Do Templates actually work?

I can provide a ton more detail, but the bottom line is that I’ve spent the last couple months moving our process from Trello to Asana.

Have a beautiful (internal) template set up, with (thanks to this forum), multi-homed tasks and subtasks for internal and external items, etc. (When I duplicated this internal template, I wasn’t quite sure how the associated tasks from the external project would come along or not, but figured I’d soon find out.)

Finally ready to test for the first time today with a sample client, so I clicked on “Use template” and then created a new (internal) project from it.

In that project (created two hours ago … so I’m not just being impatient, cookies cleared, etc. to be safe), I see all of the EXTERNAL tasks in my internal project, and none of my internal tasks. Not one.

Further, there’s a complete section and its associated tasks missing - even though the tasks were in both the internal and external template.

Finally, and there might be more but I haven’t noticed yet, in my template if I look at one of my internal tasks with an external subtask, I see not only that external (templated) subtask, but I see the new external subtask that’s residing in the new test client project - again, under my template task.

Sorry, that’s probably pretty hard to follow … but that’s where my brain is. None of this makes sense. It appears templates used to be junk in past years, but it seems like they work fine now for everybody - so was this 1 in 1000, or do they still simply not work?

Hi @Scott_Harvey,

A couple of questions to start out the “investigation” process…

External and Internal aren’t Asana-defined characteristics; can you tell us what you mean by “external” and “internal”? That is, what specifically defines one of your tasks as being external vs. internal?

Aside from that, I think it would be helpful to us if you could post a few screenshots - one of the template and one of the resulting project, showing the differences.

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I’m also having the same issue. I have an “Internal” template for our team to track project and an “External” for customers to follow along in Asana

.

I used multi-home for tasks that are relevant for the customers. The goal is that we would only need to update the tasks using our Internal template and our customers will also see it on their end.

When I duplicate the Internal and External template, the tasks that were supposed to be multi-home did not get duplicated along with it

Any idea why?

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Hi Phil - thanks for the reply, and sorry for the assumption… For us, internal is a task that is (only) internal to our marketing firm. External is something that is a client-facing task - something for them to answer or deliver to us.

Here’s a shot of the template, with one of the sections shown in red that didn’t duplicate.

Then, you’ll see the first five (internal) tasks below “To-Do (Not Started)”.

Finally, you’ll see the two tasks that should only live in the new project (that was created from the template) … but unfortunately show up duplicated in the template as well.

Here’s a quick shot showing that the [REFERENCE] section at the top completely disappeared:

And here’s a shot of the new project, created from the template, showing none of the internal tasks:

@Ann_Lopez,

I’m not sure but I don’t think your issue is relate to Scott’s. In your case, the issue is that you’re multi-homing tasks in a template. This won’t work; Asana doesn’t support multi-homing within a template.

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@Phil_Seeman Ok, now I understand why it hasn’t been working. Do you have any tips or workaround that would make this work in my case? Thank you!

@Scott_Harvey,

This one is a known Asana bug - a nasty one that should have been fixed long ago but has not been. You can see more about it:

(@Marie, you and I have talked about this one - IMO it should really be fixed!)

Other than that specific part of your problems, from the info shown I can’t see why it’s not working properly. Unless anyone else here has other ideas, I’d recommend you contact Asana support so they can take a closer look. I really don’t see why it’s not creating those tasks that are not getting created, from what you’ve illustrated.

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@Ann_Lopez,

First, let me clean up my previous comment: it’s not that multi-homing doesn’t work at all in a template - you can multi-home to an existing non-template project, just not to another template.

I don’t have any great suggestions for your use case. @lpb @Bastien_Siebman or anyone else, have any solutions for Ann?

I think I ran into this situation a while back. If you have a task Z into template A and template B, when using template A for a project, it used to be a mess because your new task A would also be added again into template B (resulting in duplicates).

However during a shared-screen session with a client I realized that somehow now Asana realizes that template B is a template, and does not duplicate the task Z, which is perfect.

Long story short: you can’t have templates sharing tasks, because you always use one template to create a project, then the other, without any link between the two templates/projects. There is no such thing as “bundle of projects” template yet.

Workaround: template A and template B both include instructions “NOW MULTI-HOME THIS INTO PROJECT B” or something like this.

Does it help?

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@Bastien_Siebman that’s a good suggestion but we will have more than 30 clients which would equate to having to duplicate 30+ templates (Internal & External) so I’m trying to avoid having to manually do the multi-homing on each task if possible.

In this case you (or me :wave: ) could script everything. You could click on one button and have everything done for you :slight_smile:

@Phil_Seeman @Bastien_Siebman @Ann_Lopez - thank you all very much for the feedback and information above, much appreciated.

@Marie You run a great forum and should be proud of your community here.

Unfortunately, the fact that your developers can’t figure out what should be simple database operations to make foundational things like templates work correctly … well, that shakes our confidence in your entire application. If simple stuff doesn’t work, how can we have any faith that anything remotely complex will work?

After the spectacular failure of the first project I setup to show him in a live demo how wonderful Asana was … our owner has just agreed with my assessment that we should abandon your platform, and the man-month we’ve put into it.

(And that was after me continually being a cheerleader to convince him that all of the complexity of Asana was really the way to go, instead of something much more simple. Good thing he initially suggested it, otherwise I’d probably be out of a job for recommending something where even step #1 doesn’t work.)

Way too many other options in this space that actually work to take the chance that Asana will bring our agency and all its clients down with it because we can’t trust it.

Even if the major bug mentioned above were fixed, the fact that I can’t use a template as, well, you know … a template … means that our elegant design is thrown out the window. Thought about looking at scripts like Bastien mentioned, but it’s just too much extra work to “fix” multi-home stuff when there are other problems.

One of my first posts in the forum talked about me feeling bad for posting questions before I was smart enough and could give back to the community. Sadly, looks like I’ll never get to that point. Again, thank you to everybody who unselfishly helped me through the learning process, and sorry we’re jumping ship.

(Feel free to delete this after you’ve seen it, as my intention is not to publicly bash your product, but rather to allow you to pass some raw feedback on to the appropriate people at Asana.)

This is always sad to see someone quit, especially when I think Asana can cover most use cases with the correct setup. Have a good week-end.

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Hi @Scott_Harvey and to all Community Members involved in this thread,

@Phil_Seeman thanks for your precious help and for mentioning me in this conversation, I haven’t been able to spend as much as I would have wanted to in the Forum this week, and somehow missed it this thread.

@Scott_Harvey, I’m really sorry to see you go… and wish I had a solution/workaround to help solve this pain point before our team finds a more permanent solution to this. I’ve brought up this issue to our team a good few months ago, and I’ve just pinged this task again, hoping that your experience illustrates how important this issue is and the urgency to prioritize it. While this looks like a small bug on the user end, it is actually a much more complex situation to solve behind the scene, which would require quite some resources. I hope we can solve this soo, and will make sure to keep everyone posted via this thread as well as the two other Phil’s has referenced above.

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@Bastien_Siebman thanks for the offer but I don’t think our project has the funding to pay for your service right now. That being said, I’d greatly appreciate it if you can point me to some resources on how to write a script for this.

The source of truth is https://developers.asana.com/docs/

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