Merge Duplicate tasks - including custom fields and comments

I have a situation where we create tasks related to each partner we are recruiting - that task gets assigned some fields, like did they participate last year, what level are we recruiting them at, etc - and houses any comments made on that task which would be a paper trail for our recruiting efforts.
We then send a form to said partner. The answers to the form end up being linked to custom fields that tell us pertinent information relating to how they want to partner with us.
As of now, when that partner fills out the form, we have to manually merge the original task and the newly formed task in response to the form by updating the original task with the new custom fields and copy over the form resposne.
My hope was that I could use the “Merge duplicate tasks” tool, but I found that no matter which way I merge, I lose information from one of the tasks - fields, comments, etc.

Is anyone familiar with a workaround here that would allow me to automate this process of merging the two tasks and maintaining comments and custom fields and/or at least take some of the manual work out of it?

This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except we have to go through this process for 40+ partners every year and imagine there has to be an easier way.

Any thoughts much appreciated :pray:

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Hi @Chandler_Ferguson Agreed, the merge is not a full merge but should be.

perhaps adding the task as a subtask to the other task? I need to try this out myself.

Hmm adding as a subtask does make the form response more readily available but the parent task still doesn’t assume the custom fields. Could be a workaround. However I wonder with all of the cumulative clicks over time I would have to make to open it up and refer to it, I might as well go through the steps of manually updating the custom fields on the parent task and copy over the form response?

Agreed.

I would also add the issue to the defects list. Bugs - Asana Community Forum

I’ve never done that before. You just mean go through the process to report a bug? Thanks!

I would as the intended outcome is incomplete.

I have had a similar issue happen where I merged tasks that were the same, but I lost comments and the thread when I merged the tasks and now I can’t find them. Is this something that there has been an updated answer to? I need those comments and questions back. Thanks

When you merge tasks the duplicate task is marked as complete. If you change the filter to show all tasks you’ll be able to see the duplicate task that disappeared.

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I did this, and was informed that it wasn’t a bug because it operates as intended. Not complete in my opinion at all, as “merging” implies you are taking two entities and combining them. What they actually have is the ability to close a task in favour of another one, and note an update on the other task that they did that. (not the desired effect).

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Agreed, as it stands the merge function really isn’t useful. Please update this, Asana team!

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I’d absolutely agree - all it’s doing is completing it and linking it in the description. A merge ought to actually merge - i.e. copy all the description and comments in to the master task so that the are “merged”. Currently it’s just a glorified tag - kinda useful, but not what I want when I want to merge tasks.
So I’m left with a REALLY painful manual process to get all the comments to merge when I find two people have been working on the same thing but in different tasks (or worse, the same person!)
I think this wants to be a feature option - TRULY merge tasks

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One more vote in favor, although 2+ years later, my guess is we’ll all retire before this rises up the priority list.

Without reiterating all above comments which are correct: “merge” is misleading because it doesn’t. It should be called “grey it out and label it a dupe and connect it to another task” Merging would, among other things, entail feathering all comments in amongst the existing comments by date so that all of that dialog is not hidden.

Yes, making it a subtask is possible and you can “merge” a subtask with its parent task, so the former is grey and marked as a dupe and is nested under the main task where you can easily see it and find past comments. Among the options available now, this is probably the least worst.

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Chiming in here with the same issue. Can’t merge my custom fields. My workflow is as follows:

  1. Information added via Form 1.

  2. If certain criteria are met, user changes a Custom Field which triggers a subtask to fill out Form 2, which contains paragraph responses and a whole new set of Custom Fields.

  3. In a perfect world, when Form 2 is submitted, it goes in a different section and user merges it with Form 1 so that the paragraph answers and all Custom Fields are populated and the task can be marked complete.

I could get the user to fill up Form 2 AND the relevant Custom Fields again, or have Form 2 only contain the paragraph responses and have them fill out the Custom Fields separately, but it’s unintuitive and honestly too easy to forget to do one or both…

If someone has a workaround for this, I’d really appreciate it.