Custom reports with a "next X days" filter for due dates used to show overdue tasks as well (until last week). *Please* bring it back.

Up until sometime in the last week or two, custom reports (saved searches) that used a due date filter to show only tasks due in the “next X days” or in the “last X days” used to also show overdue tasks. Now, overdue tasks simply disappear from these reports. In my opinion, that’s extremely problematic because overdue tasks don’t suddenly become unimportant just because they’re late. The only scenario I can presently imagine where that would be useful is on teams where if a deliverable is late, it’s no longer relevant (like a holiday promotion) and the team needs to move on. But, I’d say those scenarios are rare. Hopefully this was just an accidental change. Please bring it back, or at least provide a toggle to allow the user to decide whether to show overdue tasks. @Marie - was this an accidental change?

UPDATE: If you are just reading this for the first time, here’s my full explanation below regarding why I believe this is a damaging change (if you agree, please kindly and respectfully share your use cases and workflows with @Marie and the Asana team – she and her team work so hard to understand and represent our needs as customers – details are most helpful if share with respect and optimism)
So, if you agree, here are the action items – please:
:point_right: 1. Vote for this feature
:point_right: 2. Like this linked >comment where I’ve outlined the details of why this issue is so high-impact
:point_right: 3. Add a comment at the bottom explaining why this is important to you and the basic details of your use case (so that the Asana team can understand why this is important)

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Yes it was removed a couple of days ago :slight_smile: @Emily_Roman will be able to share the initial post.

I agree with you, before made more sense.

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Hi @Bry_ProjectKickstart, this update was expected and took place just a few days ago as @Bastien_Siebman mentioned.

The fact that a search for task due in the future returned tasks in the past created a lot of confusion with reporting. We heard that via many channels including the Forum: Advanced Search > Completion=ANY and Due Date Within Next 30 Days, Search due date in next xx days not working, Is it a bug or am I doing something wrong? Due dates in reports) hence why we’ve decided to correct this behaviour.

We’re not planning to revert this update, but if you’d like to see overdue task included in your reports, we recommend using a time range instead of tasks due in X days, this will return all tasks due in the future as well as overdue tasks!

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Hi Marie,

Thanks for sharing a solution, but for saving a search I can’t quite get this to work - the range won’t accept a rolling “before today”, which means I’d have to update my saved search every day. Is there something obvious that I’m missing here, or does this solution not work for saved searches

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I totally agree with @josh13. The fact that overdue tasks do not show up in these advanced searches is major disappointment for me as I use these reports frequently. While the solution offered is a workaround, I agree with @josh13 that not having a rolling “before today” presents challenges. I do not understand why the user cannot choose whether or not to include overdue tasks. That seems like a totally reasonable request and would work for users who want to see overdue tasks and those who do not. Please consider making that option available.

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This functionality was critical for my organization. Although time range works, it’s not sustainable or user friendly needing to update the range every day.

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Jumping in here on the ‘this was a bad move’ train. Suddenly my saved reports of ‘due by today’ and ‘due within a week’ aren’t showing my past-due tasks, and I have no way to get that functionality back. That’s not great.

How about a checkbox for a search of ‘include past-due tasks’ or something? The ‘date range’ suggestion does not work, because I would have to update the ‘tomorrow’ or ‘in a week’ date every single day, and that’s not reasonable.

We need an actual fix here for our suddenly-broken reports.

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Please consider voting for this which would make life easier!:

Thanks,

Larry

@Marie - I read all the posts you linked to and I think the issues listed in the first link were fundamentally different from this one. For example, the first post was regarding an actual logic problem.

The way due date reports used to work was actually a really important thing to show overdue tasks. Now they just disappear and there is no way to do a rolling date range that includes overdue tasks, so it’s a major break in the workflow for anybody who relied on it for “what is due now and overdue” type reports.

I’ve trained over 300 people on this type of reporting approach and in the last 36 hours, I’ve been flooded with support requests with current and former clients telling me the reports we built together “suddenly broke and our teams can’t see any of their overdue tasks”. I understand they can create a new report to see what’s overdue, but the setup previously allowed them to see all things that are truly top priority (meaning due in the next X days AND overdue). Creating a range report and updating it every time you use it is super tedious and not practical.

It seems a decision was made based on mismatched feedback from incongruent use cases from a small number of people and it’s now affecting hoards of others who relied heavily on the way it worked before - which made a lot of sense.

I know your job is a tough one, but please communicate the urgency and, in my opinion, the mismatched logic in the development decision they made. In the meantime, I’ll try and calm down my crowd of people.

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@lpb - This would be great. In my opinion, for this to be truly useful in solving the recently nuked ability to see overdue tasks in a forward-looking due date report, the “Between” option would need to include backward and forward criteria in the same search. e.g. Due in the “last 30 days AND next 30” or “last 90 and next 30”, and ideally, independently adjustable.

But, honestly, a quick fix for the havoc caused by the elimination of the feature would simply be to offer a toggle to see or hide overdue tasks in the search results. I know designers scoff at the idea of toggles to solve issues like this, but it seems the fastest path to a short term solution.

Also, I know that you, as a developer, have a much grasp than I do on the ramifications and potential challenges of something like a toggle, but I’m grasping for any possible solution. As I mentioned, these people whose main task tracker report just broke and everybody’s somewhere between confused and upset.

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Also, @Marie - I believe the issue faced with this change comes back to a core change management principle patiently and expertly described by @lpb here (re: the My Tasks changes) --> We're extending our spreadsheet view to My Tasks!
*Different rollout, same core problems with hazardous change management practices.

Please share with them how disruptive and expensive these unexpected and sudden changes are. Evolution is great! But, doing so with warning, consideration of various use cases, and beta testing would reveal issues like this before causing havoc for thousands of clients.

As I always say, I sincerely appreciate the work that you and your team do to advocate for us, the consultants, team leads, and users. I’ll eagerly watch for your any follow-up responses.

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Thanks for your feedback @Bry_ProjectKickstart, I really appreciate it and will make sure to circle it back to the team.

I’m aware that change can be hard and trigger additional work for some folks to adapt their workflow. We try to develop Asana while minimizing disruptions, but with millions of users and tens of thousands of different workflows, making any changes to Asana inadvertently generates some perturbations for some users. We heard through many channels (not only in the Forum) that having overdue tasks included in reports querying for tasks scheduled in the future was generating some confusions and distort reports that customers were trying to build. The few threads I’ve shared in my previous reply are only a few examples I found in the Forum, they do not represent all the feedback we received on this topic :slight_smile:

Voted.
There was a similar Product Feedback, but it was closed. Hope this time the soultion will be provided.

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Just wanted to share that I found a way to replicate this for my workflow that maybe others might appreciate.

I’ve setup the filter as:

  • Incomplete
  • Due date within the last 90 days

This gives me what I had before, with the condition that there are no tasks > 90 days overdue. I tried putting a very large integer in there (eg 9999999) and it caused some weird results, I’m sure if you needed >90 you could probably get a higher number to work, but I haven’t experimented further since this works for me.

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I’m glad to see that the needs of those who want to see just future tasks are fulfilled.
Such an update has been already introduced few years ago and reverted. As you say this time there will be no step back. I can imagine some scenarios, when I would also appreciate the way the search works now. It is hard to satisfy everyone.
However what about those people who would like to see tasks due soon and overdue in one report? There were also many voices on that: Tasks due soon and overdue , Tasks due soon not showing overdue tasks ; perhaps recently not too loud and not too many, as in fact the search has been working as expected for them.
Apart from that I guess many people would be more happy Asana users if those changes were somehow announced in advance.

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Some say 9999 would work for all overdue and due today.

Perhaps it is obvoius, but it will not show due e.g. next 10 days and overdue.

To acheive that, one solution that comes to my mind is to create a project one would call for instance ‘Horizon’ and make it collect automatically - via API, Zapier or Integromat to name a few - all the tasks that are due soon (so called multihoming). Then you can forget about Due date in your search and use this project ‘Horizon’ instead (& refine it to your needs).

@Marie - Thanks for your response. Could I respectfully share three reasons that I feel strongly that this was a significantly damaging change for thousands of teams?

1. Feedback from a small portion of users (while happy users were silent) (I know we discussed this – but I’m hoping to share here an additional perspective)
I understand and respect that you had many sources of feedback saying that it was confusing. However, to @Przemek’s point, obviously the tens or hundreds of thousands for whom the reports were working well … those people (including me and more than 300 people I’ve personally set this report up with) wouldn’t have been vocal about this recently because it was working as expected. So, @Marie, I want to suggest, respectfully, that making a change, without warning or widespread testing, based only on complaints from people for whom it wasn’t working well, is hazardous because they don’t necessarily represent your majority of users.

Let’s say, for example, this is the breakdown of how people felt about seeing overdue tasks in their “Due in the next X days” custom report:
5,000 people were hypothetically confused, hated it, and complained vocally.
400,000 don’t use that feature or don’t know about it and don’t care
900,000 use the feature lightly and appreciate it. These people don’t say anything because there’s nothing to say. It’s working as expected.
100,000 use the feature heavily and it’s absolutely crucial to their workflows across their teams through their whole company. They don’t speak up or submit tickets or post on the forum about it, because there’s nothing to say… it’s working as expected.

In that hypothetical scenario, the only people you hear from before making this fundamental reporting change were the 5,000 who were upset and confused. You didn’t hear from the 900,000 who use it lightly or the 100,000 who rely heavily on the feature. I suspect and hope I’m wrong on how this was vetted and tested among those who opposed the change; but if my explanation is right, it illustrates why the approach seems so faulty.

I know there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes beyond just counting number of support tickets and forum posts… but my point is that the decision can’t properly be made assuming that the complainers represent the majority.

2. This change actually damages Asana’s core purpose: i.e. CLARITY on WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN
As a separate point, in my mind, and in Asana’s marketing messaging, Asana helps teams answer the question of WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN. Getting down to the details, here’s what that looks like:

  • A manager needs to know what tasks are high priority and in each teammember’s queue. High priority would naturally include things that are overdue, due today, and due in X days (very soon). A report, including all team members, sorted by assignee, with filters for “Incomplete” and “Due in the next 7 days” used to provide this insight. However now --> there is literally no view, anywhere in Asana, for a manager to get this type of visibility without customizing the report filters every. single. day.
  • An individual needs this same type of insight for themselves. They could use My Tasks, except it has two fundamental problems… (1) no ability to see/include global custom fields, which reports does do and my tasks does not; and (2) there’s no zero-effort way to only show urgent tasks (overdue and due soon) – yes, it has the “Upcoming” section, but getting value there requires constant sorting from the “recently assigned” section – it’s too unwieldy. And so, again, there is now no place anywhere in Asana for a user to see a focused list of what’s urgent – meaning overdue and due soon (unless of course they create a report that they have to customize and modify every single day).

3. It represents a disruption of customer trust
Asana is not a cheap tool. Teams spend a lot of money on the licenses but FAR MORE money on employee time and consulting expenses to get their organizations strategically set up and onboarded and fully implemented. My “full implementation” clients pay between $5K and $20K for an implementation, depending on the level of involvement. You mentioned that you can’t please everyone and every change will inevitably break the workflow of some teams. I fully understand that that is unavoidable. However, as part of customer trust and loyalty, they need to know you understand the impact of change and that you’ll provide tools to help them navigate change with minimal destructive loss to their companies. We, as consultants, are of course here to help, but, if nobody has any warning, then there’s absolutely no way to prevent or prepare for the hazards caused by the change.

If I had known a week or two in advance, I could have prepared some workarounds to send out to everyone I’ve ever provided reports training for and I could have helped them adjust their workflows. Instead, I was immediately hit with concerned and angry messages from managers and front-line employees saying that they had lost their visibility on any urgent overdue tasks and begging to know if I knew anything about what was going on and if I could please help them. I had appointments and couldn’t drop everything to help, so managers were in a panic, and I was in a mad rush that night, most of the night, trying to come up with solutions, make videos, and notify everyone. That’s absolute mayhem and havoc and definitely puts people on edge about Asana. The whole thing, while still a poor change in my opinion, could have been a smooth process if Asana had provided some notice, at the very least to the “Asana Together” community so that we could support our clients and teams through the transition.

And so, @Marie, I hope you know what a huge fan I am of all that you do (and that I’m the one who started the “Gratitude Post” that apparently I need to keep resurfacing to help remind people of a place to thank you for all you and your colleagues do). I hope you know I’m not angry at you and I know Asana, just like all of us, goes through growing pains. This is a rotten one. I hope that the three points I outlined will help explain why this was not a minor thing in my world or for my clients and why it is still a big problem and why I’m begging them to reconsider or to provide a simple “Toggle” in the search criteria to allow for viewing overdue tasks in addition to “due soon” tasks.

I took time to write out this lengthy post to help explain why I personally feel so strongly that this was a really serious change for thousands of teams.

At it’s core, it eliminates the ability for managers and for an individual employees to have a focused view of WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN smoothly. It breaks the core messaging and value of Asana.

Thanks so much for what you do. I sincerely hope you’ll share my begging plea with the right people who need to hear it and who make these decisions. Sincere thanks for taking the time to read and consider my thoughts and others here.

P.S. I promise I won’t just keep posting longer replies. I just needed to clarify the specifics in full so that I could make sure my reasoning was understood and that my clients’ feedback was represented clearly.

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i just posted a bug report because my saved search report now doesnt show overdue tasks.

This is a deal breaker for me and my team.

I understand that @Marie is saying its potentially confusing for people to have a forward looking filter that returns overdue tasks BUT then to just remove the feature altogether and provide no way for current users to report on tasks due today and that are overdue is really disappointing given that it was possible before and is obviously used by many people.

is this really not going to be possible to do in the near future?

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I appreciate you and your feedback @Bry_ProjectKickstart, and I will definitely share it with our team to take on board. I believe this thread was initially in the #productfeedback and it is somehow now in #tipsandtricks, so I’ll move it back to #productfeedback. We’re currently not planning to revert back to the old behaviour, but I believe Allow date tokens in advanced search fields could be a good solution, and I’m hoping this is something we can implement in the future. I’ll be sure to keep you posted here as soon as I have some news.

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