📅 Relative project template dates (other than after start or before end)

We use Asana projects to run advertising campaigns from templates.

I :heart: that we can plan relative to date_project_start and date_project_end, but to us date_campaign_live and date_campaign_end are more important.

It would be really convenient if we could plan relative to (before, on, and after) these dates. For example to set deadlines for preparing to go live and financial administration the campaign ends.

We’d have Campaign Live and Campaign Ended as milestones on these dates, and plan other tasks relative to these dates.

Ideally creating a project from this template would trigger the user to define these dates.

The only current way I currently see to accomplish this is to split the project up in pre, live, and post projects. This seems to convoluted since we want to have an overview of each campaign in a single project.

Or am I missing something?

EDIT 2023-02-27: It appears I’ve misunderstood Asana’s current functionality.

Apparently (like @Debbie_Nafzger pointed out) it currently is one either after project start, or before project end.

It would make sense to me not to have to choose and to be able to use multiple dates. Just use negative numbers for days before, and positive numbers for days after.


We set tasks using the Project Launch Date since 75% of the tasks are related to that date, but we have residual tasks that are post launch that we would love if Asana could auto-populate as well. For instance, select the option as “Before Due Date” for tasks to auto-pop but then be able to override through task selection for “after due date” - currently, it’s all one way of the other.

I think the idea of the start and end dates is that there is no work before you start and after you stop a project, which I can understand, because that keeps the work cleanly inside the project scope.

(As in, preparing to launch is also part of the project)

If I’m guessing correctly that my suggestion would fix this for you then please don’t forget to vote it up. :wink:

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Many times, I have projects that have flexible lengths of time.

For example, I am performing a candidate search for a position I have posted. I may only post the position for 1 month or I may post the position for 3 months. I have tasks surrounding the beginning of the project and tasks surrounding the end of the project, but I don’t know those exact dates until I actually start the project.

It would be helpful to have a project template that allows for X days from start date AND X days from end date. Then, when I use the project template to start my candidate search, I can put in the start date and the end dates and all of my tasks and subtasks will have the due dates automatically populated.


Good point @Emily_Tacoma.

Perhaps [ ] maintain relative date would be an interesting option.

When a project date (start, end, or custom) gets updated, the set distance is maintained

This could be an interesting option besides dependencies, even outside templates.

Right now you’ll get a notification when blocked/blocking tasks get moved to consider “updating accordingly”, which - if you want to maintain the distance - entails:

  • checking what the due date was
  • checking what the new date is
  • calculating the difference
  • take non working days into account.
  • repeat for every relative planned task

When setting this up properly in a template, this entire exercise can be reduced to changing one of the project dates.

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Currently when creating templates, Due Dates can only be set from cascading after project start date or leading up to project Due Date. There are certain tasks that need to happen in the templates that I create during pre-launch but the launch date can sometimes fluctuate and therefore can’t be categorised as XX days after project start date and it’s also not the final project due date. Is it possible to have XX days after linked to Dependencies so that these dates are automated as soon as a Launch Day is confirmed?

Hi @Brett_Melvill-Smith1,

This is not currently available. I moved your post to a relevant topic where you can add your vote for it.

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Thank you

A workaround we’re currently using that might work for you is to set up all tasks with a relative (estimate) date and link them with dependencies. You can then later move them as a cluster to the correct date once it is known, using Dependency Management Options

This might be a bit convoluted and confusing since you’re not only setting a relative distance, but also claim that these tasks are interdependent. Then again, I think it’s the closest you can come to a solution with current Asana functionality.

Thank you, I’ll look into this too.

This would be incredibly helpful for our templates! Our company uses asana projects for multiple purposes but two huge projects we manage are event based projects AND hiring projects both of which have tasks that occur BEFORE the event date and AFTER the event date. It would be incredibly helpful for our team to be able to select the event date as the start date for the project and have tasks assigned prior and after that event date.

The same would be incredibly helpful for our hiring project. We would be able to set the project date to the hiring date and have tasks trigger before and after based on that date.

Right now our team has to work around and still manually assign tasks that are associated with hire date since the project creation time isn’t always consistent (sometimes we have people hired 3 weeks before start date, 2 weeks, 1 month, it varies and wold be helpful to use).

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This seems not possible and It is why my enterprise will not use Asana over the testing period.

It seems Asana is moving in the right direction to solve this. :slight_smile:


SO MUCH YES. Positive and negative days in project templates would be amazing!!

That should work since the last update.

Now I’m hoping for a next step, where we can plan on both sides of multiple dates.

Ideally we could name these dates ourselves, but if it’s project start AND project end it’d already be fantastic.