A tool to archive a section?

Hi :wave:,

Would anyone be interested in having a tool to “archive a section”?
The way I imagine the tool would work is to select a project and then, for any empty section, move all the tasks into an “Archive” section at the top and then delete the section.

Any thoughts?

28 Likes

@Leonarce can you share your use case here please?

Do you mean here, when all of the tasks in the section are marked complete? Or something different?

Yes I do, no more incomplete tasks within.

2 Likes

@Bastien_Siebman sorry I got caught up with work and missed your last email.

Here’s my scenario. I currently have a project called ‘IG Post’ which is like a content calendar for our company’s instagram account. Check attachment

Now, you can only see sections but there are tasks inside but it’s already completed, so Asana is hiding them

Tasks are grouped into sections due to its dynamic. I group tasks in weekly sections to have better view and organizations.

There’s no way to mark section complete in Asana like before. The only way is to delete section, but it can only be done when:

  1. there is no tasks in the section
  2. deleting section together will all tasks inside

I would avoid this because we still need tasks to be completed, so that we have reference in the future. Deleting task means there is no way to refer back to.

Ideally, the simplest solution would be for Asana engineer to implement the ability to ‘mark section as complete’, but since we’re still waiting for that feature, I’d like to offer a workaround.

In normal case, the easiest way would be to complete all tasks and archive the project. I then create new project (could be called IG Post NEW for example) and start populating again.

But with content calendar, that means it will never end. I also use Airtable data and zapped into Asana, so using the workaround from above means I have to do a lot of tweaking in Zapier.

I’d thought that I can simply drag tasks to new projects. But unfortunately you can’t drag section. This is where I feel it’s too laborious to manually create sections and drag tasks to new projects, especially with lots of sections like picture above.

6 Likes

I like the creative approach @Bastien_Siebman but I think it is a stretch to state this action would be “archiving” a section. When you archive a project, you retain the information in its current structure. I would expect the same when archiving a section. If I understand your suggestion, you would just be moving all the completed tasks to a new section and then getting rid of the old. As @Leonarce put it, the structure would only be retained if you could mark a section complete or hide it. It would be great if Asana engineered this ability and then allowed users to perhaps enable the feature (automatically complete or hide a section if there a no incomplete tasks within over a x period; x being some time delay so that you don’t see unexpected behavior if moving tasks in and out of a section) via Automation or Settings.

7 Likes

Ideally you could even manually select which section you want to “archive” or “hide” within the project (by clicking on …). This would be independent on whether the section was blank or tasks fully completed. I ran into similar issues with our projects organises by “workweeks” for the sections and ended up reversing the order (having the most recent at the top) to avoid having a long list of unused sections.
image

10 Likes

I agree! It would be tremendously helpful for our reports and catalog to be able to archive a section with the completed tasks that were housed within it.

3 Likes

I would like the Section name and the association of the Tasks with their Section (and Project) to be maintained, even after archiving. I often create Tasks that are ambiguous without their context of Project and Section.

I see that it would be best if you can work fully within the existing Asana data structures and statuses. So here’s an idea…let’s say I have a Panda project with Sprints 1-20 extending over 1 calendar year. I create these as Sections labelled “Sprint 1”, “Sprint 2” etc., each populated by whatever Tasks we decide. As a sprint comes to a close, I complete most of the Tasks in that Section. I may want to move some incomplete Tasks to a later sprint/Section, and I’d like the option to leave undone Tasks in their original sprint. Sprint closure means that the corresponding Section gets moved, verbatim, with all its Tasks in their original context and order, to a Panda_Archive Project. Panda_Archive doesn’t have to be archived in the Asana sense until or unless that makes sense - probably at year end or close of project or some other major cutoff point.

How about that?

I am assuming that even with your wizardlike competences, @Bastien_Siebman , you don’t have the ability to implant your new function deeply enough within Asana to where you can, say, add “Archive” as an additional option along with the 2 existing Section Actions (Rename and Delete), or create a more powerful search where we can use wildcards or your archive status as search terms. Am I assuming correctly?

My tools work “outside of Asana”, only a Chrome extension could provide a deep integration.

This is a wrong way to use sections (IMO) and therefore the workaround is needed. Why would you not set up tags for your dates rather than sections?

This could be disastrous.

As the project is running, or a historical look is required, you have altered the project plan to such a point that you won’t know where tasks originated.

What is a use case for this? Please don’t say sections used to segment tasks by dates.

Because section is the most logical way. Look at @Bernie_Orelup post above and thread here: Archive a Section in a Project

When we want to move task, in list view or board view, we can easily do it by just dragging to another section, and it visually tell the team how the task belong to.

I have reserved tags for status of the tasks (e.g: WIP, Reviewed, Approved). Setting up tags for dates are not solving problems IMO. I can’t imagine how long I have to scroll once it gets a lot.

Snipaste_2020-11-14_23-17-47
imagine if I have way too many dates as tags

I’d love to hear your approach.

1 Like

Fields should be used for status (you can’t use rules on tags) and moving tasks by updating tags (or fields) is very easy. This also doesn’t go against the norm thus you won’t need ‘fixes’ for what shouldn’t have been broken in the first place.

If you use fields, you’ll be able to use rules to do other things as that field changes.

You are using asana incorrectly then asking asana to add features to support that incorrectness.

@Getz_Pro I do agree that your suggestion for @Leonarce to use Fields to denote the weekly tasks, instead of Sections, is a logical one. By completing the tasks within each weekly grouping, this would remove the clutter that he experiences with empty sections today.

That said, I wouldn’t say @Leonarce is necessarily using Asana incorrectly. His approach is just different and I’m sure justifiably so. That’s kind of the beauty of Asana. There isn’t one way of doing things and the platform offers the flexibility for users to adapt in a way that best supports their workflow.

I’d also add that while there might be another way for him to process his work, it doesn’t make the ability to archive/hide sections an invalid request. This is a long-standing request that strongly believe it supports Asana’s emphasis on clarity.

@Stephanie_Oberg for your sprint use case, I think it would be great to archive a section the way @Bernie_Orelup describes. While my suggestion was to have the ability to automate through Rules, I definitely see the value of archiving a section manually even when it retains incomplete tasks (much like you can a project today). This way you wouldn’t have to manage a separate project AND all your tasks associations to sections/projects would remain intact.

@Marie and @Emily_Roman can you bring this thread back to the team. I’m really struggling with why this product update isn’t something of priority. There are a lot of great workarounds to accomplish a variety of things within Asana. I don’t see a clear path to make this work unless engineered within the tool.

3 Likes

We’ll agree to disagree on usage. It would be more logical to put the date at the beginning of the task name and not use sections at all. Perhaps using sections for Quarters that can change.

Archiving sections IMO is a really bad idea and I fully understand that some really bad ideas have been a round for a long time.

Cheers!

… and yet another way to do it that isn’t right or wrong. See, agreeing isn’t that hard.

… I’m also fine to agree to disagree though.

Cheers, indeed!

1 Like

I’d disagree on putting the date at the beginning of the task, that would have defeated the purpose of due date. Plus, there’s no way to sort task if you manually type the date format on the task name. Reordering task means we have to manually change the date for each tasks modified.

We all have different scenarios and the beauty of Asana is the flexibility to adapt to each workflow. All my tasks came from Airtable with generated project code number and standardized name through Zapier. Adding date per your suggestion makes task name unnecessarily lengthy.

I have been using this workflow since the time when creating section is as easy as adding colon, and I don’t see why archiving section now couldn’t be achieved like it used to.

1 Like

Obviously you would sort by due date. To your point, having sections with dates is moot also as you have due dates you can sort by.

Just because there is a way to do something doesn’t mean that the system needs to now change because of it. There are many better ways of displaying dates. Zero need to archive sections.