Imagine being able to create a custom field in Asana based on:
- a list of existing tasks within a project
- a list of existing projects within a portfolio
and then have those lists available as either a single-select or a multi-select field to be added to a project or portfolio, just like any other custom field!
I have been dreaming of such an ability for sometime now so I thought I’d create a mockup to wet your appetites and hopefully nudge the Asana team towards this direction.
Name your field title
Choose between single-select or multi-select
Reference a list of tasks from a project or list of projects from a portfolio
Add sort to the order of how these values from these references will appear in the field’s dropdown
Filter which tasks/projects will appear in the dropdown
The above mockup is based on some existing elements within Asana (such as Reporting and Dashboards) and also from competitors that already have this feature - no need to mention them, you know who they are
The below example is a light CRM or database where a list of ‘Contacts’ is cross-referenced with a list of ‘Companies’ of which the contacts are employees of.
In the ‘Contacts’ list you choose from a single-select dropdown field to select the ‘ Company’ they work for.
In the ‘Companies’ list, the ‘ Employees’ field is auto-populated with the referenced value from the ‘ Company’ field in the Contacts list.
And vice versa, in the ‘Companies’ list, when you select from a multi-select field the ‘ Employees’ that work for that company, then the ‘ Company’ field is auto-populated in the ‘Contacts’ list.
Currently, the closest you can get to this can only be achieved using dependencies. However, this is not a suitable workaround and there are obvious disadvantages using dependencies:
- task names are truncated when adding multiple dependencies, see ‘Companies (dependencies)’ below
- cannot label the custom field to anything you want; in this case ‘ Company’ and ‘Employees’ are more suitable than just ‘Dependencies’, see green highlights below
- cannot choose from a dedicated dropdown menu with predetermined single-select or multi-select options (in the ‘Dependencies’ field you just search for any task)
I’m no programmer but I would assume the architecture for such a feature would primarily be based on how dependencies already function and are displayed within Asana, therefore, the UI/UX expectation would be:
- Colour coding would not be available (all fields would be grey)
- Ability to sort the options available in the dropdowns; default would be as per List view, with the ability to sort alphabetically, last modified, creation date etc (see +Add sort in mockup above)
- Ability to filter the available options, similar to filtering in dashboards/reporting (see +Filter in mockup above)
- Auto-update available values based on current list of tasks within the referenced project / list of projects within the referenced portfolio
- Rules support; same treatment as single-select and multi-select triggers & actions (is that too greedy? )
What do you think? You can do this Asana!