Templates and linked tasks



Howdy asanaers!

I use a lot of templates and I like to link tasks in descriptions in order to make my life simpler.

Now, one of the things that I cannot do (r do not know how to do), is to link subtasks in one of the description (for example) and see that those link are moved to the copies/duplicated task’s subtask.

For example I have a task

  • [template]taskname - that in the description has a link to the @[template]subtaskname

If I duplicate my template (let’s call it “Copy of [template]taskname”), the link in the new task will still go to the subtask in [template]taskname

Is there any way to define a link as “relative” or “absolute”?
Is there anyone else who uses templates in this way and feel this to be a limitation?



This is super insightful, and yes, I do use templates in this way also. I usually go in and manually add in the new link to the subtasks as part of building out the new project once it’s been copied from the template. I definitely understand the time savings and helpfulness of your suggestion.

In order to pass this along to the team, it would be great to learn more about a specific process you use this for and the level of friction this causes for you now. Let me know, and we’ll be sure to surface this for development discussions. Thanks!


Hi @Kaitie

Thanks for your reply.
I use the “Copy Task…” a lot, and some times I have the need to add a link from a subtask to another subtask of the same task.

Take this example:

  • template task
    • template subtask 1
    • template subtask 2

Now, I want to add a link from “template subtask 1” to “template subtask 2”. I just use the “@” in the description

When I duplicate the “template task” into “copied task” I find that
copied task > template subtask 1
contains a link to
template task > template subtask 2

It would be amazing that if I create a link to one of the subtask or from a subtask to another subtask, duplicating the task, it would update the link as well.

Now, I understand why this is not smart to do straight away, I would just love a way to tell asana “Link to this subtask, but if I duplicate it, make sure to update the link”…

Not sure it makes much sense in the way I described it…



I second this request 100%!! :slight_smile:


Also, another super thing would be to have the possibility to prepare the dependencies in the template and have them active when you copy the task.
Task T has subtasks S1 and S2. S2 depends on S1

If I duplicate the template, it would be ace if the new subtasks would maintain the dependencies (but not on the template subtask, to the copy subtask)!!!


Thanks for this detail and for the thorough examples! We’ve recorded this feedback.


I am using my tasks as templates basically. I’m using Asana to manage editorial content (for a BOOK, not a website), and there are multiple stages of the pipeline, with each having a ‘checklist’ or ‘things to consider.’ Not all of the items in the checklist need to be checked off, but they still need to be considered, and I didn’t want to have to redo the list for over 100 pieces of content! Dragging each task by hand was insanity. (because it resulted in me needing to copy each tasks again for dragging into next piece).

I learned on YT how to create my own template:

Essentially you need to bury the checklist ONE LAYER DEEP into the task. There is still the tedious process of copying the task, but it will retain the description by the way, and copying one task with all of right pieces is better than copy 2 or 3 dozen subtasks.

What I THEN do – for my own purposes – is merge that checklist with the piece of content as it comes in. I merge the copy of the template with the content task. This retains ONLY the full checklist from the template, which is all that I need. The merge results in checklist being added to a content-specific task (with all of its attending description, comments, custom fields, etc.). KEY THING however: the merged checklist template will be marked “COMPLETE” so if you are doing any reporting on completed work vs not completed work, this will throw off your numbers. Simply do a search on all completed tasks and delete the ones marked as merged ones.


Hi @hafidha
The issue at hand is a bit deeper. If one of my subtasks has a link to another subtasks, when I duplicate the task, the subtask refers to the template subtasks, not the copy one


I’m sorry for the confusion–I put my comment on the wrong post! (I had two Asana community tabs open). As for the linking – I don’t know. I understand your concern. I have never used this method of linking to another subtask myself.

Off the top of my hand, the difficulty in something like what you’re asking for is that when a copy of a (template) task is being made, the links you would like to be updated (to link to something else) do not exist yet. I’m not a programmer, so maybe there is a work around. I think it’s a good idea, I just don’t know how you can point a reference to something that is not yet there.

Hmm. Maybe there could be a “fix/update” button – to be used as necessary, AFTER a copy was made, in which all links could then be revised?


Did this issue ever get resolved? I would love to have this functionality in Asana as well, for different tasks within a project.


Hmm, I don’t know - I know that using the custom templates works well with dependencies, but that’s not quite what this is. Let me test it.

edit - nope it still links to the referenced task in the project. Honestly I think I prefer it that way, given how I use reference tasks and templates. I’m happy dependencies are relative though.