Flowsana: workflow automation for your Asana projects

Hi @ialexusman,

This topic is specific to my Flowsana integration; Flowsana doesn’t have any Power BI-related capabilities.

The best thing is for you to start a new topic in the Integrations area to ask your question. (There are also a lot of Power BI-related posts already in the Integrations area; be sure to read those to see if they answer your question.)

Hello! I have some exciting new Flowsana updates and company news to announce.

  • Task notifications
  • Hashtag Automation expansion
  • More Dynamic Duration workflow options
  • Automatic detection of projects and project changes
  • Faster setup and processing of new workflows
  • New employee – we’re growing!

Notify people external to Asana of selected task changes

We’ve enhanced the rule action which sends an email notification. Previously you could only choose to notify existing Asana users (either the tasks’s assignee, its collaborators, or project members). Now you have the option to specify a text custom field in which you can place an email address, and Flowsana will send the notification to that address. This makes it easy to notify any email address of any number of changes that occur on a task.

This works great especially in conjunction with an Asana form. In the form’s setup, map to a custom field an email address that the form submitter enters, then use that custom field in an email notification rule. In this way, the form submitter (or whatever email address the person enters into the form field) can receive status notifications based on any rule condition(s) being triggered.

Send an incoming email to a specific project section

Flowsana’s Hashtag Automation has been enhanced to support the specification of a section; Flowsana will place the new task that’s created from the email into that section.

For example, including the following hashtags:

#Tue #New leads

will set the task’s due date to this coming Tuesday and place it in the “New Leads” section of the project.

Better handling of completed tasks in Dynamic Duration workflows

We’ve improved that way in which Dynamic Duration workflows handle completed tasks and also have given you more control over how you want them managed.

There are now two options available to you when creating a new Dynamic Duration workflow template: When completing a task, adjust its dependents and Keep completed dependent tasks fixed. You can read more about these options and how they work here in the Flowsana documentation.

Most changes to projects’ setup are now automatically updated in Flowsana

Previously any time you added a new project, or made changes to a project’s configuration (changing project name, sections, tags, etc.), you had to do a Flowsana “refresh” in order to get Flowsana to know about those additions or changes.

Now Flowsana automatically detects and records new projects, as well as almost all project changes (the one exception being custom fields; you’ll still need to refresh if you add or change the custom fields that are setup for a project).

Faster setup of new workflows

When adding a new workflow, we’ve improved the processing so that in almost all cases, you should no longer have much of a wait for it to be set up and active.

We’re Growing!

I’m happy to announce the addition of our new Marketing and Operations Manager – Laura Star. Laura comes to Flowsana with experience in social media, marketing and operations. When she isn’t working, you can find her climbing mountains, playing ice hockey, or snuggling on the couch with her husband and two cats.

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Hey @Phil_Seeman any way to create a rule like:
If a task is created in Project X, that task automatically becomes a subtask of task Y?
That would be incredibly useful for our team.

Hi @Giulia_Zamboni,

Alas, Flowsana doesn’t have that capability, and I’m not aware of any other automation tool that does, I’m afraid.

Now you can create unique task IDs and short URL links using Flowsana


Using Flowsana's If-Then Rules and Variable Substitution capability, you can now create unique short IDs and unique short URL links for your Asana tasks.

Short Id - creates a short numeric ID that is unique within the task’s workspace/organization.

Short Link - creates a short URL that is unique and where the last number in the URL is the Short Id of the task.

How do I create task Short Ids and/or Short Links?

You create Short Ids and Short Links for tasks in a project by creating a Flowsana rule where the Condition is When a task is newly created or When a task is a new form submission.

To create the Short Id or Short Link as part of the task’s name, use the Modify the task’s name to ______ rule action; to create it in a custom field, use the Set the task’s custom field ______ to ______ rule action. Most typically you will want to insert Short Ids in a task’s name, and add Short Links into a text-type custom field.

Because these parameters are part of Flowsana’s Variable Substitution capability, you can combine them with other characters or words. This is most useful when putting a Short Id into a task’s name, because it allows you to, for example, prepend an abbreviation for the project to the ID number.

Let’s look at an example of a rule creating Short Ids for tasks in a project. Say you have a project called Customer Work Orders, for which use use the abbreviation CW. You can create the following rule in that project:

If a task is newly created, modify its name to CW{task.ShortId}. {task.Name}

Subsequently adding a task named Update the style on the About Us web page to the project will cause Flowsana to set the task’s name to look like:

 CW412. Update the style on the About Us web page

For Short Links, you would most commonly want to have those added into a text-type custom field. An example of a rule that would accomplish that might look like this:

If a task is newly created, set its custom field Task Link to {task.ShortLink}

Notes:

  1. Because you only want these IDs and Links to be created when a task is first created and you don’t want them changing after that, the variables {task.ShortId} and {task.ShortLink} will only work in rules where the condition is When a task is newly created or When a task is a new form submission.

  2. Normally IDs for a workspace/organization begin with the numeral 1. However, if you would like your IDs to begin with a different starting number, send a request to Flowsana support specifying your desired starting number, and we can set that starting number for you.

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When adding subtasks from a template, have your subtasks automatically set to the correct dates

Here’s the newest Flowsana enhancement: when using the “Add subtasks from a template” rule action, you can now optionally have Flowsana add start/due dates to the subtasks it adds!

To do this, set a date on the “subtask template” task, then set dates on subtasks that you wish to have dated, where the subtask dates reflect the appropriate relative spacing from the “subtask template” date. (We recommend you set dates far in the future so it’s clear that these are just “placeholder” dates.)

Then, when you create the task that triggers the “Add subtasks” rule (that is, the task under which the subtasks get added), set its actual due date. Flowsana will then populate the subtask dates appropriately, relative to this actual date.

For example, let’s say you have an employee onboarding template and have three subtasks that you want performed two weeks, one week, and one day prior to the onboarding deadline. Set your template like this:

If you then trigger the “Add subtasks” rule on a task that has a date of July 16, this will be the result:

In other words, Flowsana calculated the relative distance between each of the template subtasks and the parent “subtask template” task’s date; then it took the actual target date of July 16 and it set the date of each subtask to the same relative distance from July 16 - two weeks, one week, and one day.

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@Phil_Seeman I have a client who gets tasks via (Asana) forms that have (in form) a custom field dropdown with names, they want that when the task is created to add as a collaborator the person who is chosen in the dropdown, so example if Custom field name contains “Joe” add “Joe Allen” as a collaborator

is this a possibility?

Hi @Leiby_Markowitz,

Not currently - that is definitely on the Flowsana roadmap to add that feature. Question for you, though: how many options are there in your dropdown? I ask because you’d probably need to create a rule for each option.

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Hello, @Phil_Seeman

This is my first post and I don’t know if this is the correct place to ask. Is the auto-shift due date workflow available in list view? I am currently testing it out and sometimes it doesn’t shift the the dates.

Thank you

It is!

I’ve replied to your support ticket re. your testing results.

Hello Phil, I read on your post that you are working on rules for Subtasks. We absolutely need this feature. Any update?

Hi @Giorgos_Noulikas!

Not yet, sorry. It’s not ready for release yet, not sure when we’ll be able to do that.

I can’t believe I’m just seeing this now. Great work, @Phil_Seeman!

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Thanks very much, @Marquis_Murray!

More good stuff coming soon! :slight_smile:

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Announcing some new enhancements to Flowsana; these new features are available now!

Automate your subtasks

When creating a new workflow, you now have the option of selecting to include subtasks in that workflow! These subtasks do not have to be attached to the project to be included in the workflow automation, as was previously the case.

This option is available via a new checkbox you’ll see when you create a workflow:
"Include subtasks" option\ 558xauto
For an Auto-Adjust workflow, this option means that you can set subtasks as dependent tasks and give them start/due dates, and those subtasks will have their dates adjusted just the same as Flowsana adjusts the dates of top-level tasks.

For a Dynamic Duration workflow, this means that you can set subtasks as dependent tasks and give them a Duration (and optionally a Lag Time and/or Assign To), and Flowsana will adjust those subtasks just the same as it adjusts top-level tasks.

For an If-Then Rule, setting this option means that the rule will be evaluated, and run if the trigger condition is met, for all subtasks in the project in addition to its top-level tasks.

Custom email notifications

Flowsana has a “Send an email notification” rule action. Previously, the content of the notification email was fixed; it indicated what change occurred that caused the rule to be triggered.

While this email format is still available as a default, you now have the ability to override it and specify your own email subject and/or body! Even better, you can use Flowsana’s variable substitution feature to further customize the email.

Here’s an example of what the new option looks like when creating a rule with the “Send email notification” action:
Custom email notification\ 588xauto

Powerful quick task entry

Previously, Flowsana’s Hashtag Automation workflow only operated on a task’s Description field. Now when you create a Hashtag Automation workflow, you have the option of having it operate on the task Name. Here’s what the new option looks like when you create a Hashtag Automation workflow:
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In addition, when it processes hashtags on the task Name, it strips out the hashtags after it processes them.

What all of this means is that Hashtag Automation is now a powerful way to quickly set various properties on a task simply by typing them at the end of the task’s name, without having to use the Asana web or mobile interface to separately set each property. Flowsana will set all of them and then will remove them from the task name, leaving it clean.

What can you set on a task using Hashtag Automation?

  • The due date
  • The assignee
  • The section it gets added to within the project
  • Any number of tags
  • Any number of additional projects

See the Hashtag Automation documentation to learn exactly how to use it.

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Anymore Phil and Asana will just buy Flowsana :wink:

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Excellent update, @Phil_Seeman–three really nice additional features there!!!

Thanks,

Larry

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We’ve added some more new features to Flowsana!

More flexible subtask options

Recently we introduced the ability to process subtasks along with your top-level tasks.

Now you have an additional option for a workflow to apply to only subtasks.

When you create a workflow, you’ll now see this set of options to choose from:
\ 564xauto
You can read more about this option here.


Insert dates into task fields

Flowsana has a feature called “variable substitution” that allows you to insert data from your tasks, sections, and projects into a task’s name and/or custom fields. (This feature also allows you to create unique short IDs and links for your tasks.)

We’ve expanded this feature to support various date fields. You can now insert any of these dates into your task names and custom fields:

  • Start date
  • Due date
  • Completion date
  • Creation date
  • The current date; i.e. today’s date

In addition, you can choose the format you want Flowsana to use: mm/dd/yyyy, dd/mm/yyyy, or yyyy/mm/dd. You can also set the delimiter character to use, so you can have dates like 12/23/2021, 04-12-2021 or 23.07.2021 - or no delimiter at all, like 20210519 which is good for sorting purposes.

You can read more about this capability here.


Insert information from parent tasks into subtask fields

Following on the heels of the date enhancements above, we’ve also expanded the “variable substitution” feature in another way: you can now insert any field from a subtask’s parent task.

For example, whereas using a variable substitution of {task.Request Stage} will insert the value of the “Request Stage” custom field from the current task, using a variable substitution of {parent.Request Stage} on a subtask will pull the value of the “Request Stage” custom field from its parent task.

You can read more about this capability here.


Expanded information in your workflows list

The Flowsana web portal displays a list of all of your existing workflows.

Previously, while it displayed some information, like the details of your If-Then Rules, it did not display other information; for example, once you created a Forms Support workflow, there was no way to see the settings of that workflow.

We’ve expanded the descriptions available in the workflows list, so you can now see ALL of the settings and options that you’ve defined for ALL of your workflows.

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Great set of additions…as usual, @Phil_Seeman. Bravo!!

–Larry

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@Phil_Seeman Is it possible to create a rule based on a multi-select custom field type using Flowsana? This is related to the thread started here: Create rule/automation upon custom field selection to add to another project