Back referencing/linking when a task is referenced in other tasks

Hi,

In my team we are using Asana all the time to organize our work and to share ideas. A very common use case in our team is to reference a task in other tasks, to provide context and valuable background information. I would love to see a feature that makes it easy to view in which tasks a task is referenced.

If “task A” is referenced in other tasks, “task A” should contain a list of tasks where “task A” is referenced. Very similar to how projects where the task exist in are listed. The list could look something like this if “task A” was referenced in “task B” and “task C”.

“This task is referenced in”
Task B (clickable link)
Task C (clickable link)

Preferably this list should be at the top of “task A”, maybe just below the description or close to the list of projects the tasks exist in.

It’s possible to think of this back referencing functionality as a “soft task dependency”. It’s not a sub task, it’s not dependent on, but is still somehow related.

Good idea, maybe a collapsed section with the incoming links!

Any comments from the Asana team? For us this feature would be a killer, and make it so much easier to find related tasks, and to understand the context of tasks.

In addition to the use case explained in the OP, a referencing list should also auto-populate whenever anybody references other tasks in the description and in comments.

So in my opinion the close to the task “header”, around the location where projects are listed, there should be two new lists items

Tasks referencing this task

Tasks referenced by this this task.

A mock-up of what this could look like

1 Like

Hi,

Follow-up tasks are one of the key features that brought me to Asana. You guys have solved the request below:

By adding a link to the newly created follow-up task. However, there is still no reference back in the originating task. So the “loop of traceability” is not closed. This could be solved by simply adding an automation to write into the task comments or description that information, much like what you guys already have when the follow-up gets info about the originating task. Or, this could be solved by a global implementation of Reciprocal references to @mentions across Asana, which I mentioned here:

https://forum.asana.com/t/reciprocal-mention-of-mentions-in-tasks-comments/77965/4

To give you an example of how that could work, just look at the excellent way the software on which the Asana Forum has included both those posts here in this thread, complete with ability to unfurl or collapse to see more content!

Thanks guys!

Thank you for sharing this great feedback with us @OT160!

There is an existing thread regarding this topic so if you don’t mind I’m merging your post with it to consolidate feedback. Please don’t forget to upvote it! :slight_smile:

Have a great day!

Hey @Pal_Kristensen, I am relatively new into the forum, and just posted the request myself which you can see above, and it was merged here, and thankfully at that! Your mock up is just what I’d like to see in Asana, talk about a differentiator! I have been in and out of Asana and on a trial for one of the many times the last few months, and not convinced to come over yet, but this feature would seal the deal for me.

Have you seen RoamResearch.com? This is a new tool picking up a lot of hype as a notes taking Notion alternative, and it’s entirely predicated on exactly this concept. With Roam, you can create an “item” anytime in a block of text, and once you do that, it automatically picks up the reference to where it was mentioned. Super powerful, and Roam’s huge following is a testament to how much value this feature can bring.

It would really be a lifesaver for me as my team does a lot of cross-functional stuff. My main interest in Asana is the ability to have tasks in multiple projects - already a huge help to organization. But this feature is lacking, and really like a “missing link” for me to really feel that Asana has the complete package.

Thanks again for posting this, fingers crossed it will move into production!

@Natalia, thank you, this was just the place for the request and I’ve added a vote and a comment as you can see! @Pal_Kristensen has a great illustration on how this could look.

I would be ever grateful if you could give me us here any insight whatsoever as to whether this is a feature at all in your guys’ wheelhouse. It would be a huge game-changer for me. Would simply like to know if it’s something you guys would even consider, how technically challenging do you see it, do you think it adds value to Asana, anything at all just to have an idea of where your thoughts are on this!

Thank you again!

Hey, and sorry to write yet again, but I can’t see how to edit posts in here…anyway, the software the forum is using, Discourse, does a great job itself. Check out how they do this:

Great example of how Asana could implement!

Hey guys, Sorry if this is already out there but I couldn’t find the equivalent request after searching a bit.

I have just come over to Asana after about a 2 year research stretch moving my Start-up to a more comprehensive solution after we were only using Jira for our developers - we are in web publishing.

I have really been impressed with the @mention feature for elements in Asana other than users. Really nice is the ability to not just mention tasks, but Projects, even teams. However, I feel like the feature is missing it’s “other half” until there is an accompanying feature where you’d see the mention in the entity that is the “destination,” ie the mentioned entity.

So for example, I mention a project in a task. Perhaps in the “About” area, which has some free screen “real estate” still in the current UI, there could be a widget for “mentions” and you could see all the mentions that have been recorded around Asana?

There are a ton of good uses of this. For example, you could in this scenario have a meeting in a task, and every time you mention an ongoing Project, or a Task, that would get picked up in the destination. So when you review the Project, a team can see when it was discussed, and easily click back to the task and see decisions made, etc.

Thanks guys and really hoping that you will move this to development!

Hî,

That is a very valid request! I know it is already in the forum but not sure where. @moderators will be able to help!

Hi @Bastien_Siebman, thank you, and glad to hear you understood the request!

I imagine this has been brought up before. Are you aware of any discussion and whether there is a chance Asana Product may think about implementing this? There are a ton of years’ old requests here that are more or less ignored, so I don’t have high hopes. I am back-and-forth on fully bringing my team into Asana or not, and this is a big piece for me. My background is I’m heavily looking at nocode solutions like Notion, Coda, Zenkit, and Fibery.io, and see a lot of potential to emulate that use with Asana, but lack of two-way references is a big roadblock for me. What intrigues me though is how well this “first half” has been executed - you can get to just about any Asana entity - project, team, task, user - with the @mention. That is a terrific execution by the Asana team as most other apps I’ve tried - if they allow @mention of an entity at all - limit to the “task” basic building block.

Thanks again and eager for any other insight you have!

No idea but that seems like a decent request + something fairly easy to do, so there is hope.

They are not ignored, they are prioritized in a roadmap we don’t know about.

Maybe we can dig deeper into why you need this so much and what are the alternatives!

@Bastien_Siebman Good to hear from you, I appreciate your response! I checked out your tools’ page, very impressive and I may sign up as you have a ton of useful stuff!

Sorry if that came across as cynical, but I truly believe Asana needs to improve the roadmap handling. I first experimented here 2 yrs ago, but gave up for other tools. In the end I could not find anything that fit my team’s needs well enough during that whole time, so I am going to try Asana again. Main reasons:

  • Simplicity of task creation and visibility, in particular the improved list view which shows subtasks nested
  • Large number of native integrations
  • Great communication - the conversations are designed with real insight. Key for me is the subject. Gives them a real chance to replace Email, and much more sensible than Slack where the messages can deteriorate into an endless stream that is next to impossible to follow
  • App has really come along nicely, and some of my team is trying to go more with iPads these days

However, I have always been disappointed with the presence of the Asana Product team here in the community, and I think the pace of the roadmap is way not in line with the other seemingly outstanding elements of the organization - well designed fundamentals of the core App, massive funding, award after award for great place to work, etc.

  • There are a bunch of threads in here with 5+ messages asking for clarification from Asana official representatives, and zero response.

  • I do not understand the lack of a public roadmap. The Release Notes are Ok, but not too detailed, and do not connect to any activity in the forum here. And I think Asana is just going slow. There are a ton of new apps coming up that are releasing similar functionality, and more, at a fast pace. Examples of features that I think took way too long for an organizations of Asana’s capabilities:

    • allowing projects to be in list or board view, or
    • a start date on tasks/projects.

I realize there were challenges with those, but this is not a 35-person start-up and I expect more (Asana is not cheap!).

In the end I am here though and hoping to get the most from Asana, and very optimistic for now! I would love to get the ability to have those terrific mentions already present show up in tasks “where they are mentioned.” One use I have are team meetings: If you make a task for a meeting, you could then go to each task you are talking about, @mention the meeting task, and then if those references were picked up in the original meeting task, you’d have a nice list of what you talked about and what decisions were made automatically generate in the meeting task. Simply share that task to your team, and viola you have an amazing meeting note. Even the function of “Follow-on Tasks,” one of my favorites, does not include any trace of the follow-on in the original task, nor automatically close it, which could be useful. With reciprocal linking, that would happen automatically. I created a request around that as well:

There is also a very up-and-coming note-taking tool called roamresearch.com which is predicated on reciprocal linking. It really shows the potential here. And once again, I feel like Asana is 1/2 way there, so with the mentions coming through on “the other side,” you’d also get some of the benefit that Roam is showing is very helpful when organizing.

Once again thanks, and I look forward to seeing all that the Asana product team has in store, even though I wish the pace was faster!