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Key Custom Fields for Enhanced Workflow in Asana

It's easiest to think of custom fields in Asana as a column in Excel or a simple database.

Your Key Custom Asana Fields

Implementing Custom Fields in Asana can significantly enhance the way you organize, communicate, report, and automate your work. Among the plethora of fields available, we have identified three that are particularly beneficial in almost every scenario. Here, we discuss the key (essential) custom fields we recommend: Priority, Status, and Progress.

Field Naming Practices

For a unified approach, we suggest naming your fields prefixed with your [organization] to denote fields officially endorsed by your organization. This practice aids in easily locating these custom fields when working on a project or template by simply searching for your [organization]. At CampaignArc, we abbreviate our organization name to [CA], such as:

  • Priority [organization] › Priority [CA]
  • Status [organization] › Status [CA]
  • Progress [organization] › Progress [CA]

Incorporating Custom Fields

Before creating a new custom field, always check your library to utilize any existing fields, thus maintaining efficiency. Generating new or redundant fields can hinder the scalability of Asana in terms of templates, rules, and reporting.

Remember: Altering a custom field in your library affects it globally.

Asana's Default Fields

You might wonder if Asana already provides these fields. Indeed, Asana includes default fields for Priority, Status, and Task Progress. The limitation with these default fields is their rigidity – they cannot be modified or removed from your library. Hence, we advocate for crafting and utilizing our personalized versions of these fields. Educate your team about these fields and integrate them into your project templates for widespread use.

Establishing Your Custom Fields

Go to any project to create a new custom field, following the steps below. Ensure you select “Add to my organization’s field library” for widespread accessibility. See how below.


Priority [organization]

Type: Single Select — Priority determines the relative significance of a task or work. Resist the urge to label everything as High or Critical priority. Start with Low Priority and elevate as necessary, especially as due dates approach.

Choices:

  • Critical – For tasks significantly overdue and impacting others. Aim for completion within the day.
  • High – For tasks with immediate impact and upcoming due dates.
  • Medium – For important tasks with nearing due dates but some leeway.
  • Low – For tasks that are less urgent and can be deferred if other tasks arise.

Guideline: Agree on what each priority signifies within your team. Establish this as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

Rules for Projects:

  • If a task is overdue by 3 days › Set Priority to Critical
  • If a task is overdue by 1 day › Set Priority to High
  • If a task is due in 7 days › Set Priority to Medium

Status [organization]

Type: Single Select — This field is crucial for indicating the current phase of a task, irrespective of its priority or progression.

Choices:

  • Hold – Pause work. Either low priority or pending prerequisites.
  • Blocked – For tasks that are actively hindered.
  • Ready – Tasks prepared for commencement.
  • In Progress – Tasks that have started or are moving along a workflow.
  • Complete – Indicates finished tasks. Use as a trigger to clear the field but don’t rely on it for Asana’s native completion reporting.
  • Deferred – For tasks that are bypassed but noted for future completion.

Rules for Projects:

  • If Task moved to Section X › Set Status to In Progress — Automatically keeps tasks and projects aligned.
  • If Status set to Blocked › Add collaborators, Add a comment — Alerts the team to issues.
  • If Task set to Complete › Clear Status, Clear Priority, Clear Progress, Mark Complete
  • If Status set to Deferred › Clear Status, Clear Priority, Clear Progress, Add a comment

Progress [organization]

Type: Single Select — This field enables swift communication of task progression. Limiting to four options ensures clarity. For instance, 100% can signify near-completion, awaiting final approval.

Choices:

  • 25% – Indicates initial progress or a significant milestone.
  • 50% – Often marks a pivotal point, like a review phase.
  • 75% – Represents substantial progress.
  • 100% – Near completion, pending final approval.

Rules for Projects:

  • If Progress is 100% › Add comment

Rules for Streamlined Project and Task Management

Implement these three rules for efficient organization:

Task Marked Complete

Clear all related fields from a task once it is marked complete. Since As 

Complete, it’s optimal to remove Priority, Status, and Progress details from the task. Asana handles the completion status at the system level, so clearing these fields helps maintain clarity and organization in your project.

Rule for Task Completion:

  • If task marked Complete › Clear Status [organization], Clear Priority [organization], Clear Progress [organization], Mark as Complete

Task Moved to Complete Section (Ongoing Projects)

For tasks in ongoing projects, moving a task to a 'Complete' section can trigger a rule to mark it as complete, ensuring the project stays up to date automatically.

Rule for Ongoing Projects:

  • If task moved to section Complete › Mark Complete

Task Status [organization] Set to Complete

When the task status is set to 'Complete' within the custom fields, it should trigger the task's completion status in Asana. This ensures that the task is not only marked complete in terms of status but also within the Asana system.

Rule for Task Status:

  • If task Status [organization] set to Complete › Mark Complete

These custom fields and rules in Asana are designed to enhance your project management, making it more structured, clear, and efficient. By incorporating these into your Asana workflow, you can significantly improve how your team organizes and tracks progress, leading to better project outcomes and greater productivity.

Want to get Asana implementation or training? Contact Us!

Or keep learning with Asana Approvals here.

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