Using Asana to field external requests


#1

I work in the marketing department for a small non-profit. The marketing department often receives requests from other departments in our organization. We would like to use Asana to help us manage those tasks. Is there a way for us to do that besides manually adding them to Asana? Only our department is using Asana at this point; the rest of the organization is not.


How to manage external tasks in asana
#2

Hey @Advocate,

You can create an email filter at your client, forward that messages to Asana and let Asana email bridge to create the tasks. Link below.

There are many ways to do that. For example:

  • you can create a mailing list that forwards the email to you and an email filter forwards these emails to asana (you will be the user that created the task)

  • you can create a filter on the email subject (i.e [Request] A new request) and forward these emails to asana

  • you can create a new bot user in asana for example (requests@marketing.acme.com) and forward the emails of this user to Asana. With this way, you will able to receive inbox notifications.

  • you can use Zapier.

Why don’t you try to bring all the organization in Asana? I know it’s really hard and needs time to onboard, but you will be rewarded at the end.


How to manage external tasks in asana
#3

@Advocate if this were me, I’d ask the people send the requests to send them directly to the Asana specific project email address. Each project comes with a unique email, so they can send them to this address and they automatically get added to the project. You can learn more about this feature here: https://asana.com/guide/help/email/email-to-asana

Please let me know if you have any more questions. If you’re interested in improving your use of Asana further or want to discuss team training, please feel free to book a free 30-minute introductory call with me to discuss consulting options.


#4

Hey @paulminors,

I think that that the email will be dropped from asana if the sender is not an Asana user with access in the specific team/project/organization.

Ps. Keep up the good work with the productivity posts and videos. I like them :slight_smile:


#5

@Diakoptis I would look into any number of forms generators that allow a PDF completed form to be sent to a project email address with you as the submitter but all information in the form… Then I would set up a project for submitted requests, use the project ID in forms manager forward, Then set up an In-process Project to change the Requests. Make necessay assignments and maintain until completed… I set this up as an IT ticketing system recently. Here is Asana documentation on how to impliment google forms just submitted by @Sara https://asana.com/guide/help/api/forms


#6

Correct, the project specific emails only work if they’re a member of the project or team that the project belongs to!

@Advocate, I would advise setting up a catch all email like marketing@yourorg where people send requests there, and you set up the auto forwarding like @Diakoptis recommended - sending them to a catch-all requests project that you or whomever have task creation notifications on for.

The only issue with this method is that there’s no back and forth via email the way there would be if you added them to the org, if you needed answers from them you would have to email or slack them etc. I believe there are solutions out there (3rd party), similar to Customer Support functions - where people use Asana for CS purposes. However if you’re looking to not add a 3rd party for reasons, then the forwarding would be the way to go IMO! =)


#7

@Caisha About this.

I believe there are solutions out there (3rd party), similar to Customer Support functions - where people use Asana for CS purposes. However if you’re looking to not add a 3rd party for reasons, then the forwarding would be the way to go IMO! =)

Do you know what 3rd parties? I’m really struggling to find a way to communicate about tasks with our external clients easily. yes we could jump on email but then there is no linkage to tasks, no way for others to review the thread. Its a major drawback in Asana, and so I am looking for 3rd party systems that can do it but failing. the Gmail Add-on, or Zapier, or IFTTT or Dossier, all are quite basic and do not provide a streamlined way to easily communicate with external clients on tasks.
Thanks


#8

I’m really struggling to do something that should be so simple.

We have development projects so have a team and customers in the project. Asana is good for that.

But we also provide support to all our customers on various things. Some are are free some a charged. MOST customers are not in an asana project. Their support requests are too small to warrant an asana account for them just for that.

Asana has the problem that it doesn’t allow just anyone to email into tasks. So we use a Helpdesk for email requests.

Our problem now is we have two systems to manage tasks. When you’re in one of them you don’t see the other so miss tasks and deadlines.

What’s needed is one system for all tasks no matter who or where they cane from. Then we can see all our workload and prioritise and organise.

We can’t forward emails from customers as tasks instead of the Helpdesk because it’s not “from” the customer so comments communication won’t work. So you have to communicate outside of Asana (Helpdesk).

Copying the task from the Helpdesk to Asana is just extra time and it’s in two places and open to mistakes. Two places to close a task. Two places that store data and assets.

Basically using two systems to manage tasks is ridiculous and makes us disorganised.

So how do others deal with requests from non-Asana users but ensuring their tasks are still in the main task system (asana) to have a proper overview of all tasks?

Thanks


#9

Hi @Laurence_Cope and thanks for sharing your feedback with us! Your question is very similar to Using Asana to field external requests so I’ve gone ahead and merged it with this main thread; hopefully you will find these workaround useful :slight_smile:


#10

Oh, so thats quite an old thread, are people going to see this?

Going to keep bumping it up, as I my original ticket was asking others for tips how they manage it, I am really struggling at the moment due to the lack of Asana features for this, and its extremely important to get this resolved.

I’ll update to what I am doing now…

So due to not being able to have customers email into Asana, we have to use a Helpdesk system. I have to use Zapier to create an Asana task when a new ticket is received. This goes into our “Support” project. We can then monitor the support project for external requests, then prioritise the task etc as per Asana tasks, and link back to the Helpdesk for communication.

But there are big drawbacks, I just cant see how to overcome them…

  1. Helpdesk costs us more than Asana! (I could use a shared Gmail account but its not good for assigning communications to staff and having notifications to that person when the customer replies)

  2. Its a separate system, we have to “Close” the communications as well as the Asana tasks

  3. The Zapier Zap does not pass the email body for some reason! So we cant show a task description, and have to link back to the Helpdesk

  4. Zapier zaps every 15 minutes, so we lost up to 15 minutes of response time.

  5. We lose even more, because we are not getting notifications of new tasks created in Asana, when added via Zapier, even though I have enabled new ticket notification for all staff - I contacted Asana some time ago to ask about this but alas, no reply :frowning:

So how else do other people overcome Asana’s block on external emails? Its hindering work as opposed to helping to honest!

Thanks