Best Way to Follow Items You Actually Care About?

My President is looking for a better way “follow” the things he really cares about without relying on the traditional ‘follow’ function. The reason is that he is often added as a follower for a bunch of items he doesn’t really need updates on - often because people ‘@’ mention him.

Yes, he knows he can remove himself as a follower when needed, but what he’s really trying to do is cut through the clutter and just see updates on the items he really cares about. We’ve thought about using tags, but I feel like that gets messy quickly. Another thought was to make the items he really cares about milestones (vs. tasks) and then build out an advanced report to show everything, but sometimes he need an overall update on the project / initiative and the milestone might not be regularly updated or commented on by users.

Not sure I did a great job of explaining the exact use case / frustrations, but that’s kind of where we’re at right now.

I understand your request totally and I believe it’s a common or near-universal use case: VIP needs a tailored view of the data, and you want to provide them something crisp and clear. The solution would typically rely on intelligent filtering of tasks and milestones, and a customizable view. This was easy in JIRA: filtering, grouping and sorting was available without limit on every attribute of every item. (I had some searches with more than 30 statements and had at least 20 different live views of data, customized for every individual or group I met with or managed.)

It’s really rough in Asana because filter capabilities are highly restricted (only certain fields, with certain values/settings, in certain views) and the views themselves have minimal custom settings. You can create a blunt force proxy for filtering by tagging items one by one as “For CEO Review” or adding them to a CEO Review project. Then he can view a Timeline or report, with perhaps a sort. It will require a lot of maintenance (set a recurring task :slight_smile: ) and the tags and multi-homing do clutter up the view for every user, even for the sake of one.

It is what it is. There are some add-ons that address this issue somewhat, but none of them tested so far have been worth the extra trouble, from my POV. Good luck!

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. It would appear as if you’ve come to the same conclusion as I have… We’ve reviewed many of those add-ons and they don’t really address exactly what we’re looking for.

I feel like associating the items that are most critical to a ‘CEO Review Project’ is probably best because it opens up more options when it comes to views (timeline, for example) and sorting compared to looking at reports built around ‘tags’. Then we just need to ensure that if there is an overall project that he needs updates on that at least one task (a milestone?) from that project is associated with

Then again… a benefit of ‘tags’ is that you can subscribe to them when any task/milestone associated with the tag is updated you get a notification (in case you’re not a follower) and that way the CEO could append the tag to multiple tasks that are part of a broader project vs. just waiting for an overall status update on that project or for the milestone he’s tracking to be marked complete.

The biggest issue here is that if he is mentioned, then I suppose people are expecting an answer. So he should probably go and answer, and then remove himself from the followers…

That isn’t so much the issue, it was really about the best way to specifically jump into a view (report / project / etc.) to just look at the dozen or so items he cares the most about.

After meeting this morning, we decided the best approach would be to add the important tasks, milestones, etc. to a private project he owns. This way when he does weekly 1-on-1s with managers he’d be able to focus on the handful of strategic initiatives he really needs to focus on and then from there he’s going to jump into a custom report that shows him everything else he either assigned or is a follower, grouped by assignee, that is not in the master/private project he created.

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Sounds great! Come back later to tell us if it worked!