Hello, Asana Team
I love your product and have used it for years. But there is but one big glaring limitation I have found with it that I would like to express. Perhaps others here in the community can see where I am coming from and may also appreciate it if this was a feature.
For me and the way I and my company use Asana, my inbox is far too cluttered and difficult to sort through. I often do not see important things because they are buried under more mundane notifications that I cannot sort, filter, or turn off beyond manually archiving all of them but the ones I need to see. For the scale at which we use Asana, that is a major time sink and is rarely sustainable.
Recently the sorting and filtering functions for the usual Project List view and the Advanced Search have seen great improvements that I really appreciate, but those sort of improvements have not yet moved to the Inbox.
I am aware that currently you can opt in or out of receiving email notifications for Daily Summaries, Weekly Reports, and Activity Updates. You can uncheck all of those boxes to not receive emails (which I prefer since I would rather do everything in the Asana Inbox anyway) but no matter what all Activity Updates for tasks you are following will go to your inbox.
This in itself is not a bad thing, but the major issue my team is facing is that “Activity Updates” is too broad of a category and you cannot sort your status updates by any more specific subcategories.
Currently, things that fall under “Activity Updates” include:
- A task is assigned to you
- A task is unassigned from you
- A task assigned to you is approaching its due date
- A task assigned to you has past its due date
- A task assigned to you has its due date changed
- A task you are following has new attachments uploaded to it
- A task you are following has new comments posted to it
- A task you are following is marked complete
- A subtask within a task you are following is marked complete
- A task you are following receives a Like
- A task you are following is merged with another task
- You have been added as a Follower to a task
- Your comment receives a Like
- Your attachment receives a Like
- Your task completion receives a Like
- You’re @ mentioned in a task comment
- You’re @ mentioned in the task description
- A Conversation is started in a Team you’re a Member of
- A comment is posted in a Team or project Conversation you’re following
- A project you are a member of has new tasks added to it (though this can be turned off in project member notification settings)
- A Conversation is started in a project you’re a Member of
- The status of a project you’re a member of has been updated
- The status of a task you’ve been waiting on has been changed
I am not saying that any of those things should be removed from in the inbox, but I am saying that seeing Comments and @ Mentions of my name are a TOP priority for me. I need to be aware of those first and foremost as soon as possible to when they happen. Often because no one in my orginization comments on a task unless they have a problem, a question, new information, or are giving feedback. So as one of the managers, I need to see those right away. But often I don’t notice them until much later because there is a pile of “this subtask is complete” notifications (among others) burying the comments. For a long time I have been scrolling through the inbox manually to find comments and address those first, but with the amount of notifications we have it is beyond inconvenient. It is difficult and leaves a wider margin for oversight/human error.
I know different people use Asana in different ways, and other companies may prioritize different kinds of notifications than I would. So my proposal: why not develop a function to SORT your inbox in the same way that you can for the Project List View and Advanced Search? Or why not allow Advanced Search to have an option to search only “within my inbox”? Whichever of those is easiest to develop.
I have seen several community posts over the years asking for a way to view “only @ mentions” or to have more control over what sort of things you get notifications for. Most of these are posts from people who use Asana on a large scale and MUST follow a lot of tasks at all times for one reason or another. So clearly there is some demand there, even if smaller scale users don’t mind archiving notifications manually.
Many of the responses to those posts mearly explain how to change your email notification settings, your project member notification settings, and recommend “following less tasks” and archiving more often. (Side note, being able to select multiple inbox notifications at once and archive all of the seleced notifs in one click but not archive the entire inbox would be AMAZING)
While I too would love to have more options on what I do and do not get notifications for as well, it may be more practical for Asana’s team to simply use the functions they already have (Filtering, Sorting, and/or Advanced Searching) and apply that to the inbox. That also could help a wider variety of users and their situations as well I think.
So yes, try to find a way to sort or filter the inbox by all or most of those categories listed above individually. If that is possible. I know it isn’t as easy to code as it sounds but I would love it if the idea was at least considered. Asana has seen great improvements to sorting the past few years and to me this seems like a logical next step to give users more control and more power to find what they need efficiently.
Other Asana community members: if a function like this existed, would you use it? What would you use it for?
Thank you all for your time!