Projects as Tasks OR Project within a Project

@jallensantos

First: Project list and Dashboard

It sounds like you’re looking for more detail and customization. Have you thought of using custom fields to customize your experience is this list of tasks linking to projects? Users can now filter advanced search by custom fields, which may address your desire for filtering. And if you’re looking to sort, just use advanced search for custom fields and then export a CSV of the search, so you can fiddle with it in the csv format.

Second: Reporting

If by “mail” you mean “email,” then forwarding emails to Asana could be a fit for you. You could pair that email forwarding with some custom fields action and perhaps have a workable solution for you for the time being. (I know I keep talking about custom fields, but man they sure do allow for flexibility!) If I’m not mistaken, the custom fields would require some time investment in each forwarded email, but I suspect you’d see a big payoff in the benefits of reporting down the line.

If you’re using snail mail, then a manual process with custom fields could still be a solution.

Third: Slack

Ah, I see what you mean. Sounds like it’s getting a bit too noisy to hear about all of the BSR tasks rather than the individual tasks that might correspond to an individual channel. That’s helpful feedback. @Kaitie do you have any thoughts on this integration or a workaround here?

I hope this level of detail is helpful. Happy to explore more or let you explore on your own and/or with the community. :slight_smile:

Thank YOU for presenting such interesting questions and for your patience as we explore this together! More power to you for focusing on organization and mastering processes and workflows.

I think I have a somewhat similar use-case that would be greatly improved by “Projects in projects”

With one of my clients, besides my normal design duties, I am helping them utilize Asana for project management. The project manager wants to see a high level view of multiple teams and projects. For example we have a hardware team and a software team managing several projects each. The project manager cares only about project status and wants to view them as tasks and use them to make Gantt charts and priority changes. Basically his tasks are our projects. It seems having projects in projects would allow this view to happen.

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@Travis_Travelstead you summarized everything perfectly!!
Basically his tasks are our projects. :smile:

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@jallensantos one suggestion I have is to modify your project “tasks” which contain all their subtasks and add these subtasks to their own parent project. You can add subtasks to a project by first clicking on the subtask and then the task menu:



Using this approach, you could have a master project with all your BSR’s as @Alexis mentioned. Each task (BSR) has its own list of subtasks. Each BSR also has its own project with these subtasks in them. Then, you can create dashboards to quickly update your client on the progress of the BSR. Regardless of whether you mark the task as done in the subtask or the BSR project, the update would be reflected everywhere.

You could further organise things by adding all the BSR projects to their own team.

P.S. @Travis_Travelstead this may be useful for you as well.

@paulminors yep. Actually, we’ve started doing that weeks ago! And it looks to be a good work around at the moment. Thanks! :smile:

@paulminors
Thanks I will try this also.

We are a small non-profit that has multiple contracts with multiple projects under each one. So for example, Contract A has 10 components/projects, Contract B has 5, etc. I’ve loaded these all into Asana using the contract as the Project, and then each of the components as Tasks. This gives me a nice list for each from a bird’s eye perspective. However, I’m having difficulty exporting a monthly report because much of the work we are doing is actually at the subtask level. When I try to view the progress of the whole contract, I only see the fully completed Tasks, and not any of the subtasks. Ultimately, this makes it look like we are not working efficiently when in fact, there is plenty of work being done that is not counted. I tried making some of the subtasks “Add to Project” but maybe I have not done it right. I have hundreds of subtasks as the whole year is planned out.

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Hey @Karen_Mason-Bennett - what are you using for the monthly report, just an export of the project? Have you tried to use the Advanced Search function to run these progress/status reports?

With advanced search, you can run reports say like - tasks or subtasks completed in project XYZ in the past 30 days (or a specific time frame) that are assigned to X person. And then you can export the CSV or JSON of that search - AND star it for regular items. For me, I have to report on completions/creations for one of our teams every week and I just have the time frame set to ‘Created within the past 7 days’ and click on those when I’m doing the report.

I don’t know if I would recommend adding all of your subtasks and subtasks-within-subtasks to the main project as that kind of ruins the purpose of the birds eye view perspective of the project as a whole.

Have you thought about using custom fields to indicate completion or status? I know this is premium only at the moment, but if you have them it might help! For me, I have a universal ‘Status’ field - has items like “In Progress, Reviewing, Needs Update, Ready, Complete” etc. So for leadership they can pop into a project and see the colors for each one and know where each task is.

You could also do a custom field with percentages of completion - so say 3 out of 4 subtasks are complete, you update the main task field with 75% completed, etc. That would be a little more upkeep though, especially as custom fields aren’t in subtasks yet (unless you add them to a project that has them, which I guess you could have a separate project for those to avoid cluttering up the main project), but I think might be something you can do as part of your reporting process?

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Oh you’re lovely! That worked just fine. I was using the Asana Dashboard and have a report exported to Sprintboards which we are forwarding to the Board. That’s where it looks like we only have achieved 3/56 tasks which is misleading when there are 536 subtasks housed underneath.
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it!

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No problem, glad to have helped - the dashboard reporting → google sheets leaves something to be desired, but as most of the time with Asana, there are other ways to do what you need to do =)

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This is an older post but while I was in Evernote today I observed how extensively I use the Stacks feature
https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/208314158. It is not really the physical creation of another project to hold other projects, but what looks like a project when you drag a project on top of each other. When you do this, it creates a folder that looks like a project and you name it accordingly. Not totally dissimilar to how you can organize your Iphone. Maybe this would be a consideration for Asana to organize the left pane in addition to my favorite request of a single ± expand/collapse to the Team level.

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Huge +1 here. I’ve been aching for this for a while. Here’s another good use case:

  • We’re a development team managing projects for stakeholders within the business.
  • We have 2-week release cycles.
  • Stakeholders want to know how much progress we’ve made on our goals for each project they care about (i.e., what percentage of tasks are done). This implies “dashboard” access for stakeholders on these projects.
  • We need to know which projects we’re prioritizing this sprint, implying task-level management for projects within the sprint cycle.

@Alexis’ solution of linking projects into task descriptions is alright, but it can’t tell us how close we are to completing the sprint on time, as we can’t report on aggregate project data.

It seems to me that, since projects and tasks have similar structure (title, description, owner, due date, subtasks), you could fairly easily generalize the reporting functionality so that we could run arbitrary “doneness” reports on individual tasks.

Anyway, just let the record show that there’s one more supporter for the idea of projects within projects!

Thanks,
Kael

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I am using the Editorial Calendar Template, which is a project.

  • What I need is to create several projects within that Editorial Calendar project.

  • I need those several projects to show up on the Editorial Calendar, and each project will have tasks and sub-Tasks.

  • Basically, I need one Calendar with several projects on it, all showing at one glance on the calendar.

I cannot figure out how to create projects within the Editorial Calendar Template (Asana template). It will only let me create tasks. The problem with this, is that I also need those Tasks to show up on the Editorial Calendar, but they don’t (because they are Tasks and not Projects).

I am a one-person team; I do not need to share this Editorial Calendar. I do need it to keep me on track with the many projects I have going.

Can someone please tell me a simple way to create a project within the Editorial Calendar project??

thanks

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Hi @Elaine_Lucia,

Technically we can’t nest Asana projects within other Asana projects. However, we have lots of flexibility for managing different work campaigns (work projects) within Asana.

I suggest that you create sections within the Asana project to signify the many campaigns your managing within that Asana project. In order to create Sections, just create an ordinary task and put a colon [ : ] at the end.

If this doesn’t suit you, then I suggest you create an Asana “team” that you name Editorial Calendars. Then, each Asana project within the Asana team can be a separate campaign you’re working on.

Please let us know if you have follow up questions.

Thanks,
Alexis

Apparently, it is possible to create sections within sections – in other words, sub-sections. That is to say, you can create a project and add sections to it, and you can further deepen it by adding sub-sections to those sections. This is not the same as adding sections to a task, although I am curious if it is possible to add sub-sections within sections – within tasks.

I’ve seen this at work in the “My Tasks” tab under the “Later” Section. When you add a task that is part of a project to the “Later” section, it will display the project as a sub-section and the task under it. It does not display the section that you have that task under in that project, but nonetheless the “Later” section automatically creates sub-sections when you add these types of tasks to it. Below is an example, I added a task that was within a project called “Business Plan” I created for my BewareOfMUTT Team and this is what happened.

I want to be able to create sub-sections within projects myself, how can I do this?

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This is what I’m trying to figure out right now.
We have a Project for every Project my team is working on (be it a blog post, a social post, a case study, etc.).
I need to corral all like Projects together into a calendar view (i.e. an Editorial Calendar, a Social Calendar, etc.).
I started with Portfolios, but these don’t let me see a calendar.
So I tried to create an Editorial Calendar PROJECT, but it won’t let me add the individual Projects (of work to be done) to the calendar-view Project (of all related Editorial PROJECTS).

HELP!

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Hi @Jessica_Martin :wave:

In this case, you can use the Team Calendar to see the tasks from all of your Team’s projects displayed in a single view.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any follow-up question! :slight_smile:

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Pretty much the exact same thing here. We’re looking at an overall yearly backlog (2020 for example) which has kanban lanes for each month. But we also need monthly projects to manage the monthly releases (which has kanban lanes for task status - and we can’t use the “status” field as we want to be able to go back and take a look for example at everything we did in October.

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LOL no one seems to be using Asana as intended. It’s all a big workaround, which make some features unusable, so we need… more workarounds!

We have an editorial team as well. Where each piece of content is a project in real life, but we cannot have them as a project on Asana, since having hundreds of projects on a sidebar or a rudimentary Team Screen makes the whole thing cluttered and useless.

Wouldn’t creating a Team Screen that has the looks and functionality of current Projects solve the whole thing?

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