Focus / select task via keyboard

Hi I’d like to reamphasize a topic @Alexander_Singer and @Jennifer_Beahan mentioned earlier.
There is one small but VERY anoying detail in a typical workflow: When working in your tasklist, you often delegate tasks, comment, change due date, tag etc.
And you can do all that navigating via keyboard.
But normally you want to go through a list of tasks - so you want to get back to the main pane (tasklist) and select the next task, but it is not possible without switching to the mouse!
If I close the task-detail (esc) there is no keyboard shortcut responding - in the best case the arrow-keys are used to scroll through the entire tasklist, but it is not possible to select a task - not even the very first one!
(win 10; chrome and ff)

So: PLEASE reconsider or at least try to explain, why it is not technically feasible at this point in time to implement such a small thing with such a large annoyance-factor :wink:

Best wishes to the team and keep up the great work your doing! Kai

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Hi there - a small addendum:

I recognized, that the intended behaviour is there in one particular instance.
When you (re-)assign a task from the tasklist, but only with TAB+M (to yourself), then the focus is kept and the workflow is uniterrupted.
If any further interaction is necessary, for instance TAB+A (choosing someone else to assign the task to), then the focus of the task in the middle pane is lost and can ONLY be regained via mouse.
Also interesting:
You can cycle through several aspects of a task and get back with TAB.
Having a Task in Fokus in the middle pane, TAB brings you to editing the title (TAB > description; TAB > comment; TAB > collaborator; TAB > back to middle pane) and SHIFT-TAB in the reverse order.

→ So, obviously, there are ways for different program-parts of asana to work while keeping the focus of the current task in the middle pane in the background and returning to it, but workflow-wise some of the most crucial do not exhibit this behaviour :crying_cat_face:

cheers guys

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I recognize this issue was closed by saying the relevant shortcut is not supported ([Keyboard shortcut to select task]_, but this issue is so pervasive, I can’t believe I’m not missing something really obvious: this must be my own personal blind spot, so could someone please help me out?

I have the middle-pane and a task open and can work on the task using all the known keyboard shortcuts. Great. I’m finished and now want to scroll up and down the task list in the middle-pane to deal with some other task. How do I get back there without using the mouse? Even if I close the “selected” task so I only have the middle-pane open (left pane is routinely closed in), I can’t “jump to” another task. Up/Down do nothing, since no task is selected to begin with.

It’s not obvious to me that the now-unsupported “jump to task” was what I needed in any case, but somehow people must be doing something to get from one task to the next without a mouse click every time – it just seems so very very fundamental. I need to get the “focus” back on the middle pane so up/down will work.

[I suppose I could search for the task even though it is right in front of me… Is that really what power users are doing?]

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I’d be interested in this too. In the meantime I use Shift-Tab which can help sometimes to get you back from the detail pane to the tasks pane, but it may cycle you through earlier positions in the detail pane on the way back!

Larry

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I, like you, have been baffled by the absence of a keyboard shortcut for this essential step in using Asana with the keyboard. Having to reach for the mouse every couple of seconds defies the purpose of having keyboard shortcuts at all.

I have found a workaround using multiple shortcut keys. Clumsy, but it does the job. Will see if it’s smooth to use in practice once I’ve got these in finger memory Mortal Kombat-style.

  1. Tab-/ (enter search box)
  2. Tab, Tab (end up on Add Task)
  3. Enter (adds a new task on top and YAY FOCUS)
  4. Backspace (you’re now left with focus on the first task and can use the other keyboard shortcuts like going up and down the list)

So Asana, please make us do this with a single shortcut key.

Aside from that, I would like to end up in this situation by default whenever I open a list (I imagine this is not for everyone so might be implemented as a user preference).

2 Likes

Update: this workaround is of limited use, because one can only navigate through the New Tasks using the cursor keys. Go beyond, and the list still shows the last New Task as selected, while the righth pane shows details of tasks further down. Sigh. My conclusion is this view, and because it is such a central one as a consequence Asana desktop as a whole, is simply not optimised for use with the keyboard.

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Just want to add my vote for Asana to fix this usability bug. The Asana keyboard shortcuts are solid but without this essential shortcut you have to use the mouse a lot.

The shortcuts are still useful when you have to use the mouse a lot, but they would be SO MUCH MORE useful if I could stop using they keyboard and deselecting tasks when you started editing the fields of a task kills the keyboard-less workflow

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Thx for this keyboard hack. For me, there’s now a Third Tab required in step 2., but the problem you describe of the list keeping focus on the last New Task I’m not seeing currently.

Anyone know if there’s a Product Feedback version of this post that we could Vote on?

I agree, this is also one important shortcut I am missing.

The workaround I use is:

  • Tab R (to select Description)
  • Shift-Tab (2x)

This should bring you back to your list in the main pane.

In case you have one (or several) Custom Fields, you will need to add one (or serveral) more Shift-Tab, respectively.

I hope this helps!

Best,
Fabian

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Great work-around. Thanks!

Question about the keyboard shortcuts…
My Asana workflow looks like this:

  • throughout the day, I use email and various extensions to throw todo items into Asana as they come up.
  • once a day (or once every few days), I go to ‘My Tasks’ and go down the list of new tasks I’ve created, tagging them, putting them into projects, adding due dates, and marking them today/upcoming/later etc.
  • for expediency sake, I do this through keyboard shortcuts. i.e., I select the first one on the list, then use keyboard shortcuts to set fields, then send it to today/upcoming/later, again with a shortcut. Then I want to move on to the next item in the list.

Problem: Now that I’ve categorized the previous item, it’s no longer in my new tasks list. So I can’t figure out any keyboard shortcut that allows me to select the next item in the list. So I have to move to the mouse to select the next one.

Any suggestions for how to solve this problem?

Thanks,
Ely.

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Hmmmm. That’s a really good question. That sounds like a great workflow that you have and I was thinking of ways to get the next task selected. It appears that if you are in the New Task section and have not selected the task window (so the task is white lined with blue) you can push the tasks easily to the sections that you would like using the keyboard shortcuts and it will move down tasks automatically. However, when you select the task and modify the task in your New Task section (so the task is blue) you toggle over to the task and can’t toggle back using a shortcut. At least that I can find.

Katie

This is one that comes up occasionally in different ways. But basically they all boil down to wanting a way to get back to the Task List without using a mouse.

There isn’t a way currently, but here is a work around.
https://forum.asana.com/t/keyboard-shortcut-to-select-again/25347/7

You can also vote for an improvement here.

@Marie, I would recommend merging with the topic above.

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All merged @Vince_Mustachio! Thanks for flagging it :slight_smile:

I used this but when the task became highlighted, I pressed arrow keys to move to next task but nothing happened. It escape and lost focus. Tried again and pressed enter since that’s the next task keyboard shortcut (which is ludicrous) but it erased my task (and I wasn’t paying attention to what task it is - hopefully it wasn’t too important and I’ll remember to do it anyways)! How do you get to the next task using this shortcut?

I use the arrow keys (up/down) to move to the next task after I have gone back to the main pane with this shortcut (btw - I just tried again in Chrome and Microsoft Edge, it works for me in both browsers).

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I made a Chrome extension to provide a key mapping for the purpose.

It enables you to focus to a task on the list view with Tab + E.
It also keeps the position while editing notes on the right pane and hitting Tab + E again let you focus back to the task on the left pane.

Currently the extension is not on the store, so that you have to enable developer mode to install it.
If the needs is considerable, I’m going to upload the extension to the store. So let me know if you need it :slight_smile:

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Hey folks! Once I finish assigning a task with tab+a and dating it with tab+d, how do I move the cursor/focus back to tasks in the list? Using the mouse makes my head explode, as it kinda… defeats the purpose of hotkeys if I’m going to have to reach over anyway in 2 more seconds.

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Hi @Jeremy_Pope welcome to the Forum. You are correct, at the moment, we do not have a shortcut to close the task pane and shift the focus to the main pane. As it stands, you need to press “esc” to close the task pane, but you would have to manually click the tasks in the list to continue. Apologies for the inconvenience. We already have a thread on this topic in our Product Feedback section. I’ve gone ahead and merged your post so that you and other users can concentrate your votes in one thread :slight_smile:

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OK. I’ll use the tab+r, shift+tab, shift+tab, shift+tab method for now. BTW how do we find out when a specific feature like this is added? Do voters on this thread get notified?