When To Create Tasks and SubTasks In Asana

When To Create Tasks & Subtasks In Asana - via @bizsystems

Deciding how to set up projects in Asana can get really confusing, deciding what steps should be tasks and what should be a subtask of a task.

Imagine that you've taken a break from your business and after a week you sit down at your desk ready to work. You open up your Asana task list and you're greeted with the vaguest of vague descriptions. 

Finish About Me page.
Create opt-in.
Write blog post.

Not exactly filling you with confidence that you'll nail those tasks - am I right? They sound overwhelming, time consuming, too big.

  • In a nutshell: If a task sounds vague, it needs sub-tasks (and if it sounds super vague, it should be a project).  

You've heard that saying - keep it simple, stupid?

KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. - Wikipedia

The more obvious you make the steps in your process, the easier it is to follow along and tick the boxes.

  • As a general rule of thumb: If a task has more than five steps to complete it, divide it up with subtasks.

Let's use blog posts as an example.

I create a new project for each month's blog post. One post per week, the same tasks each and every time.

What could have simply been a task called Create Blog Post is now a project in itself and has six tasks to aid it's completion. I've got bite-size chunks that feel do-able.

While tasks break down a vague, overwhelming project into achievable steps, they can still be pretty broad.

For example, create images is a step in crafting a blog post, but it doesn't tell me what images I should be creating.

By breaking it down into subtasks labelling each graphic that needs to be created, I'm simplifying the process.


A few things to note when you're playing with subtasks in Asana:

  • completing parent tasks won't complete the sub-tasks embedded in it
  • sub-tasks won't show up in lists, calendars or progress charts until you assign it to a project
  • you'll still need to add an assignee, due date and tags to a sub-task
  • to add comments, assign it to a project or add tags, click the speech bubble next to its name

Jess May

Indigo Assistant, Turntable Lane, Yackandandah, VIC, 3749