Reference numbers for tasks

+1 for task numbers being shown in the ticket (immediately visible on the board without having to open the task to see it) and searchable.

Coming from Jira, this is a must-have. For any serious project manager, the sheer volume of tasks means a ticket ID is a necessity.

And please, make them short. I need to be able to tell someone ‘look at ticket ABC1234’ not ‘look at 78324563475408 sigh 365605 no, wait, i got one wrong, lets start again…’

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FYI based on this discussion we just added the Task Number and Date Created fields as available columns in our Treesana solution, so you can have those included (and sort by them) in a task list; for example:

Granted, it’s the Asana Task ID so still pretty long…

Hi Phil, how I can get the Treesana solution?

Hi @P_Ariel_mc,

Please go here to sign up for the Treesana beta - thanks for your interest!

FYI it’s been renamed - it’s now called Desksana (to reflect that it’s a desktop app for Asana).

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From my quick read here, task-id is insufficient to identify a task - you also need project-id.

As another use case, if I am required to investigate some data in our system, and that request is put to me via asana, I may create a number of files relating to my investigation - a sql file that checks data, another sql file that fixes data, perhaps a csv file with data as a backup, or that an end-user requires. I would typically prefix all these files with a ticket number so they sort together in my file system and are easily linked back to the task that requested that work. My thoughts on the discussion so far:

  1. the task-id is very long - perhaps this is unavoidable, I don’t know

  2. the task-id is insufficient to ID a task if I am working on multiple projects - I actually need proect-id/task-id

  3. a forward slash in the full unique identifier (per point 2) will break a file name when I’m creating my work-related files. This means copy-pasting the asana URL, positioning the cursor back at the slash and replacing it with a hyphen, then doing all the same in reverse if I want to look the item up again in asana. Compare, for example, Pivotal Tracker, where I can click a tiny button within the story card that copies the story ID to my clipboard - as simple as click, then paste. (It has a second button to copy the story’s unique URL - regardless of project - in case you want that instead).

As it stands, my work file prefixes will now consist of at least 31 characters - two 15 character ID values plus a hyphen - and probably the prefix ‘asana_’ as well, to distinguish from tickets from other systems. Compare with, for example, ServiceNow for which our ID values had 5 or 6 numeric digits and a prefix for ticket type - such as inc_12345 for incident 12345 - and these IDs spanned the entire organisation regardless of project/environment/software system.

This is my first touch of asana - I’m surprised there is no obvious ticket number on a story card.

Cheers.

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For anyone looking for a third party solution for this, please try the following:

  1. Register for a trial of Project Processes here: http://bit.ly/2xMBkVk
  2. Create a new process and connect Asana with a Custom Action.
  3. Complete the Asana authorization process.
  4. Click on Get Started under Auto Numbering.
  5. Complete the wizard.

You can setup a prefix for the number, a suffix, a starting offset, etc. We can utilize custom fields or simply prepend the information to the task name which works better for searching or non-premium users. If you have any questions or issues getting going, please send me a message.

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Hello Maggie. Can you explain a bit more about this app/service? This sounds like what I/we are looking for.

From my perspective, this thread is about trying to evolve Asana into a Help/Service Desk app/service and that kind of depends on whether Asana sees itself also as that. I don’t know if Asana does, but that’s actually what I’m looking for too.

I love Asana, but being able to have an auto-incrementing, easy to see and verbally share, ID for certain tasks, would be very helpful. Personally, I think this would be best done by Asana building this capability into Custom Fields. That way everyone can get their Task ID setup to their personal liking, can be used across the entire organization or just for specific projects and is a ‘Premium’ feature, which in my view, it is.

It ‘sounds’ like this ‘Project Processes’ is something like that? Please explain more or ideally point to a website with more info. The link you provided is just a login/register page with no info? Thanks!

PS. After I posted this, I looked a little deeper. So ‘Project Processes’ looks to be part of ‘Project Buddy’, a Microsoft Outlook extension? From what it ‘looks’ like, a Microsoft account is required to use?

Sorry, I should have included a link to our product page. I’ve pasted one below. We are a third party that develops additional capabilities for Asana and other project / task management solutions. Our auto-numbering solution does give you the ability to add a prefix, starting number, suffix, etc. to the auto-number configuration.

Regarding the Microsoft account, that is a separate product we have that integrates Asana into Outlook. For the auto numbering, that is not necessary. You can find out more here, but also fill out the contact us form if you have additional questions and we can assist to answer them.

http://bit.ly/2yiDzxp

Thanks Maggie. That webpage was more useful in terms of information, however, that was short lived…

I signed up for the trial, but now things are confusing? After signing up and logging in, there is no ‘Asana Auto Task Numbering’ ? There is only a webpage asking to ‘Create New Process’. When clicking on that, I get to a screen with several services to ‘mash up’. There is no mention of ‘Asana Auto Task Numbering’, there is no recipe shown or described for how to set that up? It appears to be a generic service like Zapier or Automate.io, which could be fine, but there is no instruction or information? It’s almost as if this ‘Reddiapps > Project Buddy > Processes’ has no idea about what an ‘Asana Auto Task Numbering’ is?

I have used the Contact Form and the support@reddiapps.com to inquire about this, but so far I have not received ANYTHING. Not even an acknowledgement that I submitted something? (yes, I checked Junk Mail)

Any ideas?

@Asana: any info about whether there is anything on the roadmap for an auto-incrementing text Custom Field that could be used for easily and uniquely identifying Tasks?

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I need this feature as well, there’s any number of usecases where we’d like to have an easy-to-reference number for an Asana item so we can crossreference systems and eliminate communication-mistakes.

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Thank you to all for continuing this thread and not giving hope on a task ID inside the task. Well I just received an email from Zapier about an update to the Asana / Zapier integration that states:

New for Our Asana Integration: Find Tasks by ID or Name

Deborah Tennen / November 29, 2018

Asana is a crucial part of your task management, so you’ll often want to include a specific Asana task as part of your workflow. Now Zapier allows you to find Asana tasks by ID in addition to name, giving you more flexibility in your project management.

→ Automate your project management with Zapier’s Asana integrations.

So I ask you @Asana , if Zapier can find the task ID, supposedly (I didn’t try it yet), why can’t we have it as a task id in the actual task?

Please feel free to weigh in on this peeps!

Erik

It is remarkable that one would have to explain here why a unique identifier is needed at a per-task level. Yet another example of why it is bedrock necessary: If I am checking code into my source control repository, I want to be able to say, "Fix for task xxx, yyy and zzz in Asana. It should be absolutely basic functionality of any task management system to have a unique identifier that is visible and searchable.

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Exactly! Well said @neil_kessler. There has to be some obscure reason that they are dragging their heels on this enhancement.

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If anyone is interested, I’ve just used Zapier to create a pair of Zaps which provide auto-numbering for Asana tasks. There are currently two main limitations:

  1. Since Zapier doesn’t know about Asana custom fields, the auto-number can’t be put into a custom field. What my Zap does is update the task name to include the auto-number; for example:
    [2738] - Follow up with Betty Jo Bialoski
    You can format the task name and the number in really any way you’d like.

  2. When you create a new Asana task, it takes either 5 or 15 minutes (depending on the level of your Zapier subscription) to update the task so it has an auto-number.

In a nutshell, the process is to create one Zap which updates a Google Sheet when a new task is created in a certain project. That Google Sheet contains a script which adds an auto-number. Then a second Zap is triggered by the new row in the Google Sheet and it updates the task in Asana.

The reason for the 5 or 15 minute delay is that Zapier only polls Google Sheets for changes at that interval. I have a query into Zapier support to explore which of their app integrations support instant updates (like Asana does) to see if I can eliminate the delay by using something else to replace Google Sheets.

If anyone is interested, I can provide more details. It’s a bit complicated so I’d have to write up some steps.

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Hi Phil,

Have you tried to search for that 2738 as an example to get to that task in Asana?
Erik

Short answer: YES.

Longer answer: the key is to wrap the task number in a particular string - in my example I used square brackets - and then include that in your search string. So in that example I searched for [2738]

Awesome creativity!

Asana, strange that someone has to jump through that many hoops to get a feature that seems foundational.

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Erik,

I find that the best way to review a bunch of task in a meeting is to create a project about that meeting. You link in all the tasks you want to discuss ahead of time and put them in a section called Agenda.

Before the meeting, you invite your team members and they can link in any tasks they would like to discuss. You can leave conversations, etc., just like any project.

Throughout the meeting, if any new tasks are created, you can add them to a section called Action Items.

Before the meeting is over, you can make sure that all tasks are assigned to someone so they don’t fall through the cracks.

After the meeting is over, you can go through those tasks and put them in the relevant projects, assign custom field values, etc.

This is an old thread, so hopefully you got something figured out, but your use case example seemed perfect for a Meeting project.


Another way to do this would be to create a “Meeting” tag. You could then go through all the tasks you want to discuss in your meeting and tag them. Then, when the meeting starts, everyone can run a report on the tag “Meeting” and they will have the exact list of tasks to discuss.

I think each use case depends on the scope of the meeting.

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I think the main issue here is that people are thinking about Asana all wrong. They are bringing ideas with them from old paradigms. I’m not saying they are wrong, I’m just saying this different direction that Asana has chosen has caused frustration. But there are different ways of thinking when using Asana that can get you what you want if you step back and look at the problem you are really trying to solve.

In Erik_Graham’s case it was reviewing tasks in a meeting. Creating a meeting project and linking in the tasks to discuss is a very easy and well-supported way to discuss a subset of tasks. That’s one of the main reasons I love Asana (linking a task to more than one project).

Neil_Kessler’s example is a bit different. But sometimes Asana just isn’t the right tool for the job.

I’m not sure why some here chose Asana as a help desk software when there are a lot of other options that have unique IDs, but in my case, I wanted the entire company to be able to use one tool and I felt like Asana was more generic and easier to use in other departments of the company. But to do that, I understood I was giving up some things (that really weren’t that important day-to-day).

As a developer myself, I don’t want to expose my unique IDs to customers because it locks me into whatever system was generating those IDs (often it’s a database). If I want to change it later, I can’t without breaking a million external integrations that my customers created on their own. Imagine how upset you’d be if you spent a bunch of time building a system based off the Asana unique ID and then they changed it. (I would guess that’s one driving force in not making the change.)

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