Custom Field Permissions.

I would like to get some feedback from other consultants such as @Todd_Cavanaugh @paulminors @Phil_Seeman @lpb @Bastien_Siebman @Sebastian_Paasch and any others users that work across workspaces and organizations in regards to permissions for Custom Field modifications and additions. Am I right to assume that consultants sometimes will be Team and Project members in an organization as they help a client set up Asana. In this regards, to the best of my understanding they will be treated as a guest in an organization. While they can be a project member or a team member they will always be a guest with no permission to create or modify custom fields. I can certainly understand the security around custom fields as they are very powerful and not to be taken lightly but in the consultant world and in developing tools to copy projects this becomes a circular equation. You have to set up the project in the organization, add the custom fields and then copy tasks only from a guest. I believe it also constrains the consultant that is working directly in a client’s organization from fully setting up a full featured project unless they are given a temporary domain email address which of course requires them to take up a member seat. @Marie I might not have this described accurately but that is my interpretation. Would it reduce security considerably if any Project Member whether organizational member or not have the capability of modifying and adding custom fields. The API would also need to reflect this for transfer tools. Input welcome!!


Hi @James_Carl, I can definitely attest that it is a big pain as a consultant to not be able to build or demo Custom Fields in a client’s workspace. With all the permissions that guests have (i.e. delete tasks, projects, etc.) it seems arbitrary that they can’t create custom fields. My guess is because editing custom fields could affect projects the guest does not have access to, they don’t want to grant those permissions. This could be solved by being able to easily upgrade a guest with a non-organization email address to a full-member, but I don’t think that is even possible?

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“My guess is because editing custom fields could affect projects the guest does not have access to” @Todd_Cavanaugh Todd could you explain this a little more. My experience is that custom fields while being added globally to an organization when created for availability do not effect a project until they are specifically added to that project, kind of like tags and users.

What I mean is that the same Custom Field can be used in more than 1 project. So if the guest edited the options in a dropdown Custom Field, for example, it would affect other projects using the same Custom Field.

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Very good point. So maybe a guest could add and fill but not modify. That might be a pretty good solution.

Just had the case this morning, was on a call with a client and could not create a custom fields in his org. Yes, that is a pain.

But I would argue that even adding could cause the issue that Todd describes; i.e. “What the heck? Why all of a sudden are there three new options in our Frammitz drop-down list? We didn’t add them and we don’t want them!”

@Phil_Seeman To clarify I am talking about adding a brand new field or adding a field from the fields available in the organization not doing modifications to an existing field. If a project member can do a whole bunch of other things should they be trusted to add a new field from a new creation or using an existing field? I know they can already change selections within a field so my recommendation was add new field from existing organization fields or a new field and make the control be no modifications to an existing field. I think this enhancement would open up tremendous additional flexibility for consultants and transferring template type projects which in turn would be expanded use of paid versions to Asana.

Ah OK - that I can’t argue with!

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I agree, it’s been frustrating to require a client to add you as an org member, which means using up a seat and also forcing them to give you an email user, for this purpose; a lot of effort on their part to do something for me when they’re hiring me to help them!

While Jim’s proposed solution would help somewhat, it’s not really practical–if you add the custom field and make a typo or need to modify it, you’re sunk.

The solution I’d like to see is proper roles/permissions offered by Asana to organizations. They should be able to designate users as belonging to groups, and choose permissions for groups, like the ability to create/modify custom fields.


I agree with everyone. @Todd_Cavanaugh summed up my feelings perfectly:

I can definitely attest that it is a big pain as a consultant to not be able to build or demo Custom Fields in a client’s workspace. With all the permissions that guests have (i.e. delete tasks, projects, etc.) it seems arbitrary that they can’t create custom fields


I think there is definitely consistency on your proposed solution and a better solution. My proposal could be a short term fix because if you made a mistake in adding a custom field you could always ask an organization member to fix it. Anyway, seems like the problem certainly effects consultants an important group to Asana.

Thank you for all your replys. This question was precipitated as we designed Sendana-Add. So within the constraints of permissions and the API their is a unique feature of Sendana Add that can at least be somewhat helpful. Sendana Add allows you to copy the entire project or tasks within a project. So if you choose to use pre-defined templates libraries that you have created or your choose to design your clients workflow design within your organization or like me you actually have a dummy premium organization for design you can do the following:

  1. Do your complete design in your organization of choice other than client.
  2. Add the project names and only custom fields in the clients organization. Make sure you are at least a guest on some task so you are a guest in the organization.
  3. Sendana Add will do the rest subject to the restrictions I have mentioned, one level of subtasks for now. We also need to add copying boards versus list which I anticipate my developer @Mahmudul_Hasan will finish very very shortly.
  4. Use Sendana Add but choose to copy the tasks only by putting a No in the Copy to New Project field. And yes Sendana Add does copy dependencies.

The alternative way is to attempt to copy your project with Copy Project set to Y. Sendana-Add will copy the project but not the custom fields or assignees or collaborators that do not at least reside on something making them a member or guest in the target organization. Usually your new client has there whole organization of people populated to at least something… Remember just like Asana web if a Assignee or Collaborator exists in an organization you can choose them.
2. Sendana Add will give you an exact list of the missing Custom Fields and Tasks that have an invalid Assignee or Collaborator so you can correct on the target organization.
3. You then can go in and add to your targets.

I prefer the first method because then all the content of your custom fields will be filled out if you choose (Sendana Add gives you the choice to populate content of Custom Fields or leave the Custom Fields Blank). This was a late add as some projects you may want the custom fields already to have had choices or entries made. Remember because we are using a CSV import with the ability to accomplish multiple adds at the same time you do have to type in case sensitive exact names for only the first 5 fields. The substantial flexibility is as follows:
|Workspace Or Organization|
|Target Workspace Or Organization|
|Target Team| AU| Project Duplication Utility
|Source Project Name| AU| Sendana Add Demo Project
|Recipient Project Name|AU| Sendana Add 1
|Copy to New Project| N
|Task Description| Y
|Assignee| Y
|Subtasks| Y
|Attachments| Y
|Tags| Y
|Task Collaborators| Y
|Project Members| Y
|Other Projects| Y (Also know as multi-homing
|Due Date| Y
|Start Date| Y
|Dependencies| Y
|Custom Fields| Y
|Custom Field Content| Y

I am reviewing the fact we don’t add task comments yet as my original theme was creating fresh projects but that certainly can be added but I think I will add it as an option. We are still in public beta so anything you discover, please email versus posting in a thread so I at least have a chance to see if it is a program error or input error. If Asana changes permissions on custom field creation this will be easy to add to the tool. I also know that a UI versus a CSV import would avoid spelling errors on the first 5 fields and I am in a wait an see on this because I wanted to have all the options you see listed and multiple lines to add multiple projects created as new, tasks form existing projects or any combinations thereof. Our sister project Sendana Date will be done shortly and no it has nothing to do with @Phil_Seeman excellent Flowsana integration. All this was originally targeted towards consultants but of course anybody can use.