Dependencies - Bringing Child Tasks to “My Tasks” Once Parent Task Is Completed?

Hey all,
I’ve recently gotten on a bit of a Getting Things Done (GTD) kick, and am trying to get Asana to be the primary place that all of my to-dos and projects go. I’m a longtime Asana user, so most of the stuff is pretty straight-forward, but one thing I’m getting caught up on is the concept of “Waiting On”. Essentially what I’m trying to do is create 2 tasks - a Primary task and a Dependent task - and when the Primary task is marked as Complete, I want the Dependent task to show up under “New Tasks” in my Tasks.

So, if I want to schedule a meeting with Jeff, but I’m waiting for him to send me his availabilities, I theoretically want to hide “Schedule Meeting” until “Receive Availabilities” is complete. When “Receive Availabilities” is completed, then I want “Schedule Meeting” to show up at the top of My Tasks so that I can prioritize it. Because I’m not sure when I’ll mark Receive Availabilities as complete, I’d rather not assign a due date to either task. I also want to add both tasks to Asana at the same time so they’re not sitting in my brain somewhere.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love Inbox (which is probably going to be the right answer to this question), but am open to any thoughts or use cases you’ve all used!

Thanks,

as a side note, if anyone has any good Asana + GTD documentation, I’d love to see it!

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Update: I think I may have somewhat answered my own question by putting a “Waiting On” section under My Tasks and putting the Dependent Tasks there there, but that gets a little cumbersome if there are a lot of them and/or I want tasks completely out of my vision until I can act on them.

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@Drew_Shannon, Last I checked notifications for dependencies didn’t happen if only one person was involved, so it ruled out the use I wanted which I think is the same as yours.

I used a combination of either a Pending section in My Tasks, or a future due date as a tickler (set to the nearest possible date, then I push out again as needed) along with also homing to a Pending project so if I need to I can find such Pending-but-out-of-sight tasks.

Hope that helps!

Larry

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Thanks @lpb! I think a combination of your recommendations is probably what I’ll end up doing:

  • Create a separate “Waiting On” project for the things I’m waiting on, like “Receive Jeff’s availabilities”. These won’t be assigned to me because there’s nothing I can do on them.
  • Create a new section in Upcoming called “For Follow-Up” with tasks to follow-up on the “Parent Tasks” from the Waiting On project if they haven’t already been completed. These will be assigned to me, with a due date at some point in the future. I’ll just delete these if I don’t end up needing them.

Thanks again,

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Sounds good. I forgot to mention that I also use Mark for Later a lot, but only when I’ve either 1) assigned a future “tickler” due date so I know auto-promotion will bring it back to view, or 2) I’ve added it to a Pending/Waiting project that I know I’ll be checking periodically.

Use of Later means it’s ok to leave assigned to me since it won’t clutter anything (I never open Later in My Tasks), and I don’t have to bother unassigning (often these start out in My Tasks so I’m already assigned), and I may end up reassigning so that saves a few keystrokes.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but tasks stay in Later until the due date is < 2 weeks away, correct? If so, that could be a great tickler list to get something immediately out of view, knowing it’ll come back later.

Automatically, at one week out they move from Later to Upcoming. At a day out they move from Later or Upcoming to Today.

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And when they are in Upcoming you can push them again to Later they will come back to Today.

The Waiting on project is a good idea. If you use dependencies, then you’ll have a small icon displayed on a task that is dépendant on another one. However as soon as the parent task is completed the icon disappears (I think, can’t check right now). Which means you can scan through the project and look for tasks without the icon, indicating you can act on the tasks.

Wut? Are you sure? Do you have a piece of documentation to back this up? It would be a bug doesn’t it?

Yes, I’m sure. I just tested it a moment ago. If you complete a precedent task and the dependent task is assigned to you, no notification. If you complete a precedent task and the dependent task is assigned to someone else, they will get a notification. This renders the feature unusable for oneself alone.

I pointed this out 1.5 years ago but no response:

The documentation at https://asana.com/guide/help/tasks/dependencies doesn’t mention that no notification is generated. I imagine this is not seen by Asana as a bug but rather an attempt to not bother you with a notification for an action that you yourself did. But in this case, it’s actually unhelpful to stifle this notification of a dependent task now being unblocked. That’s different from stifling a notification to yourself when you marked your own task complete, for example; that’s a good reason to stifle a notification.

I hope Asana will consider no longer stifling these notifications (and leave the documentation as is since then it doesn’t need change).

Larry

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@Edda @Cathya @Marie
Can you escalate this to the product team to check if this is intentional (and fix the documentation) or not and fix the code? Thanks a lot.

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Agree with @lpb the no notification for same owner dependencies has been raised a while back.

I am pretty sure one of post I raised about this Marie confirmed it was as designed but they where looking at adding it later.

Jason.

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Hi @Drew_Shannon

Use GTD and Asana quite a bit. There are quite a few posts in the Forum on using GTD and ASANA together.

I use Seperate Projects to capture some of the key Projects and Context elements that GTD use. So I have a “Waiting On” project which has a recurring check every week task. An “Email” project for Emails that I need to review and think about to see if they become projects. When I was travelling alot I had a “Da Plane Boss” project which I used when I was on a flight, the problem with that one was that it was hard to ensure that if I didn’t have wifi access I had loaded the right amount of detail into the Mobile App.

I also use a Status Custom Field which has a “Followup Required” option I use this also for flagging something like waiting on someone to get back to me on something and run the report on a regular basis…

Hope this helps.

Jason.

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Hi @lpb :wave:t3:

I think you’re probably right, by default Asana never notifies you of actions you took yourself as it considers you’re aware about it; but just to be sure, I’ll double check with the team and forward them your feedback! And of course, should we change anything, I’ll let you know right away :slight_smile:

Oh and more thing: you’re completely right, we do not mention this in the article dedicated to dependencies, but we have a note here in the article dedicated to Activity notifications :slight_smile: Hope this helps!

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Yes about the direct action, but I disagree about the consequences it might have. You could have dozen of tasks dependent on this one and would be happy to be notified so you can start working on them. Please reconsider :slight_smile:

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This conversation thread is PAINFUL to read. You guys are making it much harder on yourselfs. It’s easier to just send an email to the guy and wait a few days for gmail to remind you that you haven’t received a response from him after a few days. Or, it’s easier to just put an entry on the calendar.

I’m following this because it makes sense that if you mark something as dependent on something you’re waiting on, you absolutely want to see it pop up in your tasks.

Also, I want asana to show me what I have to get done most importantly. Not everything else that’s going on that will distract me. This is a major issue with Asana.

Inbox needs something different to make it useful.

A few thoughts on your comment regarding Inbox being unusable currently. I agree with you. Simply the ability to filter by alert type (i.e. Completed Task, Project Name, etc) and delete en masse while filtered would be huge… Better yet, rules on which types of notifications you’d like to land in our inbox vs being archived. Some people may not care to see all completed tasks mentioned in their inbox, thus requiring they manually delete them, while others may rely on this workflow.

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I totally acknowledge that there are other ways for me to solve the current problem I’m facing. I’m just trying to get to the point where I use Asana for pretty much everything, including items not handled in email.

Last week, an official take on GTD with Asana was published:

In GTD, something is a project if it takes multiple steps to reach the goal. So setting up an appointment qualifies. Personally, I wouldn’t create a project or subtasks for a project of which the sequential steps are completely predictable. Just rename the task to the next step.

For Waiting for, I use Asana’s Tag feature. I also tag tasks that need to happen at the office (the rest I can do pretty much anywhere).

For stuff you handle via Outlook/email, it’s not weird to keep it over there. Just make sure to check up every once in a while. For most people, a weekly review is sufficient. So you could have an email folder “Waiting for” to which you copy all email messages like order confirmations, requests for calendar dates and documents you asked for. Then move the email to a folder “Archive” so every email you’d want to search for is in that folder. During weekly review, check the “Waiting for” folder, delete what’s been done and decide whether you want to act on stuff you didn’t get yet.

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@Mackaaij - Thanks heaps for sharing this. My 22yr old son has just been working through implementing GTD in Asana and was having some trouble, so am sure this will be of use.

@Drew_Shannon - Looks likes this might be your answer…

Jason.

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