Assign tasks without creating Guest (no invitation)

I’d like to be able to assign a task to a new person by name only (not e-mail) and thus not invite them to join Asana as a Guest.

I just need to see their name for my own tracking purposes to know when to expect items from them.

This is a critical part of our project management process. We work with a lot of other companies (external parties) but they’ll get quite annoyed if they all start receiving notification to join Asana.

I understand Asana is interested get getting as many people into the platform as possible, but this has become a serious barrier to our work flow. Would you consider implementing this feature?


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Hey @Kiefer_MacKenzie and welcome to the Asana Community Forum :wave:

I guess what you are trying to achieve can easily be done with custom fields
Just set up a custom field with a list of all the people or have various fields with a list of people depending on department and then select per task.

This allows you to then also create reports based on custom fields etc

Or use some fake emails you create…Or at least one for external parties. As this would then help you with filtering and in the reports.
All tasks assigned to the user “external parties” in a specific project, specific custom field - how many tasks are open, overdue etc - a lot of reporting abilities

Now in general if you have people working on the tasks directly (even external parties) maybe some already have Asana? Or if not maybe check in with them to see if they would be open to starting to use it as that surely helps them to organize their tasks much better.

Hope that helps :smiley:


Thanks for the feedback Andrea,

The suggested workaround of using custom fields could do for the time being, but I’d really like to leave this post unsolved (and with the ability to be voted on) to see how much interest there is in properly developing this feature.

Fake e-mails won’t work as we work with up to three dozen external parties on any given project, across many dozens projects with unique parties. This is common in consulting engineering (buildings / infrastructure). Making that many unique fake e-mails just to get around a missing feature would negatively impact our work flow.

Custom Fields will bring some of the needed functionality, but it doesn’t show in the Gantt Chart view which is how we primarily organize ourselves in Asana. It also doesn’t auto fill external parties who have already been entered into Asana once (like how the assign feature shows and searches the people in your team) which can lead to misspelling, non-consistent naming, and in general inaccuracies.

Our external parties are not working within Asana directly, but we do need to be able to visualize in Gantt Chart view which of them is responsible for what. If we want them to work on the task directly we can add them as a Guest, that’s fine. However if we start hounding our clients (governments, large developers, architects) to start using Asana via e-mail notification when we work with them they’re most likely to see this as something they didn’t ask for and be upset (they value their time and inbox cleanliness). We would be jeopardizing the likelihood of getting to work with them in the future which is not an acceptable result of our use of Asana.

Can you please return the ability for this post to be voted on as I’d like Asana to consider implementing this feature.


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I personally would not like to see this implemented as that would create such havoc with people putting names in there thinking they assigned a task when they actually didn’t. Then those looking for action against the task seeing a name of who is responsible but that person is not actually assigned.

This will be a hot mess. Asana is all about assignees and due dates. I cannot imagine, and hope they would not, change this.


I had the same thoughts as Kiefer_MacKenzie, but I’ve discovered that what Getz_Pro says is true - it’s more fiddly than useful.

I’ve always used a “waiting for” flag in my todo lists, and I’m finding the same works in Asana. I was using a tag in a custom field, but then I discovered I kept forgetting to remove it, so I’ve gone back to adding “; WAITING” at the end of the task, which I’m finding nice and clear. The due date is the date I expect to be able to bug them on/receive an answer by:

2021-10-13: Asked contractor to complete task 1; WAITING

Hope this helps.

I’ve started trying to use custom fields to name the external party we are waiting on. However, Asana does not seem to have the ability to use custom fields in global reporting / dashboarding. Support has confirmed this feature is not available.

A major need on our end it to be able to have a summary of external / waiting tasks by party (so we can reach out to that external party and easily see all of their pending items across all projects).

@Tania_Strahan , @Getz_Pro , any suggestions for how to accomplish this?

Hi @Kiefer_MacKenzie

Most assuredly CFs are allowed in Dashboard and UR. Not sure why you were told they are not.

I tend to set up a CF for department as there will be fewer options and most often that person in the department that will be assigned has not been identified at this stage.

You can set one up for individuals, however, you are limited to 100 drop down options.

Interesting. I’ll try this again. Thanks,

Did that work @Kiefer_MacKenzie ?