Custom Fields

Custom fields are the first step towards tracking all types of work in Asana. You can provide even more information on each task and track it in way that suits your team’s needs.

Manage custom fields

To access and manage a project’s custom fields:

  1. Click the project actions arrow in the header
  2. From the dropdown menu, select Manage Custom Fields

From the Manage Custom Fields dialog box, you can:

  1. View each field’s name
  2. Identify each field’s type
  3. See each field’s description
  4. Edit or remove any field
  5. Add a new field to the project

Rearrange Custom Fields in a project

Drag and drop custom fields to rearrange them in your project.

Add Fields to a Project

Add custom fields to better track and organize the tasks in your project.

Create a new Field

To create a new custom field and add it to your project from the Manage Custom Fields dialog box:

  1. Click into the text field and begin typing the field’s name
  2. Select Create New Field from the typeahead results

In the next window, you can:

  1. Edit the field’s name
  2. Select a field type
  3. Enter a brief description for the field (optional field)

After a custom field has been created, its field type cannot be changed.

Field types

There are three available field types to choose from, two of which have an additional option associated to them:

Field Additional Option
Drop-down Drop-down items
Number Decimal Places
Text

Use an existing field

Custom fields are global across your Organization, so you can use a custom field across multiple projects.

To add an existing custom field to your project from the Manage Custom Fields dialog box:

  1. Click into the text field and begin typing the field’s name
  2. Select the desired field you wish to add to your project from the typeahead results

Viewing fields in a project

Custom fields will appear in two places:

  1. As columns in your main pane’s task list
  2. As fields in your right pane’s task details

If a task belongs to multiple projects that have different custom fields, all fields will appear in the right pane’s task details.

Hide column in Task list

By default, all custom fields will appear in both the right pane and the main pane task list, but you can hide a custom field’s column from the main pane’s task list via the Manage Fields dialog box.

You can display up to 5 custom fields in the task list, but up to 60 on an individual task. To change which fields are displayed, go to the Manage Custom Fields section within the project actions menu and click on the gear icon next to each field and change display settings.

To hide a column in the task list from the Manage Custom Fields dialog box:

  1. Hover over the field name and click the gear icon
  2. Select Hide Column in Task List from the dropdown

If a field is hidden from the task list, an icon depicting an eye crossed out will appear next to the field in the Manage Custom Fields dialog box.

Once the field has been hidden, it will no longer appear in the main pane, but can still be seen in the right pane.

Edit Fields

editing custom fields in list

To edit a field from the project task list:

  1. Click the custom field in a project’s task list to see the field name, and choose the field you want to update
  2. Click on the field to choose or type in a new value

To edit a field from the Manage Custom Fields dialog box:

  1. Hover over the field name and click the gear icon
  2. Select Edit Field from the dropdown

Since custom fields are global to your Organization, edits made to them will apply globally to all the projects you use the field with.

Edit Drop-down fields

When editing a drop-down field, you can:

  1. Edit the color of the field option
  2. Delete an option from the field
  3. Add a new option to the field
  4. Delete the field entirely

Rearrange drop down options

Drag and drop the drop down options to rearrange them in your custom field.

If you remove a drop-down item as an option in your field, tasks that use that item will retain the deleted item. The field could then be changed to another value, but you are not able to change a field back to a deleted item.

Edit number fields

When editing a number field, you can:

  1. Modify how many decimal places are displayed
  2. Delete the field entirely

Reducing your field’s decimal places will retain all current values, but they will be rounded up/down. Increase your field’s decimal places and the original value will appear again.

Remove Fields from a Project

Remove your field from a project if it is no longer needed or applicable.

To remove a field from the Manage Custom Fields dialog box:

  1. Hover over the field name and click the gear icon
  2. Select Remove Field from Project from the dropdown

Removing a field only removes it from the current project, it does not delete the field entirely. Other projects in your Organization with the same field will retain it and the field could still be added to other projects in your Organization.

Retained values

Removing a field from your project does not delete your field’s values from your project’s tasks.

If your field is populated, the custom field and its value will still appear in the right pane of your task’s details.

If your field is empty, the custom field will also disappear from the right pane of your task’s details.

Sort by Custom Fields

Use the Filter & Customize View options to sort your project by one of your custom fields.

After selecting Filter & Customize View:

  1. Click Sort:
  2. Select the Custom Field you wish to sort your project by

Adjusting a task’s custom field value will automatically re-sort the project.

Custom Field & Search Views

Use Search Views to search for tasks using the same custom field across multiple projects.

Start by clicking the search bar to access the Advanced Search options. From there, click Add Filter, then select Custom Field…

Permissions

Who can modify a project’s custom fields

Anyone with access to a project can add, edit, or remove its custom fields.

In private projects: the project owner and the project members can view and modify the project’s fields.

Public projects in a request to join or Hidden Teams: the project owner, the project members, and members of the project’s Team can view and modify the project’s fields.

Public projects in a public Team: the project owner, the project members, member of the project’s Team, and all Organization Members can view and modify the project’s fields.

Organization Guests (those that do not have a company email address) cannot modify a project’s custom fields

Who can modify a task’s Custom field values

Anyone with access to a task can modify the values of its custom fields. Learn more about task permissions here.  

Using custom fields

Custom fields help you track work according to your team’s needs. The name and value of any field is up to you and possibilities are almost endless. Here are a few examples that show field types across different workflows:

Priority

You can use custom fields to indicate a task’s priority level. For example, an engineering team using Asana for bug tracking, can create a drop-down field to set the priority level (low, medium, high) of the bug.

Once implemented, you can sort by your drop-down custom fields to group similar fields together in the List View. Click View at the top of your task list, then FIlter and Customize View. Click Sort, and select your custom field.

Use colors to distinguish between the drop-down field options. Red can mean “high priority”, for example.

Stages or phases

If work moves through stages or phases, you can create a drop-down field to mark which stage the work is in. As that work progresses, you can change the stage accordingly. A marketing team could track the stage of each content piece to get a better idea of their editorial pipeline, for example.

If you want to single out only the tasks marked with a certain field across different projects, you can do an advanced search by that field’s name. For example, the content marketing manager could do an advanced search for only the tasks marked as “draft” to find out how many new content pieces are in the works across the entire team.

Costing

Another way to use custom fields is to track work requests and time costing. A design team might have a template task for others to make design requests. They could use a number custom field for the requester to input how much time they anticipate for the work. Then, designers can prioritize hours accordingly and know how much they’re working on before deciding to take on more work or not.

add up numbers

Multi-select tasks with number fields to add up their sum:

  1. Multi-select tasks with number fields you wish to add
  2. The total sum will appear in the task pane

Information tracking

If you use Asana for candidate tracking or account tracking, you can use a text field to enter specific information like an email address, phone number, company, or address.

Using tags vs. custom fields

Tags and custom fields allow you to categorize, filter, and denote information in Asana. In general, custom fields are best for standard use across an Organization, while tags are more informal. We strongly advocate for the use of custom fields, which are more robust and visible than tags. Depending on your workflow, you might find that your team uses them in different ways, but here some scenarios to help you decide:

Use custom fields if you:

  • Want to add certain data to all the tasks in a project
  • Have standard information you need to track on tasks across projects (e.g., priority level, time costing, work stage)
  • Want to make sure your teammates fill out certain information for each task in a project
  • Need to sort or search by specific data fields

Use tags if you:

  • Need ad-hoc tagging, you have unlimited options, or aren’t quite sure what needs to be tagged at the time of creation
  • Need to see the tag from My Tasks
  • Only need to mark a few tasks within a project
  • Want to mark template tasks

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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons

Tasks

Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

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My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes

Projects

Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes

Inbox

Inbox Lessons

Communicate even faster

3 Minutes

You can use tasks to track, collaborate on, and organize all your work.

Tasks can be to-dos, ideas, notes, or reminders.

Assign a task to yourself or a teammate.

Press Tab+M to quickly assign a task to yourself.

Add a due date so your deadline is clear.

Add instructions and expectations in the task description field.

Type @ to link to other tasks, people, conversations, or projects.

When you @mention someone, they’ll be added to your task as a follower.

Followers get notified when new comments or attachments are added.

Add anyone who needs to stay up to date on your task as a follower.

They can always unfollow to stop getting notifications on your task.

Add comments to ask questions or give followers updates.

Heart a comment to let followers know you’ve seen it.

Add relevant files or irrelevant GIFs as attachments.

You can also attach directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

Create subtasks to break your task into smaller steps.

When you’ve added a subtask, press enter to add another.

Subtasks can contain all the same details as regular tasks.

Click the comment bubble to add comments or attachments to a subtask.

You can create tasks from any screen using your top bar.

Every Task has a unique URL to easily copy and share.

Congrats! Looks like you’re up to the task.

On to the next lesson!

Always know what to do next with My Tasks.

My Tasks is a list of every task assigned to you.

It makes managing your work simple.

Click on your My Tasks list and start typing to add tasks.

Like a text document, add a new line for each new task or paste in any list.

Forward to x@mail.asana.com to turn your emails into tasks

Asana will translate your email into a task, including your attachments.

New tasks will appear at the top of your list in New Tasks.

Tasks you add to My Tasks are private to you.

Click Make Public to share them with your team.

Prioritize tasks as Today, Upcoming, or Later.

Click on the blue dot next to the task, to quickly sort it.

Mark the tasks you’ll have time for Today.

Teammates can view your My Tasks list to see what you’re up to.

They’ll only see tasks you’ve made public or shared in a project (more on projects later).

Mark tasks due within a week as Upcoming so you can see what will be due soon.

On its due date, your task will move from Upcoming to Today.

Just like magic.

Mark tasks due in more than a week for Later.

They’ll be out of your way until their due date approaches.

Your tasks will move from Later to Upcoming a week before they’re due.

Keep My Tasks prioritized to always know what to work on and what’s coming next.

Now you know how to track and plan your work!

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Work together on groups of tasks with projects.

Projects help you track and organize the steps in a process or initiative.

Like an event plan, product launch, or editorial calendar.

Like My Tasks, simply click and type to add tasks to your project.

If you have your steps in a document or email already, paste in that list.

Add tasks to your project from email.

View your project’s unique email address from the project dropdown menu.

Add your tasks to other related projects.

Tasks can be included in multiple projects.

Add sections to organize tasks in a list project.

Type : at the end of any task title to make it a section.

Or, add columns to organize tasks in a boards project.

Drag and drop tasks between or within columns to reorder.

Assign your tasks and set due dates.

Never miss a deadline with your project calendar.

Drag and drop tasks on your calendar to change their due dates.

Add everyone who needs to stay updated on your project as members.

Project members will get notified of new conversations, statuses, and tasks.

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Your post will be sent to all project members.

Use Progress to see how your project is moving forward.

Set a project status to update your team on how it’s going.

The Project Owner will be reminded to set a status once a week.

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Now you can move your projects forward with Asana.

Just one more lesson before you dive in.

Communicate and coordinate faster with Inbox.

Check Inbox to quickly read and respond to your latest updates.

Inbox will notify you when you have a task due…

and when teammates update tasks, conversations, and projects you follow.

Open and respond to updates without leaving Inbox.

Click an update and you’ll have all the context you need to respond.

Archive updates you’re ready to dismiss.

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Open Archive to move dismissed updates back to your Inbox.

Click the arrow that appears on the right of an archived update to move it back to Inbox.

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You ultimately have control over all the updates you receive (or choose not to receive 😉)

When you’re ready, you can turn Asana’s Email notifications off.

Most communication with your team can be more easily managed from Inbox. Just remember to check it often.

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