Getting started with tasks

What is a task?

The basic unit of work in the ArtsPool app is called a task. A task is a shared workspace that allows us to keep our communications around a specific piece of work from being fragmented across myriad email messages, phone calls, text messages, and chats. It also allows ArtsPoolers to have a clear historical record of how they did something in the past and share that knowledge with their peers. For details on how to submit tasks, see Requesting work from ArtsPool.

Anatomy of a task

Title

The title of a task is one of the most important features of a task as it helps ArtsPoolers see what a task is about at a glance. This task title appears in your main task list, at the top of the task itself, and in the subject line of every email notification related to that task. Task titles are also the most highly ranked element of our task search algorithm, so good task titles make it much easier to find tasks. Each ArtsPooler serves 5-8 ArtsPool members, and well-named tasks help us find the tasks we are working for you more quickly. For tips on what makes a good task title, see the Task description cheat sheet.

When you submit a task by email, the subject line of your email becomes the title of your task.

Metadata

Each task contains metadata that is displayed both on the main task list and under the task title when viewing a task. This metadata includes the name of the company that the task is for (with a link to the member page), the status of the task, the due date if one has been set, and the ArtsPooler who is assigned to complete the task. The date that the task was submitted is also visible on the right sidebar.

Task statuses

Currently tasks can have one of three statuses: Received, Waiting for member, and Waiting for ArtsPool. A task is in the Received state when it is first submitted and changes to Waiting for member when we request a document, clarification of transaction coding, or approval of a bill or pay run. Once those requests are completed by you, the task changes to Waiting for ArtsPool.

The status functionality on tasks is currently very limited in scope. We plan to build this out more in the future and add more request types, but for now we recommend reading the comment thread on a task if you have a question about its status.

Team

The task team is made up of the person who submitted the task, the ArtsPooler assigned to complete it, and any other ArtsPoolers or member employees who need to collaborate on the completion of the task. All people on the task team will receive an email notification when another team member makes a comment on a task.

Description

The task description on the Details tab of the task contains more information about what needs to be done. This is populated from data you enter when submitting a task via the new task form or from the body of your email when submitting a task by email. On certain types of tasks created from the accounting or payroll systems (i.e. bank/credit card transactions, bills, and pay runs), the task will contain information about the transaction rather than a description.

Comments

Comments on tasks are how we keep our work from being fragmented across communications platforms or siloed in inboxes. We often refer back to past tasks for confirmation on what was discussed or to assist other ArtsPoolers on the best process for completing a particular task, so the use of comments is a critical part of our work with our members. The comment history on a task is part of ArtsPool's collective brain, and we often use comments on tasks rather than simple emails so that we have a permanent, shared record of a conversation. For more on comments, see the Commenting on a task.

All people on the task team will receive an email notification when another team member makes a comment on a task.

Other task tabs

Requests

The Requests tab contains a list of any requests for documentation, coding clarification, or approvals on tasks. For more on requests see the Responding to a document request section in Submitting receipts or the Approval requests section in Requesting payment for a bill.

Requests for documentation, coding clarification, or approvals are only available on tasks related to bank/credit card transactions, bills, and pay runs for the moment. We plan to expand this functionality in the future.
Activity

The Activity tab is a log of all requests and their completion dates as well as the datestamps of any request cancellations.

Documents

The Documents tab is a list of all documents that have been uploaded to a task. If the task has any linked child tasks, it will also display the documents from those tasks along with a link to the task. For more information on documents, see Adding a document to a task.

Linked tasks

Sometimes we get tasks sent to us in a fragmented way, or we have already started work on something prior to a task being submitted by a member. To keep these related tasks connected to each other we can link them together. Linked tasks appear on a tab on the top right of both the parent task and the child task that is connected to it. You can navigate between linked tasks by clicking on the task title in the Linked tasks tab.


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