Build custom integrations

Asana was designed to be simple and flexible, but powerful enough for any team and its workflows. For teams wanting to track even more, and track different kinds of work, you can look into building custom integrations using the Asana API. In fact, that’s how a lot of our current integrations came to be!

Why build a custom integration?

Whether you’re a graphic designer or a product engineer, you can benefit from a custom integration (even if you’re not the one building it). Custom integrations are a way to further tailor your Asana experience to incorporate even more workflows and data, automate processes, and build different functionality.

Custom integrations allow you to:

  • Integrate with indispensable tools—For example, if your sales team works out of a separate CRM, you can seamlessly communicate between Asana and the CRM without disrupting data or migrating it.
  • Transition teammates more easily into Asana—Integrations make it clear how information and work translate into Asana, while relying on the familiarity of a tool they’re using.
  • Work with other teams not yet in Asana—If your entire organization isn’t on board yet, that doesn’t mean their work and data is lost to you. You can connect to their tools and databases. It might even help them see the value of Asana for their own team!
  • Build different functionality—We’ve built Asana as it is for clear reasons, but you have the freedom to add features to it that fit your needs. You don’t have to be limited by Asana not having X feature—you can build it!
  • Drive the value of Asana further—If you need more buy-in with decision makers or executives, custom integrations can demonstrate the value of Asana once it’s “out of the box,” to make it a tool refined for your entire organization. You can use the API for custom reporting, too.

Building a custom integration

Custom Asana integrations are based on three different operations:

  • Getting data into Asana from other apps—this is useful if the data represents something you will continue to work on (e.g., webforms, leads, alerts).
  • Getting data out of Asana into other apps—you can use this for things like generating reports.
  • Bi-directional data flows between Asana and another app—you can integrate a workflow with another app, and set triggers between them. For example, you can trigger a new task creation based on work in another app, then mark the task complete in Asana when done.

Getting started with integrations

While there isn’t a uniform way to create your integration, there are a few set-up steps and considerations to help you get started:

  • Authenticate your access to the API in one of two ways:
    1. Register an OAuth application. You can do this in the Apps tab of My Profile Settings in Asana. This allows other Asana users to permit your app to access their data in Asana on their behalf.
    2. Create a personal access token. This is for more personal use, like if you wanted to back up all your own data. Any actions you take will be performed by your user.
  • Consult our API reference to read the documentation and play around with the explorer to see what the possibilities are.
  • Choose your programming language and check out our client libraries for pre-built code that you can start working with.

Once you’re up and running, you can begin “talking” to Asana’s API and playing around.

For more in-depth information, instructions, and documentation, check out our developers page. If you have further questions, you can also visit our Stack Overflow page.

Examples

While your own uses might vary, here are a few examples to demonstrate how others have created their own custom integrations, and what they were able to achieve.

  • Turn user actions from one app into Asana tasks.
  • Turn Asana tasks into actions in another app.
  • Create Asana tasks without leaving an app.
  • Display Asana tasks in another app.

From here, you can really start to leverage the power of Asana and build these simple actions into entire workflows.

Asana as an applicant tracking system (ATS)

Here at Asana, we’ve built custom integrations for many teams. Our recruiting team uses Asana as a full ATS. Asana pulls data from a separate database to get applicant information into a task. From here, the entire interview workflow is automatically built out from a template. It can even add specific recruiters and interviewers as followers on private interview tasks. We also use the integration to send applicant challenge emails and webforms to fill out. Recruiters can focus on screening and scouting, with all the information they need at their fingertips.

### Creating a custom feature

Currently, Asana doesn’t have a feature that makes Gantt charts—but that didn’t stop Daniel Guajardo Kushner of Instagantt from creating a custom integration. Asana data feeds into the Instagantt interface to allow you to build Gantt charts with existing Asana project and task data. From here, you can build timelines, visualize projects differently, and specify relationships and dependencies between projects and tasks. You can also create new projects and tasks in Instagantt that be in Asana upon your next login. The seamless communication means seeing information in a new way, without moving or rebuilding it.

Whether you’re an individual contributor who benefits from creating an Asana task in a separate program or a project manager plugging data into Asana for precise reporting and planning, custom integrations can take your Asana experience to the next level for even deeper clarity into work and simpler collaboration.

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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons

Tasks

Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes

Projects

Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes

Inbox

Inbox Lessons

Communicate even faster

3 Minutes

You can use tasks to track, collaborate on, and organize all your work.

Tasks can be to-dos, ideas, notes, or reminders.

Assign a task to yourself or a teammate.

Press Tab+M to quickly assign a task to yourself.

Add a due date so your deadline is clear.

Add instructions and expectations in the task description field.

Type @ to link to other tasks, people, conversations, or projects.

When you @mention someone, they’ll be added to your task as a follower.

Followers get notified when new comments or attachments are added.

Add anyone who needs to stay up to date on your task as a follower.

They can always unfollow to stop getting notifications on your task.

Add comments to ask questions or give followers updates.

Heart a comment to let followers know you’ve seen it.

Add relevant files or irrelevant GIFs as attachments.

You can also attach directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

Create subtasks to break your task into smaller steps.

When you’ve added a subtask, press enter to add another.

Subtasks can contain all the same details as regular tasks.

Click the comment bubble to add comments or attachments to a subtask.

You can create tasks from any screen using your top bar.

Every Task has a unique URL to easily copy and share.

Congrats! Looks like you’re up to the task.

On to the next lesson!

Always know what to do next with My Tasks.

My Tasks is a list of every task assigned to you.

It makes managing your work simple.

Click on your My Tasks list and start typing to add tasks.

Like a text document, add a new line for each new task or paste in any list.

Forward to x@mail.asana.com to turn your emails into tasks

Asana will translate your email into a task, including your attachments.

New tasks will appear at the top of your list in New Tasks.

Tasks you add to My Tasks are private to you.

Click Make Public to share them with your team.

Prioritize tasks as Today, Upcoming, or Later.

Click on the blue dot next to the task, to quickly sort it.

Mark the tasks you’ll have time for Today.

Teammates can view your My Tasks list to see what you’re up to.

They’ll only see tasks you’ve made public or shared in a project (more on projects later).

Mark tasks due within a week as Upcoming so you can see what will be due soon.

On its due date, your task will move from Upcoming to Today.

Just like magic.

Mark tasks due in more than a week for Later.

They’ll be out of your way until their due date approaches.

Your tasks will move from Later to Upcoming a week before they’re due.

Keep My Tasks prioritized to always know what to work on and what’s coming next.

Now you know how to track and plan your work!

Next, learn how to work with your team in Asana.

Work together on groups of tasks with projects.

Projects help you track and organize the steps in a process or initiative.

Like an event plan, product launch, or editorial calendar.

Like My Tasks, simply click and type to add tasks to your project.

If you have your steps in a document or email already, paste in that list.

Add tasks to your project from email.

View your project’s unique email address from the project dropdown menu.

Add your tasks to other related projects.

Tasks can be included in multiple projects.

Add sections to organize tasks in a list project.

Type : at the end of any task title to make it a section.

Or, add columns to organize tasks in a boards project.

Drag and drop tasks between or within columns to reorder.

Assign your tasks and set due dates.

Never miss a deadline with your project calendar.

Drag and drop tasks on your calendar to change their due dates.

Add everyone who needs to stay updated on your project as members.

Project members will get notified of new conversations, statuses, and tasks.

Post conversations to make announcements or start discussions.

Your post will be sent to all project members.

Use Progress to see how your project is moving forward.

Set a project status to update your team on how it’s going.

The Project Owner will be reminded to set a status once a week.

Open and organize projects from your sidebar.

Favorite projects to pin them to the top of your sidebar.

Click the star button on the left of your project name to favorite it.

Create new projects from any screen using your top bar.

Now you can move projects forward with your team.

Just one more lesson before you dive in.

Communicate and coordinate faster with Inbox.

Check Inbox to quickly read and respond to your latest updates.

Inbox will notify you when you have a task due…

and when teammates update tasks, conversations, and projects you follow.

Open and respond to updates without leaving Inbox.

Click an update and you’ll have all the context you need to respond.

Archive updates you’re ready to dismiss.

Click the X that appears on the right of an update to archive it.

Open Archive to move dismissed updates back to your Inbox.

Click the arrow that appears on the right of an archived update to move it back to Inbox.

Unfollow tasks or projects to stop receiving updates about them.

In the end, you have control over the updates you receive (or choose not to receive)

When you’re ready, you can turn Asana’s Email notifications off.

Most communication with your team can be more easily managed from Inbox. Just remember to check it often.

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to have a great work day with Asana.