CSV Import for Project Tasks

The CSV Import tool appears to have changed from last week. We currently use a CSV file to import all the tasks for a particular project as we set it up. The CSV file contains fields that used to map to the Asana task fields. The new import process:
A) Doesn’t recognize the field “Follower” as mapped to the “Follower” field in Asana – instead it imports it as a new text field. (I attempted to correct the mapping but the Asana field is not offered in the drop down for the mapping)
B) Doesn’t recognize “Tags” as mapped to “Tags” field in Asana – instead it imports it as a new text field. (I attempted to correct the mapping but the Asana field is not offered in the drop down for the mapping)
C) No longer provides the option to “Invite assignee and followers to Asana if they’re not currently a member" – this option allowed us to invite clients to the project as part of assigning the tasks to them.
D) New pop-up window in the lower left corner says it is in the process of importing XX number of tasks and that I can use the project at any time. However, it doesn’t provide any indication on when it is done importing or if the importer has pooped out. Right now I am attempting to upload 40 tasks and only 20 are showing – and those 20 don’t have anyone assigned to them (despite the fact that the CSV contains the correct information).

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Drop-down next to project name, select Import > CSV
  2. Drag appropriate CSV file into the window
  3. Select “Make Changes” to attempt to remap “Follower” and “Tags” but the drop down doesn’t provide those Asana fields any more
  4. Shake my head and select “Continue to project”
  5. Pop up appears " importing 40 tasks to PROJECTNAME. You can continue using the project at any time." Wait 10 minutes and only 20 tasks appear with only partial information (missing assignee, follower, tags)

Browser version: Chrome Version 77.0.3865.90 (Official Build) (64-bit)

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@James_Carl as the CSV expert hère, any input?

There has been an update We're rolling out a new CSV Importer

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It’s the new importer that 1) doesn’t appear to be working and 2) eliminates functionality the old importer contained.

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Welcome to the Forum @Karol_Dixon_de_la_O and thank you for taking time to report this!

In order to fully understand the situation here, could you please send me by DM a screenshot of your CSV file? This would be super helpful to understand the situation and assist you further!

Looking forward to your reply!

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Issue with CSV importer

Apologies for the delay in responding to you @Karol_Dixon_de_la_O. Marie here, stepping in for @Natalia.

So from what I understand, when importing your CSV and trying to remap “Follower” and “Tags”, you can’t find these options in the dropdown menu. Is there any chance you’ve already used these field in another column?

Also, in order for these two fields to appear, make sure that you follow advice listed in this article: https://asana.com/guide/help/api/csv-importer ( Assignee: assign one owner to each task by adding email addresses of valid Asana users from your workspace or organization. Tasks created in Asana can only be assigned to one teammate).

In order to continue investigating this, I would need to access your CSV file, because so far I wasn’t able to reproduce with any of my test CSV. Would you mind sending this CSV by DM? (YOU can send me DM by clicking on my name at the top of this post and select “Message” - please don’t share the file publicly :slight_smile: )

Could you also send a screenshot of what your seeing in Asana when trying to remap these two fields?

Again, so sorry for the trouble, and thank you so much for your patience and cooperation!

Take a look at your new CSV importer – the fields for Follower, Tags and a couple others we don’t use are no longer in the drop down options:


Instead, they are mapped as custom fields with drop-down selections which is NOT the same as mapping directly to the Asana designated “Follower” field and/or “Tags”

To answer your questions:

  1. No, I have not used those fields in another column (My previous screen shot of the CSV file shows all of the columns we are using)
  2. Yes, we follow the rules in that only one owner is assigned to each task. BUT note, the prior CSV importer allowed that owner to be a non-Asana user, there used to be a checkbox to allow us to have Asana email a new Asana user with tasks assigned to them. This functionality has gone away.
  3. I am guessing you are not able to reproduce if you do not yet have the new CSV importer loaded on your account (the rollout messaging indicated that not everyone would receive it at the same time)

In addition to jumping on this forum to find solutions, I had also clicked on the feedback form for the process and submitted my inquiries there as well. Separately I received the following information from Asana:
Regarding knowing when the import has completed:
We have an update for this that you should see within a week. The message in the bottom left will indicate how many tasks we are importing, and when there import is completed, the message will indicate this.

Regarding the follower column
Assuming this column contains email addresses of users you want to add as followers, we also have an update coming that will enable you to map to this field. This should also be available within a week.

I am still working out with them what happened to the ability to map to the other fields like “Tags”

@Karol_Dixon_de_la_O, I just spoke with the PM in charge of the new CSV importer (Tony) who confirmed he is already in touch with you to work on this bug, so to avoid any confusion, and in order to resolve this issue as efficiently as possible, I’ll let you work on this together and close this thread in the Forum for now! Thanks again for your cooperation and willingness to help us resolve this issue, we really appreciate it.

Have a great day!

Could you update us on if this has been fixed? Moving the conversation to a private thread doesn’t let us know the outcome. Thanks!

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Hi Todd,

Great point and here’s a summary to the questions asked above:

We have some additional functionality rolling out over the next 7 days that addresses some of the questions asked here:

  • Dependents will be enabled as a mappable field
  • Followers will be enabled as a mappable field (and now supports multiple followers)
  • The import status message in the bottom left will update when the import has completed

Other answers

  • Importing to organizational custom fields can be done but requires the organizational custom field to be added to the project first. We’ll be adding clearer instructions in the guide for this. The reason behind this is that project-local custom fields are less confusing for newer users.
  • The invite functionality is no longer in the CSV importer due to some confusion it was causing (the importer isn’t clear on where the invited users were getting invited to, what they’ll have access to, what their experience will be). We recommend using our project invite screen which we’ll continue to improve. Invited users can then be utilized in the importer for assignee/follower.
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Hi Tony,

Will Tags be enabled to be a mappable field?

Thank you.

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Good morning Tony!

Can you elaborate on what you mean by:

While we will usually have organizational custom fields set to a project prior to importing, it was always nice to be able to search the library for any Custom Fields that columns needed to be mapped to. I’m not a big fan of new Custom Fields of the same name (but limited field options) being created for the project otherwise.

Also, since the new importer doesn’t support the invite functionality what happens when a new user is set as an assignee or follower? Does it throw an error or what?

Thanks!!!

Hi Jerod,

Thanks for your follow up questions. Organizational custom fields have the benefit of maintaining consistent types and field options (for dropdowns) across your projects and teams, but becomes problematic when a user intends to use a field of the same name with different possible values or a different type. The most common example we often see of this is “Status”, where different projects of different types may use different statuses. When importing, this often means the column ends up being incompatible with the existing organizational custom field. Changing any of the dropdown values will also impact across all projects using that field (which could be desired or undesired).
When consistency is desired between projects -> templates can be helpful in ensuring projects are setup the same way with the same organizational custom fields. We’ll definitely take this feedback of being able to search for organizational custom fields within the custom fields as potential future add.

The import will make a best effort - when an email that does not belong to any user in Asana is used, the task will still be successfully created but won’t have the user applied.

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Thanks for the clarification, @TonyC. That makes a lot of sense. When a user is intending to import to an existing organizational custom field it does require an extra step however (- having to add organizational custom field to the project prior to importing).

The ability to browse the library to a organizational field would be really helpful. Furthermore, have you thought about offering any indicators for the users to tell when a custom field is indeed leveraging a organizational custom field rather than creating a new? This may help them ensure everything is being mapped correctly before proceeding.