Using Subtasks

3 minute read

Subtasks are perfect for those many-headed tasks that require more than a couple steps and need more than one assignee.

A task can contain multitudes and when the scope changes, it’s useful to break it down into more manageable pieces using subtasks. Like regular tasks, you can assign them to divide up the work, set due dates to keep things on schedule, and start a discussion using the subtask comment field. You can also turn a subtask that outgrows its parent task into a regular task to keep your work moving forward. 

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Creating subtasks

To get started, first set up the parent task with the necessary details (task name, assignee, due date, etc.) and click into the subtask field. Then enter a name in the subtask field and hit Enter on your keyboard.  If you want to add an assignee or due date, just Tab over or click the icons next to the subtask field. 

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Tip: To create a subtask via quick tasks hold Shift-Return on your keyboard after you’ve entered the quick task name of the parent task. You can also hover over the task name when it’s been saved and click the Add Subtasks” icon. 

Subtasks are unassigned by default, but if your parent task is already assigned, the subtasks will inherit the assignee. The same goes for subscribers and tags: subtasks automatically inherit these details so you don’t have to apply them to each subtask. 

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If you click on a subtask name in the task pane you can deselect “Mirror parent task subscribers/tags” below those fields so you can add or remove specific subscribers or tags and have ones that differ from the parent task. 

Like regular tasks, subtasks have note and comment fields so you and your teammates to have discussions specific to each subtask in its own designated space. 

Viewing Subtasks

Subtasks sit below the parent task in the project view. If your project is sorted by due date or assignee, however, the subtasks will be sorted accordingly. 

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You can collapse and expand your subtasks by clicking the v next to the parent task name in the project view or by clicking “Show/Hide” below the task name in Kanban view. To see the subtask’s contents, click on the name in the project view or task pane. 

Tip: If you hold down Option and then click the Show/Hide” link, all subtasks in the project will be expanded. The same came be done to collapse all subtasks at once. 

Editing Subtasks

There are a couple ways to edit subtasks. If you hover over a subtask in the task pane, you’ll see buttons to delete, duplicate, rename or select a new due date for it. You can also click the assignee avatar to choose a new assignee.

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If you want to do something else, like edit the subscribers, click on the subtask name to open it and then click Edit in the top right corner. 

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When you delete a subtask, an “Undo” link will appear in the subtask’s place just in case you deleted something by accident. This link will disappear after about 5 seconds though so you’ll want to act fast. 

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Completing subtasks

When you’re ready to complete a subtask, just click the checkbox like you would a regular task.

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Please note that completing all the subtasks won’t complete the parent task, but if you complete the parent task, all the subtasks will be marked as complete by default. You’ll see a warning message with the the option to cancel before the action is completed. 

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Completed subtasks will appear alongside regular tasks in your completed tasks list and can be reopened by clicking the checkbox again. 

Convert a subtask to a parent task

You can quickly turn a subtask into a regular task by dragging and dropping it over the New Task line in your project. You can do this in the project view and in Kanban when your subtasks are expanded, as well as from the task pane. 

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Similarly, if you drag one parent task onto another, the dragged task will be transformed into a subtask. 

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If the task you’re dragging has subtasks attached to it, you’ll see an error asking if you want them to be removed before continuing. 

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