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🚀 Understanding Statuses in Motion

TL;DR: In Motion, statuses are tools designed to define the lifecycle stage of a task.
Statuses in Motion are not just labels; they are the backbone of effective task management. They play a pivotal role in defining where a task stands in its lifecycle, providing clarity, organization, and optimization to your workflow.
In earlier versions of Motion, the "Auto-scheduled" feature was considered a status, causing some confusion. However, it's now decoupled from task statuses, providing more flexibility in task management. Now, in Motion, a task can be auto-scheduled (powered by Motion AI and placed on your calendar) AND have a status of your choice! 📅

Default Statuses in Motion

Motion offers the following default statuses:
  • Backlog: Think of this as a holding area for tasks not yet ready to be scheduled.
  • Todo: Here lie your scheduled tasks awaiting action, ready for your attention.
  • In Progress: Self-explanatory – your task is underway and moving towards completion.
  • Blocked: External factors stopping your progress? That's what this status is for.
  • Completed: The finish line for your tasks. You can still schedule completed tasks on your calendar. 🎉

Why Statuses Are Important

Statuses play a pivotal role in bringing organization and clarity to your workspace, ensuring that tasks are managed efficiently. Here's how they contribute to the effectiveness of your task management:

1. Organization and Clarity

Imagine your workspace filled with tasks of different types, deadlines, and priorities. Without statuses, it would be a chaotic jumble. But with statuses, you can:
  • Group and Sort: In the Projects tab, tasks can be grouped by status, offering a visual representation of your project's progress. For example:
    • Navigate to Projects.
    • Click on My Tasks.
    • Select Kanban view.
    • Group tasks by status.
    • Sort them by priority. 🗂️
This approach tells Motion, 'I want to see all the tasks assigned to me (in My Tasks workspace), grouped into bins based on their status (group by), and I want to filter this information to show the most important tasks at the top and the least important tasks at the bottom.' 🤩

2. Custom Statuses for Workspace Precision

Imagine you're part of a marketing team, and you need to manage various campaign tasks. You can create custom statuses like "Draft," "Review," and "Ready for Deployment" to track each campaign's progress. For instance, "Draft" represents campaigns in the initial planning stage, "Review" indicates campaigns ready for review by supervisors or clients, and "Ready for Deployment" marks campaigns that are fully prepared for launch. This way, you can quickly identify which campaigns need attention and which ones are ready to go live, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow for your marketing projects.
  • Review Required: If your workflow involves multiple approval stages, this status can indicate that a task needs review before proceeding. For instance, in a marketing team, this status can be applied when a campaign draft is ready for review by supervisors or clients.
  • On Hold: Sometimes, tasks may face temporary stalls due to external factors. Marking them as "On Hold" helps you keep track of delays, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. This status is valuable for tasks that depend on external input, such as waiting for specific materials or information.
  • In Testing: In software development, tasks often move through testing phases before they're considered complete. This custom status distinguishes tasks in the testing phase, making it easier to monitor and manage the software development lifecycle.
  • Ready for Deployment: When tasks are fully prepared for deployment, they can be assigned the "Ready for Deployment" status. This is particularly useful for project managers who need to track project readiness and ensure that all elements are in place before launch.

Custom statuses on the Kanban view:

By creating custom statuses tailored to your unique workflow, you can make task management more intuitive and seamlessly integrated into your workspace.

Statuses vs. Labels: Understanding the Difference

In Motion, tasks can be categorized using both statuses and labels, but they serve different purposes and offer distinct advantages. It's essential to understand the difference between them:

Statuses

Statuses provide a directional orientation of where a task stands in its journey within your workflow. They reflect the primary stage or state of a task, helping you track its progress and lifecycle. Here's what a status is and how it works:
  • In Progress 🚧: A task with this status is actively being worked on and is moving towards completion. It signifies that the task is currently undergoing execution.
  • Backlogged 📦: When a task is backlogged, it means it's waiting in line for attention or action. This status indicates that the task is in a queue, yet to be scheduled or addressed.
Statuses are particularly useful for providing an organized and structured view of your tasks based on their current state within your workflow.

Labels

Labels, on the other hand, act as quick attachments to tasks, offering additional context or categorization. While they don't define a task's primary state like statuses, they allow for more flexible and diverse tagging. Here's what a label is and how it differs:
  • Q1 Project/Task 📊: Labels like this one can denote specific projects, categories, or themes related to a task. For example, you can use labels to associate a task with a particular project quarter.
  • Inside Sales/Outside Sales 🏬: Labels can also indicate various attributes or characteristics related to tasks. In this case, it can help distinguish between tasks related to inside sales and those related to outside sales.
Labels are versatile and can be applied to tasks to provide additional information, context, or organization based on your needs.
Statuses and labels on the task list view:
Statuses vs. Labels: Examples
To illustrate the difference further:
  • Imagine you're managing a software development project. You can use statuses to indicate whether a task is "In Progress," "Backlogged," "Completed," or "Blocked." This helps the team understand the task's current stage in development.
  • At the same time, you can use labels to tag tasks with labels like "Bug," "Feature Request," or "UI/UX." These labels offer extra information about the nature of the task, helping team members identify specific types of tasks.
In summary, while statuses provide a clear overview of a task's primary state in your workflow, labels offer flexibility in categorizing and adding contextual information to tasks. Both statuses and labels together contribute to efficient task management and organization within Motion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can a task have multiple statuses?
A task in Motion can only have one status at a time. Statuses represent the primary stage in a task's lifecycle.
Q2: Why can't I auto-schedule a completed task?
Completed tasks have already reached their finish line, so there's no need to schedule them. However, you can still view completed tasks in the Calendar tab by clicking the "Show Completed Tasks" button in the bottom left.
Q3: Can I create custom statuses for different workspaces?
Yes, custom statuses are workspace-specific. You can create and use different custom statuses for each workspace, ensuring flexibility in task management across various projects.
Q4: How do I change a task's status?
To change a task's status, open the Calendar tab, click on the task, find the status section in the task modal, and select a status from the dropdown. You can do this for tasks within your workspace.
Q5: Can I delete custom statuses that I've created?
Yes, you can delete custom statuses you've created by going to Settings, selecting your workspace, clicking on Statuses, and deleting the unwanted custom status.
Understanding and effectively utilizing statuses in Motion can streamline your workflow, provide clarity, and optimize your task management experience. Customizing statuses, organizing projects, and leveraging auto-scheduling are powerful tools at your disposal. Happy tasking! 🌟📅