New for boards: custom fields and comment-only projects

Asana now offers custom fields and comment-only in Boards!

Specifically, you now have the ability to use these premium features on Boards:

  • Custom fields: Boards make Asana an easy and intuitive way to visually organize a team’s work. Now that you can see custom fields on your Boards project, you can keep important information front and center, quickly scan a project to find what you need, and make sure work never falls through the cracks.
  • Comment-only: By making Boards comment-only, you can lock them down from unwanted edits, but still share important information with your entire company.

How to add custom fields to Boards

  • Click the project header dropdown
  • Select Manage Custom Fields
  • Add fields to the project such as priority, stage, or cost

How to make your project comment only

  • Click the + in the top right corner of your project (where you add more members)
  • Choose the access setting for the project at the team level, as well as the access setting for each project member.

For more information take a look at this blog post!


Epic! Finally! So Happy! Yay!

Thanks for the update Alexis.

We already have a lot of boards with Custom Fields so am I correct in assuming that we still need to wait for the changes to propagate across our various boards and organizations over the next few days?

I’ve checked some of our boards already and unfortunately the Custom Fields are not showing. There is not some magic button that allows us to turn the feature on and off on the boards? Didn’t seem to have any info on that in the blog post you referenced.

Hey Jeremy! Glad you’re excited for this feature! To view custom fields in Boards you need to go to the dropdown menu next to the project header and select “Manage Custom Fields” as you would with a project in list view.

Full instructions here: New for Asana Boards View: Custom Fields and Comment Only

Hey Thanks Alexis, but that link does not help me. Mentioned that in my previous post. If I go to a board that already had Custom Fields I can see the fields when I open a card but they are still not showing on the front of the card even though they are already configured in the “Manage Custom Fields” area of the Project Settings. Hope that makes sense.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I’ll look into whether or not this is the intended functionality. Thanks!

Hi Jeremy,
This is indeed the intended functionality at this time. Keep in mind, though, that we’re in the very early stages of custom fields and boards, so the feature will evolve as time goes on. :slight_smile:

Fantastic update. Thanks Asana team!

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I would really like to see the ability to add radio buttons and check boxes in the project custom fields. Thanks!

Hello please help - i am using the comment only feature and yet my assignees can tick their tasks as completed and this then has a knock on effect to update my Instagantt schedule. But i am the schedule manager and do not want anyone else updating my schedule as we have to check their work is accepted first. Wasn’t this the point of “Comment-only” permissions that it was basically read only on tasks and they can make comment only?? Thanks for help in advance

Hi @Vanessa_Dickson

What do the Project Management and Access settings show? That’s the window that opens when you click the plus sign next to the members’ icons at the top-right.

‘Members of [your team] and task collaborators’ should be set to ‘Can comment’.

You could also double-check the settings next to each individual member.

Hi Mark thanks for your reply. Everyone is set to Comment only. I am the only one who can edit. However, I have just seen this article (Project permissions | Product guide • Asana Product Guide) and if i undersatnd it correctly under the mid-way heading “Individual user project permissions” it means that even if you are set to comment only if you are also assigned a task you can do MUCH MORE than “comment only” you can also Modify Due Date, Modify Assignee, Complete Tasks, Modify Custom Field Values and some other things that are not just commenting. If that is Asana’s “Comment only” functionality that is absolutely crazy and just plain wrong. We need confirmation on this to decide if we have to roll back the assignment of tasks to users and thus potentially look for a new software tool altogether - as you can imagine that is not how you manage a program of work allowing team members to change all these things themselves - where is the line control and overall project management?

I love this product - and the integration with Instagantt - and we have otherwise just finished setting up all our projects with it and this was the last step in the process to give the team their To Do list view. So i hope that i am wrong and that i have missed something - anything - that will resolve this problem.

Any insights anyone has would be really really really appreciated

Hi Vanessa

I can understand your frustration, and I think you’re right that the definition of comment-only is a bit confusing. On the other hand, I can also see that if a task is assigned to an individual, that person would need to be able to tick it when complete, or change the due date if there’s a delay.

I haven’t used comment-only much myself, but I noticed that the restrictions seem to apply more to people who aren’t members of the project. Could you possibly make the project public to the team but not invite any members. That way, you could still assign all of the tasks, and people would be able to complete them as necessary, but they wouldn’t be able to alter the structure of the project itself. So, they wouldn’t be able to complete/delete anyone else’s tasks, change the custom fields or tags associated with that project, or alter sections.

The project would be public, so people would still be able to see it and track others’ progress, but they’d only be able to manage their own individual tasks.

Would that work?

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Hi Mark,

Appreciate your response again on this.

I tested your proposal with making no project members and hacing just team members and the functionality was the same where I had project to “comment only”. i.e. users could still change remove themselves as assignee, change dates and set to complete.

The problem as i see it is that currently Asana is not supporting a centralised, multi level resource project and with quality management steps. Rather it is supporting a flat org structure with de-centralised project management with no quality checks (unless we made a task after every single task to check complete which is too labour intensive to set up).

For a centralised model resource levelling is done by one person to juggle a larger resource pool who work on multiple projects and where tasks may not be able to be just extended when down stream dependencies exist which is most often the case. The project manager who is across the whole program of work may need that task due on the original date and so decide to add another resource to meet it as opposed to just letting the original assignee move the delivery date themselves – where they may not see the downstream impact.

For more complex programs of work – with multiple projects running – the design of schedules and allocation of resources takes careful planning and is then not something that you want to handover to assignees to makes changes to its structure without the knowledge of the full impact of their decisions to mark as complete (when it might not be to standard), or move the dates or unassign themselves.

This functionality just will not work managing a concurrent set of projects in a program of work relying on a multi level resource pool.

I agree that it would be nice to have a feature where the assignee can mark the task as complete from their perspective but this would need to change the status of the task (or colour or some indicator – even a notification to accept this or not) so that the project “Edit” person/group can then go in and do the quality check before the task completion is accepted. If this is not possible then just make the taks read only and let them manually notify their line manager (as they would do anyway) or the project manager will chase completion and status update in due course anyway.

Bottom line is that a change to this functionality is required for the Asana software to be adequate for more than open collaborative de-centralised projects.