New Section Dilemma

We have a major issue that was sprung on us this past week with an update by Asana to “Section” and we are in panic mode and need help.

We have been using sections in a rather unique way. In addition to using them to segment tasks within projects we also have been using the sections themselves as folders to storage information relative to the sections itself. That is to say when you would click on the section itself a task panel window would open up just the same as a task itself. Inside here we would store files, etc. relative to that section of work.

For example, for our sales tracking we have the project broken down into months using sections. Stored within each of the monthly sections themselves, Jan, Feb, March, etc. We have sales forecast and goals for each sales person. Furthermore we would attached spread sheets files inside of the respective months for sales tracking and other such relative documents.

As of this we without notice sections no longer open up that task panel window and allow access to all our information etc… We have years of sales data and other such information that we use on a daily basis that is no longer accessible due to this change in sections.

It seems near impossible to get someone from tech support to respond to my request. Please help!

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Hi @Tom_Robins and welcome to the forum,

Yes, you have definitely encountered the change in Asana sections “the hard way”, so to speak.

First, by way of background (which you may or may not care a hoot about!) - the reason for this change is that Asana wanted to implement the ability to switch a project between list and board views. Unfortunately the way things were initially built, sections in list views and sections in board views were two totally different types of items “under the hood”, making it impossible to allow for this view switching. In order to implement the switching, they had to convert list sections such that they matched board sections. That’s what you’re now seeing.

For reference, you can read more here if you like: “Tab+N” our new shortcut to create Sections

The bad news is that the new section item does not allow setting fields or attaching items like the old list view section could. However the good news is, as part of the conversion process, whenever they encountered a list-view section containing fields, attachments, etc., so that no data would be lost they created a task just underneath the section where the task has the same name as the section, and the task contains all of the fields, attachments, etc. that the section did.

You should be seeing those tasks and there should be no data loss. Do you see them? If not, something is definitely amiss.

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Screenshot%20from%202019-10-13%2014-55-07

Today I realized after another Asana update that sections now don’t behave like tasks anymore. I think this change makes sense, but now the sections can not have descriptions any more which is something we relied on in our past workflows. These kind of changes are done too carelessly in my opinion, as this is a “backwards incompatible” change - also I didn’t find any announcement about this, how can we get notified about these kind of updates to not wander in the dark and have surprises every now and then?

On a side note, I wonder why many of these changes (including the new list view for example) is not updated on the “My Task” panel? Where does this inconsistency stem from?

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Need method for section exist in the history without it polluting my view of current tasks
“Hide Section” action feature request


This change also affected us, but in a slightly different way. We use sections extensively, but we complete sections & don’t want them to show forever. I used to be able to mark a section complete (similar to a task). Today, I noticed that this option is no longer available. This severely impacts our ability to use Asana efficiently.

It looks like my only options are to delete the section (which would also delete the associated completed tasks, which we do not want to do) or rename thes ection, which isn’t what we want to do either.

I totally understand how, from a programming perspective, it might make sense to take away the incomplete/complete attribute from a section (that really is more of a task attribute.)

But I need a way to have the section exist in the history without it polluting my view of current tasks.

Can you please let me know how to accomplish this? If it’s not possible with the most recent updates, can you please consider adding a “Hide Section” option as a high priority feature request?

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We also use sections for new features in existing products. When we are done with the feature we complete the section, however this is no longer available.

I don’t understand what people can use the new Sections for now. It seems that they are intended to be permanent within a project, since you can’t complete or hide them. But what kind of project has a permanent Section outside of things like priority or due dates, or specific ongoing tasks? I just don’t understand what I could use the new Sections for.

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Agreed totally. @Tom_Robins We used Sections the same way you did and it worked quite well. This does not seem to have been well thought out. The crippling of Sections has been too high a price to pay for the Board/List alignment.

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Jumping in here to see if Asana has made a fix for this. There are hacks listed in this thread (Mark Sections as Complete (in new spreadsheet List view)) that are not feasible. No news seems to have come of this issue since October, over 4 months ago.

yes - unfortunately workflow distrupting changes seem a pattern at Asana, I also use descriptions on subheadings - often to post a link relevant to all the subtasks.

Alt-N was a neither positive nor negative, just a key change, and a UI pain since typically when adding a section in the middle of a list (to break it e.g. into “Priorty / non-priority”) you had to then drag it back to where you wanted.

BUT they’ve really killed sections with the new changes that make them undeletable (without deleting all the tasks) and unmovable (without moving all the tasks). Deleting or moving a bunch of tasks was always easy (just select the ones you want to delete/move) but this new change makes many tasks I do every day impossible

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As an adjunct - are other people thinking they have to move back to using characters to get needed section functionality e…g " ======== Priorty ===================="