Reference Attribute - Label

I tried to search into the forum and didn’t find anything related so I hope I’m not making any duplicate!

I’ll start my request with my practical example. I’m setting up a new dashboard where I need to add some dependencies between tasks.

What I did first was to create a new attribute, which I callled “Child Tasks” and then I linked here the child tasks: tasks we need to be done before the first task can be done.

Doing this, I see in my column view that this Reference is being shown in both task, which is good, but at this moment only the title of the referenced task is shown below the main task.
I think that with a lot more tasks, managed by different people, it would be difficult to understad which one is child of which other.

I think about how I would solve this and I figured this:

  • When creating the Reference Attribute I would ask, in addition to the Title, an “inverse Label”
  • I would prefix the Referenced Task with the Title in the case I’m linking the task where I added the Reference
  • and I would prefix the inverse Label in the Reference Task showed under the reference.


“Parent: [title]” or “Child: [Title]”.

This way I could be easy to understand why a task has a connection with another.

If this type of inverse label is not possible (now or later) then the user (me!) could create two fields for his use (in my case Parent Tasks and Child Tasks) but, it would still be needed to show the Reference Attribute Title.

I don’t know if this idea is well explicated, it’s very difficult to me to conceptualize even in my own language too, so I add a screenshot hoping to give you a cleaner idea!

Please ignore to do and doing, since they r the default I completely skipped from my eyes, and now they don’t have any sense with apples!

Hey @Francesca,

Thanks for opening up this topic!

Great point. I think that our devs already have in plan to differentiate better ‘Reference’ and ‘Back-Reference’ attributes. Marking them with specific ‘Parent’ and ‘Child’ labels could do the work, but let’s see what our masterminds will think of :smiley:

Thanks for the great suggestion!

Thank you @coa, I’m really happy they are working on back reference!
I think it really helps and can allows us to customize the view with more flexibility.

clarification: I was not suggesting to define “Parent” and “Child” as default labels (it would not be suitable for different uses) but to allow direct and reverse (back reference) custom labels from time to time for each References type. Example: I can create two Reference attributes in my board, each one with its own set of custom labels.

Is it something like what you thought?
And can I ask you when this update could be released?

I know you will have like a millions of things to do, but knowing it would help me set up a project (if it was imminent, I would wait for this update)

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Huh, I’m not really sure how tough will it be for our devs to sort of put labels (one attribute) inside another (Reference in this case).

We’ve had a similar problem with the ‘Checklist’ attribute, since we wanted to add ‘Members’ attribute as a part of it (hence improve the subtask feature).

I’m not sure about the precise time we can deliver this. I know I’ve said it multiple times, but there indeed are a lot of things on our plate right now… I’ll try to push it among the devs as hard as I can, okay? :slight_smile:

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yes of course, sorry for my impetuosity!

I started my reflection on subtasks (it was wonderful to know you were already working on it, while I tried to move the existing attributes to my game) on how to make the checklists associated with a member. Previously with Asana we used this method. But I must confess that the sub-discussion was often overshadowed just because of its secondary nature. I didn’t like that.

So I now find correct that you have not included the members in the checklists (although initially I would have wanted them), because with the subtasks we can give proper visibility to each subtask for which another team member is responsible while maintaining a hierarchical order of execution and kinship.

Actually, thinking about it, my request to power up Reference Attrib. can take a back seat in my mind with subtasks in action. This was my work around to get around the lack of a hierarchy and link between tasks.

Back References are certainly a useful improvement for Reference management anyway. The management of specific attributes for each individual set would be the top, but probably less prior. Certainly it would make the tool very flexible to different types of relationships in complex projects.

Excuse me for all my brainstorming!


Since I found this Feature Request post, I did not create a new post as my question also relates to an item Reference.

When I go to set the Reference value within an Item (row), I am shown all Items (rows) of all Folders but instead, I only want to select Items (rows) from a Specific Folder within the Board.

I would hope that the devs optimize the Reference to be more like a relational database I use of “Many-to-One” foreign key (eg. Current Folder Items have one Item in one Folder to relate to).

If you think about it, why should I scroll through hundreds or even thousands of Items to find the one I want to set as my Reference.

Maybe enable an “Advanced” mode or setting for those of us that want relation DB type References.


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Hey @joseph,

I completely understand your point, but one of the most awesome things that Reference attribute allows you to do is link any item from any folder to again: any item in any of the folders. So that’s why it’s listing all the items.

Also: You have a small ‘Search’ section while creating the reference (linking the items), which allows you to search for a specific item you want to be linked. Have you tried it?

Yes, I have seen what you are talking about. But, what if I don’t know exactly or forgot what I am searching for (there could be literally thousands of items)?

A compromise would be for Infinity to add a filter by “Folder” or item type if you will. This would be very helpful.


Interesting suggestion.

Put into the SQ. :slight_smile:

Sorry for bumping this old thread, but Joseph is describing exactly what I was coming here to request.

First, the flexibility that the current reference system allows is great!

However, for some use cases, this flexibility is actually a hindrance. It would be great to be able to set an option on a reference column to offer:

  • Current (default) functionality where you can link to any record in any folder
  • Set to link to only items in a single folder
  • Set to link to only items in a single folder AND its sub folders.

As a real-world example of why this is a hindrance. I am using Infinity to manage a horticulture project. This project has participants, and it also has “plant lines”, which are hybrid crosses to be developed. I have a set of folders used to “join” a participant and a “plant line”. This participant might work on multiple lines at a time. I name each record here with the plant line name + the participant name. The record also has two reference attributes. One I used to link to the relevant “Plant Line” and one to the assigned “Participant”.

When I open the list for “Plant Line” and search for say “Plant Line001” I get all Plant Line 001 records and derivatives, but I also get all “Join” records that also include that Plant Line name. This can amount to hundreds of records, even when I’m searching in the list.

With the ability to say “Link only to the Plant Lines folders”, when I search, I only get 1-10 records back.

I think this would also help cut down on the amount of data being retrieved for use cases that don’t need that flexibility.


Hey @SeanInVa, thanks for joining the topic :slight_smile:

Currently, you can try using / to differentiate by folder.

So if the folder name is ‘Accounts’ for example, you’d type in /accounts , and all items from the ‘Accounts’ folder should show.

However, we’re currently working on UX/UI improvement that when you search for an item in the reference field, a list of folders pops up, so that you can choose items from specific folders, and skip the hassle of going through all items.

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That sounds interesting, but please take into consideration use cases where people are filling in multiple rows (dozens? hundreds?) in one swoop. How much will that slow down entry vs allowing setting the options on the columns themselves?

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What if the reference search remembers the last folder you’ve selected?

If that’s what you mean?

That might work. It’s not really how I was envisioning it. If you are entering a bunch of rows for one folder at one time, this makes sense. If you are jumping around, you still have to drill down.

It might be an OK compromise - but I would suggest soliciting feedback from other users and/or doing usability case studies.

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