How to avoid subtasks from duplicating?

Whenever I duplicate a project or use a project as a template to create a similar project, all of my subtasks duplicate. The more times I use that template, the more duplicate subtasks I get. Can this be avoided? Our subtasks are vital for these projects, and being able to quickly duplicate them is even more vital as these are our main tasks for one of our core teams. Having to go through and delete the excess subtasks every time makes using Asana so inefficient. I’ve heard that subtasks are getting redone sometime though… do we just have to rely on that?

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Hi @Jonathan_Constant, I’m not sure to understand what is happening here. Could you please share more details/screenshots?

And yes, you’re completely right, we’re planning to update subtasks in the next couple of months.

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@Marie

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These two screenshots are from the same project. We’re trying to create a system where we keep track of international trips that one of our departments is in charge of coordinating. The best way for us to do this is to create a project for each trip that all have the same tasks/subtasks, because it’s the same process every time.

Somehow I need to make it so that I can either have a project template or be able to duplicate a project so that when a new trip is added, we do not have to add in all of the tasks again. We’ll need to change the names of the people and the due dates, but that’s relatively easy, especially with timeline view. However, I’ve tried to use this project as a template and I’ve tried to duplicate it. Both times it adds subtasks that shouldn’t be there. I should only have one of each subtask, instead of the 3 that I have. I had only one, and when I created a template from the project and used it to create a new project, another subtask was added. Then I tried duplicating the project and a third subtask was added. I’ve since deleted those projects that I created using those methods, but the subtasks transferred over like this as well. So each project had three of each subtask for multiple tasks.

For some reason, I do have two tasks in this same project with subtasks that did not duplicate like this. I have no idea why.

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Hey @Jonathan_Constant - we use proper project templates for these sorts of things. Check out this article: https://asana.com/guide/team/advanced/create-use-asana-templates

@Laura_Johnson I’m confused as to what you mean by a proper project template. We’ve essentially created a custom project template, following exactly what that article says to do to create one. Or do you mean that we should try to use an Asana-created template? I sort of doubt there’s one that truly fits our needs, but if there is one with a similar set-up we might be able to use it.

@Jonathan_Constant,

What you’ve experienced is definitely an Asana issue or behavioral oddity - it’s mentioned elsewhere here in the forum and I had it happen to one of my Flowsana customers recently. It’s currently being checked on within Asana and I’ll update this thread if I learn anything further about it.

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@Phil_Seeman I did see some old threads about this topic, but there wasn’t much in the way of solutions with them. We may just have to delay our implementation for this team if we cannot get this solved.

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Hi everyone, and thank you for the additional help and info!

I’ve escalated a task to our Product Team to understand a little bit more about this issue, and I found out this is already on their radar; in fact they’ve already considered different options to fix this issue. However, they want to make sure that modifications they make aren’t going to break other customers’ workflow so this will require some customer/UXR research and good amount of product + eng work. While I can’t promise when this will be fixed, rest ensured that we’re looking into this and that I will keep you posted on this thread as soon as I have an update.

In the meantime, here is a workaround you could consider for your workflow @Jonathan_Constant. What about getting rid of subtasks in your template and place them as tasks inside each section? You could use tags (or custom fields) to code your tasks? I know it is not ideal, but I hope this can help you until we come up with a better solution!

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@Marie Thank you for looking into this issue. I appreciate Asana’s work to fix it moving forward.

As far as your workaround suggestion, I’m not sure how to get it to work well for us. Right now this project is in board view, so replacing it with a list view and using sections in place of our columns is fine. However, I don’t know how to effectively use our subtasks as tasks without making a mess of everything. My only thought is to make what are currently tasks into custom fields, but I thought that there was a limit on how many of those we could have. Or can we now add more with the redesign of how they show up on list view?

I have 4 main tasks in this project. If those 4 can somehow be custom fields, maybe we could make that work for now. It just might get tricky with due dates because custom fields don’t really have due dates.

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Hi @Jonathan_Constant and thanks for the follow-up!

You can now add up to 20 custom fields to your project, so sounds like this is could work for you!

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Not sure if this is a similar issue but around 7 days ago (not sure if also related to when the new BOARD VIEW was put back in) but now all of my tasks have been duplicated / triplicated… There are copies of pretty much all of my tasks now - original one allocated to me / a copy that isn’t allocated to anyone / a copy that is just the task name but no content.

Is this an issue from the BOARD VIEW changes - where my SECTION headers also now duplicate as a task if it had information written / people allocated to being in charge of a section - as now you can’t allocate sections or close them / delete them - which is a backwards step in my opinion.

We’re experiencing the same issue. A subtask has duplicated eight times out of the blue. How do we resolve this issue?

Well I’m glad we aren’t alone in this! We just duplicated a template to use for a different aspect within our company and all the subtasks are duplicated not only in the original template, but also in the copy. Yikes! A fix for this would be fantastic.

Just following up to echo again what others have said, that utilizing a template produces the same glitch. We use subtasks across dozens of projects and want to be able to easily use a template without having to manually go in and delete the duplicates. This is a pretty big issue and we would love to see some movement on it if possible.

Asana Team,

This has been an issue for a year!? Are you going to fix this? This really damages your value as a task management software. This oversight makes projects much more cluttered and disorganized from a management perspective. It also renders your timeline useless when it comes to subtasks. We need subtasks to be nested under tasks and tagged to projects to be both organized and to be able to use the timeline function and manage resources effectively. My CEO is already considering canning your product because we aren’t getting the resource management benefits we hoped for. Please respond, if you are able, with a real timeline or status on remedying this situation.

Thank you,

-Max