Templates & due dates: having both "days before" and "days after" within the same project

Hi Asana Forum

Would it be possible that when creating a template, and selecting the due dates to kick in to have both the “days before” and “days after” feature within the same template? We are often in the situation, where we work towards an event, with a lot of tasks leading up to that event (where it makes sense to use the “before function”). However, after the first event, we evaluate and work on planning the next 10 events that belong within the same project. In this case, we manually have to add all the task due dates as these should be set to “after” and we can only select one of the two features within the same project.

Thank you,

Kind regards
Louise

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@Louise_Christensen

I have to imagine that this isn’t something that will be coming down the pipeline anytime soon. Working with clients this is one of their chief complaints in the different tools they are transitioning to Asana from. From a convenience standpoint I understand why this would be nice, some projects have an anchor date and tasks before that date/after that date depend on it.

I usually coach to create 2 separate templates for these instances and if they are really needed to be in one project combine them after they have populated. Another option is to know how many days after the event date the final date in the project is (ie. the last task in this project is due 15 days after the event) and make sure that information is in the project overview when the template is created so that when others copy the template it is used correctly each time.

I hope this helps a bit!

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This would be incredibly helpful for me as well. Two specific use cases at my company:

Example 1:
We are a record label that releases music. Every release has a project that comes from a template. The project due date and main milestone is the public release date. Prior to that release date, we have tasks like contracting, budgeting, and distribution. After the release date, we have marketing, press, and reviews.

There are tasks that span both the pre and post-release date steps as well, and there are dependencies connecting all of this, so they cannot be two separate projects. Right now what we have to do is leave all of the post-release date tasks without a date, and manually set them after project creation.

Example 2:
We have an events division, with the main due date and milestone being the event date. Planning, marketing, etc lead up to the event date. After the event date there is post-event tear down, wrap reports, post-event video editing, financial settlements, etc. Again there are connected dependencies here so having two projects doesn’t work.

In both of these cases, it would be helpful to have dates relative to a milestone, or even more simple, just allow the current PT2.0 templates to have negative reference dates to the project due date. Right now it allows for X amount of days before the due date. Why not allow for X amount of days after the due date as well? By simply allowing the reference date to be a negative number it would solve this.

4 Likes

Thank you @Ben_Brown_Bentley and @Christine_Bolton for adding your experiences here as well.

Ben, we are similar to your example 2, manually adding all due dates after the first event which is quite time-consuming. A primary part of my job is running workshops and we often run pilot versions of these before rolling them out to an organization. Both the pilot workshops and the following roll-out would not make sense to separate into different projects as tasks are dependent on each other and the pre-pilot context is needed when rolling out the workshops.

Kind regards
Louise

4 Likes

I am in crucial of this feature too and am shocked it’s not possible. My use case is that I want to create one template for a client web design project. There are tasks we need to complete before the project, based on the start date. Condensed Example:

Review client questionnaires: 60 days before start date
Assign project to team members: 45 days before
Finish Internal design: 20 days before start date
Start Date
Send client proof 1: 14 days after start date
Send client final proof: 30 days after start date

The start date is when I’m officially starting client due dates while the stuff before is prepping ahead of time. I used to be able to do this by assigning dates in the template and it would adjust but the new functionality really doesn’t work for this.

If the due date field could allow to select before or after start date for EACH task individually that would solve this.

Assuming this won’t happen, anyone have platforms that would do this easily for me without having to write code or do spreadsheet imports? This is a dealbreaker for me and I’m looking to switch from Asana.

1 Like

Would LOVE this. Also having the ability to base a subtask date off another. I’m in real estate. Example would be a task to send listing agreement to broker for review after the listing agreement has been signed. There are a good 4-5 tasks that happen once the listing agreement is signed. We don’t always know exactly when that agreement will be signed, but once it is, I could check that task, and the other tasks would be assigned to the correct person with the correct date automatically.

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I have a similar use case, where we create programming, and there are two major phases: Intake, Coordination, and Wrap up. I set up Intake as a project that is the container for multiple, budding projects. But there is some work that needs to happen before the ideas are ready to be coordinated. So I’ve made the penultimate section of the Intake project “Confirmed.” (The last section is “On Hold.”)

Using Workflows, I’ve set up a trigger so that when a task (idea/budding project) is moved to that section, it automatically converts into a project of its own using a template which I’ve set up with more automated workflows that populate the project with more complex tasks with due dates and assignments.

I had to upgrade to Premium or whatever the most expensive version of Asana is to get the full breadth of workflow trigger/action features.

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Another use case:

We’re a Marketing department of a non-profit.

We send regular mail appeals to our donor base, and often set up our template due date as the drop date of our mail campaign (the day the mail house deposits the physical mail at the post office sorting centre, and releases it into the world).

There are follow up tasks that happen after the mail is dropped, like following up with the mail house for paperwork, collecting clean data files for the next mailing, etc.

It would be nice to template those dates as after due date, rather than manually inserting them once the project is populated****

1 Like