How did this happen? subtasks duplicated as parent tasks in same project

Can you help me figure out how this happened and how to fix it?

Greer created a Parent Task called Mission Chapters, and added 4 subtasks. She assigned all of them to LarLeslie. LarLeslie came in and can’t explain what she did, but it ended up duplicating the 4 subtasks and lists them as parent tasks at the top of the section. They are literally duplicates – when you highlight one it hightlights the other (like HER2 task in pic), and if you comment in one, it posts the comment in both.

The task comment notifications say the tasks were created by Greer, assigned to LarLeslie, and then it says LarLeslie created the tasks. She’s confused herself and can’t tell me what happened.

How do I remove the duplicated parent tasks without affecting the subtasks that we want to keep? Any idea how we got it like this?

Hi @Heather_Beaudoin,

Here is the key to the answer to your question:

What you’re seeing is the normal Asana behavior of subtasks when they are attached to a project.

By default, subtasks are not attached to any project and so they don’t show up twice in the project list view. When you assign them to the project, they show up twice as you’re seeing.

Note that those top-level tasks are not duplicates of the subtasks; they are literally the same tasks, just being displayed in two places.

If you don’t need the subtasks attached to the project, you can remove the assignment to that project and the top-level display of them will go away.

A workaround that some recommend is to make a section called something like “Subtask Copies - Ignore”, put it as the bottom section in the list, drag the top-level versions of the subtasks into that section, and then collapse the section. That’s the closest you’ll get to actually hiding those top-level things!

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Thanks, Phil… that makes a lot of sense. Appreciate your help as we’re starting to use Asana more and more for our cross-functional teams. I removed the project from the subtasks, and that worked great.

In addition, we have a team who is homing tasks in multiple projects so they can consolidate their work into a team work queue. Would you recommend they only multi-home a parent task in another project? I’m trying to figure out if adding the subtasks instead of the parent task to the other project would be most useful, or just the parent task, or if all of them should be added to their work queue. Do you have any thoughts?

It’s hard to say without knowing more about the specifics of your situation, but overall I’d say yes. Because of their sometimes-odd behavior (like what we just discussed here), I generally think subtasks are best for checklist-type lists rather than for full tasks with assignees, due dates, etc. Sometimes they need to be used as full tasks but I like to avoid it wherever possible.

But also, I should note that usage of Asana subtasks can turn into a bit of a religious argument at times!

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It does :grimacing: however I do agree 100% with you on what you said!

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