How to migrate tasks from one custom field to another

In the life of your Asana account, you will encounter this situation at least once: you created a field with a type (text, number, single or multi-select) and it turns out, after a while, another type might be a better fit.

Real life examples include:

  • a single select that should be a multi-select
  • a multi-select that should now be a single select
  • a single or multi select that should be a text field (to allow for free text)
  • a text field that should be a number (to allow for reporting)

Asana does not have the ability to change the type, and that’s quite understanding because most of the data migration requires human decisions! Let me guide through the steps to migrate. We’ll use “original field” and “target field” to designate your existing field and the one you want to migrate to. Because, you’ll have to create a second field.

First, you need to create the new field you want to use and give it a proper name (and type ^^).

Then you can rename the original field to include something like “deprecated” in the name.

Third, we need to identify which projects currently use your original field. You can use my tool minimalist work - Work less with better tools and methods to help.

Fourth, you need to manually (yeah I know) add the target field to all those projects.

Fifth, you need to use the advanced search to find all tasks with any value for your original field. You can use “Add filter” to search for your original field.

:rotating_light: Here’s the main trick: we want to see the target field in the results without applying a filter on it. The trick is to “Add filter” and add your target field, without giving an actual value to filter on. This will show the column, allowing you to do the migration task by task.

This next step depends on the type of fields you migrate to and from. The obvious solution is to migrate tasks one by one, by choosing a value for the target field based on what you see in the original field. If you migrate from a drop-down, you can also filter on each original value, one at a time, and use multi-select to batch migrate data.

Final step: delete the original field all together or remove it from your projects. Make yourself a drink, and go lie down for a bit :rofl:

Does this help?

5 Likes

@Bastien_Siebman, my man, hope you are well!

I watched your YouTube video on this subject. Great tip! Easy to follow. I might suggest the added recommendation to clear out the original custom field in each task once you have migrated to a multi-select. This will prevent the custom field from appearing on a task AFTER the field has been removed from the project. Otherwise, I believe it shows to be grayed out and you have to individually remove it.

PS - love the new mic🎙setup as well!

Thanks @LEGGO good idea for clearing the field!