are able to do great things. Asana’s magic rests in its ability to make this process effortless, enabling teams to capture and distribute tasks at the speed of thought.
For the last handful of months, we’ve been testing out subtasks. Our version of subtasks takes the speed, power and flexibility that are at the core of Asana and bumps them up a couple of notches. Today, we feel that they’re ready and are launching them to you.
Subtasks let you specify your tasks to the level of granularity that you want. In Asana, they aren’t just a simple checklist – each Subtask is a real Asana task with an assignee, due date, and its own comment thread (yes, even its own Subtasks).
Here are three of our favorite ways to use Subtasks:
Break a task down into individual steps
The most basic way to use Subtasks is to create subtasks for each of the individual steps in a task.
Many times when we find ourselves procrastinating on a task, it’s because we don’t have a clear idea of what to do next. Once we write down the small, actionable steps, the task usually doesn’t look as intimidating.
Another benefit is that you can mark the subtasks complete as you do them so you can see the progress you’re making along the way.
Assign different parts of a task to each person
We frequently hear people asking “How can I assign a task to multiple people?” With Subtasks, you can identify the parts of a task each person has responsibility for, and assign those subtasks to their respective owners. This enables each person to see the task in their “My Tasks” view, while still keeping the accountability for each action with a single person.
Since each of the subtasks is a real task, you can have notes or a discussion on them, with just the people who care about that subtask.
Ask for feedback or ask a direct question
We usually ask questions in the task comments, but sometime a teammate needs an extra nudge. If you want to make sure that someone sees & answers your question, you can create a subtask and assign it to them. You can also do this to give yourself reminders to follow up on tasks.
These are just three possible ways to use Subtasks, but the range of possibilities is huge. We hope you love Subtasks as much as we do.