Display task before due date so I can start on time

Hi everyone!

I want to be able to follow a daily to-do list that tells me when to be working on a project regardless of its due date. Right now, I can only figure out how to schedule something by a deadline.

For example, if a project is due by Friday, I want that project to show on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so I make sure I get started and finish it on time instead of always having to look ahead at deadlines.

Is there a way to do this?
Thank you!

There’s some basic functionality in Asana to move things around in your My Tasks sections (from the My Tasks Guide):

Task Auto-Promotion

Tasks with due dates that have been marked as Upcoming or Later will automatically promote through as they approach their due date.

When a task is marked as Upcoming, the task will automatically move to Today at midnight on the day of the task’s due date.

When a task is marked as Later, the task will automatically move to Upcoming at midnight seven days before the task’s due date.

Personally I don’t find due dates useful in prioritizing my work because things constantly get moved around and reprioritized. Early on in my Asana adoption I tried hard to use these dates as a way to commit to getting things done, but I couldn’t make it work and they became a waste of time as I’d constantly go through them and adjust them all.

I’ve found that taking the time to manually arrange all my tasks in My Tasks is much more powerful than relying on auto-promotion. My workload frequently has to change (support emergencies, escalations,and what I refer to as time-bomb tasks of things coming back from a vendor or user), forcing me to re-prioritize on the fly. So I set aside a little time in the morning to plan my Today section. I created subsections in the Today area of My Tasks that are kind of like a personal Kanban. I share the sections with my team so they can also see my work-in-progress and my planned order and anything I’m blocked on. I put all my work for my next 2 weeks (we’ve adopted Agile and work in 2-week timeframes) in Upcoming in the order I plan to work it. I only use the Due Date to mark out tasks that are truly time bound so I can promote their importance manually as the date approaches. I don’t use the Later section much anymore except for follow-up tasks where I put reminders for myself to check up on other people or do a quick thing I don’t really have to plan for. This is the one thing I rely on the auto-promotion in Asana for, they’ll bubble up to Today eventually the day I need to “follow-up”.

Here’s a pic of my My Tasks:

Not sure if this is helpful for you, but let me know if you have questions.


You probably want to start setting a Start Date and Due Date for your tasks. That way you will get notified when to start the task.


I agree with @Todd_Heflin - we use start dates frequently for this.

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Thank you all! I use mobile and the free plan so from what I can tell I can’t use a start date nor do upcoming tasks show on the app. I’ll see what I can do about using my laptop more (I use Asana solo so I’m not in need of upgrading at the moment for this one feature). Thank you!

You can create subtasks like:

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day N…

This way the subtask is going to appear in your “Today” so you know you should make some progress in that task. The mother task can have the due date of the last day.

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Why not just save a couple of Advanced Searches with a lead time of your choosing.

What’s an advanced search and how do I save it?

You may not have access to Advanced Search @Katheryn_Gronauer. You mentioned you were on a free plan and I think Asana removed it as a free feature. Some free accounts were grandfathered, so it’s a source of confusion at times when Advanced Search comes up.

@Katheryn_Gronauer, using My Tasks for this is perhaps the most straightforward, as @RyanE replied. It gives you a way to prioritize the very task with its clear due date, and without needing Premium.

Another approach is to use follow-up tasks, or reminder tasks, both of which can be turned on by clicking your avatar (top right corner of Asana) > My Profile Settings > Hacks. See the third and second options in the screen shot below:

These both work by creating another task pointing to the main task, so it’s a little more overhead, but more flexibility and might be helpful for certain workflows or work styles.

Larry Berger
Asana2Go & Asana Certified Pro consultant at Trilogi Software