Ideas to improve Custom Fields feature

custom-fields
feature

#1

Hi everyone! Let’s talk about custom fields?

The implementation of custom fields in Asana was the featured that made us jump into the paid version of the platform, and I’m very happy that we did so as it has improved the efficiency of our processes.

But, with that said, I feel there’s so much more than can be done to improve it.

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about…

  1. Remove the 50 entries limit of drop-downs. We started using a drop-down as a “country” field, just to, later on, realize that we were not able to add a list of all the countries in the world.

  2. Custom fields linking internal data for easy navigation, for example, a drop-down with all Asana users, or a text field that accept a @ internal link to other Asana tasks and projects.

  3. Text custom fields that accept clickable links. Any URL placed in a custom field should automatically become a hyperlink as it happens with URLs placed in the description area.

  4. The ability to sort views by custom fields that are Text or Number type. As of now sorting only works with drop-downs.

  5. A custom field management area. We have created so many custom fields, that we have lost count of the fields that we are not using anymore. There should be a way to view them all and delete unwanted ones.

  6. Custom field date type. We use dates in custom fields in a way that is not to represent the completion of a task, but instead, to represent a certain milestone that is related to the task. Just to be clear, we would not be able to implement this part of our process as sub-tasks, so a date field would be most appreciated.

  7. Custom field currency type. This is pretty self-explanatory.

  8. Customize custom field permissions. As of now, guest users are able to delete custom fields, and that is an absolute no-no for us. Guest users should not be allowed to delete custom fields. At. All.

  9. Custom field shared amongst multiple projects. In our workflow, we have tasks that are moved from one project to another depending on the current status of a task. It would be great if a particular set of custom fields could be shared amongst projects, so changes in the set would reflect across projects.

…and for last, but not least…

  1. Custom field functions. If there is one feature that would make custom fields even more useful would be the ability to create Excel-like functions. I suspect this one would be useful to a lot of people.

I’ve been using custom fields for 3+ months now, and these are the features that would help improve our workflow. It would be great to know if some of these are in the pipeline to be released soon.

I would love to hear what the community thinks of these features. Also, please share what other new features you would like to see with custom fields. Thanks! :smile:


#2

I agree that the custom fields are useful, but could be so much more. We use then for workflow status and the ability to assign a person and a date to a dropdown choice is needed. Right now we have to copy that dropdown choice as a subtask in the task to attach or link anything to it. See my screenshot, we select the color-coded workflow option that shows up in the calendar nicely, but then have to make that same stage as a subtask to have activity around it.

In another product we use, GatherContent (which has other flaw and I prefer Asana overall), there is a customizable workflow and you can assign a date, then add people and conversation to each portion of the workflow.


#3

Hi you’d love Dabble DB if it existed still. I was pushing Asana to support features you mentioned since 2011, and only in 2017 some of the features start to become possible.

See Dabble DB demos for inspiration about more features:

BTW, my request about your features #2 and #3 can be read at Link to other tasks in Custom Fields


#4

I wonder how many of us are in the same boat finding workarounds for the lack of date support. It seems such an obvious feature for custom fields. Thanks for sharing your workflow Angelina. :slight_smile:


#5

First time I hear of Dabble DB, and yes I think I would love it, but not more than Asana with new custom fields features. :wink:


#6

@Ray_Vellest you are def-o a power user when it comes to custom fields. Another improvement I’d like to add that I don’t believe you mentioned is the ability to use custom fields on sub-tasks. I have a “project” called Meeting Agendas and each meeting date/type is its own task. The agenda items are the sub-tasks. So I can assign a duration via a custom field to the meeting at the task level but would LOVE to assign the sub-task agenda items their own duration.


#9

You can try adding your subtasks to the project that HAS the “Duration” custom field. You can either use Tab+P on each subtask to add to project or use shortcut described below:


#10

Thank you for the great suggestion! I prefer my view to be By Project so I am not happy that the subtask, once added to the project in order to get the custom field, now shows in the project task list alongside all other non-subtasks. (sigh) Can’t win them all!


#11

Great list Ray. I just came across the clickable link thing today. It seems like an obvious enhancement so I hope we will see it at somepoint in the near future.

In my use case I was using one project as a “roll up” (parent) of other projects and wanted to include a link to the child projects as a custom field.

Of course I can paste that in the description and have it be clickable to the “child” project but using a text field with clickable url (or a field type of “URL” if neccesary) would help make that a consistent experience for project viewers.

I could also see it being used to reference google docs etc. for critical documents related to the task (Campaign Brief, Functional Specs, Etc.)

The other item in your list that resonated with me was calculated fields. Would love to be able to do simple math on number fields. Value Field/Cost Field = ROI Value Field.


#12

I have notice that text entered into Custom fields does no show up in a general search. This would be very useful as it could replace general tags for archiving purposes.


#13
  • Multi-select option for custom fields
  • “Other” selection that then generates a text box to allow people to enter a unique value (text string or number)

#14

Brilliant idea of the day! So Brilliant I’m sure it is already being worked on at Asana.

Custom Field type of “User” that is aware of all Asana users in the system.

Could be used for “Assisted by” in the use cases where people are asking for more than one person assigned to the task.

Could be used for “Requestor”-- who asked for this thing to get done (in the use case that they did not actually create the task)

Approver, Proofreader, Tester, etc.


#15

Another custom fields request: roll-up numeric custom fields when a project is grouped! When doing planning we input estimated days as a custom field and want to check whether anyone is over-committed. You can currently group by assignee, but then you have to go person by person to spot check their committed time, whereas it would be great if it just appeared above the estimated time column.


#16

I would love the ability to add custom fields to Sections. While you can technically add them, they don’t allow you view them on the list of tasks. You have to go into each one to see the custom fields. And even then, you can’t sort.


#17

I agree with Leenie, the ability to use sub-tasks is a MUST.

Honestly is a shock to see such a power PM platform as Asana with feature limitations on the subtasks. It is almost like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

I can’t set priorities on subtasks or set estimation time on subtasks.

It can’t be too hard to implement a feature that already exists in deep layers on the platform.

Please, advice.


#18

Having subtotals in sections would help as well. For instance when one is trying to plan job in weekly sprint, moving tasks between sections would update subtotals in each of the weeks.


#19

Excellent points. I would also add the ability to add a custom field at the project level as opposed to each individual task. For example, we would like to be able to categorize our projects (by client, by engagement type, by region etc.) and not have to worry about assigning these items to all tasks .


#20

I want the ability to do math in custom fields, like a derived field in SharePoint. For example, I can supply the birth date of a request and the custom field would derive the age of the task, i.e. 4D or 3W or 6M.


#21

This is a feature I need to see improved. I’m already most impressed by Asana because of custom fields, but also a little disappointed because they seem just surface level.

My greatest request would be excel like features. yes I know I can see them add up when I select, but that isn’t sharable without a screenshot and it’s not part of my dashboard.

And like OP said above, it would be nice if we had more pre-made format options (ie. dollars, states, etc.) less work for me and better communication.


#22

I would very much like to see the ability to add radio buttons and checkboxes for custom fields.