CSV Importer

Get started in Asana using your own data in an easy and fast way.

The CSV Importer will help you move your workflow out of spreadsheet software such as Excel or Smartsheet to Asana, so you can get started right away on any project. You can also import data from other work management tools.

Once imported, you’ll immediately see your rows as trackable tasks in a project and each columns as metadata about your tasks.

Before you get started: tips to organize the data in your spreadsheet

screen of spreadsheet with references for column names

CSV Importer allows you to get your data in Asana with no manual mapping. You can name the columns in your spreadsheet with the following labels to automatically map fields in your project:

  1. Name: use this column for the names of the tasks in your project
  2. Description: provide details and context for tasks using this column
  3. Assignee: assign one owner to each task by adding email addresses of valid Asana users from your workspace or organization. Tasks created in Asana can only be assigned to one teammate
  4. Follower: you can add up to one teammate as a follower on a task by adding email addresses of valid Asana users from your workspace or organization on a separate column
  5. Due Date: use the standard US date format of month/day/year to track the due dates of each task
  6. Start Date: add a separate column for start dates, an Asana Premium feature. If you are not on the premium version, the information in the start date column will appear in the description of your task
  7. Type: set “milestone” as a value to differentiate milestones from tasks in your project
  8. Section/Column: include the specific section or column of your project where each task should be placed. A new section will be created if no matching existing section are found
  9. Other information: additional column information will be listed from top to bottom in the task description field in the order of your columns

Always include a header row with column names so that the CSV Importer can recognize the type of data you are importing

Import subtasks to a project

screen of spreadsheet with references for mapping subtasks

To import subtasks via the CSV Importer:

  1. Create a new column in your spreadsheet called subtask of
  2. Fill in the subtask of column with the exact name of the parent task in the corresponding row. The parent task should be located above the current row in the CSV file. If there are non-unique names in your CSV, the closest row above with a matching name will be used

Set dependencies between tasks

screen of spreadsheet with references for setting dependencies

To specify dependencies via the CVS Importer:

  1. Create a new column in your spreadsheet called Dependents
  2. Fill the Dependents column to list tasks that are dependent on the current row

They should correspond to the dependent task names exactly. The dependent task should be located above the current row in the CSV file. If there are non-unique names in your CSV, the closest row above with a matching name will be used.

Import data as custom fields in your project

Additional columns can be mapped to custom fields to help you categorize and track priorities, project stage, team or estimated time, among other uses.

screen of spreadsheet with focus on columns for custom fields

Custom fields can either contain text, numbers or dropdown values. The columns with no matching names to specific Asana fields (like Name or Section, for example) will be mapped as Custom fields in the project.

The data in the CSV file can be mapped either to new custom fields or to existing ones in the project:

  • New custom fields will automatically be created for new projects imported from the Import spreadsheet option. Those new custom fields will be available only for that project, by default

  • New custom fields will automatically be created in existing projects by importing the CSV file to that project. That will happen when the column name does not match any existing custom fields within that project or in your organization. Those new custom fields will be available only for that project, by default

  • Data will be mapped to existing custom fields in a project or organization if the project was created first. You can use the existing custom fields in that project before importing the CSV file, or match the information in the CSV file to custom fields in your organization.

To map data from the CSV file to existing custom fields, make sure that the data in your columns matches your custom field options in the project or organization. If a cell has a spelling error or punctuation discrepancy, it will not import a custom field selection.

How to import a spreadsheet to Asana using the CSV Importer

There are three different ways to import the data from CSV file in Asana: when you create a new project from a team, when you use the quick add button and from the drop-down menu in an existing project.

Import spreadsheet from Create project for a team

screen of Import spreadsheet option inside Create project menu

To import a CSV file to create a new project from a team:

  1. On your side bar, click the plus icon next to the name of your team to display the options to Create project
  2. Select the Import spreadsheet option

Import spreadsheet from the Quick Add button

screen of Import spreadsheet option inside template modal

To import a CSV file to create a new project from the Quick Add button:

  1. Click the Quick Add button in the top right corner and select Project
  2. Once on the Choose a project template modal, click Import spreadsheet

Import spreadsheet from the dropdown menu in an existing project

screen of import csv option inside project menu

To import a CSV file to add task to a project:

  1. Select the project header dropdown menu next to your project’s name
  2. Hover over Import
  3. Choose CSV

Provide details, select a file and preview your project

Add details to your project

screen for Add project details modal

After selecting the option to import a spreadsheet or CSV, you will be directed to a modal where you will be able to specify information about your project, like the name or privacy settings:

  1. Use the Project name field to give a name to your project
  2. Select the team you wish to add the project to
  3. Set your project privacy settings by selecting between a project that is public to the entire team you have selected or just to specific project members
  4. Click on Select file to import to continue

Select a CSV file to import

screen for select a CSV to import modal

Once you have specified the name of the project, you will be able to select the file you wish to import.

Click on Select a CSV file to import to select a CSV file from your computer. You can also drag the file from your computer and drop it inside the modal.

Preview your project

screen for preview modal

You can preview how the project will look like and make changes if you need to before finishing the import of the CSV file:

  1. Click on Upload new CSV to get back to the previous screen and select a different CSV file
  2. Select the Make changes option if you prefer to edit the information that has been uploaded to your project from the CSV file
  3. Click Go to project if you are happy with how your project looks like

Making changes on how the data is mapped

You can make changes in the mapping of the data, the columns imported or the encoding before creating your project by selecting the Make changes option in the preview screen.

Make changes on mapping

screen for preview modal with focus on mapping changes

Click on the column headers to change the field you want to map to.

You can also make changes in the type of custom field. For example, if a column displays numeric values and the type of custom field was set to Number fields, you can change it to Text field.

Notice that the Name column for the tasks is not actionable for changes. To select a specific column in your CSV file to be the task name, make sure the first row of that column has “Name” as a value. The information in the CSV file is mapped on Asana using the names of the columns.

Ignore columns from the original CSV file

screen for preview modal with focus on menu from columns

You can click on the Ignore columns option to ignore columns with data you prefer not to import to your project.

Change the encoding

screen for preview modal with focus on encoding icon

If you are using a different CSV encoding format or a different locale, you can click on the character encoding icon to change the encoding to UTF-8, Windows, Macintosh or Shift JIS.

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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 Recently Assigned.

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 Tab+N 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.