"Tab+N" our new shortcut to create Sections

Matt’s Jan 16 posting explains why Asana made the decision to eliminate UX for toggling between sections and tasks. But it does not explain why there had to be toggle choice between board and lists, or sections and tasks. My answers to Matt’s poll question: 1. I and other users in my world toggle sections and tasks much more frequently than between boards and lists. In fact, I use lists OR boards and never toggle between them. 2. I would think the better option for Asana would be to add functionality rather than force a trade off, especially for such a frequently used, desired, and functional experience such as toggling between section and tasks. 3. In light of Matt dismissing the opinions from this group as being scientifically valid, it would be interesting to know the polling numbers of how frequent toggling between boards and lists compare to toggling between sections and lists. I am not advocating for one OR the other. My opinion is that one should not have been sacrificed for the other. Please give us both.


I’m working on an apple device in the desktop version of the site trying to create a new section in the middle of other sections of the project (i.e. I don’t want to try to drag it up possibly a hundred spots). I cannot get the Tab+N to create a new section. Instead it just makes it jump to the beginning of the line and then add an n to the task. I tried the command button too. Doesn’t work. The new section functionality was so much easier with just the colon. There is also no way to convert a task to a section, so it’s not like I can create it as as task and then go into the details and turn the task into a section. It will let me turn it into a project though, real helpful. Why not include turning it into the type between task and project? This has really hurt my productivity on this program, which considering it is a productivity program, that’s really bad.

Hi @AlexofAllTrades,

I have merged your post in this thread to consolidate feedback around shortcut Tab+N and the new section creation options.

This definitely appears to be a UX problem – not an engineering problem.

If accidental creation of sections (that take ownership of items from another section) is the problem, then wait for the field to lose focus before committing the change. If the user is done editing their new item and left the colon at the end, then their intent was to create a section.

That being said, thank you for working on implementing switching between boards and lists.


Agree, if they removed the colon option with Tab-N, the functionality should be exactly the same, highlight>Tab-N> presto section.



Please at least fix “copy” , “paste” of sections. The amount of manual work you created with this and most of your recent updates is crazy. No new features, no automation of any kind, no anything, but now we have to manually add one by one everything. Now you need to:

  1. Know which section you will need before you start
  2. You need to create them by hand for all new projects especially if you use convert from task to project as in this case you cannot use templates

Before you could:

  1. Decide at the last moment or on the fly as any task could simply be turned to section
  2. You could copy and paste sections
  3. You could create them where you want them (not the Tab+N is trying to show us how far AI has gone and stick the new section at the end of the current one, which could be 20 tasks below. So more manual work to put it in the right place

I have lost hope that anyone from development is actually reading this and doing anything about it. The rate of new features has dramatically gone done, the rate of manual work and features that brake current workflows has dramatically gone up :frowning:


I recorded the steps to help convey the frustration we feel.



I think this new way to create section INVOLUTED the app. Definitely a DOWNGRADE.
It was so easy before with just adding a collen.

I can get used to use Tab+N but the main problem is that you cannot convert a regular task into a section anymore, and sometimes it’s needed. At least I couldn’t find the way to do it.
And now this means much more work for me.

My opinion: thumb down to this feature.


Now adding a section in the middle of the list does not work. Even Tab+N adds that at the end. This is painful when you are refining the list and splitting content into sections so you can orientate in it.


Another annoying think is an inability to convert to section items from a copy-pasted list.

I understand your need for structural things for futher development, but couldn’t that be done just behind the hood without the changes in UX? It’s really annoying to realize that what worked perfectly and was proved by real life now does not work and there’s not even clear if it will start work again any time soon:(


Clearly you have already heard quite a bit of feedback on disabling the trailing “:” from auto-creating a section from a task. To be honest, I kept hoping that the amount of complaints would result in Asana being willing to restore the functionality we have grown accustomed to for years, but I haven’t seen anything come about yet.

Based on the trailing colon functionality, I have built out processes that we copy/paste into Asana for a BUNCH of tasks. The processes standardize our workflow, and the sections are a vital component of keeping that workflow organized. We have processes for everything from onboarding a new client to correctly configuring Google Analytics to upgrading a WordPress site to SSL.

By eliminating the trailing colon, EVERY single one of these workflows went from organized to chaotic with meaningless tasks throughout. In the past, they kept everything organized. Now, all of the sudden, our Asana projects and complex subtasks are a gigantic mess. Could you please consider giving us some type of alternative for how to get our workflows back to the way they were? We based all of this creation on the consistency Asana provided, and now it’s been taken away out of nowhere…


Same problem. Now every time I copy/paste a pre-made workflow into Asana, I have to then manually go to every task that was previously a section (which is hard to find since the text looks like every other task now) heading, hit TAB+N, copy the task title, paste it into the new section, delete the above task. WOW that’s a lot of steps for every single section every time I need to make a workflow.

If we’re going to randomly eliminate functionality, how can I continue to rely on it and build scalable processes around it? Looks like it’s time to start building scalable workflows outside of Asana to rely less on it. I’ll keep that in mind when I consider whether or not to build processes around future Asana features.


Asana: What is the current opinion on this thread? Are we out of luck? Will our needs be addressed? We’ve had 4.5 months of comments.


Hey there Team Asana (@Marie, @Edda, @Matt_Bramlage, anyone else)! I’m just curious if we could get an update. The feedback is still flowing from customers but responses are less and less frequent. I have found this is actually becoming a larger issue for our team, not a smaller issue as it would if it was just a muscle-memory matter.

On a semi-related note: here’s a conversation topic for you and your team. Could you give me an example (an actual occurrence) of when the Asana team rolled out a change, heard negative feedback from customers, and then totally reverted back. I don’t mean tweaked some things based on feedback. I mean that Asana totally reverted back… said “we were wrong,” sacrificed all the wasted hard work to make the change, and took a step backwards to return to how it was and went back to the drawing board. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an example of that in this forum, despite many changes that have brought about lots of disagreement and protest.

So either Asana feels they have never moved in the wrong direction (i.e. they’re perfect), which seems unlikely, OR the team has encountered situations where they had regret, but has committed too much time and energy to go back on a change. Once investing time/energy/resources, it becomes harder and harder to go back… the old “we’ve come this far” thinking. This is very common human behavior but it is also extremely insidious to a group or organization.

I understand and respect Asana sticking to their opinions on many things. Often customers (including myself) do not always see the bigger picture and sticking to unpopular decisions is necessary for good leadership. But logically all people and groups of people are wrong on occasion, and it’s frightening how rarely people own up to that. Hence why I’m curious if I could get 1 real-world example of when this happened in Asana’s history.

Sorry to get on a philosophical soapbox, but this is my recurring gripe and it happens so much, as in this situation and others.


Hi. I would like to add my word to the many in favor of keeping the colon functionality.

For me, the beauty of Asana and the reason I was really excited when I found out about it was the ability to quickly and effortlessly create structured task lists. I always felt the other task manager software was slow and the workflow too convoluted and required me to take mind off my work when I just wanted to create a quick task. So I really welcomed the ability to just quickly jot down a task, maybe turn it into a section or not without my hands ever leaving the keyboard and without having to pay much attention to the tool.
Simply said, Lists were the main feature for me here, with Boards as just an afterthought. I understand that if you want to convert sections into boards and vice versa, this change might be inevitable for performance reasons in case of very large sections but I feel like a step was taken away from the simplicity.

As far as my personal workflow goes, if I wanted to use both lists and tasks for the same project, I would really considerthem completely different concepts with different use cases - lists for quick creation and grouping of tasks and boards for project management - as a kind of a different view. In other words I could have a task in a section “UX changes” while wanting to put it in an “In Progress” board as it is being worked on.

Simply said, in my opinion, lists as they were, were perfect for users of scale from a single freelancer to midsize business and I would really love for the simplicity and workflow to be preserved.



Hi, please bring back the colon shortcut! We, the users, have been asking for this for five months. Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s frustrating to get the feeling that Asana is just waiting this out instead of responding here to users’ concerns. We have been trying to get used to this change for weeks and it’s just not taking. The colon functionality—one of Asana’s fundamental functions—should not have been taken away.


Ok. Since list views downgraded functionality I went to check forums about how much new board features are demanded, and it showed that boards are pretty popular. So I tried boards again to see if I missed their appeal. Here is my impression:

Boards look like a Trello clone, developed by completely different team than List views. Boards are slow to work with, lack a lot of Lists functionality.
And that’s where development took the wrong way, instead of making Boards from Lists, they did it their own way, and now even remove Lists functionality to tuck Boards shortcomings.

Boards should have been N project Lists side by side. It’s tough to drop many hours of people work, but Boards are bad face it


I echo many, but I just want to add that our team could easily fly through creating projects in meetings. But, with this feature change, they have become a bit more cumbersome. I would like the colon shortcut to return ASAP.