💡 Dropdown default value should be empty

When you create a drop-down custom field in Asana, it is tempting to create all the possible values. For a priority for example, High-Medium-Low. However, by listing all possible values, you are basically creating a situation where:

  • the absence of value is a mistake
  • any task created requires an extra compulsory step
  • or some automation to put a default value

Today, I want to share with you another way: what if the absence of value WAS the default value? Instead of having High-Medium-Low, you could have High-Low. And then suddenly:

  • your projects and tasks look cleaner because the priority field is often empty
  • no need to create automation to put a default value
  • no extra work when creating a task

What do you think? Does that inspire you and gives you ideas?

One caveat about the solution: if you sort by that field, the default value will show up at the bottom.

:fr: Version française


I’m not clear what you mean here. I think I generally agree, and have written before that a better custom field than High-Medium-Low, often, is an Urgent? dropdown custom field with a single option of a checkmark (:heavy_check_mark: ) and the default as blank; no colors on either of those for lighter-weight appearance.


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I mean Medium could be the absence of value. So either High, Low, or no value. Because most of the time things are Medium. Does that make more sense?

Ah. Now that’s clear. I imagine this could be useful at times, sure.

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How can I make a value be the default. Let’s say I want all of my task to be MEDIUM when starting off. How can I accomplish this?

This can be done using Rules in Asana. The trigger is “Task added to the project” and the action is to choose a value for the custom field.

Just be careful → if someone creates a task from the orange “+” button for example, and the pre-choose a value, that will be erased by the rule…

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