Using Rules to Auto-populate due dates based on due date of last task

I would like to create a workflow for our project template that we use to plan for attending trade shows. Basically what I would like to happen is this:

  • When a new project is created from the template, the creater sets the due date of task called “First day of event”
  • Once that due date is set for the First Day of Event task, I want all of the other tasks to auto-populate a due date based on that date (i.e. Register for event would be 60 days prior to the first day of the event, ship booth would be 7 days prior to the first day of the event, etc.).

On the Asana Blog post announcing the roll-out of the rules function it specifically calls out being able to use Rules for this type of thing New: Save time and steps with Automation - The Asana Blog

"Now when you create a custom template, such as for an event plan or campaign launch checklist, you can bake in a complete workback schedule to go with it. This way, when you set a due date for either the first or last project task, the rest of the task dates will populate automatically. "

I have tried a couple of different methods and nothing seems to work right. Can someone please help me do this or is this not possible with Asana Rules? Thanks in advanced for the help!


Hi @Matt_Dickinson and welcome to the forum!

I think perhaps the blog post was a little unclear.

The “Automation” that Asana is highlighting consists of a few different pieces. One of those is the new Rules piece. But that’s actually not what accomplishes what you’re looking for.

Another piece that they’re now grouping with the label of “Automation” is the “auto-shift” capability which has actually been around for some months now - it’s documented here, and allows you to have Asana adjust task dates when you are initially creating a project:

It will not do exactly what you’re asking for - it does not auto-populate based on relative time back from just an ending date as you describe. Rather, it requires that your template already have dates in it where those dates reflect the relative times between tasks. What the auto-shifting then does is adjust those dates once you enter a project end date as you’re creating a new project from the template.

Hopefully that’s clear, but let me know if you need clarification on anything.

If you want the ability to do what you’re asking for - plug in not calendar dates in the template but true relative dates - you can do that with my Flowsana integration :grinning:. It has a Dynamic Duration workflow type which will do just what you’re after. (It also auto-updates dates appropriately as things change over time, which the Asana “auto-shift” does not - it populates just at project creation time.)



Thank you so much for solving this for me! Using the Date Shift feature is exactly what I needed. I’ll have to look into Flowsana and see if it is something we would use but for now thank you very much for your help!