We would like to know how to assign team members to subtasks within a parent task without it creating an entirely new sub task within their 'My Tasks'

We would like to know how to assign team members to subtasks within a parent task without it creating an entirely new sub task within their ‘My Tasks’.

I have attached a screenshot showcasing what we currently have. We assign team members to subtasks within a parent task. These subtasks have a date and are a great way to keep track of the flow of a task.

However, we all get inundated with numerous subtasks in our ‘my tasks’. Is there a way to retain an assignee where they are part of the parent task and have to check off their individual task when it is completed, but the subtask doesn’t pop up and clutter ‘my tasks’?

Hi @John_DeGiulio ,

Welcome to the forum! It sounds like these subtasks are distinct units of work that have their own dates and specific assignees (possibly different from the parent task assignee). Is that accurate? If so, could you explain why you don’t want them to appear in My Tasks? Generally speaking, I would think you’d want to have these show up in My Tasks so that people know what they need to do and when.

@John_DeGiulio , it appears from your screenshot that all the subtasks are assigned to the same person. If that same person is assigned to the parent task, then I see no reason why they should also assign all subtasks to themselves.

In this case, subtasks could be simply used as a checklist for the parent task’s assignee - so it goes without say that all subtasks are for them to carry out, even if they actually remain unassigned. Sure, they could add due dates to the subtasks for reference, but nothing more.

IMO, and this is what I consult to my clients, is the only reason to actually assign subtasks is only when the subtasks are to be done by various/numerous members who are not assigned to the parent task.

Have you tried this convention?

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Thanks for the feedback so far. Let me give some more context.

We use subtasks for the exact reason you described - so everyone knows who is responsible for what and when that particular sub-task will be done.

The issue I am having is that I am assigned say, 6 subtasks for 1 parent task. I will then find 7 total tasks in my ‘My Tasks’ (in this scenario). Multiply this by 6 other campaigns I am working on, my ‘My Tasks’ will be littered with 40+ tasks.

The Subtasks themselves house zero information, and all they are there for is a placeholder. We then click the parent task link at the top of the sub-task in order to go back to the parent task where the information for the entire campaign is housed.

I am trying to find a solution where ‘My Tasks’ is only showing the parent task, and i will then click into one of the 6 parent tasks (in this scenario) and check off each subtask as it is completed, or am able to see who else on my team is responsible for an upcoming task.

TLDR: My issue is subtasks littering my ‘My Tasks’.

Attached are more screenshots with annotations to explain what I am looking for.



@John_DeGiulio, I’m certain there are multiple approaches here, and @Richard_Sather is a great resource to add to this, so I would await his response as well. My solution would be to create a convention within your organization that goes along the lines of: if there are unassigned subtasks with in a task, those tasks belong to the task owner.

I do assign subtasks the the task owner, with due dates, but only if the due dates are different from the parent task date. My tasks will get messy when you are assigning multiple items for the same day & they are part of the same process. I recommend the less is more route – if there are multiple steps to something, and there aren’t handoffs, one task with a description of the work to be done will keep things clean.

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Completely agree, @Christine_Bolton . This is what I was trying to explain in my previous post above.

@John_DeGiulio , this is simply how subtasks work, for better or worse. The fact that you have numerous tasks and subtasks in your My tasks, simply has to do with the approach your company/team has taken to setup your Launches or Campaigns. It is granular and detailed which I think is great - everyone knows exactly what to do and when.

But having reviewed your screenshots, it seems like you have a case of, what we Partners tend to call, “Important work being buried in subtasks” :face_with_thermometer: .
The symptoms tend to be:

  • over 10 subtasks within parent tasks
  • multiple/various assignees
  • tasks that take longer than 10 minutes

To overcome this, you may want to consider restructuring your project\section\task\subtask hierarchy, if possible, of course:

  • Current subtasks could be upgraded to tasks
  • Current ‘Launch Line item’ tasks could be upgraded to sections within a “Fycompa 23: Campaign…” project OR tasks could be converted to projects within a 'Fycompa 23: Campaign…" portfolio.
  • Projects that contain all your Launch Line Items could be grouped in various portfolios.

This will not resolve your issue of numerous tasks in your My Tasks - that’s just inevitable and I see it as a good thing. But if you are overwhelmed by the number, you will at least be able to sort your My tasks by Project, so that you see all your tasks by ‘Launch Line items’ which may help.

There are other more elaborate methods like ‘passing the task around’ and creating a subtask only upon change of a status or stage so subtasks are created when required and thus do not overwhelm people’s My tasks, but that would need a private consultation which myself and others Partners in this forum could help you with.

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It’s a strong tenet of Asana, that making someone the Assignee of a Task or Subtask cause that Task or Subtask to be added in their My Tasks. Not sure I would recommend to them that they change this behavior in My Tasks, as it protects against assignments going missing.

To be able to see a personal task list that meets your needs better, I see these options:

  1. Don’t use the standard Assignee field to indicate Subtask assignees; rather, use a custom field such as “Owner” or “Assigned to” (definitely add this to field library and train everyone with the same issue on using it). It means you will not get any of the Assignee behaviors for Subtasks, of course, including Search, Rules and probably others that don’t come to mind right now.

OR

  1. Create your own project “My Custom Tasks” and periodically populate it (via a saved Advanced Search) with all Tasks assigned to you (but not Subtasks) that are not in “My Custom Tasks”. Then you have a custom version of My Tasks with all the features of a Project.