CSV To Asana Simple List Generator- My Gift To Community


#1

Unless there is some problem, it is my plan to give a new utility tool I had made for me over the weekend to create a simple task list from any Search or Advanced Search into a simplified task list. Here are some teasers. Right now it is for PC only, but next step will be for MAC’s.

It will also have indented subtask for one level.


Export all tasks from all projects to single spreadsheet
Using Google Sheets to Track Tasks and Projects
Importing from CSV integration
Printing "My Tasks"
Automate Reports?
View Tasks Categorized by Person
Downloading/exporting project tasks as PDF
How to export a project
Print All Projects and Tasks At Same Time
Client reporting
#2

This tool will be ready to go by the end of the week but I really need Asana to improve the CSV file to include the project name in Sub-tasks when the parent task has a different Assignee than the Sub-task. Once that is done user will be able to use the powerful engine of Advanced Searches, export the CSV file, simply import in this tool and they will have a nice hard copy report.


#3

Interesting idea! Very cool that you’ve been working on this, James! It sounds like the value you’re trying to add is giving people a snapshot of the projects they’re working on and key tasks in each project. Is that correct? What do you think this will add to what advanced search results already provide? I think it will be helpful for the Community to have a clear statement of what this is, how it differs from advanced search, and how you expect people will be able to use it.

Regarding Asana changing the CSV file…as you know that’s not something I can speak to specifically. :innocent: However, I have of course made a note of this feedback and it’s helpful that you’ve already provided the added context for why you’d like this update. Thanks!


#4

The current printout of the Advanced Search is not formatted in a manner consistent with the screen. So it is not true WYSIWYG. In addition as I understand it, their is no hierarchy presentation between parent and subs. In addition, it shows all the comments. A number of people want to see only the simple list. With your new information I understand Sections better but not sure how they can be rule based to an automated report. Here are three examples, My Tool I am Trying To Develop, Asana Hard Copy Printout and Screenshot of Search Results .

All three have there issues. Asana hard copy and screen do not indent for subtasks so there is no distinguishment. My report cannot report Sections because they are treated as a task with a colon but can’t be connected to the task associated with them. They are a problem especially if you use a fixed sort of Project, due date as you don’t want to show a section break at every due date. I think rather section would be a column. Your reply again has been very helpful as I think through this. I want a very automated process with a fixed sort, there will be no sort options other than by Project by Due Date, but the Advanced search will allow much flexibiity as to what you request and who you request but I hope there is consideration for a column in the CSV for sections in the task that fall under them.


#5

@Alexis @Katie I know that both of you export CSV files. Do you use the Section lines for anything. Unless I am not understanding something they are stand alone tasks and in google sheet, excel etc their is not enough information in the CSV file to associate Sections with any tasks. If I am correct (and maybe I am not) this is why I believe they need to be in a column showing up in the task row of task that fall under the section.


#6

Ah, yes I hear what you’re saying. To be honest I don’t use the CSV report in the same detail you do. Sections haven’t been much of an issue for me, but I can absolutely see the value of treating sections differently than tasks in a CSV export. We’ve made a note of the details you’re describing here and the desire for sections to be represented in a unique way in exports. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Maybe Kaitie or others here in the Community have more to add, too.


#7

bridge24.com/asana is doing a great job to export your tasks to Excel or CSV.


#8

@Daniel_Raymond This is great information on creating Excel or CSV files, especially if it works for the free edition as it looks like a simplified version of the Advanced Search. The issues I am talking about pertain more to the structure of the CSV file and bridge24 does one of them exactly how I am requesting Asana to do, put the Sections in a Column but a quick look does not verify that it is putting the column in the tasks that they apply to. In addition, the Advanced Search has considerably more features but the CSV file and Asana have a few logic issues, like not picking up the parent task in the sub-task automatically. Thanks so much for bringing this tool to our attention as I assume it can help some people. I will test and see if it addresses some of my problems. Here is something I wish you could test for us. Have a subtask be overdue and the parent task not overdue and see what kind of CSV or Excel file is created. Thanks again


#9

@Daniel_Raymond does the bridge24 site show up as almost totally black on your computer, it is very hard to read. I don’t know if that is a background setting and is there any reporting other than the columnar exports to CSV or Excel. Thanks


#10

For the technical oriented reviewing a CSV file, these are possible combinations in trying to create a simple task list with subtasks, assignees and due date sorted by Project by due date.

  1. Name column ends with :, this is a Section but it has limited use as it does not identify the tasks associated with it.
  2. Name column does not contain Parent Task Column; this is a task or a Parent Task, simple to use
  3. Name column is blank; this is somebody hitting the return without creating a task, should not be used
  4. Line has a Parent Task Column and also projects and also the parent task shows up separately. Need to use projects of the parent task or too complicated if subtask projects are different than parent projects.
  5. Line has Parent Task Column but Parent Task not included as separate line and no Project is in Subtask line. There is no source for the Project and it has to be listed as No Project.
    6.Line has Parent Task Column but Parent Task is not listed on another line and line also contains Projects. Show as subtask in a Project.

Just thought for those of your that watch the Matrix, you might understand what appears simple is not. @Alexis I appreciate you passing on to your team the fact that subtasks should pick up parent projects and Sections should be shown in a column of the tasks that fall underneath them. And this is considered a simple project!!! All have a great weekend. My programmer started having a full head of hair and is now completely bald. :slight_smile:


#11

The black theme is their new theme, but they plan to release a “light” theme in the coming weeks, more readable… https://bridge24.com/release-info/

Bridge24 has 3 views: power grid, calendars and boards. Any view, for any project or any filter can be exported to CSV or Excel. What I like the most is the power grid because I can choose the columns I want, and multi-group + multi-sort my data before exporting.


#12

That is a very nice tool. Do you know if you can select more than one project at once or if not whether they have plans to. As you might have seen, there has been a lot of requests that Asana add a Primary and Secondary Sort.


#13

Wow, what I thought would be rather simple turned into a forensic audit of Asana CSV file creation. Nothing is ever simple. The second major item that came out is the CSV file has one column for Projects separated by a comma. Guess what, if somebody uses a comma in the name of their Project parsing the Project Column will think that every time a comma is used in a Project name it means a separate Project. So here is my friendly critique of CSV file creation improvement for @Alexis to convey to the team.

  1. Have all subtasks inherit the Parent projects at creation at least, otherwise lines can occur on a subtask that have no Projects and consequently no way to sort by Project. I believe it makes sense if a Parent task is in a project by definition the subtasks are part of that project. Not to say the subtasks can’t be part of additional projects but at least part of Parent projects.

  2. Have Section be a column in the spreadsheet, not a type of task. Section should be a column in the tasks that are under the Section.

  3. Ask your technical staff how to handle commas being used in Project names and how they prevent the parsing of the Project column. Seems that their is only three solutions a) live with it but tell users b) not allow commas in Project names similiar to special characters not allowed in the email address of Team and Project Conversation emails. c) Use an uncommon character in the CSV file project column to separate projects.

Thanks

P.S. I am still going to have my gift to the community shortly but anybody that wants to use it will have to know the restrictions of the current CSV file.


#14

Typically the comma problem is solved by putting field values in quotes and then parsing the quotes out when displaying the values. Some systems use other characters, but quotes are used in Excel, etc. See http://www.creativyst.com/Doc/Articles/CSV/CSV01.htm#FileFormat for details.

So basically if Asana put the field values in quotes, Excel or your list generator could strip out the quotes.


#15

Great idea, hope they consider as I could make this change in 2 minutes to the generator. Thanks @Craig_Fifer


#16

OK as promised the Tool is one logic statement away from success. @Alexis I know that things do not happen overnight but any push to separate Projects with " " as @Craig_Fifer said would solve problems that I believe effect anybody using the CSV file export. This is more in the “bug” category than enhancement. I understand that adding sections to the task associated with them might be farther off as well as sub-task automatically picking up the project of the Parent, and I will add to Tool as soon as this is done. In essence my tool is a poor boy creation of a Report Writer that I have encourage some entrepreneur to pursue. (Actually the guy I am working with could do it), So here is the output. The No Project Available is because the subtask does not pick up the projects of its parent,as I said another modification request. For those of you that would like to use it when I fix the last logic statement I will make it available free on my website.


#17

Hello all,

I fully agree with James. It would be very helpful to have a more readable CSV export;
easy to import in Excel…

Kind regards,


#18

The program is finished and I will receive tomorrow night. Their are limitations based on the CSV file such as their are combinations that don’t always have the project in the CSV file. Lets say you have a subtask that is not in a project that has an overdue date but the Parent is not overdue. Your advanced search and CSV export will have no project on the subtask line. On the other hand I implemented intelligence if the Parent Task shows up in the list the subtask will use the Project of the Parent. Their will be a quiz on that tomorrow. This is a free utility, that I had a great guy in Upwork produce. If you want to try it, message me and I will send you a link to download. Being the CFO I am, their is a disclaimer to accept when you install. We did the best we could do, but hey its free. This took about a week to do whereas my flagship product Sendana took 6-7 months and tons of beta testing. Hope it will be useful for some of you and would like to see what you think. Sorry but it only runs on Windows.


#19

@James_Carl, thanks for this contribution to the Community!


#20

I would suggest two other take aways from working on this project.

  1. Until Asana has subtasks adopt the Project of its parent, it is a good idea to add the main project of the Parent task to the Subtask using Tab P. I think you will see this help in some of your advanced searches.

  2. Another improvement of the CSV file would be to add the Due Date of the Parent Task to the CSV file generated for Subtasks. It is often that you could search for overdue tasks, have a sub-task show up and the CSV file will list the Parent Task but you will not have the Parent task due date. For the utility I was forced to leave the parent task due date blank when this combination of a search occurs.