Importing tasks: start date cannot be same as end date

I am trying to import bulk tasks via CSV, including historic tasks. I’d like to use this to generate reports which show number of tasks started or ended in a given month. However, if a task start date matches the end date, there is a problem with the import. I’m able to set the end date as a Due Date field, but I cannot set start date as a Start Date field. If there is even one task in the CSV with matching start and end dates, no task start dates can be imported and set as dates.

Hi @Sama_P, welcome to the Asana Community Forum :wave:

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback!

While this feature isn’t available at this time, hopefully it’s something our Product team can implement in the future.

I’ll keep you posted and let you know if we have any updates :slight_smile:

So the workaround would be to use a formula to detect and correct these rows on the CSV side.

That’s really weird I did exactly this yesterday and it worked great. When you are in “Make changes” mode, and when you try to select “Start date” you can put your mouse over the disabled option and Asana will tell you which row has issue. I am guessing there is another issue. Can you check @Sama_P ?

Hi, thank you for your reply. When I put the cursor over the greyed-out Start Date field I saw the message “Start Date must occur before Due Date” and a summary of the number of rows with issues. Some of the rows with issues have no Due Date. Others have a Start Date the same as a Due Date. While setting a Due Date is standard practice, in this case we can’t set a Due Date for all tasks. It would be good if there was a way to set Due Date even if some tasks in the imported file don’t have one.

Thank you for this. The trouble with this approach is that it skews the data we can then see in the Dashboard. I.e. if we wanted to report on the number of tasks started in a given month/in the last few weeks and we had replaced some dates with an inaccurate date, we wouldn’t have an accurate picture of what has happened in that time period.

My guess is that you can’t have an empty Due Date, when you don’t have one you need to give it the Start Date. Can you try and report back to see if you have any missing issue?

In the rows which don’t have Due Date, there are start dates. All tasks in our import list have start dates. The trouble is, we can’t add Due Dates for all the tasks as not all of them have a set end date, and setting one arbitrarily would interfere with the accuracy of reporting data.

I tried to create a custom field but can’t see a ‘date’ field option. I had wondered if I could set up a custom field which takes a date but doesn’t have to be completed. This doesn’t seem possible

My point was that in Asana’s eyes, a single Start Date is not possible, in that case they call it a Due Date. But I understand it does not make sense in your case…

This field type does not exist yet, you need to use text…

OK - thanks for confirming this. It looks like we will have to use some excel formulae and try to find workarounds that don’t distort the data too much.

I have to say that I’m not sure what you mean by “a single Start Date is not possible, in that case they call it a Due Date”. I can see that a due date is needed before a start date can be set (start date can’t exist unless there is due date, but due date doesn’t depend on start date) - is this what you mean?

This is exactly what I mean. You can’t import just a start date, which is coherent with the interface where you can’t define a start date without a due date.

Thank you for confirming.