✏️ Use comments. A lot.

Asana users are usually not using comments enough. When you assign to someone, it is good to share a small comment. When you complete a task, a comment about where are the deliverables goes a long way. When a task seems stuck, comment to offer your help.

However, and I’ll quote @lpb on this one “Don’t put important information only in comments”

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I especially like this suggestion. I think this is a little less obvious use of comments.

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I like to comment on tasks before marking them complete, usually thanking the person who assigned to me or providing more context to the collaborators :slight_smile: I know they will receive a notification indicating the task was completed but I feel that a quick comment can make things clearer :raised_hands:

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I believe being “proactive” in Asana is the next step in productivity. You know what would be awesome? In a company, have a “helper” that can go around, search for stuck tasks or full plates, and help people out. How awesome would that be?

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Interesting idea. :thinking: That person would have to be a generalist, though, to cover wide ground like that. I wonder how well that would work in practice when some (perhaps many) of the stuck tasks would likely require either domain knowledge/expertise in and/or organizational memory of the “stuck person’s” particular area?

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That would be the M. White from Pulp Fiction, the guy you call to solve problems :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh you mean THAT kind of problem. :astonished:

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YES! :raised_hands: @Emily_Roman! We coach our users to always leave a comment because there is always context to offer with completion. This behavior allows them to see the value of documenting their work rather than just checking a box :white_check_mark:

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I second that comments are a very important and useful tool in Asana. Though I would call out for those interested in leveraging the comment section more, Asana will not include the comments in an export of the project board. This issue can be incredibly frustrating if you are doing issue resolution in the comments or trying to run audits/record keeping from a project. My company had to get a 3rd-party tool to integrate with our Asana (Bridge24) to have exports with the comments. This solution is of course not ideal, and no one has given a good reason why with all the info they do export, they couldn’t include the comment section, especially if people are going to encourage others to utilize that section more.

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@Bastien_Siebman, @Phil_Seeman, @Emily_Roman, @Jerod_Hillard,

I come down more on the side of:

  • Comment only when you need to
    Don’t generate any unnecessary notifications (except to say thanks where beneficial)
    But do use comments for non-critical, ad-hoc clarification or context, or to further a task along

  • Don’t put important information only in comments
    Because they’ll potentially be buried in a long thread and for reasons @mckenna.brewer gives
    Adopt another protocol for this data (in Description, Custom Fields, Tags, etc. as appropriate)

I think these guidelines will prove more sustainable over time than “Use comments a lot.”

Just my take, FWIW. I respect your voices (and those of others including a major client who believes comments should accompany every task completion).

Larry

@lpb I still stand by “more comment is better than not enough”, and like any “rule” it feels like it has no impact if it isn’t follow by a “but” or “except”. But yes my rule is a bit over-simplifying things.

That is a very good point! I’ll update the post to do exactly just that! #inception

I see too often people completing tasks without doing the work or without pointing out to the deliverables, and that is a big problem.

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Inception :slight_smile: Thanks for the update.

This problem should be solved by instruction not to complete the task then, not by commenting!

This relates to both my points that 1) this would be considered necessary info, and 2) shouldn’t be in a comment.

Larry

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I would actually love to see an optional feature that would require commenting on completion. I have used a few tools that incorporated this, and it was a great feature, especially in a larger team. This can be partly a way to solve your @Bastien_Siebman “need a policeman” point - if there was an option to force comments upon task completion, we’d have a bit of Automation to do this for us. And among other problems you describe, help solve this one:

Fully agree that more commenting is better, good to see this thread going! With Asana’s good commenting capabilities, and fairly unique, excellent update capabilities, it’s about the best tool I’ve seen that gives a realistic chance for a team to get out of Internal Email (and chat tools as well for that matter, which I think tend to create noise given the usually lack context around what people are IM’ing about).

Thanks!

Waiting for such a tool, a simple script could actually go through completed task, and compare the completion date with the latest comment date, potentially reassigning to the the user that completed the task…

I told to write a comment before mark as completed because if you only mark a task completed maybe it’s a mistake.

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Agree with Enric and the others. In our company we also ensure that all our team members always add comments. Be it when they change the due date, mark the task complete, etc.
Because this way everybody would know what happened and when and if needed somebody else can take over a task easily.
Also often you might need to search for a task in the future to dig into why something was delayed or how ideas etc worked out or when something was attended to and with having enough comments you have all the history like in skype chats, email conversations etc

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