What's the best way to go for subtasks?


I just found this old topic. I’m finding a solution for the following use case.

We have big projects. A project has tasks and tasks can have subtasks.

What we want
To manage the big projects in an easy way. We want to know what the status is of the tasks and their subtasks. We usually did this in ClickUp via a Kanban board. You could visually see the status of subtasks and their parent task.

Can’t find a good way to manage the subtasks. We have a lot ‘hanging on’ tasks (automations, planning, notifications, templates). So ideally we have a task - task (many to one) relation to create subtasks. But the problem is that the subtasks does’t show up in boards or list view.

Alternative would be a seperate subtask database. But that will be quite complex/problematic because of all the templates, automations and formulas.

Thanks in advance! :smiley:

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If subtasks are simply Tasks (with a relation to a parent Task), there is no reason they should not show up in Task views. I do this and it works.

How would you ideally like to see subtasks displayed in views that show the parent Tasks?

I find there are two ways to tackle subtasks.

  1. Create separate entity for grouping. Something like an epic.
    This is useful for cases when you want to add extra field to parent task. You can then use Epic as a row to group your tasks in board view.
  2. More complicated but allows for deeper hierarchies is a self referential task.
    For that you need to create a reference from task to itself. With treeview you can nest subtasks inside subtasks inside other subtasks and as deep as you want to go :slight_smile:
    In that scenario I usually put a formulate “Is Parent Task” on the task which check if nested tasks collections is not empty.
    In the board view I would then filter all non parents tasks and only see specific tasks in the board view.
    You should be able to also group tasks by parent task though I haven’t tried.

You could visually see the status of subtasks and their parent task:
I use formulas for that to calculate percentage of completion on parent task based on percentages of completions of subtasks.

Ideally the more detailed information in a hierarchical list view (deadline, assignees, progress, etc.). Simple status in a kanban board.

The tasks do show up in a board (my bad) and we fixed that you can see if a ‘parent’ task has subtasks.

But would be great if I can see the task + subtasks in a board view. So for example ClickUp’s solution.

  1. You can see a task has subtasks.

  2. You can click on the subtasks to open and see details

ClickUp sucks :slight_smile: But they do had a few good options for subtasks, such as:

And their grouping (based on a single select for example) is also really nice. Currently I’m having all kind of workarounds to show ‘project fase lanes’ in board view because I can’t group.

Can create workarounds but for the complete overview I’m missing the ‘collapse / expand’ (especially in list view). And currently I don’t see a good option (with task - task relation) to get a good project overview of the subtasks like I had in ClickUp. :arrow_down:

Yes I think I need something like this. Although it feels a bit odd since a lot is not really an epic (for example: ‘Testing’ with all the subtasks underneath). But when I do have it I can create a hierarchical list (only bummer is that the collapse/expand option is missing in Fibery)

Really curious how to do that. So it’s not a normal task - task many to one relation?

Because that I’ve tried but only one level of tasks will apear.

Thanks for the help guys, really appreciate it!


You can see both the tasks and subtasks in the board view, but this view cannot show hierarchical relationships between cards/entities. I think only the List view has that capability.

Board view does also support grouping/lanes, but Table view does not :cry:
For example I can use the “Client” field to group my Tasks.

I think “Tree View” is specific to Fibery Whiteboards. But the List view will automatically show multiple levels of nesting if it is configured to show a self-referential hierarchy:

Perhaps you’d like to add a Feature Request for something like “Hierarchical entity grouping in Board View”.

@YvetteLans made a video for you - CleanShot 2023-02-02 at 11.49.38 · CleanShot Cloud

  • how to create self referential task
  • Shows how to display hierarchy on list view(multiple levels)
  • Hierarchy on board view(only one leve)

Thanks for the video @tpaktop :partying_face: It works! And also thanks @Matt_Blais for your help!

in my case i have projects, and under that tasks (and sub-tasks). the tasks have a self-relation. but with the projects in the level above the list does not have the option to list these…why?

also if it many-to-many relations this is not an option

I di try the template which states it has subtasks and subsub… but this is not configured in the template.

The “hierarchical” option for List views and Smart Folders is only available at the TOP level.

No one has ever explained why this has to be so, but there it is.

Hey Matt, isn’t table viewing getting phased out in favor of grids? I think I read that.

That’s a great video even with the hieroglyphics, lol!

I’m pleased with myself that I’ve been using the sub-tasks as you’ve laid out.

Regarding the percentage completion, I got a little lost there. I had previously read that it does not simply look at number of sub-tasks (e.g. 10) where if you complete one you are 10% finished. I’d read (and perhaps you explained) that it somehow calculates percent tasks completed and incorporates time (perhaps estimated time) to arrive at a more accurate number. I think I read this. Can you clarify?

Also, the one thing I can’t figure out is the use of forms. Is this simply to get popup modal for easier entry (for some people)? I much prefer a grid (if keyboard) or list (if mouse). Or does it have another utility?

Awesome video thank you!

Hi Robert,
I don’t remember if I showed it in the video and you are right percentage becomes more useful if you have estimates.
I also find that scrolling all the way down to tasks to count number of completed tasks is too much work. Instead I can output % completed next to a card display on the board.

Is this simply to get popup modal for easier entry (for some people)?
Forms can also be shared with users outside of Fibery. I believe, that was the primary use case they were created for originally. Now you can use them to make creation of entity easier - as it’s possible to customize right away which fields user need to use and in which order.

I saw the video from @tpaktop and the explanation of the two ways, but I still have doubts as to which method to use (subtasks database or self-reference tasks).

I like the self-reference path, as the video shows, but then you always need to have filters to show the grouped tasks in a board and avoid having a lot of noise with the parent and the subtasks as separate tasks in a board.

Maybe someone has more experience using both methods and can share their pros and cons?

The Fibery team is currently working on the ability to display self-referential relationships on the bottom level (currently it’s only an option the top level), so hopefully that get released soon for lists/tables.

On board views, it’s not as simple as you can’t have as much hierarchy displayed, but could you articulate what you’d like to see a bit more? Maybe there’s some creative solution that would make it things easier for you until further improvements (multiple rows/groups, or visually nesting self-referential entities under the parent) come to the board view.

In my opinion, the cons of having to manage an entirely different database for subtasks are huge compared to dealing with some small limitations and annoyances with the self referencing approach.


Thank you for the answer. For me the integration of clickup is the perfect one as @YvetteLans showed, you see the subtasks nested to the task and you can hide/show them easily.

Jira is also okish, you see the subtasks cards under the task if they are in the same column. It’s harder to distinguish them compared to clickup, but not bad.

In Fibery playing with this filter, I can achieve something similar:

But as pointed out in another thread, not having filter templates makes keeping all views coherent throughout the company very cumbersome. Other basic things for a project management board, like hiding old completed tasks, need to be done via filters, too.

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I completely agree. Fibery’s UX is pretty terrible compared to pretty much all the tools it compares itself against and in my opinion is the biggest reason why it’s flown under the radar in the PM software space for so long.

The complete lack of filter, view and entity layout templates, inability to group lists/grids by custom fields and until a few weeks ago, essentially no user permission structure make it a non-starter for most organizations with multiple teams that work on the same things.

That said, it’s database flexibility, automation options and snappy performance are vastly superior compared to anything else, and assuming Fibery’s estimated timelines are accurate there’s some UX improvements coming soon that should address some big usability pain points like subtasks on list/grid views, custom field grouping and contextual entity layouts

So yeah, you’re not alone in feeling frustrated about how hard Fibery makes it to efficiently display and actually use all of the incredible connected data that it can hold, but I feel the team is listening and improving on those areas so hopefully it should pay off soon.