Anyone use a 'boneyard' project to store old tasks, giving the team a cleaner slate for more actionable items?

My team has used Asana for years and it’s been very helpful.

Over time we’ve accumulated many tasks which are on-standby, or waiting on other long-term changes, or are brainstorms we may never work on but don’t want to lose our past progress on. This has made our Asana Team hard to navigate: many projects, many sections, and many many tasks. We can keep adding our shorter-term more-actionable info to this heap, but its sheer volume makes it disorienting.

I am thinking of a solution and want to run it by Asana users for feedback. My idea is to create a ‘Boneyard’ project, with sections in it for each actual project, and then all tasks moved under each section. That loses some ‘resolution’ in that within-project sections now get lost as all of the project’s tasks go under a single section in the boneyard project. Because these are tasks we rarely reference now, I think that’s okay. After the boneyard is setup, tasks we do want to keep in our main set of projects can be added back to ‘fresh slate’ projects, giving us something of a reset without losing any past Asana inputs.

Anyone doing something like this? See likely problems we’ll run into, or any tips how to implement this well? Thanks!

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Hi @Robbie_Coville, welcome to the Asana Community Forum!

I think cleaning your projects is a great idea. In my team we usually do this once a year to make sure the information and tasks is still relevant. You could create a project to home all the tasks you want to keep as reference for the future, you can archive projects or you can create a team and move projects you only want to keep as reference.

Forum Leader @Bastien_Siebman has recently posted a great tip in regard of this topic, you can check it out here: 💀 What did you kill lately?

Adding @Jason_Woods, @Jerod_Hillard, @Bernie_Orelup, @Rashad_Issa, @Phil_Seeman, @Julien_RENAUD, @lpb, @Kenichi, @leonarce, @Paul_Grobler, @Charlie_Pilch, @Matt_Dickinson, @ShunS @Masanori_Misawa @Christine_Bolton in case you have any other tips you have implemented and would like to share with Robbie!

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@Robbie_Coville,

You have some good ideas, and @Emily_Roman too. To add on, I’d suggest considering:

From my Architectural Balance in Asana ebook chapter, as a start:

  • Archive Projects and Teams. Archive Projects when they become inactive. For Teams, consider faking a Team archive (not a feature in Asana) at the bottom of the left sidebar by creating a dummy Team called :file_cabinet: Teams Archive and positioning it after your last active Team. Drag Teams there that you no longer use (but don’t yet want to delete).

You can make any projects here, or even the team, private to members and limit members to not clutter others left sidebar.

Now you have a “bucket.”

Consider making one boneyard project to correspond to each active project that has some bones to remove, so for project Marketing Backlog, create a project named Boneyard: Marketing Backlog. Then you can persist the sections if desired for context. Re-home tasks to this project when not needed in the active project.

With this approach you’re less likely to lose fidelity or have your system run out of steam or into a dead end as you use it more and more.

Hope that helps,

Larry

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Great Idea and also agree on cleaning and cultivating the tasks in Asana. I think @lpb gave the answer I would also suggest. Having a Archive (boneyard) Team and then all projects in there that you want to keep but not clutter. you can also use Flowsana to automate the move from your main projects to the boneyard project by using a Hashtag in the description or using custom field that triggers a rule to move it from one project to another (Wish this could be done in Asana Rules)

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There have been some excellent suggestions given here and the original idea you developed of using a boneyard project should work well for your purposes. One thing that my company does to keep teams focused and not lose track of tasks that are on the backburner is using Personal Task List projects. Everyone gets assigned a Personal Task List project when they join the company and it is used to store any tasks that do not fit under any other projects in Asana. Within this task list, we use sections for High Priority Actions (Completed in the next 2 weeks), Medium Priority (Completed in the next 4 weeks), and Low Priority (completed in the next 3 months) to help organize tasks accordingly. We also have a reoccurring task for all users to check and sort through their task lists on a weekly basis to ensure things are not getting lost or forgotten about. The other benefit of this Personal Task List project is it prevents the problem of orphan tasks floating in Asana without a project!

Hopefully this helps!
Matt

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I think everyone already gave really great feedback here. Not to overwhelm you with options, I have a few other suggestions that may be of use for your team.

  • For archiving teams (if you have the available seats) create an admin@domain.com user that is the only user that has access to these projects (only do this if you don’t need to reference back to them often).

  • Create an idea project that serves as your backlog of tasks that you would really like to see come to fruition, but are not a priority right now and are not necessarily associated to a specific project. You can make the information that ends up here more manageable by creating sections for departments, people, ect. or by adding tags/custom fields to each task added here.

  • You can add a backlog section directly to the project instead of creating a “boneyard project”, this way the tasks are still housed within the parent project.
    — This is my preferred method, it ensures that everyone with access to the project has access to the backlog without being overwhelmed by tasks that may be irrelevant to them, but it doesn’t work for everyone’s purposes.
    → In list view the section is collapsible.
    → Board view, add it to the end so it is not the first thing anyone sees.
    → Timeline & calendar view it won’t be visible, because there will not be a due date associated with these tasks.
    → When they are no longer back burner items you slide them back to the appropriate section.

Good luck!!

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The idea of a boneyard section within a project seems even better than lumping various projects into one larger, lower-fidelity boneyard project. Thanks for that!

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