Make Custom Fields on subtasks optional

Hey,

Im a bit stressed out here. We are using asana like a crm. We have a task for the customer wich contains 10 custom fields. And then a subtask with the project information that is also in another project wich contains 15 custom fields. And then that task have a couple of subtasks also living in other projects. So now when you added the parent custom fields to the subtask our workspace have become total custom fields inception nightmare where the project task have 25 custom fields and the subtasks to that task that only contained some important fields now are completely cluttered.

And imagine this for our mobile users? WTF?!

I could somewhat have understood if the fields where mirrored but why should a subtask task have other values in that same custom fields? This just doesent make sense to me and its becoming a nightmare for us.

Sorry for my rant im getting questions from all over right now.
Thanks!

edit: Added the image that @Magnus_Ostlund had created as a suggestion because that looks like a possible solution.

Hey @Matt_Bramlage! We have multiple organizations dependant on the UI of Asana. This is a major change for many of their operations. We would love this feature if it was an optional setting for each custom field.
Heritage of custom field to a child with sync, Yes/No?

But right now it’s unexpectedly forced upon us without control.

We would very much appreciate a fast response and collaboration to resolve this.

Thanks!

5 Likes

HI @Jonas_O and @JFrentz and thanks for your feedback. This update is currently only available to a small percentage of our users, but I will soon post an official announcement to share the news more broadly with the rest of our community. But yes, as part of this update, we’re making Project custom fields available on subtask. This was a very popular request in the Forum (see Custom fields needed on subtasks) but I can totally see how it doesn’t fit every workflow. As always when we launch something new, we’re closely monitoring feedback so thank you so much for starting this thread. I have slightly edited the title of this thread to make it more discoverable to other Forum users and I’ll make sure to keep you posted here when I have an update on this feature request.

Hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

2 Likes

Today I saw the following announcement in my Asana view:
“NEW! See project subtasks on List View. Break down tasks into individual parts and understand progress at a glance.”

This sounds great, but unfortunately alongside this useful change the way custom fields are displayed in subtasks has completely changed and made our entire process utterly unusable.
Up until now custom fields were tied to the project the task was in.
Now this was changed and all the custom fields I have set up in the parent task are now being displayed in the subtasks as well. My subtasks are part of another project so that they have different custom fields. Now I have a complete mess of custom fields in all my tasks and it’s impossible to distinguish the different layers of work we had designed.

I understand that some people would like to inherit the parent tasks’ custom fields, but this needs to be configurable in the custom field setup area!
Asana has always preached in this forum here that in order for subtasks to have custom fields, they need to be added to another project. I followed this approach and now I am suddenly left without a functioning process in production.
Please revert this ASAP until inheritance of custom fields is properly configurable. A U-turn of functionality like this is absolutely not acceptable. We are now having huge process issues and are left without a workflow from one day to the other!

6 Likes

TOTALLY, but TOTALLY agree on that !
Adding all the custom fields of the Main task to ALL the sub-tasks drives me crazy ! This is a total mess! I really hope this is just bug ! We definitely need to have control on what custom field we want to add/display for sub-tasks.

5 Likes

Hey Simion,

Not a bug, I’m sorry to be the bearer of that news!

It’s actually a function - kind of a necessary one - of the fact that the first level of subtasks are displayed in the main project list view now, meaning that any custom fields that are showing as columns in that view are now available to those subtasks to be filled in.

Really the only other alternative to the behavior they chose to implement (i.e. allowing you to enter data into those columns, which necessitates adding those custom fields to those subtasks) would have been to block you from entering data into those columns for subtasks. But that would arguably be confusing and would feel inconsistent (i.e. “why can I enter data into columns for some rows in my project but not others??”).

2 Likes

OMG, this is worse that I thought ! I really have the strange feeling that I miss something …
For my workflow is quite a nonsense. If I have a main task that is the name of a procedure, it make sense to store the information related to the type of procedure at that level, but absolutely no sense to repeat it at each sub-task. (the same for all the red fields in my print-screen below)
If it make sense in a way the existing constraint for the list view … I definitely need to be able to hide this unnecessary fields in the detailed view in order to spare a lot of stupid and confusing scroll.

7 Likes

Good idéa, but not in it’s current form
The idea is great, but please revert this change ASAP in it’s present form, our production is screwed up, or make it optional make so that we can choose which fields to be displayed so that I can remove them myself.

The general idea of having fields from the parent task in subtasks is a good one, but what I interpret from the previous forums posts is that the value’s of those fields should be shared – so that it can be updated both from the parent and from the subtask? That would be a good feature (espacially in task-sub-sub-sub, more levels), but in the way it’s built presently it doesn’t really do anything new that you couldn’t to with some creative thinking before this update anyway.

How to do the same thing in Asana before the update

The example above is our main task. It’s got a custom field called “Account Name” and as you see the project is named TESTING. Note that the value in the “Account Name” field is “CUSTOMER A”.

I also have a subtask in this “Parent task in project” named “Subtask”. In the subtask there is the same field “Account Name” from your update, but it has no connection to the field in the parent task, and I can write any value here, in my example “CUSTOMER B”. This just makes the users unsure of where to update the field and they write things in the wrong places. If the field value would come from the parent task, it would make sense, already showing “CUSTOMER A”, but instead now I just have another field with the same name.

If I would want this functionality I would (to add the same field name in both parent and subtask), I would simply add another project, say “TESTING 2” add the custom fields to that project (I can’t add “Account Name” since it already exists now from your update, but I added “Account Name 2” instead for this example). I would just then add the “Subtask” task to that new project too (so that it is in both projects) making it inherit the fields from the new project, giving me “Account Name” on both parent and subtask with two values as you have done in your latest update.

If I could however update the field from both the parent or the subtask, making the field shared this would be a good feature, but in it’s present form it doesn’t make any sense for me.

4 Likes

We use up till the maximum allowed amount of custom fields on multiple locations, storing anything from contract details to invoicing address, and since the change I have double the fields. It’s especially horrible when the fields have similiar names, for example we have “invoicing amount” in one place, and then “invoicing project”, the users are going bonkers.

4 Likes

@Marie Are there any information on a time-table to revert this change, or making the fields optional?

3 Likes

All of my long description much easier explained as a workaround for basically this update:

  1. Create a new project called "Custom Fields [not in use]
  2. Add the desired custom field to this project.
  3. When a subtask is created, use the “Add to project” option in the … menu to add the subtask to this project.
  4. Now the subtasks inherit the custom field from this project.
3 Likes

Not at the moment @Magnus_Ostlund, but I will be sure to keep you posted via this thread if there are any changes! Thanks again for sharing your feedback and providing us with some context.

2 Likes

I have the same problem! It distracts our companies workflow like a lot! Can you roll bak on this update cause it makes no sense why would you copy all the custom fields into subtask

5 Likes

Agreed, this is really screwing with our workflow a TON!

5 Likes

Hi Phil!

I’ve read a lot of your posts and have great respect for you. Could you please help me understand the purpose of this update, compared to the earlier suggested

" 1. Create a new project called “Custom Fields [not in use]
2. Add the desired custom field to this project.
3. When a subtask is created, use the “Add to project” option in the … menu to add the subtask to this project.
4. Now the subtasks inherit the custom field from this project.”

I get the user rights, but is that the only thing? What is the upside to this update compared to above?

Thank you for all your posts on the forum!

Hi @Magnus_Ostlund,

I think you’re barking up the wrong tree, so to speak - that is, your focus is in the wrong direction.

You’re focusing on the fact that the behavior of custom fields on subtasks (the first level of subtasks, specifically) has changed. But that wasn’t the purpose of the update; I would say it’s really more of a side-effect of the update.

The purpose of the update was to visually display subtasks in the main list view, something that users have been begging for since before the dawn of man (or around then).

It’s just that, once the Asana developers do that - add subtasks to the main list view - then they’re kind of stuck with having to add the project’s custom fields to those subtasks. Otherwise, if they don’t, what are they going to do when the user tries to enter something into a custom field column on a subtask? (the red circled fields below)

They have to allow users to enter data in the Status 1 and Global Status fields in my example screenshot, right? (The alternative is to block entry in those boxes and pop up a message like “sorry, you can’t enter data here even though it looks like you should be able to”.) And once you let users enter data there, then you have to add those custom fields to the subtask so they display on the subtask’s detail pane.

That was a long answer - hopefully it makes sense.

2 Likes

Thanks Phil! Great and informative as always!

Blockning the input would be a better solution, that wouldn’t mess with existing structures, or having the option to just hide the fields in the task view of the sub task as mentioned above.

4 Likes

Hi,

Well i dont really see the benefit of beeing able to quickly input things in the subtasks custom fields from there. Because the notes are not visible and as soon as you click the task, the sidebar opens up and covers the custom fields.

Seems like this is rolling out pretty rapidly. Now our largest workspace got it aswell…#!€#!€!#

1 Like

What a radically stupid change. This is not remotely how subtasks are used in my organisation, all you’re doing is clogging up my screen with pointless extra information. Even worse when subtasks themselves are actually assigned to different projects, leaving us with 2 projects worth of fields on there and endless scrolling to get to comments and other actually useful information.

Please remove this ‘feature’ or make it something we can opt out of throughout our organisation.

7 Likes

Completely agree!!!

2 Likes