🎨 If Van Gogh used Asana: a study about colors on Asana

Hi :wave:,

If you want to be serious about using Asana for some advanced workflows, then you need to understand its color system. By color system, I mean how colors are picked by Asana to show as the main color of a task in Calendar view and Timeline view, and also the color of the squares in Calendar view.

:face_with_monocle: I was convinced the main colors of a task was based on some priority between the multi-homed projects, the tags, and the custom fields. And I was surprised to see that this is actually the most occurring color within projects, tags and custom fields that took over.

Conclusions first

The color of a task in the Timeline and the Calendar comes from the project color, the tags, and the custom fields.

:one: you can’t change the order of the tags to “choose” the task color

:two: you can’t change the order of the custom fields to “choose” the task color

:three: you can’t change the order of the projects to “choose” the task color

:four: the color of the currently viewed project is never used

:five: the main color is picked from the most occurring color within projects, tags, and custom fields.

:six: the squares are picked from the projects, tags and custom fields, ordered by decreasing order of occurrence.

Legend

:small_red_triangle:: red

:small_blue_diamond:: blue

:small_orange_diamond:: orange

:spiral_calendar_pad:: color of task in Calendar view

:alarm_clock:: color of task in Timeline view


A TASK WITH JUST TAGS

Context

No multi-homing

No custom field

3 tags: :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

Result

:alarm_clock:: :small_red_triangle:

:spiral_calendar_pad:: :small_red_triangle: as background color, then 3 squares :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

Control

You can’t change the order of tags on a task.

Conclusion

The colors’ order and the main color are defined based on an unknown order.


A TASK WITH JUST CUSTOM FIELDS

Context

No multi-homing

No tag

3 drop-down custom fields with values: :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

Result

:alarm_clock:: :small_red_triangle:

:spiral_calendar_pad:: :small_red_triangle: as background color, then 3 squares :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

Control

Changing the order of the custom fields in list view has no effect on the colors order.

Removing a field from the project and adding it back does not change the colors order either.

Conclusion

The colors’ order and the main color are defined based on an unknown order.


A MULTI-HOMED TASK

Context

Projects color: :small_orange_diamond::small_blue_diamond::small_red_triangle:

Project viewed: :small_orange_diamond:

No tag

No custom fields

Result

:alarm_clock:: :small_blue_diamond:

:spiral_calendar_pad:: :small_blue_diamond: as background color, then 2 squares :small_orange_diamond::small_red_triangle:

Control

The order of the project is an alphabetical order BUT changing the order does not change which color is picked. The order in which you multi-homed also has no impact.

Conclusion

In the calendar, the task takes the color of the first project it is part of that is not the currently viewed project.

The colors’ order and the main color are defined based on an unknown order.


A COLORFUL TASK

Context

Projects color: :small_orange_diamond::small_blue_diamond::small_red_triangle:

Project viewed: :small_orange_diamond:

3 tags: :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

3 custom fields: :small_red_triangle::small_blue_diamond::small_orange_diamond:

Result

:alarm_clock:: :small_red_triangle:

:spiral_calendar_pad:: :small_red_triangle: as background color, then 3 squares :small_orange_diamond::small_red_triangle:

Conclusion

The main color is picked from the most occurring color within project colors, tags, and custom fields.

Then each square is displayed for each color used in projects, tags, and custom fields, ordered by the decreasing number of occurrences.


I am pretty sure I only scratched the surface and there is more to discover about colors. Any insights on other rules, corrections on mine, or ideas on what to study next?

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@Bastien_Siebman, Are you saying that you found that these are no longer true?

and:

I haven’t done any testing; just recalled those posts and was wondering if you had tested what they assert before you posted?

Larry

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I can confirm that this is not true, if you play around with tags, custom fields or projects, the color changes. However, when it comes to tags, there seems to be a default order, that gets defined when you first add tags. But that default order seems to be shared across projects somehow. This is still blurry.

4 Likes