Are sections WAI under "Later" in "My Tasks" view?

Briefly describe (1-2 sentences) the Bug you’re experiencing:
a) Sections in “Later” are no longer bolded in the Web or iOS App.
b) Tasks are not reliably sorted under their section, despite being added to the section via the Section dropdown next to the Project on the task itself.
c) The section drop down only shows sections in “Later”, not “Today” or “Upcoming”.
d) The section drop down doesn’t show newly created sections.
e) Sections can no longer be created by appending a “:” to the end of a task name, has to be by dropdown menu or Tab+N. (Don’t really care about this one)
f) Tasks are only able to be added to a section if the section is in a project. (Also don’t really care about this one)

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create section under “Upcoming” named “Upcoming Section” and move it under “Upcoming”. You should run into e).
  2. Create section under “Later” named “Later Section” and move it under “Later”. You should run into a).
  3. Create a regular task “Test task”.
  4. Try adding “Test task” to a section. You should run into c), d), and f). If you were actually able to add it to an existing section…
  5. Move “Test task” to “Upcoming” or “Later”. There’s a good chance it will be added to under the section in “Upcoming” but not in “Later” (added to the top instead). This shows b).

Browser version:

  • Chrome, Version 79.0.3945.88 (Official Build) (64-bit)
  • iOS App 8.5.0

Upload screenshots below:

Overall, this is disappointing as it’s reduced usability of my “Later” section" and I’m questioning if I should switch to another platform.

Most of what you describe are not bugs but rather the new way sections work or the new way My Tasks works. I’ll let someone from Asana give a detailed answer but here is a short one.

b. Not sure I understand but might not be a bug
c. Not a bug if today and upcoming are empty they disappear I think now
d. You are probably confusing the My Tasks sections with the one you can create yourself. They behave differently.
e. Not a bug indeed.
f. What do you expect exactly?

I should preface that this is all from the “My Tasks View”. Also, sorry if this is confusing but I’m not sure what to call “Today”, “Upcoming”, and “Later.” When I say “Sections”, I mean Sections: Create & add sections in Asana | Product guide • Asana

b) In the task view, if I add it to a Project, there’s an additional drop down to add it to a section. Only pre-existing sections under “Later” show up in that drop down for me. I have tasks that are added to specific sections and under “Later”, but if I scroll through “Later” tasks, those tasks are not reliably sorted under their section. They used to be. Now it just dumps them at the top of “Later”.
c) I’m not talking about the “Today” and “Upcoming” sections being empty. I’m saying if I have a task added to a project, another drop down menu appears next to the project name to optionally add the task to a section. That drop down menu has never included sections that are currently under “Today” or “Upcoming”.
d) I’m not confused. I’ve been using Asana and sections for a while. I’m aware they behave differently. Sections has just been getting increasingly broken and bugs are difficult to file on mobile. I don’t know what to call “Today”, “Upcoming”, or “Later” but none of my compliants are with them. No behavior has changed there.
f) Just calling it out since their post doesn’t really cover any of this: Create & add sections in Asana | Product guide • Asana. Wasn’t sure if it’s intended, since if I can add a section to “Later” under “No Project”, arguably, I should be able to add tasks to that section, but I can’t. But maybe it’s due to Asana not picking up new sections for me. I don’t know if it’s a super delayed sync or something.

I think it could help if you shared a couple of screenshots, I think I understand what is going on but I don’t want to guess too much! Unless you don’t need any help and want to only report. In this case, we’ll wait for Asana moderator to come in!

Yeah, so I just noticed that the existing Sections (that I created via a task with “:” in the name) are columns in the Project view. And the tasks are sorted under the correct Section in the Project view but not My Tasks view. If I add a new column via the Board view, it appears in the dropdown in the task.

I’ve had two projects, one used in List view, and one used in Board view. List view project is the one I used Sections in “Later” but no Categories, and Board view project had Categories but no Sections in “Later”. So my hypothesis is that at some point when they implemented List & Board view for every project (totally missed that development, :clap: ), Categories were created for each Section in List/My Tasks view… and now Section support in My Tasks view is haphazardly broken?

Slightly modified of course. This is a snippet of the “My Tasks” view.

Oh boy, this is going to be difficult to untangle, but here goes…

First, recognize that Asana made two big architectural changes simultaneously. First, they changed how sections work in some major ways. In projects, sections now behave differently than before: you can collapse them, if you move a section its tasks move with it, and lots more.

This section-change allowed them to make the second big architecture change which was to allow any project to be viewed in both list and board views. This means that sections are now directly correlated if you view a project in list view or board view. In list view, sections show in boldface and can be collapsed. In board view, sections show as columns.

Second big point: the above-mentioned change in sections applies to projects but not to the My Tasks view. For reasons that are beyond this discussion, My Tasks remains the same as it did previously - any sections that you create in My Tasks are the old-style sections (i.e. like before the big section change). Because they are different than the new-style sections, Asana internally calls them “separators” so as to distinguish them from the new-style sections in projects; but alas they still call them “sections” in the My Tasks user interface. So to repeat, “separators” are basically the old-style sections, but separator-sections only exist in My Tasks (and not to complicate things further, but also in subtasks; but let’s not go there for this discussion).

Further, for reasons I can’t explain and which I do consider a bug, separator-sections that you create in the Later section of My Tasks appear as regular tasks, not as sections - that is, they are not bolded and larger typesized.

With that as introduction, let’s tackle your points.

Right, that’s the last thing I mentioned that I consider a bug as you do.

Here’s what’s confusing you: those are projects, not sections, that you see under Later in boldface. Yes, I know they look visually exactly like new-style sections do in project views, but those are projects underneath Later in My Tasks.

"That drop down menu has never included sections that are currently under “Today” or “Upcoming”. "
Right - because per my above explanation, remember that new-style sections that you can set in the dropdown menu in a project view are never reflected in My Tasks, which only supports old-style separator-sections. You’re looking for a correlation between sections in that dropdown and sections in My Tasks, and you aren’t gonna find one.

Yep - this is by design (i.e. not a bug).

Right - hopefully my above explanations make it clear why this is the case (i.e. new-style sections in projects are not related to old-style sections in My Tasks).

What happened here is that when Asana introduced new-style sections, they ran a conversion routine on all existing projects in all existing customer accounts. That routine converted all old-style sections to new-style sections. So those old-style sections which you had created in the “old way” (by appending a “:”) are now new-style sections, which as I mentioned above display in board view as columns.

To beat a dead horse, that’s because those new-style sections in project view aren’t in My Tasks, and there’s no correlation in task sorting between a project and My Tasks.

Yup - it’s a new-style section!

I can’t comment in this as I’m not sure what you mean by “Categories”.

Section support in My Tasks isn’t haphazardly broken as I hope is clear from all of my explanations here - but it definitely changed and in ways that clearly are not in line with how you used to use Asana, I’m afraid!


Hey Phil, thanks for the write up. Yup, your main two points became obvious as I investigated further. Just clearing up some points from your post.

Here’s what’s confusing you: those are projects, not sections, that you see under Later in boldface. Yes, I know they look visually exactly like new-style sections do in project views, but those are projects underneath Later in My Tasks.

As you can see from my screenshot, I am aware they’re projects. I labeled them “anotherproject”, “board view project”, and “list view project”. My compliant is that sections are not appearing in bold and underline, not that something else is. Tasks are reliably sorted under their project in Later, but not under their Section under the Project in Later. See the screenshot of how “Not under section” belongs to “:[” section, but is just floating at the top of “Later” and not under its respective section.

I get that this is WAI now. I think the one-way, one-time migration (separators → sections) was a little confusing as it made appear as if things worked differently. Since I still can see the tasks sorted under their Section in the Project view, I’m not as perturbed though it is a shame I’ll have to switch views. Oh well.

I can’t comment in this as I’m not sure what you mean by “Categories”.

My bad, I meant to say “Columns”, by which I meant Project (new-style) Sections. I was trying to differentiate since I kept saying Sections so much.

That said, of my original complaints,
a) Still relevant (the behavior we both agree is a bug)
b) Still relevant.
c) Understandable given architectural change, don’t really have an issue with this behavior.
d) Still relevant for new sections created under “Later”, under a Project, from “My Tasks” view. I consider this broken integration between My Tasks view and Project Sections.
e) Don’t care
f) Don’t care

Though I suspect a), b), and d) are side-effects of a design choice to not support separators under Projects in “Later” since it’s too much an overlap with Project Sections. So if that’s the case, this bug might be WAI but it’d be good to get clarification on that.

I’m going to make a separate post here to get clarity on a). The reason I say it’s a bug is that you actually CAN make a separator-section underneath Later - it just doesn’t visually show as a section. IMO either they need to fix it to make it show as a separator-section, or they need to disallow making a section under Later.

b) and d) can’t be considered as relevant issues because they’re effects of their design choice, as you surmised. But they’re not related to a). The design choice is not that they decided to not support separators under Projects in “Later”, it’s that they decided not to support new-style sections in My Tasks (at least, not at the present time).

Meaning that they can fix a) and have separator-sections show visually properly under Later, but that won’t change anything in terms of b) and d) - there still won’t be any connection between new-style project view sections and old-style My Tasks separator-sections - meaning that even if they fix a), you still won’t see any sorting under Later in My Tasks to match any sorting you’ve done in a project view. You can consider d) as “broken” but since it’s working as currently designed, Asana won’t consider it as broken.

Hey @Marie and @Natalia,

So as an upshot of all of the above discussion, I believe there is an existing bug - can you check it out and see if you concur?

The issue is that when you create a new Section in the Later area of My Tasks, it creates the Section (of course since it’s in My Tasks, it’s an old-style separator section, not a new-style project-view section) but it does not visually make it look like a Section, it just looks like a regular task. (If you create in Today or Upcoming, it does visually look correct.)

That has to be a bug, yes?

@Phil_Seeman, first of all, thank you so much for your help on this this thread, you’ve done a fantastic work explaining a long and tricky story :wink:

And yes, I never came across this situation before, but I’ve reproduced it and I think it could be a bug. I’ve filed a task for our Section Team to investigate. I’ll make sure to keep you posted as soon as I have an update!

Great, thanks, @Marie!

Now there’s one team I don’t envy!

I’ve just filed the bug there, but I’ve a feeling this is something we’ll fix when we complete the work required for My Tasks to fully support sections.

And yes these guys are super busy at the moment :rofl:

Oh and Happy Christmas @Phil_Seeman :evergreen_tree::tada:

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