✅ Ultimate Guide to the new Sidebar redesign: Get your team prepared!

As you may have already heard, the sidebar is getting a makeover to make it easier to navigate Asana . Some of you may have already signed up for the early access and tested it like myself, until this redesign rolls out to everyone soon!

There are numerous questions being raised in the forum and some anxiety about getting prepared for this redesign. Below is everything you need to know and what changes to expect so that you and your teams can get prepared and make the most of navigating Asana even easier :muscle:

Personal section (Home, My Tasks & Inbox)

:thinking: 1.1 Where is Reporting, Portfolios & Goals gone?
They have been relocated to the new ‘Insights’ section.

:bulb: Not liking this change? You can click and drag the ‘Insights’ section to the top of your sections so that Reporting, Portfolios & Goals are located just below Inbox, were they used to be.

Starred section

:thinking: 2.1 Where are my Favorites? :star:
The ‘Favorites’ section has been renamed to ‘Starred’ which can include Teams, Projects, Portfolios, Dashboards (from Global Reporting), People (users such as Members & Guests) and most recently, Forms! Perhaps it will be possible to :star: more items in the future? :person_shrugging:

:bulb: You can now star users’ profile pages as well as their tasks that are visible to you (their ‘original’ profile page) There is a :white_check_mark: icon on the latter to distinguish between these two starred items.

:bulb: Starred Portfolios will have a > button on the right which you can click to get a flyout list of all the Projects within that Portfolio.

:thinking: 2.2 Where are my Saved Searches? :mag: …and Messages I’ve sent & received? :email:
The former ‘Saved searches’ section has been consolidated into the new ‘Starred’ section where you can save/add any search results to your Starred section by clicking on the :star: at the top of a search results page.

You will now find that three out of the five default/predefined saved searches are available in the basic search dropdown (Ctrl+K or Cmd+K), such as: ‘Tasks I’ve created’, ‘Tasks I’ve assigned to others’ and ‘Recently completed tasks’. But the other two are missing from the sidebar:

:thinking: 2.3 Where has ‘Deleted Items’ gone (from Favorites > Show more)? :wastebasket:
Click here to find out!

:thinking: 2.4 How can I move tasks from one project to another?
You can click & drag a task from the List view and hover it over a project in the Starred section of the sidebar (not the new ‘Projects’ section). Currently, the target project does not seem to highlight correctly; instead a blue hairline appears below the project which you want to move the task to, so release your mouse button carefully!

Projects section

:thinking: 3.1 Why are all my projects bundled like this? I don’t get it!!
This is a brand new section in the sidebar. It is clear that Asana have added this with the intention to automatically curate a list of projects that you personally interact with the most so they are easier to find. Think of this new ‘Projects’ section as a ‘Recent Projects’ section; it is basically your ‘Top 10 list of projects’ that is automatically updated based on your usage. If used correctly, it is actually super intuitive to use and you may find yourself using this section far more than the Teams section (where you can still find ALL the projects within your Teams that are visible to you).

:bulb: From the Projects ... menu you can switch between ‘Top projects’ & ‘Recent projects’:

  • Top projects are automatically listed by priority based on the projects you visit most often
  • Recent projects are automatically listed by priority based on the last projects you have visited

:bulb: from the Projects + button, you can create a new Project or Portfolio. Selecting ‘New project’, will take you to the project creation page but watch out that the pre-selected Team (to create the new project in) will be the first Team listed in your Teams section of the sidebar, so make sure you set the appropriate team!

:angry: 3.2 Why can’t I sort my projects as I like?
The projects and portfolios listed in this new section are automatically populated for you based on your Asana usage. However, if you are not finding this ‘Projects’ section useful and you instead prefer to list your projects as you want, then simply collapse the Projects section, drag it to the bottom of your sidebar and forget about it there. Instead, create your own list of projects (and portfolios) by starring the ones you want to appear in the ‘Starred’ section where you can sort them in any order you want.

:thinking: 3.3 How can I move tasks from one project to another?
See 2.4 above.

Teams section

:thinking: 4.1 How can I see the Projects within a Team in the sidebar?
If you used to have all your Teams expanded (rather than collapsed) then this may have the biggest impact on you since this may be the most significant change to the way you navigate Asana. Personally, I think this change is great because it reduces clutter whilst increasing clarity… but it needs a little getting used to…

:bulb: Hover your mouse over the Team’s name to make the flyout panel appear which lists all the projects within the team (that are visible to you). You can use the :computer_mouse: scroll wheel too :wink:

:bulb: Click on the Team’s name to take you to the Team’s Overview page where you can reorder projects and also view archived ones. See 4.4 and 4.5 below.

:thinking: 4.2 How can I quickly create a new Project within a Team? Where is the old + button?
From a Team’s flyout panel (hover your mouse over the Team’s name) you can quickly Create a new Project (as well as add teammates to the Team) without having to go to the Team’s overview page.
:bulb: even quicker is to right-click on a Team and select ‘Create project’. Check out more right-click actions below…

:thinking: 4.3 Where has ‘Browse Teams’ gone (that used to be at the bottom of the Teams list)?
Click here to find out!

:thinking: 4.4 Where has ‘Show archived projects’ gone?
In the old sidebar, this link used to be at the bottom of a Team’s list of projects. However, in the new redesign it is not visible in the Teams’ > flyout list of projects. The only way you can currently see archived projects is via the Team’s overview page using the Filter button.

:thinking: 4.5 How do I rearrange the order of projects within a Team?
In the Team’s flyout menus of the new sidebar it is not possible to rearrange the order of your projects. To do so, you need to click on the Team’s name to take you to the Team’s Overview page were you can click & drag the projects to rearrange them as you like. Any changes will also be reflected in the flyout menu of the sidebar.
:bulb: this sorting is not a personal preference - it will affect everyone who views the projects within that team.

:thinking: 4.6 How do I move a project from one Team to another Team?
In the new sidebar it is not possible to drag & drop a project into another team. Instead go to your project and from the Project Action menu (:arrow_down_small: on the right of the project’s title) select ‘Move to another team’.
:bulb: to perform this action, you need to be a member of both teams.

:sunglasses: Cool things about the new sidebar

:left_right_arrow: Resize the Sidebar

A much wanted feature, you can now resize the width of the side bar by hovering your mouse over the right edge and click and drag to change the width as one would expect! :partying_face:

:arrow_up_down: Reorder Sections

You can click and drag the sidebar’s sections (Starred, Projects, Teams & Insights) up and down to reorder them as you like.
:bulb: you can also reorder items within the Starred section, as well as Teams within the Teams section, as expected.

:icecream: Light sidebar colour

The sidebar is now available in a Light theme instead of just Dark.
From your avatar/profile > My Settings > Display > Theme set to ‘Light’ > Sidebar & topbar color
:bulb: you cannot set the sidebar to Light if your ‘Theme’ is set to Dark.

:rocket: 12 awesome things you can do with the right-click button :computer_mouse:

Right-click context menus are new to the sidebar! :tada:
You can now right-click on items in your sidebar to:

  1. open any item in a new browser tab (or app window)
  2. add or remove an item to/from the Starred section
  3. change the colour of a Project, Portfolio or Dashboard
  4. change the icon of a Project or Dashboard
  5. rename a Project, Portfolio, Saved Search or Dashboard
  6. copy link of a Project, Portfolio, Dashboard, Saved Search, Person or Form
  7. share a Project or Portfolio
  8. archive a Project
  9. assign a task to a Person (by right-clicking on a Starred person)
  10. send a message to a Person (by right-clicking on a Starred person)
  11. invite teammates (by right-clicking on a team)
  12. create a new project (by right-clicking on a team)

:person_shrugging: Things we seem to have lost in the new sidebar redesign

Well you can’t have it all, but below are some features I could no longer find in the new sidebar design:

  1. Ability to duplicate a project from the sidebar (previously from the ... menu of a project)
  2. Ability to view Archived projects within the sidebar (see 4.4 above)
  3. Ability to change the order of projects of a team (see 4.5 above)
  4. Ability to drag & drop projects from one team to another team (see 4.6 above)
  5. Predefined saved searches such as ‘Messages I’ve sent / received’ (see 2.2 above)
  6. ‘All items’ from Favorites (did anyone ever use this?)
  7. ‘Edit Team Settings’ (previously from the ... menu of a team)
  8. ‘Send a Message via Email…’ (previously from the ... menu of a team)
  9. ‘Remove me from this Team’ (previously from the ... menu of a team)
  10. Anything else for the history books or that you would like to bring back? :thinking:

:gift: Resources

:checkered_flag: That’s it!

Hope you found this guide helpful so that you and your teams can make the most out of the new sidebar design! I’m sure I missed something so please let me know :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

:rocket: See all of my top tips & tricks on my website.


Great overview on all the changes of the new redesign👍🏻


Tour de force tip, @Richard_Sather!!!

So much great info here.

Already shared in a Slack thread about the sidebar.




Cheers @Andrea_Mayer & @lpb :beers:


Can you stop posting amazing threads please? You make all the other Forum Leader look bad.



Look who’s talking! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Do I understand correctly that we will no longer be able to see a full list of projects somewhere; only “top projects” and “recent projects”? If so, how would we access then a project that wasn’t most recently accessed? Or is this just the default and we can still see all projects somewhere?


Really great thread - thanks! I was trying to find when this release will happen (I’m also on the beta, but would like to know when it will hit the rest of my team), but I couldn’t find it. Does anyone know?


I am also concerned about this change as I use the sidebar to quickly use all of my projects. Even ones that I don’t need often.


A great way to see all the projects you have access to is by using the advance search feature and do an empty search and then selecting the Projects tab. This will give you an even better list of all your projects. You can then also filter it doen to a specific subset like only projects in a specific team or portfolio. read more here:


Searching requires everyone to remember the name of the project. After time it is possible to forget a name (like some people don’t know their own phone number because they never dial it). I guess I don’t see the logic in removing functionalities when the community that uses your software is telling you that’s not what they want. Options is typically what users want. Is there a technical reason why this functionality is being removed or is it just what Asana wants us to do? Please listen to your community. Options = happy people.


Furthermore to the idea of doing an empty search… that will get very old after a while. What if you have 100 projects that you need to access regularly. Will they ALL show up on the recent list, or is there a limit?


Hi @Richard_Parke, all Projects within Teams are easily accessible as they were before but instead of expanding the team to view them, you will now be able to do this:

Have a look at the :film_projector: Quick walkthrough video by Asana which I posted in my :balloon: Resources section above. Skip to 0:40 to see how Projects are accessed within Teams in the new sidebar.

Hi @TrevorWiser , you can follow up on the release of this rollout in the original announcement thread by @Marie :
Coming soon: Asana redesign to help you find what you need quickly and easily

Hi @Connie_Valkema , welcome to the forum :wave:
As just noted above, despite finding all your projects within your Teams, I think you will also enjoy the new Top/Recent projects list for quickly accessing your daily/frequent projects.

Btw, the Top/Recent projects list is limited to the top 10, which are automatically updated based on your usage.


From my point of view, the forced sidebar change is a very poor UX decision on the part of Asana. Here is why, in slightly edited form from the #asana-hacks-and-qs thread in Slack:

From our shop’s point of view the new update is a disaster. We especially need the ability to list ‘all projects’ in a custom order in the sidebar as we used to be able to. The new UX adds clicks and removes functionality we count on.

Unfortunately the workarounds and features described above will not replace the functionality we miss – A sidebar list of projects by Team that allow custom drag and drop positioning within the list. The on the part of the Asana team decision to ‘simplify’ the UX by stripping away some powerful functionality is a very poor one, for our purposes.

Shops like ours, that manage hundreds of projects, will find the new simplifications very damaging to our situational awareness and efficiency. I certainly hope the Asana team retains the old functionality as an advanced option, rather than attempting to fit all users into a Pareto box that only covers 80% of their current use cases!

Hopefully, the Asana team will take feedback like this from an important minority of your user base and rethink the ‘forced simplification’ approach before general roll-out. For 80% of the users it will be great, but for the 20% that require more, not less, control over multi-project visibility via the sidebar so that board content is accessible it is a real setback.

Can we please have sidebar listing control back as an advanced option, for those of us who depend on it?


Welcome, @dan.bashaw,

I think the most persuasive way to make your case is to describe your organization’s detailed use cases that make it so important to retain the specific functionality you’re asking for. (At least in my reading, I can’t determine the “why” of your request.)

Are you aware that the project ordering within a team that used to be done in the sidebar will now be available in the team pages? Changing the order there will be retained in the sidebar subsequently. (@Richard_Sather, perhaps this would be helpful to add?)




I find the new sidebar coherent with the way I was suggesting Asana should be used. When you have many projects, I don’t believe the sidenav should be where you go to navigate to those projects from. Instead, a search or dashboard or portfolio seem more efficient. In our case, each client project is also a task, and it makes things easier.

But I definitely understand that the extra clicks broke a few workflows out there!


I agree with @Bastien_Siebman. From my experience with clients is that their sidebar would become overwhelming when they are part of many teams and numerous projects, since the default for new teams added was set to expand (instead of collapsed) plus the fact that users were unaware that they could keep teams collapsed. This would lead to endless scrolling of the sidebar and not ideal to find their projects. For this reason, I would always suggest to have all their Teams collapsed, then click on a Team to go to the Team’s overview page and then click on their project. Now, with the new flyout menus, although it takes the same amount of clicks (2), it is much faster to get to your project without visiting the Team overview page as well as less clutter & less scrolling of the sidebar. So the new sidebar design makes absolute sense to me.

Regarding the ordering of projects within a Team from the sidebar is indeed an ability we have lost; thanks for pointing that out @lpb , I will add it to the original post. However, another suggestion to clients, or actually a ‘convention’ that I try to implement is to NOT frequently (or ever!) change the order of projects listed within a team since this is not a personal sorting preference (like sorting the order of your Teams or Starred items) but instead this ordering applies to everyone within that team. So the obvious reason to NOT change the ordering of projects within a team is because you usually want all team members to familiarise themselves with a specific order that applies to everyone - so I will not personally miss this ability from the old sidebar.

However, I understand there will be specific use cases by some teams that do need to occasionally change the order of their projects, but that frequency could be weighed out by the ability to simply do so within the Team’s overview page, as Larry pointed out.

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Thanks Richard for sending over the video. I have indeed watched the video, and noted the little slide out. Do most organizations have lots of Teams? In our use case, we have a single team. So everything is inside 1 team. This will now require us to click that arrow EVERY TIME we need to find a project (short of the “most used”. Favorites is a much better way (the way you had it) to do “most used” OR give us the option to show everything in one list. Why not give the user options? Is there something that limits an option set for both options? Then users can decide for themselves. That’s what would make Asana the most powerful PM tool is if users could customize it how they want to, not how the developers think it should be used. Just a thought. I appreciate the dialogue.


More and more, Asana is being focused toward the Enterprise. Their Enterprise customers have typically hundreds and sometimes thousands (or more) of teams. So you can figure they’re going to be focusing their UI changes more toward that audience. I’m not endorsing that focus, just reporting on it.

Providing options is nice in theory, but recognize that it has a cost in terms of labor cost to maintain and support it - the more options, the more code there is to maintain and keep debugged, and the more support inflow that has to be dealt with. People tend to overlook this and say, “Why not just give us the option?” but I think it’s important to keep in mind that providing options is always a tradeoff for a software company to make. Asana historically has leaned toward less options than more, in my view.


I’ll reply later this week with a use case and user journeys for retaining the ‘old’ sidebar as an option. In the interim, here is a ‘marketing blurb’ describing the feature that is being removed:

Asana allow you to organize your way! Our sidebar offers multiple ‘mini-portfolios’ that give you full instant visibility and access to all of your Teams and Boards. Curate the sidebar to show exactly what you need in the order you prefer, and access every project and board with a single click from the always visible sidebar. There is no need to ‘drill down’ to access all
of your projects and ‘back up’ again to switch to another board. Everything is available and visible in the sidebar, under your full control.

Note that I am NOT making the case to revert to the old the UX, but I AM making the case to retain this important function as an option available to those who use it in this way.