Follow-up On Task Comments

Hey Asana community, first-time poster here.

Is there an easy way to track the comments that I’ve made on different tasks?

I find myself having to click on one task at a time in order to see if I’ve left a comment or a question and whether any team members have responded.

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Hey @Jordan_Cohen! Welcome to the Forum. One good way to get notifications about tasks you’ve commented on would be to follow that task. You can click “Follow Task” in the bottom right after you’ve left a comment so you can stay in the loop!

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What’s the use case for this Jordan?

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Thanks Parker. The problem at the moment is that I’ve commented on many tasks on which I’m expecting a response, but I can’t find a way to easily see on which ones I have and haven’t received a comment.

Does that make sense?

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Hey @Jordan_Cohen, welcome to the Forum! Using Advanced search you can track the tasks you’ve commented on. Click “Advanced Search”> “Add Filter”> “People” > “Commented on by”:

Please let us know if this is what you are looking for! :slight_smile:

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You can stay up to date with responses to your comments by keeping a regular check on your inbox. You are automatically added as a collaborator to any task that you comment on, meaning that any activity to that task will show in your inbox. The important thing is to archive notifications once you’ve read them (or one you’ve actioned them if you need to respond to a comment etc) - this helps you to stay on top of what’s new.

Is this something you’re already doing? If so, what is making this difficult?

Thanks Dave. The problem isn’t so much finding the comment once it’s been made. It’s following up when a response to my comment has not been made in a certain amount of time. Especially when the info is time sensitive.

For example:

Me: “@Jessica Did X Company give us a deadline?”

Jessica: No response

Is there an easier way to recognize that Jessica hasn’t seen/responded to my question than just searching through each of her tasks one at a time?

Ahhh I see, yes some comments are definitely time sensitive. It sounds like there’s something more systemic at issue here so it’s hard to answer without drawing a few assumptions, my apologies if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick!

The first thing that comes to mind here is that if any one person is consistently not responding comments then either:

A) They’re genuinely not noticing things and could benefit from some coaching/training to help make sure they are using their inbox properly (ie clearing it to zero at least once per day) and responding in a timely manner or…

B) They’re deliberately not responding, in which case it’s a management issue.

Having to micro-manage and “check up” on what’s not been responded to definitely sounds like a headache, not to mention a time consuming exercise so I’d do whatever you can to get to the stage where you don’t “need” to check and can simply trust that they’re seeing everything and know when and how to respond appropriately.

However, that doesn’t solve the immediate problem. If it is ONE specific task or project that you’re waiting for a response on then it’s easy enough to dig that out and check. But if you need to know “all tasks with questions unanswered by Jessica from 2+ days ago” that’s another story. There’s no way of that I know to do this without building something custom with the API.

As @Vanessa_N shared you can certainly created a report of tasks that have been commented on by any single person but given that tasks may have any number of comments back-and-forth you probably need to design something more customised.

Here are a few ideas off the cuff…

One thing you could try would be to use custom fields. For instance, when working on one-and-done projects (such as a marketing campaign launch) we use a dropdown custom field called “status” with the following options.

  • Backlog
  • Can’t Start
  • Ready for Action
  • In Progress
  • Stuck
  • Ready for Review

Setting any task to “Stuck” provides a clear way for the project manager or team lead to know which tasks need urgent attention and potentially bottlenecking the rest of the project. With this, they can create a saved search or set up notifications to make sure things are addressed quickly. It also helps to know what’s being worked on across the team at any given time.

However, let’s say it’s not the project manager but one specific team member that needs to be made aware of the need for urgent action. Firstly, it depends how urgent it is. If it’s a day or two, then training them to use the inbox properly should solve this problem.

However, if you need a response ASAP then you could add a tag to the project called “Time Sensitive” and set up some custom automation to notify the user on Slack/email/SMS etc that their attention is needed. They could then receive the notification, reply and remove the tag. You can use Zapier’s “Tag Added To Task” trigger for this (let me know if you’d like some help setting this up)

You could then set up a saved search for all projects that contain the “Time Sensitive” tag to see which projects are still awaiting a reply from any/all users.

To take it further, if you simply want to know of ALL unresponsive tasks, urgent or otherwise, you could still use a tag. You could leave a comment and add a “Reply Needed” tag, and train your team to remove the tag once they’ve replied. Again, the saved search would show all tasks needing a response (ie those with the tag applied) and again, this requires that the response is needed from the owner of the task, not another collaborator.

If you need to track non-replies from people who are NOT the task owner a rather long-winded route would be to create a sub task assigned to that person and follow the same tag process as above.

All of this however, could be a bit of a nightmare to manage and if you did implement any of it, I would try to make it as temporary as possible to avoid creating a micro management headache. There is no substitute for a well trained team with clear expectations and SOPs so the best thing you could do (assuming that it’s not already happening) is to train everybody to clear their inbox to zero every day.

By this, I don’t mean hitting “archive all” I mean going through one-by-one and archiving anything where their action is not needed, and NOT archiving any items where their action IS needed (such as replying to your question) until that action has been taken.

I hope that helps! Sorry it’s a bit of a long one but it’s late :sweat_smile: - Happy to chat 1-to-1 if you need any further help Jordan.

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For my context, I’m looking for a “what work did we do” report. A task may have been modified or completed, but the details of what actions were taken will be in the comments.

'Alice completed the build yesterday, but what exactly did they do?
Because I’m not assigned to the task, I can’t rely on my inbox

So for a slightly more granular status update, I need a report that shows “All tasks modified in the last 4 days, and the comments that were added in that time range”