Asana is a popular project management tool that allows users to break down tasks into smaller subtasks. This can be useful for dividing up work and tracking progress. However, sometimes you may want to convert a subtask back into an independent task. Here’s how to do it in Asana.
Table of Contents
- What are Asana Subtasks?
- When to Convert a Subtask to a Task
- How to Convert an Asana Subtask to a Task
- Tips for Converting Asana Subtasks to Tasks
- Benefits of Converting Subtasks to Tasks
- Best Practices for Using Asana Subtasks
- Alternatives to Converting Subtasks
What are Asana Subtasks?
In Asana, subtasks function like independent tasks with all the same fields as a parent task, but they are embedded within the parent task ().
Key things to know about subtasks:
- Subtasks can be assigned, given due dates, associated with projects, given descriptions and comments, and more, just like regular tasks.
- Completing a parent task does not complete the subtasks. Subtasks must be marked complete separately.
- Subtasks are useful for breaking down tasks into smaller parts, dividing work among multiple people, capturing steps in a process, etc.
When to Convert a Subtask to a Task
There are a few reasons you may want to convert a subtask into a regular task:
- You realize the subtask is actually a separate piece of work that doesn’t need to be tied to the parent task
- You want the subtask to appear independently in task lists, calendars, reporting, etc. rather than embedded under the parent
- You have detailed subtasks but want to simplify the parent task
- You need to rearrange tasks and move the subtask somewhere else in your project
Converting subtasks to tasks allows you to manage them completely separately from the parent task.
How to Convert an Asana Subtask to a Task
Unfortunately Asana does not have a built-in option to convert subtasks to tasks. However, it’s easy to do manually:
Step 1: Open the Parent Task Details
Click on the parent task that contains the subtask you want to convert. Scroll down to view the subtasks.
Step 2: Drag the Subtask Out
Click and drag the subtask you want to convert from the right side subtasks list over to the left side task list.
Step 3: Drop the Subtask
A black line will appear showing you where the subtask will be dropped. Release the mouse button to drop the subtask into the tasks list, converting it to a regular task.
And that’s it! The subtask is now an independent task not connected to the parent task in any way.
Tips for Converting Asana Subtasks to Tasks
Here are some tips to make converting subtasks to tasks go smoothly:
- Check subtask details first: Before converting, open the subtask details and make sure all the information you need like due date, project associations, and custom field data are filled out. Add any details that may be missing.
- Adjust the task title: You may want to adjust the task title for clarity once it’s no longer a subtask. Append something like “(formerly Subtask X)” so you know where it originated.
- Re-link dependencies: If the subtask has dependencies on other tasks, you’ll need to manually link to those again after converting it.
- Update projects: Add the new task back to any projects the parent task and subtask were associated with.
- Consider workflows: Converting subtasks changes task relationships, so review automations and workflows involving the parent task or subtask. You don’t want to break anything!
Benefits of Converting Subtasks to Tasks
Some key benefits of converting Asana subtasks to regular tasks:
- Simplifies parent tasks: Removing detailed subtasks declutters parent tasks and focuses them on the bigger picture.
- Flexibility: You can move converted subtasks anywhere in Asana without affecting the parent task.
- Reporting: Converted subtasks appear as tasks on their own in reports rather than nested under parents.
- Tracking: You can follow and track progress on converted subtasks independently from parent tasks.
So if you need to manage a subtask completely separately, converting it to a regular task in Asana gives you much more flexibility!
Best Practices for Using Asana Subtasks
While converting subtasks to tasks is handy when needed, in general subtasks work best when used as intended – to break down tasks into smaller steps.
Here are some best practices for getting the most out of Asana subtasks:
- Use them for processes with multiple steps
- Divide work among multiple assignees
- Capture repetitive checklists
- Limit subtask nesting when possible
- Name subtasks clearly and consistently
- Set due dates for subtasks rather than just the parent task
- Check subtasks off as you complete each step
Keeping your subtasks organized with thoughtful naming and structure ensures things don’t get out of hand.
Alternatives to Converting Subtasks
If you don’t actually need to convert a subtask to a regular task, here are two alternatives to consider:
If you have a subtask with its own steps or components, you can create a nested subtask. This allows you to break things down further without converting it.
For parent tasks with lots of subtasks, try dividing them up into sections to simplify the parent task’s view. Then you can collapse sections you aren’t actively working on.
- Asana subtasks act like individual tasks but are nested under parent tasks
- You may want to convert a subtask to focus on it independently or rearrange your project’s structure
- To convert a subtask, drag it out of the parent task details and drop it into the tasks list
- Converted subtasks become regular tasks completely separate from the parent task
- When used properly, subtasks can add more detail without overcomplicating tasks
Converting subtasks works great when you need it, but thoughtful subtask planning and management keeps task lists clean and structured. With these Asana tips, you can optimize your tasks, subtasks, and projects!