Assign tasks to people who are not team or organisation members



Inevitably, my projects have tasks that are assigned to third parties who are not members of my organisation and never really will be. People like tradesmen. Electricians, plumbers etc. The task of Install Electrical Outlet needs to be assigned to the Electrician but I don’t want to have to invite every Electrician to collaborate with me in Asana.

How can I accommodate this in Asana? Does it do it natively and I just don’t know the options, or, how do people get around it?


I am not sure I should take this on but I will give my best. @Alexis or @Kaitie_Saballus or @Todd_Cavanaugh or @paulminors may be a better source but here goes.

There are some varibles that depend if you have a paid or free subscription.

Teams: If you are setting up a new Team, the free version will always require membership by request whereas the paid has the option of membership by request, hidden or public. Be conscious of what you want seen by the whole organization and outsidrs.

Projects: THE STATUS of THE PROJECT IS CRITICAL. The free account only allows Public to the Team or Private To Me, whereas the paid account allows Public to the Team or Private To the Members. With this in mind take a look at the (4) links that I have provided below to get a feel of what can be seen and how you would set up your defaults on Team and Projects depending if you use the Paid or Free Version.

I deleted my previous long winded post and put a short reply last.

Adding a 3rd Party

This thesis produces an enhancement request. If someone is assigned a task they should see the name of the project whether they are a member of the project or not. Any opinions on this.


My first thought was - why don’t you create a new account called “Third party” and assign to this account? Or do you need to specify that it’s an electrician or other service?


@Stephen_Graham Stephen, I think your main questions are

  1. Do you mind all subcontractors seeing the whole Project. If you don’t you can add whoever you want to a Project as a guest member and divide your job phases with Sections. They do not have to be Team members, just read the Asana Guide on how you set up options on Public, Private, Hidden etc in Projects, Teams etc so somebody does not see something you do not wish them to see.
  2. If you do mind then you mayl need to use Teams for each job and have more projects under the Team characteristic to the job disciplines such as Architecture, Electrical, Plumbing etc. You could stick with just projects and limit outsiders to the task only within the Project but they will not see the name of the Project and it will only show up in their My Tasks. I personally would not like that but you may.
  3. Their are options that involve Project Members, Assignee and Followers but the observations and questions I posed are much the same.

Here are the critical guide extracts:
There is critical assistance in the Asana Guides at the following URL’s that help in the understanding.

Team Settings:


Public Projects

Private Projects


Looks like you all have it covered :star: but please tag me if/when you need me to chime in! :slight_smile:


@Alexis what do you think of the concern that if a guest is just assigned to a task and not a project guest/member they do not see the name of the project. If they are added as a project guest they see all project members and all tasks. If the tasks do indeed need to be hidden from other members is there a way for the Project name to show up or a Project member to only see their tasks, the name of the project and not the other Project Members. Almost like a hidden Project Member. Thanks


@James_Carl I believe that it is one or the other - see tasks and not the project; or see the whole project, its tasks, and its members. Overall, as you mention above, it feels like a question of the nature of the work, how much a person needs to see, and how much information a person wants a someone outside their organization to see.

@Stephen_Graham if you’re willing, I suggest you stick to assigning specific tasks to the specific person outside you’re organization. Simply enter an email address in the assignee field, write the task, and you’re good to go.


I know this is an old thread but I’m not sure if Stephen’s questions was answered or maybe mine is just a little different.
I’m a General Contractor and I assign tasks to my employees as needed. However I HAVE TO USE external subcontractors like electricians or plumbers etc. And I may use sever different electricians or plumbers for the different jobs we have going. I don’t want to invite or have those subs in my asana. (Most wouldn’t use it or know how to any ways.) But I do want to assign a task to a generic person like “Electrician” or “Plumber” maybe even “Electrician 1” “Electrician 2” etc. This will allow me to select that imaginary persons tasks and see their grouping or status. I could probably do this with Tags. But I hate seeing a task without an assigned person. What I’ve been doing is assigning the person who is responsible for calling that sub. But again that is not really what I want.
Basically can I create a person in asana without having to use an email address.


Hi, this is an old thread but I wonder if anyone can help me

We’re looking for a way to add people to Tasks on Projects, without letting them see the rest of the Tasks on that project

For example, we are doing an SEO management piece for a client and will farm out bits of development or copywriting to different devs or copywriters, but we don’t want them to see what parts of the project have been farmed out to others as it creates issues

We would like to have the Project visible to all internal team members, but certain tasks visible to external team members without revealing the rest of the project details, can anyone recommend a workaround?

Thanks, Alex


Hi @Alex_Hamer. I tested this by assigning a task that is within a big project to my personal gmail account. I logged out of Asana and logged in from my gmail.

As this guest assignee, I can see ONLY the task which I’ve been assigned. I cannot see any other tasks because Asana created it as a hidden private project.
Displayed at the top of the task like so:

One thing to note, while I cannot see any other tasks or projects I can see names of some of the people on the team. But when I click on their profile images, all of their tasks lists are blank.

I’d suggest giving it a test run with a personal account first, just to be sure it works as you wish.


Does this mean it needs to be an email address for an Asana account not previously linked to the project?

Would I need to remove them from the Team and Project and add them to Tasks individually if they already have Asana accounts which are linked to our projects?


@Alex_Hamer I think it would need to be an account that is not a member of the organization. That doesn’t mean they could not already have an Asana account.

I do not know the answer to your second question but it’s a good one and I’d like to know that myself. I’m pinging @Alexis at Asana so she can help make sure you get the right answers.


Great, thank you for your help!


Heck yeah…then I get get rid of Sortd and use Asana for team members and outside vendors, That would be super awesome feture and squash some of the Kanban style CRM’s that are trying to be like Asana. Dragg app is trying but still have a long way to go.


Has anyone answered this question? I really want to know the answer too. I don’t want to actually provide an email address for the 3rd party. I just want to assign a task to the name of that 3rd party. They will never actually access my Asana. It’s just to help me keep things organized and know every task is assigned to someone. Then I could easily see if any of my 3rd party assignee’s are overloaded by looking at their calendar.


No one ever replied to me. But… What woked for me was to take an old email address that I don’t use any more and use it. In my case I wanted to assign tasks to Sub Contractors. So I only created one extra person"Sub Contractors" using my old email address… It actually helps me a lot as I still get that email and I get notifications on that email to remind me about the work I assigned to Subs. I have added some Subs that we use alot by using their email and their actual name. They really like being notified this way.


It is amazing how long this thread is, but no resolution, only some work arounds.

Imagine if you could assign tasks to arbitrary people that dont have an account. It would be amazing.

In my case, I need to assign tasks to my client, but I dont want them getting emails from Asana nor do I want them to log in. So it would be nice to assign tasks to “Client A” and then during my weekly project review with the Client, I can print out a list of all their tasks.


Instagantt offers Virtual User concept. It does appear as assignee in Instagantt, but in Asana this assignment fact is reflected as a task tag with VU: prefix, with no actual assigneed for the task.


It’s been awhile since the original post, but my thought is to not assign it to anyone but instead use a tag in place of assigned.