Why is there distinction between boards and lists?



Hey there,

I’m just starting off with asana and really like most of it so far. One of the first things that irritated me when I started, and also seems to cause problems for others when I look at the search, is the difference between lists and boards / switching between them / multiselecting stuff.

I’m wondering why there even is this distinction. A board with Columns could translate to a list with sections and vice versa. I do understand that sections do have a bit more functionality because they seem to be a task as well, but columns could have that functionality as well, right?!

I would love to have the possibility to just switch between boards and lists through the upper bar. Kind of like the calendar, that again is a different view on the data.

Am I missing anything why chose that (at least for me) unflexible solution to distinguish strongly between lists and boards?


@Johannes_Deml I agree with you that this functionality should be considered as a default when the boards launched.

But working with the Asana API I am sure that the reason Asana did’t go with this was some technical limitations. As you can see by yourself a section in lists is not a column in Boards.

For example: Try to multi-project a task in a List Project as a Section and in a Board project. You will find out that the task has “:” at the end in the List and also in Board.

This task has the the below memberships:

Project (the List project)
Section (the task id of itself)


Project (the Board project)
Section (a different id - the column id it belongs too)

So this task in the board, can have “:” at the end of its name without to be a column, and in the list cannot without to be a section.

I hope also to fix it some day :slight_smile:


This is a very common request, and has a very lively discussion in this thread with some similar points and back and forth, I recommend checking it out!

@moderators for merging.


Thanks a lot for your answers. I guess I just searched for the topics for changing lists to boards, but not for general topics on that idea. Thanks for the link I will take a good look at what others suggested so far!

@Diakoptis tahnks for the detailed explanation, I did grasp that there will be a few problems, but I think overcoming those problems will create quite some benefit for UX and ease of use :slight_smile:

Sorry again for reopening something that already existed, I will try to find already asked questions next time :slight_smile:


No skin off our noses, @Johannes_Deml! I just wanted you to know that you weren’t alone and to find your people, so to speak =D


Desperately seeking the ability to switch back and forth to Boards and Lists. We need to be able to switch to boards and lists. Some team members work better with list sand some with Boards. I saw the note above for technical reasons, however, other project management options have the ability to switch between lists, Kanban boards, calenders etc… Would you help me understand the technical challenge or the timing to solve this for Asana.
Love Asana but this is a challenge !

( btw also would be nice to have a switch where subtasks can be listed on the calendar view )