Subtask complete doesn't generate email and when not completed doesn't show in calendar

Our company does graphic design. Our tasks are graphic design orders from clients. Every task has a subtask that is assigned to the designer and it’s to upload the Photoshop files back to the main office within a few days of the task completion.

As soon as the parent task is marked completed by the designer, the work is sent off to the client. Great. However, the designer still has to complete his subtask but these subtasks are not showing up in his calendar as something that needs to be done. It also doesn’t show up when he clicks “My Tasks”. This is not good. He might forget that he has a subtask that’s not completed yet.

Also, when he DOES mark the subtask as complete, I don’t get an email that the subtask was completed. I only get an email when the parent task is completed. I need to get some notification when a subtask is completed.

Hi @RoundRocks. You will need to manually add a subtask to a project if you want it to appear in your project’s task list, Project Calendar and Project Timeline along your other tasks. See the article below for more details.

This is a very popular Asana product update request, which you can upvote for here:

It is also possible to use a 3rd party option (like Zapier) to automate the “Subtask Created --> Add it to the project”

Hope this helps!


Maybe I didn’t explain myself clearly; I DO create subtasks manually. But once the parent task is marked as completed (but the subtask was not completed yet), the subtask doesn’t show in my calendar, and the subtask even has a due date.

I would like to mention that the designer actually DOES see it in his calendar. But being the owner, I should see his subtasks in my calendar just as I see everyone’s parent tasks in my calendar.

Also, after a subtask is marked as completed, I don’t get an email notifying me that a subtask was completed like I get when a parent task was completed. I need to be notified when I subtask was completed as well.

Hi @RoundRocks, thanks for reaching out!

Subtasks don’t automatically inherit the assignee or collaborators of the parent task and they are not automatically associated with the project. If. you want to see subtasks in your calendar view, you’d need to add the subtasks to the project, you can find the steps in the guide article shared by @Bernie_Orelup :slight_smile:

In regards to the notifications, please ensure you are a collaborators in the subtasks so you can receive notifications once they are marked complete.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  1. I am already a collaborator.
  2. The subtask was created inside the project already. I didn’t even know there’s such a thing as a subtask outside of a project and don’t even know how that would work.

When you create subtask, by logic it should be inside the project. But unfortunately Asana doesn’t work that way. That’s why @Bernie_Orelup gave a link to upvote the feature to automatically add subtasks to project

What @Emily_Roman meant by assigning subtask is like this:

You can see that a task called ‘Project 1 - Subtask 1’ now appear in the subtask of Task 1 and also in Project 1, but now it has indicator of ‘<’ which mean it’s a subtask of…

You can also notice both tasks are the same by the blue highlight in the row.


Ok, well that doesn’t apply to me because I create my subtasks directly inside a parent by clicking on the ‘+’ icon that says “add subtask”

What you did was correct. I think it’s a bit hard to explain so I made a video and hopefully you get the idea…

Again, this is not the ideal solution as @Bernie_Orelup wrote before.

I would suggest you to establish Asana conventions with your team.

Personally, I would treat sub tasks as mini checklist and/or use Sections instead.

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Thank you for the video. That actually DOES add it to the calendar but I would call that a workaround since it requires additional steps when creating subtasks. Not only that, but it would also require that we give each subtask a unique name, or else you wouldn’t know what task it’s related to (imagine all subtasks in the project with the same name “Send ORG files”) So I wouldn’t be able to just duplicate the subtask, I would have to rename it too.

This also clutters up the task list. There is no reason to be seeing subtasks both under the parent task AND in the main task list.

I wish that we’d just be able to see subtasks in the calendar without all the hussle.

“I wish that we’d just be able to see subtasks in the calendar without all the hussle.”

That’s true and I understand your frustation. However, having all substasks in Calendar view is also not intuitive since we don’t know when it’ll get cluttered (Tasks + Subtasks combined).

Since you mention that your company received design order for clients, I would suggest that you use Order ID on the task name, followed by each tasks required to complete the job. That way, it is easier to identify each task in list or calendar view, and it’s also search friendly inside Asana.

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I have to disagree about the calendar getting cluttered.

First, tasks in the calendar are blue and subtasks are white, so it’s very easy to distinguish between them.

Second, a subtask is essentially a “task” that needs to get done, so I think it’s beneficial for all tasks that have a due date - call them tasks or subtasks - to be in the calendar. If they don’t have a due date, then it’s ok not to be on the calendar.

Third, there can be a button on top of the calendar that can turn on and off the viewing subtasks - just like there’s a button to turn on or off weekends.

For client design, what you suggest wouldn’t be pleasing to the eye. There is one design order. That would be the parent task. There are many steps that need to be taken along the way until the order is approved (the design, sending files to main office, sending for approval, revisions (each revision round would be another subtask), sending revisions for approval, sending final work to client.)

So when you look at the task list, it’s now pleasing to the eye with ascending order numbers. Then, each order will have subtasks and/or be moved to sections. If I’d make a new parent task for each step of the way, every order number would have like 10 tasks in the list and THAT would be cluttered. But this is just a preference and everyone should organize their projects how it suits them.

You’re right. I’m just offering the workflow from my point of view and it’s okay to disagree. After all we’re trying to find a workaround while the feature you requested isn’t available yet.


@Zvi_Twersky this has been a major topic for years now in Asana, and what can be offered are mostly workarounds. If you are looking for a native Asana way to do it - it is not there unfortunately.

There are other catches with the workarounds also. Lets say you add teh subtask to the project. In fact it does not become a task, but remains in subtask. So if you go to advanced search > tasks in this project > it will not show. If you change the filter to subtasks it will show. So again depending on what you need you need to use a different workaround as each one provides a solution, but not a full one


Can you create a dependency for the parent task to the subtask?

  1. This way you won’t be able to complete the parent task without first completing the subtasks.
  2. If the parent task has the dependency symbol instead of a check mark (signifying it’s possible to be completed) then it will be obvious there is an incomplete subtask within the parent task.

I understand this doesn’t put the subtasks on the calendar, but we’ve already established that the current solutions aren’t really how you would like to set this up.

@Christine_Bolton interesting approach but wouldn’t work for us, but again, maybe it’s only an issue with our specific workflow.

We do digital album design. The first and main task to be done with all orders is the design itself. Since subtasks are not in the calendar, and the due dates on this specific task (the designing) have consequences for the designers (if late on design), the design itself must be the parent task and it must be able to be marked as completed when the first design stage is completed - even before the rest of the subtasks are not completed yet (internal tasks, revision requests, approval for print, etc)

After the design is completed, the designer moves the parent task to a “COMPLETED” section and marks the parent task as completed (again, need the mark for due date reasons), and assigns the parent task to me. Now it’s in my hands to send to the client for approval.

The next subtask (which is still assigned to the designer) is to upload the photoshop files to the main office. When uploaded, they assign this subtask to me. After I confirm that all files have been received, I mark this subtask as completed. This subtask doesn’t have to be marked as completed by the designer as there is no due date for this (and I need a way that the designer can see that I downloaded the files so that they can delete them from their computers when ready)

Then there are other subtasks that have to do with revision requests.

Just for fun, here’s a screenshot of the workflow:

Ok, before I offer another option, what version of Asana are you using?

I’ve just started using Asana less than two weeks ago so I’m still on the free version. I know dependencies are a premium option. I will definitely be purchasing a premium plan but I see that there is a free trial period and I don’t want to waste my trial period while still getting acquainted with things that are included with the free version. As expected, I am constantly changing the workflow, sections, and settings; until I feel that we achieved a comfortable and productive workflow. Then I will start learning about each premium feature, what it does, and how it can add value to us. Only then I will start my premium trial and eventually get an annual plan.

The only other suggestion I have (trying to understand your process via the web) would to create 2 separate projects.

  1. Incoming Orders
    a. Has the incoming orders with the order number and fulfillment date as the due date.
    b. Subtasks would be:
    –The assignment to the designer
    –The TIF Proof Delivery
  2. Design Fulfillment
    a. Add the subtask of the design requirements to this project, have the designer work directly out of this project.
    –When you do this, this way the parent task name will show up in the grid view, as well as the subtask name.

There are going to be some workflow standards to be set, but when you look at the team calendar the design subtask and the parent task will now be visible.

Note: You can create a template task that already has the project linking in place, and duplicate the task for each new order.


@Christine_Bolton This is BRILLIANT! Opened up a whole new way of organizing the workflow. Good thing I asked this when I’, just starting out… I can’t imagine having to redesign the entire organization with thousands of orders already in place! :slight_smile: Thanks!

I’m glad I was able to help!

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