Asana CSV Export/Import Issues

A good measure of whether the CSV export/import process works is whether the exported CSV file can be reimported “as is”. This is not currently the case with Asana. Below are some findings. [Note: Because I was in a test mode, I intentionally removed assignee fields, so I’m not sure if that functionality works.]

The export to CSV has the following issues:

  • Sections are exported as “Projects”, not as “Section”, as it should be.
  • Since all dependencies are finish-start only, the “Blocked By” field is redundant on import and is merely an internal convenience. This field does not need to be exported.

The import doesn’t recognize the following fields in the exported files:

  • Completed At
  • Tags
  • Notes
  • Under common or anticipated conditions, Dependencies (which are the “Blocking” field) are not recognized because they often exported out of the necessary sequence. Current import protocol requires that Dependencies may only look “up” in the table, an obvious flaw of design. (Proper design would load a task table from the core fields, then initiate the dependency import from a full task table.)

Other issues on import:

  • “Project” field must be changed to “Section”
  • “Due Date” must be assigned then “Start Date” can be assigned, though both will be recognized.

What works?

  • “Name” is correctly identified
  • “Due Date” is correctly identified
  • “Parent Task” is correctly identified as “Subtask Of”

In summation, this export/import process is useless if the user wishes to reorganize their project “en masse” retaining key information and assignments.

I am new to Asana and cant seem to find where you can export a list to excel or csv. Is this an additional app as it comes free with most apps these days?

You can export from the pull-down menu next to the name of the schedule at the top of the screen. The little “v” next to the information icon.

I’d like to add - I am trying to Import a CSV that includes Tasks with Subtasks which the parent task is dependent on.

According to the CSV Importer documentation, Subtasks should be below their parent tasks. However Dependents should also be below the tasks they are being blocked by. Therefore it would seem that Subtasks which are blocking their parent task are not possible using the CSV import. Does anybody know a way to do this?

It’s in the pull down menu of the project title.

I’ve had no difficulty structuring parents and children of finish-start linked tasks (still a shame there aren’t more options) or assigning Subtask Of information.

Can you share a sample of what you’re doing?


In this example, the Task ‘Garment Type + Quantities’ is successfully dependent upon the tasks ‘Type’ and ‘Quantity’, but Subtasks are assigned as a Single-Select field:

I can fix the Subtasks by switching the order of the rows:

…but then it breaks the Dependents upon import:

When I click ‘Make Changes’ after selecting a CSV to import, and try to change the column type, the broken feature is grayed out and indicates which rows are invalid.

Do you know how I can make Parent tasks dependent on Subtasks at import? I’ve been utilizing the CSV Importer Documentation but, again, it seems like these two features of the Importer are contradictory.

I see. You’re trying to do this as expected, but I would not use the Dependencies at all. Asana doesn’t use that information properly (see this discussion), so the only thing to get right are the Subtask Of assignments. Dependencies will be reflected by being a subtask or by hand entering them in Asana.

Frustrating, I know. Welcome to the club.