Reference numbers for tasks

Yes we can. However we only do that after setting up a subscription. We can then go through and apply a number to any open tasks.

Well, well. We might finally have a solution folks! I’ll be back to you Maggie.



Another basic functionality missing from Asana. Is it possible to implement? You just need to make it visible on the edit task screen and searchable.

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I met with the Asana team when they were in Seattle recently and this was a common request. Please implement asap as this makes it much easier to track tasks with teams.


@Phil_Seeman were you ever able to dig up those zaps for generating task IDs because it would be a great workaround for now, if you’d be able to send to me.


@KarenV @jeremyw
OK I dug this up - here is what I did to generate unique IDs using Zapier.

  1. Create a Google Sheet, let’s call it Asana Numbering, with these 3 columns headings:


  2. Create a Zap, let’s call it Create New Auto-Number Spreadsheet Row. The overview of steps is:

    Build Step 1 like this:

    Under “Customize Task”, you’ll select the project where you want the tasks to be uniquely numbered.

    Build Step 2 like this:

    What this Zap will do is create a new row in the sheet for every new task added to the selected project. So for example, after I entered 3 tasks, this is what the sheet looked like:


  3. Create a second Zap, let’s call it Update Asana Task with Auto-Number. Its overview looks like this:

    Build Step 1 like this:

    Build Step 2 like this:

    Note especially the Name field above. I’m taking a pretty simple approach of just using the row number of the sheet as the unique number of the task, and I’m prepending it to the task name in square brackets. So in Asana, you end up with tasks like this:


    You could get fancier, though, by using the “Unique Number” column which I included in the sheet but didn’t use in my simple example. You could build a formula into the sheet that populates that column with something formatted in a more complex way than just the row number; then instead of using “Row Number” in the “Name” field of the last Zap screen, you would select to insert that “Unique Number” column.

Let me know if you have any question about the above!


Wow I really need to create some kind of directory to list smart zaps people are building!!! What do you think Phil?

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Not a bad idea!


Just stumbled upon this thread after Googling a bit around, check out

Although aimed to send Git commit notifications to specific Asana tasks it does assign unique task numbers automatically. Also, it is free to use.

Disclaimer: I am the developer of the tool and created it to scratch my own itch. :slight_smile: I am always looking for feedback, so if you have any please let me know. A discount for fellow Asana users is something that can be talked about!


Hi, its April 2020 now. Just thought I’d chime in that this is still highly sought after, and a major pain point. If our company wasn’t already too invested into Asana, this would have ended our consideration.

The solutions with third parties are interesting, but not something anyone needs to engage in with Asana’s competitors.


Without them it’s impossible to verbally communicate the specific task you are referencing. One shouldn’t be required to communicate in writing (via sharing a link to the tasks) at all times.

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Just wanted to add another voice to this request. We’re considering expanding our use of Asana, but lack of reference numbers for tasks is a significant drawback. I know Asana would like to help us all during this period of widespread remote work, and it sure would speed things along if we could tell people on the call that “we’re going to focus for a few minutes on task 459888” rather than “go to the Backlog section and look for the task that says ‘Review stakeholder request for column sorting . . . the one that’s assigned to Leah . . . with priority set to High . . . due on May 10’”. I really like Zendesk’s method of numbering and searching. I can set my own start number (tied to my zendesk account/domain) and that helps a) reference numbers stay reasonably short, and b) gives me a quick idea of approximately how old the task is. And lastly, it would be GREAT to have the task reference number as a sortable column in my project view - WOW! Thanks, Mark.


@Asana Developers: is there any feedback as to whether this will ever be implemented? It seems like a no-brainer, though I imagine there is a lot to consider in terms of design and implementation. Where is it at though? Where does this feature request sit on the spectrum from “not going to ever happen” to “deployment is scheduled for X” ? The option is probably the best alternative solution I’ve seen, but I would really prefer to use a native method (for a number of reasons). Is this a possibility?


It’s been 2 years since I started this thread. I think the answer is, “We do not care about it, so forget it.” as nothing has been done or even hinted about.

Thanks for keeping this alive though.


Hi Phil,

YES, I’m interested! I am looking for a way to automatically add a number to a task name using Asana forms.
I have been trying to use Zapier, but it is not working for me. I was given instructions by someone at Asana, but unfortunately I keep getting an error. This approach requires creating a Javascript code which I know nothing about (I’m not a coder) so when I get the errors I don’t know how to fix them.

I would really appreciate your help. If you have instructions/steps on how to set up the zap using you’re method please let me know.


Yep, here it is (no Javascript required):

HI @Phil_Seeman,
Thanks so much. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I definitely will soon! I hope this works and that I won’t have anymore questions. But if I do, I hope you don’t mind if I reach out again.

Thanks again,
Martha Hoffmann

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Hi Mark!

If you are open to using 3rd party services you can check out, it has been developed specifically to solve this specific problem that we are having too. Short and unique IDs per task is really something that is needed, especially when developing software.

I am not sure if promoting a 3rd party integration is allowed, but since Asana made it clear that they aren’t integrating this I think this won’t be an issue. If you have any question, please let us know! :slight_smile:

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Any updates on this ? Further ASANA allows duplciating tasks but it also duplicates the task ID hence no longer a ‘unique’ identifying and defeating the purpose and the need for a unique identifying in the first place…seems no value in also duplicating task id…can you guys update so every tasks, parent or sub-tasks or sub, sub-tasks is unique, please…

This is not the case; every task has a unique ID. What are you seeing that leads you to think otherwise?