CSV To Asana Simple List Generator- My Gift To Community

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.


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.

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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.

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

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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.


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,


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.

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@James_Carl, thanks for this contribution to the Community!


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.

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Ok, here is a link to the utility. I have ran the file through virus and malware software. You need to know the following instructions:

  1. Clicking will take you to the drive where you then can SAVE AS to any location on your computer you desire.
  2. Unzip the file and it will take you to the execution file to click on and start the process.
  3. Select a exported from Asana CSV file. After you have selected the file, click Import.
  4. After you have imported the file, Click Generate and it should generate the PDF report for you.
  5. Remember it is subject to the limitations of Asana CSV file. If no project is available for instance in a subtask, it will go into a section No Project Available. This is an early stage attempt to have a poor man’s report writer that is a bit cleaner than just printing Asana. I want to thank Haythem Abderrahim of Upworks who diligently worked through the many combination logics with me. If and when Asana adds " " to separate projects and adds section into the task line that sections are in this will be even more useful.
  6. Remember, this a free utility to the community, so try and let me know how its works and if it was a good idea.
  7. This is for Windows PC Only but I am sure that Haythem would write a Mac utility.
  8. Also it will not work beyond one level of subtasks
  9. Remember if you have a comma in your project name CSV standards will break this into multiple projects.

CSV to PDF Generator


I know that when this file gets downloaded virus detectors seem to go crazy and make you send in for checking which they always come back clean. Any suggestions to make this easier for the community to download and experiment with?

I suppose a digital signature for the exe will help.

I also noticed that I may not have had the file download link set to anyone with link can have access. And I have now put a certificate on it.

CSV to PDF Creator


Hi!! This is exactly what I was looking for as an Asana integration. I know basecamp has something like it but Asana has fallen short in the “Report Generating” arena. When will this feature be available?

PS: This is truly a great gift, as it helps filter organization tasks in a more efficient manner.


@Tatiana_Kazakis I am glad you are finding the tool helpful. If Asana would have all subtasks inherit the Project of the Parent task it would help tremendously. There has been a lot of discussion how subtasks really don’t belong to any project until one is assigned, something many feel needs correcting.


I am considering adding Estimated Time, Actual Time and Difference to this tool pulled from custom fields. Any interest in this? I can have it done probably in 2 days. I am still appealing to Asana to have subtasks automatically pick up parent’s project and then this could be customized very inexpensively for any report you desire. I am already giving this away free but I could connect people to my programmer to have their custom sorts. The logic hard part is already done. I have had about 60 downloads but wondering if anybody else is using?

I would ask Asana if it is realistic to hope that the CSV Export file is going to be addressed someday. I have seen suggestions often to use the API file but this Advanced Search and CSV export is the non-developer solution to external hard copy reporting and I would estimate this represents a vast amount of the community. The CSV file needs these fixes:

  1. Subtasks should always have a parent and a project to create a meaningful report even if the Parent does not meet the requirements of the search as it gives context.

  2. Subtasks need a Project, at least the project of their Parent Task. This has been brought up many times and creates many reporting problems whether to a CSV file export or to the Screen.

  3. Sections cannot be in the same column as tasks. Every Task and Subtask that falls under a Section has to show the section in the CSV file output to be able to do anything meaningful with the CSV file in regards to Sections.

  4. I am fully aware of B24 but clean hard copy reports need to be available and I have the baseline done and gave it free to the community. I know a very inexpensive programmer through Upworks that would allow individual community members to create custom hard copy reports at very low cost just as I did with a sound CSV file export.

  5. If a subtask is extracted from an advanced search it still needs its parent and project for context regardless if the Parent met the search requirements of the subtask.

Not trying to be difficult but these kind of things just need fixing so users like me can contribute to the Community and Community Users can take advantage of Advanced Search and CSV export. Spreadsheet use of CSV files are fine but disconnected data or lacking data causes lots of problems.

Thanks for your consideration.


ETA on a Mac version? Thanx!!

I will not be writing a MAC version. If someone wants to do that send me a private message and I can put them in contact with Developer. My guess is it would cost about $200

I promised you I would have written a way to track time on the way to tracking resources. It will still need to have to have some Asana works like

  1. Custom Fields in Subtasks
    Stay tuned, in the next couple days I will show you how this could evolve into a field selected CSV to PDF converter.

Do you know how easy it would be to add a custom field called Availability then have a mathematically computed field be Custom Field (Remain Time) X Custom Field (Availabiity %)=Available Time or easier yet a custom fields Est Time, Act Time, Avail Time, to see who has available time to work in a particular week. I have seen this in other resource managers and it is definitely available to Asana, just add custom fields to subtasks (Asana), pick up parent project by default (Asana) and keep up on the CSV Output. (Asana)

For those of you intimidated by the API, using Advance Search with CSV output file has a ton of possibilities. I will show you the rest of the pieces in the next few days and make it available. Unfortunately it will still be to Windows users until somebody underwrites the MAC version. I can’t keep paying for all these freebies :slight_smile:

As video will better explain the features, especially the new feature to pick what custom field you are using for time I made a quick You Tube. I will be posting the new free tools as soon as I add Digicert to it.
CSV To PDF With Custom Time Fields (Video)

Download CSV To PDF