Integrations which expand on Asana's rules?

Could anyone recommend any integrations which expand upon Asana’s built-in rules system? Although the rule system is nice, it leaves much to be desired when it comes to automation between multiple projects. In particular, I’m trying to solve the following issue (example use case):

  1. I have 2 projects; project A and project B; both are created using the same template, and have the same columns: column C and column D
  2. I create a task in project A, within column C, which the rule system then adds to project B, in column C; so far so good
  3. I move the newly created task in project A from column C to column D, and I want the task to also move to column D in project B, however this appears to be beyond the capabilities of the rule system (I have tried using the ‘add to another project’ action and checking for custom field changes, however neither approach changes the column after the initial replication).

Could anyone recommend any integrations which would provide a solution to the above issue?

@Beennn,

Maybe https://flowsana.net/ by @Phil_Seeman could help.

Or zapier.com possibly.

Larry

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Thanks @lpb

Looks like it might be possible with zapier, though a lot of work to setup - I was looking at flowsana, but their forum thread here went inactive in October, around the time Asana’s rule system was released.

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@Beennn, Flowsana is very active (Phil is on here daily!) with many new releases since October; there are many threads here. It will be far easier to set up than zapier for this, I believe.

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Hi @Beennn
Can definitely recommend Flowsana, works very well, as Larry mentioned very easy to setup.

I also have Zapier working between Asana and another app, which works well but it took a while. The biggest shortcoming with Zapier is it doesn’t deal with Custom Fields.

Jason…

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Hi @Beennn and welcome to the forum!

I don’t think you’re going to find any integrations involving Asana rules anytime soon, because (a) the whole feature is extremely new and (b) rules are not currently exposed via the Asana API.

Your particular use case is specifically problematic because columns (“sections” in terminology of the underlying model) are specific to each project. Even though you’ve duplicated projects A and B from the same template, that doesn’t matter - once the projects are created, Column C in Project A is a wholly distinct object from Column C in Project B - they have no relationship to one another. Because columns/sections are project-specific, I don’t think there will be a way to create the automation you want.

I spent a little time playing around with a few Asana rules ideas to try and come up with a workaround for you, but came up empty.

I then spent some time doing the same thing with Flowsana rules (as @lpb noted, I am the author of Flowsana). I thought I might have a Flowsana-based solution, using a custom field to tie together the two projects, but alas it only partially works. I can create a set of Flowsana rules such that if you move a task’s column in Project A, it will move it in Project B, but the reverse (moving it in Project B and having it move in Project A) will not work. I assume that would not be an acceptable solution because you can’t guarantee in which project a user will move the task; but if you are interested in that solution using Flowsana, let me know and I can supply more details as to the setup.

P.S. Flowsana is quite active - it’s true I haven’t released any big new features in a few months, but have been doing little tweaks, and am busy with support as well!

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Hi @Phil_Seeman, thanks for taking the time to see if this was feasible within your Flowsana service, and thanks @Jason_Woods for your recommendation - thank you too Ipb, unfortunately i’m only allowed to tag 2 people!

@Phil_Seeman unfortunately yeah - the hope was that we could have individual board projects per person, where they would only see tasks assigned to them; different columns representing priority order. Tasks would appear in their project when assigned to them via the project manager in a separate product project; if the project manager, or team member made a column change, this would be reflected in both the individuals project and product product, allowing easy delegation by the project manager, and clear viewing for the team member - at the moment our project manager’s have to manually follow column changes via task notifications, and manually update the column in the other project.

A good alternative would be for a filtering option where you can select ‘user can only see tasks assigned to them’, instead of it being explicit, and this to be enforceable on the admin end; for example, i could set the filter on a project to only show tasks for myself, then save it as default for everyone else; but then they’d see my projects, and not their own - we’ve tried this approach where we ask team members to set the filters themselves, but this then becomes an admin issue and an even bigger on-boarding issue, as it adds another step to getting up and running with Asana, and we have no way to control this on the admin end (or even see if people have set the correct filters).

Alternatively, we could move away from individuals having their own project, and have them work through their task list instead - but this doesn’t give the same amount of clarity as it’s hard to distinguish between projects (people might be working on multiple projects) and priority (if no timing is given, order is based on task creation date). From what we’ve seen, it’s more efficient for us to have someone (the project manager), manually update per-project column updates.

Although this works nicely for us, it does add a hefty time cost to the project management workflow - hearing your response, i think it’s clear we need to look at adopting an alternative workflow on Asana.

I was looking at trying out Flowsana before posting (had previously tried Zapier for another purpose), however from the thread i found, i was worried that Asana’s rule system had replaced your service (as the thread went quiet around the same time) - i’m glad to hear you’re still going and offer additional features and capabilities beyond Asana, I will definitely reconsider checking it out while we restructure things.

Many thanks,

Ben

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FYI here is a detailed comparison of Asana’s and Flowsana’s rule capabilities.

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