Variables for project templates

I would love to see {variables} for project templates! This would allow for automated project creation. The key question here is what would populate those variables. If it were possible to have those variables be read by Zapier, than that question is solved. This would be a massive, massive time saver for our organization. Right now, we have many project templates for different uses, but the problem is that there is always a deep level of customization that has to happen to each template. If those variables could be populated by Zapier, then we could create 100% customized projects from the get-go, based off data in a Google Sheet or, even better, data from AirTable in our client database.

Curious to hear y’alls use cases if there were variables in templates!

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Hi @Joel_Lee,

Could you post some specific examples of what data you would populate from variables if you could?

Phil,

Sure. Just the kinds of things mentioned in the post (data from Google Sheets, or AirTable). More specifically, populating task names with the appropriate client’s name, having different tasks be assigned to the right people automatically (based off data in AirTable for example).

From a big picture standpoint, the goal is to cut down project creation/customization time. If we were to sell a new photo/video project for one of our clients, the first thing we do is create an Asana project. However, if variables existed, we could instantly create a project that is customized perfectly to that client, their name, the tasks they need in their project, and who gets assigned those tasks.

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@Joel_Lee my team would benefit from this functionality too. Have you found a workaround to achieve this level of automation yet?

No, I haven’t found a true workaround. However, you could at least do the following to help you whenever you create a project from a template:

In your Asana template, use placeholders inside parenthesis as a reminder of all the places in the generated template that you need to insert updated values. For example, here’s a task name: (Client) Onboard Facebook Ads. That task name visibly reminds me that I need to replace (Client) with something like… (ABC Roofing) Onboard Facebook Ads.

That’s actually exactly what we’re doing currently. If I find a better workaround I’ll let you know.

I would love this as well. I use a project template for our annual performance review process for the team. Basically three milestones/team member:

*set goals
*mid-year review
*end-year review

In each title, I would love to have the template change the fiscal year (FY) and the name of the individual using a variable in each milestone, task, and sub-task.

Right now, I create a new template from the last FY, and have to do the manual changes, which takes awhile for about 20 staff…

I would love to see this as well. Currently I put what would be a variable inside brackets so I see them at a glance and update them manually, but with many projects are nearing a hundred tasks and subtasks automating that would be such a time saver.

The Zapier/Airtable plugin is interesting, but even if we could just create variable during the template setup process, then update the variable during template use that would be huuuuge! Basically like the new ‘roles’ feature for templates.

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I decided to scratch my own itch, and created a tool that does this. I use it and it works very well for me. Try it out and if you like it let me know :slight_smile: https://varsana-app.netlify.app

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This sounds great!! The only issue is that they’re one time use…Are there any workarounds for this?

Not in the way it’s currently setup, not that I can think of anyway.

To understand, you would want to repeatedly update the same variable in the same task? I do wonder if my use of the term “one time use” in the FAQs is a little unclear, since you can use the same variable over and over again, across many different projects and/or at different times, but once you update a specific instance of it in a specific task, that one instance cannot be re-updated.

I also need this functionality in Project templates. We use Asana across the marketing department, and I work specifically with the Digital team to make web updates/post new pages.

If I could have a variable to include the Project name before the “Article Published / Live” task, this would enable us to view the new content on a calendar view and it actually make sense

Currently we just have a ton of “Article Published / Live” tasks in this calendar, which does not help give a quick birds’ eye view of new content available - only shows that we’re a busy group.

I have exactly the same need.

I have tasks like: handoff demo or UI handoff.

Right now I need to manually edit them to handoff demo: <project name> so that we can tell which is which in the sprint project and in workload report.