Showing progress visually in a Custom Field

My recent Forum Leader Tip on documenting your organization’s custom fields in Asana sparked some appreciation for that topic, but also about the individual custom fields I happened to show. So to answer questions, and at @Phil_Seeman’s request, here’s a post focused solely on my custom field to depict progress visually.

Here’s how the field looks in List view with a value:

And when editing the value:

Here’s how the custom field is defined:

To create this custom field for your own use, all you need are these two emojis, strategically placedd (copy and paste when defining your custom field): :black_medium_square::white_medium_square:

I deliberately used greyscale to avoid distraction from other key info (like the task’s title) and calling too much attention to theses values, which already are quite eye-catching.

A client ran with the idea and created a more striking version:

It’s defined like this:

The two emojis you need are: :green_square: :white_large_square:

Note that he made a few changes:

  • Reversed order of choices from complete to incomplete
  • Five boxes and six option values (vs my original four boxes and five option values)
  • Changed the field’s background color to green for only the fully-complete value

A case can be made for elements of both versions; you’re encouraged to mix and match to choose the features from each that you like best.

Be careful not to overuse a field like this. Remember that any additional custom field at the project level creates a burden to maintain the value for potentially every task in a project, so only use it where warranted.

I like to use it in Portfolios (at the project, not task level), and also in projects at the task level where tasks represent larger efforts, initiatives, or other projects (almost like a Portfolio does). This field is manually updated, so that’s another reason to be judicious in its use.




Excellent tip, @lpb! I agree with you about using greyscale to avoid distraction :heavy_check_mark:

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Well done @lpb

I will test this out. But mine os probably an overkille

Think i will limit this to 5.
Very helpfull for larger tasks


Thanks @lpb that’s very cool :rocket:

I had the same idea recently, but I love the % at the end :wink:

My simple version (that I will improve based on your post :slightly_smiling_face:) :


Nice, @Arthur_BEGOU!

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How did you get the icons in, I only get this if I copy & paste:

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Yes, @anon37918025, I just copy and paste or the shortcuts for Windows and Mac emoji pickers:



Thank you @lpb for sharing your knowledge. Love this idea! Emoji has tons of potential :star_struck:

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@lpb this is genius! I’d love to figure out a way to update this custom field with Rules!


Thank you for the idea. I will test it as well. :+1:t2:

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Well said.

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Thank you @lpb for this brilliant feature - where no coding is needed.

I have adapted this using 3 colors to get a narrower field. Width is a premium in asana columns.

  • Art


I like the visually appealing progress bar a lot but keep in mind that showing the progress in a number field (%) has its advantages. For example, you can show the average progress per section or use it for calculations in reports:


I agree, @Uli.Kisslinger, and another benefit of a number field is greater precision.

The main use of my tip is for when you need a more visual display, perhaps for better scannability.



With the Today input available in formulas, you can get an automated percentage of planned completion based on the duration between the start & due dates in relation to today, assuming that the planned progress is linear.

Have a look at point 3, here: