Change to Sections

Can anyone point me to information/guidance on the changes to the Section function? It used to allow data (files, custom fields, descriptions, threads, etc.) to be placed at the Section, not Task, level.

Again, my friends at Asana, you really baffle me. Perhaps it’s because I have not read nor heard about this change, but I can’t fathom why you guys REMOVE functionality? We’ve come to rely upon placing information specific to the tasks under a Section in the Section Header. Why was that ability removed?

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Hi @dean.clough!

Here’s the thread:

If you’re interested in a technical discussion, you can also see:

To summarize, the reason for the change was:

  • The Asana folks wanted to provide the capability to switch a project back and forth between list and board views.

  • Sections in list views were different than sections in board views, making it impossible to provide this capability without converting things so that anywhere in Asana, sections were represented identically under the hood. (In list views, under the hood sections were just tasks with a colon at the end of their name; in board views, they were their own distinct type of object.)

  • So they converted list view sections such that they will now be the separate type of object used in boards. Now you can switch back and forth! This capability is currently being rolled out to all users.

  • While as you noted, you do lose the ability to enter task data for a section, you pick up some new capabilities. For example: you can now collapse sections in list views, and sections in list views now truly act as a container for all of the tasks in them, so you can do things like drag and drop a section and all of its tasks will move with it.


Thanks, Phil - very helpful and know I’m not shooting the messenger here.

But I’d still like to hear from Asana why they removed the ability to place data relevant to a given Section’s tasks in the Section Header itself? We don’t use Boards and they’ve destroyed standards we’ve had in place for over a year now by removing this ability. Collapsing a section and having the ability to drag and drop entire Sections (tasks included) while nice, doesn’t justify this change to us. I can’t imagine how unifying how Sections are handled to accommodate Boards had to mean losing the ability to input data at the Section level?

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I can only answer from a technical perspective; obviously I can’t answer from a philosophical or design standpoint since I’m not privy to the internal Asana discussions on the topic.

Because the separate Section object that was initially created for boards, and which they then had to convert to for lists in order to make them interoperable, did not contain any of the fields that you find on the Asana task object. They would have had to update the data model to add all of those task-type fields to the Section object, and for whatever reason, they chose not to.

You know, now that you mention it, in all of the discussion on the forum about this Sections change, I don’t recall actually seeing a specific request of “please bring back the ability to enter task-type data on a section”. It would probably be good if you were to add a post with this request in the Product Feedback forum area, so people could vote on it!

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As we’ve looked at every part of the new Section Header paradigm, we find we like every improvement - collapsing Sections, dragging Sections, etc.

But again, and despite Phil’s explanation: Asana, why was the ability to enter data at a Section level removed? The need to modify the underlying data model seems like a pretty poor rationale for this.

What are others doing that use List view only? Sections to us delineated individual deliverables within a project; we would put deliverable-specific information in the Section Header, but of course, that ability has now been removed.

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Adopting a convention, perhaps a Milestone task with a common name like “DELIVERABLES” as the first task in the section, would be the best workaround I can think of.



I like that, and thank you. Only issue will be if/when someone clicks off the “milestone” as complete, in which case the deliverable metadata is hidden unless “All Tasks” etc. is selected.

But thanks.

Same topic diff question: is it correct that most, but definitely not all of our projects, have the Section Header change? Is there something we need to do to propagate this change such that our environment is uniform?

I usually make sure there’s one Project Member shepherding things such that if a task gets marked complete by mistake (this happens, particularly with novices) then they will simply reverse that and mark it incomplete again from their Inbox as they review notifications.


I’ll let @Marie or @Natalia reply, or you can contact Asana support.



Going back to using =====Section===== as pretty much all the changes to sections are retrograde, trying to force us to think like whoever the designer was, rather than supporting the diversity of ways of working that made Asana brilliant in the old days. I just posted something at Should we move back to using tasks with special characters as ===Sections=== about the retrograde steps in sections that make me think need to go back to stop using them and go back to using characters like ====section=== (maybe we can get “:” back as a way to bold them)