Flowsana: workflow automation for your Asana projects

Flowsana is now available!

What is Flowsana?

Flowsana is a service, specifically created for and integrated with Asana, which provides a number of automation capabilities for your Asana projects. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial subscription at https://flowsana.net.

More specifically, Flowsana consists of three different types of workflows that you can apply to any of your projects.

Auto-Adjust DueDate-Based Workflow

This type of workflow is simple: If you change the due date of a task in the project, and that task has dependent tasks, the start and due dates of all of those dependent tasks will be automatically shifted the same number of days that you moved the initial task. And it takes weekends into account, so a shifted task will never end up starting or ending on a weekend.

Here’s an example of an Auto-Adjust workflow in action:

autoadjust_workflow

In addition, when you put a project under this type of workflow control, you have the option of choosing “Treat Subtasks as Dependent Tasks”. If you choose that option, then the above rule also applies to subtasks; i.e. if you change the due date of a task in the project and that task has subtasks, then the start and due dates of all those subtasks will be shifted the same number of days that you moved their parent task.

Dynamic Duration-Based Workflow

This type of workflow lets you have projects where rather than setting specific due dates on tasks, you instead set a duration for each task, defining how long it will take to complete each task. You can optionally also set a lag time for a task; this indicates there should be a delay between the end of a previous dependency task and the start of the task which depends on the previous task.

You then set a start date for the overall project. When you do, Flowsana automatically sets the start and due dates for all tasks in the project.

You can also set or change a start date for a particular task, and Flowsana will adjust the start and due dates for all of its dependent tasks.

You can see an example here - once I set the project start date, Flowsana fills in all of the task dates for the project:

dynamic_workflow

Rule Workflow

This type of workflow is comprised of a condition and an action, otherwise known as an If-Then Rule. This allows you to automate a large number of behaviors on your Asana tasks, such as moving them, associating tags, setting custom fields, assigning to users, etc. Here are the currently-available conditions and actions:

Here are just a few examples of the type of behaviors you can automate with If-Then Rules:

If a task is moved to the Completed column, mark it complete.

If a task is marked complete, move it to the Completed column.

If the Priority custom field is set to Urgent, assign the task to Mary Smith.

If it’s a new task, assign it to John Wilcox.
(This provides the ability to automatically assign all new tasks in a project to you.)

If a task is tagged with the Active tag, add it to the Marketing Activities project.

If a task is moved to the Urgent Tasks column, set its Priority custom field to Pants On Fire.

Here you can see in action the rule, "If a task is marked complete, move it to the Completed column":

rule_workflow

How do I get Flowsana?

Sign up for Flowsana at https://flowsana.net.

You can also learn more about it in the online Flowsana Knowledge Base with detailed information on how it operates.

I hope you’ll try out Flowsana and see how it can make your use of Asana more efficient and productive!

9 Likes

Congrats @Phil_Seeman looks great and am sure there will be lots of interest…

Jason.

1 Like

Thanks very much, @Jason_Woods!

And this is only release 1.0 :slight_smile: - I have lots more planned, like automated processing involving subtasks and other good stuff.

3 Likes

Congratulations, @Phil_Seeman!
Your product is really amazing! I use it in production already and the feedback of my team is great!
In my opinion, Flowsana is really the missing part of ASANA.
I love the fact that, once you establish a good structure of the project (dependency, duration, lag-time), the schedule of the project is created automatically, but, more than that, I like a lot how al the necessary adjustments, based on the implementation data gathered during the project (e.g. completion date of tasks) are taken into consideration dinamicly.

1 Like

Thanks so much, @Simion_ILIE - I really appreciate the kind words, and happy to hear that you’re finding Flowsana valuable!

1 Like

FLOWSANA NEWS UPDATE - New Features and More!

I’m happy to announce the addition of two new rule actions, and some performance improvements and bug fixes…

New rule action: Email Notifications!
Users can now receive an email notifying them whenever any rule condition is met. You can get notified when a certain tag is added or removed from a task, when a custom field is set to a particular value, and much more. You can choose to have notifications go to the task’s assignee, to all task followers, or to all members of the project. Check it out in If-Then Rules.

New rule action: Move to Project
Another new rule action was recently added to Flowsana: Move to project. This is a close cousin of the Add to project action that already existed. Now, though, you can choose to move a task out of the current project and over into a new one, based on the results of any condition. Move to project is now live in If-Then Rules.

Performance improvements and squashed bugs
Flowsana depends on the Asana API (“application programming interface”) to do its thing, and as a result is subject to certain limitations in performance. Having said that, I’m committed to improving Flowsana’s performance and speeding it up wherever possible. This will be an ongoing effort and you can expect to see incremental gains over time.

Recently some internal changes were implemented as a first step toward this goal. Your mileage will vary based on a number of factors, but you should in general see improvements of 15-20% in speed and response time to Asana changes.

Additionally, I’ve been busy finding and squashing bugs, and a number of those have been resolved in the past week or so. If you previously found that Flowsana did not do what you expected it to do, please first do a full refresh (by clicking the Refresh ALL Asana data option on the Add Workflow page of the Flowsana website) and then try your workflow again. And if you have any questions or issues at all, please don’t hesitate to write to support@flowsana.net.

3 Likes

Hi Phil
Congratulations on creating this. We’re about to upgrade our Asana account so will be candidates for this.

One function that would be super useful to us would be to have the subtasks of a task populate based on a selection made in a custom field. e.g. if we change Content Type to Blog Post, the subtasks related to Blog Post are added to the task automagically. Kind of like a template that gets created on the fly. Is anything like that on your roadmap at all?

1 Like

Hey Phil, great integration! Question for you- can you setup flowsana workflows and then save that Asana project as a template and the flowsana workflows will save and apply when the template is used to create a new project?

Hi @Brett_Jarman ,

My apologies, I missed this question you had asked previously. Question for you: would the subtasks you refer to already exist as subtasks of the task and you just want them assigned to the project; or if not (and I think you meant they would not), where would you envision those subtasks to be living such that Flowsana would know to add them to the task as new subtasks?

I have some ideas here but wanted to pick your brain as to what you have in mind.

Hi @SavvyHeather,

Currently, after you create a new project from the template, you then need to go to the Flowsana website, refresh your projects list, then add that project under workflow control. It only takes a few minutes for that process but I realize it’s an extra step.

Coming in hopefully a month or so, there should be a much more streamlined process available, where this extra step will not be required!

1 Like

Hi @Phil_Seeman. Thanks for the reply.

Ideally, Flowsana would know to add them to the task as new subtasks.

The first scenario you mentioned wouldn’t work for us as the sub tasks would change depending on what gets selected as the Content Type.

Having said that if Flowsana could do both that would be ideal - i.e. create the subtasks then assign them to the project. And if she could create and maintain predetermined dependencies at the same time that would change Flowsana to Nirvana for us :-).

Look forward to hearing back on this.

Yeah, that’s what I figured you meant. Your comment of “Kind of like a template that gets created on the fly” was spot on in terms of a description. It would really be a “subtask template”.

I’ve given some thought to adding “task templates” as a Flowsana feature, and “subtask templates” would just be a variation on that theme, so to speak. I don’t want to promise anything at the moment but I will give it some serious thought! I definitely see the value you’re pointing to.

1 Like

Good to hear @Phil_Seeman.

The task templates sound like they might be useful as well. What will the features be of that?

Still too early to say. :slight_smile: I haven’t settled on an implementation yet, it’s just in the idea stage at present.

Really thats awsome cant wait to try it !

Announcing new Flowsana features and enhancements

Just released today: lots of new Flowsana features, enhancements, fixes!

New workflow type: Hashtag Automation

Hashtag Automation allows you to enter and modify fields and elements of a task by using hashtags within the task’s Description field. Specifically, you can use hashtags to enter or modify the following information:

  • The task’s due date
  • The task’s assignee
  • Tags
  • Additional projects

Once you’ve enabled hashtag recognition for a project, you use this feature simply by typing a hashtag symbol (#) followed by the due date, assignee name, tag(s) and/or project name(s) that you want to apply to the task. In the case of tags and projects, you can specify multiple hashtags of that type. Hashtags can be placed anywhere within a task’s Description.

Hashtags are especially useful when forwarding emails to Asana. Because the Description field is where Asana places the email body when you forward an email, this means you can type your hashtags right into an email before you send it.

Here are some examples of hashtags:

#important #Joe Allen #next Mon
Attach the Important tag to the task, assign it to Joe Allen, and set its due date to next Monday.

#Strategic planning #Follow up #Admin
In addition to the project where the task is being recorded, also assign this task to the Strategic Planning project, and tag it with the Follow Up and Admin tags.

#Martha Smith #Fri 2 pm EDT
Assign the task to Martha Smith and set its due date to this coming Friday at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time.


Creating new Dynamic Duration workflows: now much easier

We’ve completely revised the way you create Dynamic Duration workflows, making it much easier!

Previously, every time you wanted to create a new Dynamic Duration workflow from an existing workflow template, you had to first create the project in Asana from the template, go to Flowsana, use “Refresh projects list” to tell Flowsana about the new project, wait for a confirmation email that the refresh was done, then go back to Flowsana and add the new project as a workflow.

Here’s the new process: go to Flowsana, select the Dynamic Duration workflow option, select Create a new workflow project based on a selected workflow template, choose the appropriate template from a list of your Asana templates, and type in the name of the new workflow project you want to create.

That’s it! Flowsana will automatically create the project in Asana from your template and put it under workflow control, and send you an email when that’s all done. No more switching between Asana and Flowsana, going back to Flowsana multiple times, continually refreshing your projects list, waiting for multiple email confirmations, etc. You just go to Flowsana once, select the template to use, give it your new project name, and Flowsana does the rest automatically.

We think this change really enhances the usability of Dynamic Duration workflows.


You can now change dates in Dynamic Duration workflows

Previously, in Dynamic Duration workflows you were not allowed to change the start/due dates on tasks; if you wanted to adjust a task’s dates, you needed to do it by modifying the task’s Duration and/or Lag Time.

This limitation is now gone! You are now free to change task dates, including by adjusting a task on the Asana Timeline view. When you do, Flowsana will automatically modify the task’s Duration and/or Lag Time to match your change, and then will appropriately adjust all dependent tasks as it did before.


“Assign To” now assigns initial project tasks

The “Assign To” feature of Dynamic Duration workflows is designed to solve the Asana issue that occurs when you assign a task to someone in a template, and as a result it shows up in their My Tasks list immediately - even though it really shouldn’t since it’s only part of the template, not a real live project. With “Assign To”, Flowsana will assign the task only when the person is able to work on it.

Previously, this only applied to dependent tasks; Flowsana assigned a dependent task to the user in the “Assign To” field as soon as all of its dependencies were marked complete.

But what about the initial tasks in a project, that are not dependent on any other task? Those can be worked on as soon as you enter a project start date and thus initiate the project’s workflow. Those tasks should really be assigned as soon as you enter the project start date.

And now they are! We’ve rectified that missing piece of the puzzle. Now when you enter a project start date on a new Dynamic Duration workflow, Flowsana will immediately assign all tasks which have no dependencies and have a user name in their “Assign To” field.


Bug fixes: rules in multiple projects, and more

Previously, if you had a task that was assigned to multiple projects, and you had Flowsana rules in effect in more than one of those projects, only the rules for one of the task’s projects would be followed. This has been corrected - all rules will now be followed, even across multiple projects for a task.

We’ve also recently squashed some other minor product bugs, as we continue to improve Flowsana overall.


Coming soon: Team-based billing

Flowsana’s billing is currently based on the number of Asana users in organizations or workspaces containing workflow-enabled projects.

We recognize that in many cases, members of a particular team want to take advantage of Flowsana for their team-centered work. It’s not practical or affordable for them to pay for users in other teams who may never use Flowsana.

As a result, we’re changing the Flowsana billing policy to be team-based rather than organization-based. What this means is if you use teams, you’ll only be billed for Asana users within teams containing workflow-enabled projects.

This change will be rolling out within the next few weeks. You won’t need to do anything; your billing will be automatically adjusted if appropriate. We’ll send you an email notification once this change is implemented.


Want to try Flowsana again?

Did you try Flowsana at some point, decide it was not for you, but would like to give it another spin, especially with the improvements detailed here?

No problem! Just send an email to support@flowsana.net and we can get you set up with a new trial subscription.

2 Likes