🗑 Stop deleting tasks permanently

When you delete a task in Asana, there is a red banner that appears at the top. That banner contains a button that says « Delete permanently ». The problem with this kind of banner is that it does not take into account the fact that many people (including myself sometimes) just don’t read the interface properly. I have seen clients click on that button without even thinking about it every time they deleted a task.

Going into the habit of permanently deleting something is dangerous. Because you never know if you won’t be needing that task one day. Deleting is usually enough unless you really have confidential things you want to hide. Otherwise, just delete the task.

On the topic of deleting tasks, I almost never do. If I don’t need to do something anymore, I usually write a comment explaining why and the context, and I complete the task anyway. That way it is easier to find it again, just in case…

Any thoughts?

:fr: Version française


I completely agree and I too use the ‘comment and close’ process.
However, we have learnt the hard way that some people just close tasks without comments, others see the closed task and dont read the comment and assume an action has actually been complete.
As a result I now update the task name to include ‘Not Required’ or something simliar.
I would love to see a ‘closed’ option in addition to the complete, for instances when a task exists in a project but for whatever reason is not technically complete but doesnt need to remain open either.

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I use the permanent deletion function only occasionally, but on a regular basis. The system we use Asana for is for generating, assigning, tracking and completing requests, and we end up with a small percentage of duplicates and mistaken form submits, which generate content which will absolutely not be used. In these cases, having a delete function is a better option than closing/archiving a task which will otherwise just sit there.

If a user ignores a confirmation message in red - which we’re almost universally taught from early age to regard as a danger indicator - then at some point there should be some consequences for doing so. It’s these experiences which teach us to behave differently in the future.

@K_Taylor good point on updating the task name.

@Adam_Bennett I completely agree! In case of duplicates, I sometimes cross-mention tasks to keep track and still complete and not delete.

The cross-mentions and links between related tasks are one I use quite a bit as well, most commonly when a requestor has put in multiple requests when all details could have been included in one task.

I tend to advocate toward deletion when appropriate, as a form of content ownership and managing the ever increasing volume of electronic data residing in systems. I’m building a review and archive strategy for previous tasks for my organisation at the moment, so we do manage and have available our past data.

Thanks @Adam_Bennett for sharing!

@Bastien_Siebman This is a good point; thank you for mentioning. For all tasks that I have deleted in the past, I have chosen to delete permanently and I have been guilty in some cases of not reading the message fully. However, in the vast majority of cases, my deleted tasks are ones that I am absolutely sure that I will not lose anything by deleting permanently, like, ones that have no content (no comments, no attachments, etc.). For e.g., if I create a task for shipping an item then find out that shipping will not be necessary, I have no problem deleting that permanently (again, as long as there are no contents).

I think it would be good if Asana adds another option to the first message. When you hit the delete button, the message does confirm that the deletion was successful; however, having “Undelete” and “Delete permanently” as the only 2 options and having the red color staring at you, gives the first impression that you must select one of them. If there were a third option, like “close” or “finish,” that might send a more direct message that you do not need to do anything else.

@K_Taylor made a good point about updating the task name “to include ‘Not Required’ or something similar” and I think I will be doing that going forward. Thanks again for raising that point.

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