"Tab+N" our new shortcut to create Sections

A post was merged into an existing topic: Create Section feature is missing from our mobile app

Using a colon to create a header was so much easier - now you have to constantly reorganize the order of tasks and headers because they never get added to the top of the list properly. Tab + N is just an additional step I don’t want to have to take.


A lot of comments, didn’t read them. Don’t hate.

Seems like if they just coded it to place the header directly below whatever task/space you’ve highlighted it would fix most issues. I don’t see why Tab+N is harder to do than Shift+;. You just perform one at the start and one at the end.

As for turning tasks into headers, I’m sure this feature is coming at some point.

Please understand that this is a NECESSARY STEP to what a LOT of people have asked for many years to be updated.

  1. Lists to Boards and Boards to Lists
  2. Having tasks inside the actual header object so that when you move the header it moves all the tasks under it AND maybe you can even expand/contract sections to show/hide tasks. This allows a version of “subtasking” without all the TERRIBLE things that subtasks bring. It also allows for a lot of really cool new features to be added in the future for headers (if they go that route).

The reason the colon thing worked is because it was just a “pretty” task. It had no other functionality and certainly was NOT able to be used in their database the way we need for new header functionality. It couldn’t contain anything.

This change is very disruptive to our workflows. We used to depend on adding colons for easy organization of work. Now, if I copy in a list of items, I have to manually hit Tab+N, scroll down to the bottom of my list, rename the section, drag it where it needs to be, and then do all of that all over again for each task I want to turn into a section.

Putting in sections requires so many more steps now. There are other ways to have accomplished your goal of being able to switch from boards to lists, without making a core Asana functionality significantly more complicated to use.

Really poor decision, and it makes me feel better about switching my organization to another set of tools.


The original task to section header via the “:” semi-colon function was not just a “pretty” task. If you went into any of the tasks under this header, you would see that they were all listed under it in the task description. You can even adjust what header it went under via a drop-down within the task.

I am not sure what you mean by “pretty task that had no functionality”… we are not happy with the way a section header has to be created now via “Tab+N” instead of the simple “:” trick like before.


That’s very true Tyler, you were able to move tasks between sections using the drop down which I actually use. But that functionality still exists. It wasn’t removed. So yes it was a bit more than just “pretty”.

Having said that, we’ve repeatedly ran into this wall of them not being able to iterate further with Section Headers because of the data models they used when creating them. From a programming/database standpoint this is fully understandable and expected. Which is why the update needed to happen.

Again, Tab+N or Shift+; are the same amount of keys pressed. One is done before you type/paste the other is done after you type/paste.

I get that some people created a list elsewhere and then pasted the whole thing in and it autocreated headers. This can easily be fixed through the import feature.

Again, my point is that it’s not harder to push two keys than it is another two keys. People just dont like change. Without change there can be no advancement. Rather than asking to revert back to a bad data model with no future lets try to give suggestions on how to make the new model work better:

  1. When hitting Tab+N create a new section directly below your current selection
  2. Allow for sections to be created at import. This could even be set up the old way and Asana detects any task with a : at the end and creates a NEW header data type instead of old task header.

I concur with most of the comments regarding the handing of “Sections”. While “Tab+N” presents a nice shortcut feature, the inability to make a task a Section and vice versa is a significant FUNCTIONALITY LOSS that hurts productivity and usability. I’m sure it’s possible to engineer, even in the new architecture. Here’s how you could add it to the Feature Dev Backlog:

  1. In the Asana Feature Dev Backlog, Type “Tab+N”
  2. Name the new Section: “Sections: What was old is new again.” Note: Until this feature is developed, you will need to grab the new section from the bottom of the list (that may be completely out of your current list view) and drag it up to the position you want it in your project.
  3. Feature A: When creating new section, create it directly below the current task or section.
  4. Feature B: Allow for converting a Task into a Section. Also, allow for converting a Section into a Task.
  5. Feature C: If possible, bring back the (:slight_smile: for enabling both Feature A and Feature B.

P.S. Thanks for continuing to make Asana a great team project and collaboration tool!

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The Tab+N shortcut is not working properly - I have now accidentally created sections in the wrong project, as Tab+N doesn’t understand where to create sections. Please bring back “:” as a way of creating sections. Seems like a ton of people have already commented on this.


Hi @Viktor_Jansson and welcome to the Forum! :grinning: We already have a threat in relation to this, so I’m going to merge it into the existing topic.

Let me help you understand the logic behind Section creation. Think of each section as a container. The new section shows up right below the focused container. Your new section is always going to be created at the bottom of your bucket.

As @Marie mentioned previously, our team is looking into addressing some of the issues outlined on this threat. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information.


Agree - at this point it should be clear that this is not reverting back and all of us who would prefer it should be vocal about how to improve the Tab+N shortcut, or other aspects of it that could help us. Otherwise they’ll be left to do that however they see fit.

I also agree with these 2 specific suggestions. They would both help immensely. I’m somewhat adjusting to the Tab+N shortcut but the fact that it puts the Section at the bottom, rather than directly below my current Task Line, is extremely frustrating.



this is a very long thread! so im sorry if this has already been answered somewhere.

i was just looking at this thread

which said that sections will become containers which should mean that we can then sort by due date within sections. this would be very good.

it sounded like, from the other thread, that this was already being implemented but i am not seeing any changes to sections at my end. other than the new way to add a section.

just wondering about timelines making sections containerised?

Hi @Clayton_Chipper :wave:t3:

The ability to sort tasks within Sections by due date hasn’t been implemented for the moment. But creating a new Section model is a first step toward it! If you haven’t yet, I’d recommend adding your vote to this other thread: Sort tasks by Due Date WITHIN Sections.

It sounds like this will be a permanent change (I just found out about it), but I figured I should add my two cents as well:

I haven’t read every comment above, but it sounds like I’m having the same frustration as many others. I like a new keyboard shortcut, and I don’t even use boards at all but it sounds nice to be able to switch back and forth between boards and the list.

My issue is with the task to section conversion (and vice versa). Why does that functionality need to cease? I get that the semi-colon doesn’t work on your end, but can we at least get an “action” in the menu to convert a task into a section?

Our business uses sections quite a bit, and we use the section heading as a place to store related files and discuss the various tasks listed below. Now, I need to convert an old task into its own section since the scope has changed - only I can’t do that anymore. This is problematic in that there are comments and files associated with that task.

With this new system, I need to make a new section, copy the description over, and then go through each comment and manually copy it over to the new section. This is a big pain for me, considering that my goal today was to reorganize an important project by converting several tasks into sections. It also wrecks the discussion that we sometimes need to refer back to, since every comment will be from me, after copying them over from an old task.

Is there any hope for an “action” that will allow us to simply convert tasks into sections, and vice versa? It doesn’t even have to be a semi-colon shortcut, just an option on the drop down menu of a task.

Again, no issue with the new system and I understand the reason for it - but it really feels like we’ve lost a useful function that our business has become reliant on. Simply adding an “action” to the list would satisfy most of the people in this forum that are annoyed, and it wouldn’t interfere with your ultimate goal of allowing people to switch between lists and boards.


Totally agree with @David_Murray – the need for change makes sense but the current functionality is really tough on many users. Right now the issue I’m having (besides all stated above by others) is that when I TAB-N for a new section the “New Section” populates at the bottom of my project’s list of tasks. Big bummer.

It would be ideal to have an “action button” (or TAB+N) convert a task to a section and vice versa.

And, if nothing else, can we have the New Section appear right below a selected task instead of the bottom of 100+ tasks? Please!


I think what Asana are trying to do is push people into using Templates more often (and in essence, forcing people to upgrade). There is no other reason, that I can think of, why TAB+N can’t convert a selected task into a section, and vise versa. Where I used to import task lists and then convert certain tasks to sections, I now have to create sections separately and manually move them to where they need to be - very cumbersome.

That said, from a business standpoint, acquiring more premium subscribers to open up templates, I get it.


I have been trying to adapt to Tab-N for several weeks now, and still find it cumbersome and broken.

My biggest gripe is that when a task is highlighted, Tab-N tabs to the detail panel, and enters an ‘N’ in the text field.

Use a different shortcut like Ctrl-N instead of the Tab workflow?

I’ve scanned this thread, and it’s clear that a lot of us are frustrated by this change. I understand that Asana needs to make decisions that also make its work easier/more effective, but you’re slowing us down!

Please pay some immediate attention to making section headers as flexible/seamless as they used to be.


Has anyone else noticed that TAB+N shortcut now starts a Section line at the bottom of your current Section (rather than at the very bottom of the entire Task
list)? Is that just for me?

I’m praying this doesn’t get pulled back because that is a big help in alleviating some of the frustration with these Section changes. I might still prefer it just add the Section on the very next line, but this is at least better than jumping to the end of the Task List. That was extremely cumbersome.

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Hi @Joel_Charles,

I can confirm this is the expected behaviour, and as far as I’m aware we’ve made it permanent :slight_smile:


Create a section on PC, because i cannot on my mobile.

Working on my iPhone and correct à section.

The section became a Task !!

Asana , could you take more step back please ??!


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Paying for business version.

Using custom field to separate and regroup Tasks

Before i was using sections to separate in custom field, now it’s became a mess

Sections showed in every custom fields , amazing !

Multiplication of bugs


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