Rules

Rules are available for customers using Asana Premium. Certain features within Rules including,the custom rule builder, custom Rules with conditions, approval status changed trigger and add comment action are only available to Business and Enterprise customers.

Rules allow you to streamline routine tasks and establish workflows with ease. For a Rule to work, you need a trigger that activates the Rule and an action that is performed automatically. For example a Rule can be to automatically assign a task (action) when a due date is set (trigger).

A Rule cannot trigger another rule, however you can add multiple actions to one trigger to create similar functionality.

Creating a Rule

There are two ways to create a Rule for your project, selecting one from the Rules Gallery in your project or by creating your own Custom Rule.

Rules

Click on the Customize icon on your toolbar and then scroll down to Rules.

From the gallery of preset Rules, you can pick an option that already has the trigger and action set. You can then specify the parameters needed (like which column or which assignee).

Rules gallery

Create a Custom Rule

The Custom Rule Builder is available for all Business and Enterprise customers.

From the Custom Rule builder you have access to every combination of trigger and action.

Add rule

Click on the Customize icon on your toolbar and then scroll down to Rules on the sidebar:

  1. Select Add rule.

custom rule

From here, click Create custom rule.

custom rule tab

From the Add rule tab, you can:

  1. Choose a name for your Rule
  2. Choose a trigger(s)
  3. Choose an action(s)
  4. When you have selected your desired options, click Create rule.

Editing a Rule

Edit your Rules any time by navigating back to the project and selecting the Rule you want to update.

You can edit a Rule by clicking the pencil icon next to the Rule on your sidebar.

edit

Pausing a Rule

You can pause a Rule at any time by clicking the pencil icon next to the Rule on your sidebar

rule pause

Pause rule

Click the toggle icon to pause your Rule.

Deleting a Rule

You can delete a Rule at any time by clicking the pencil icon next to the Rule from your sidebar, and then clicking the Delete button.

rule delete

Section-based Rules

For Premium, Business and Enterprise users, the Rules icon will appear in sections (on List and Board view) that have Rules. Once the Rule triggers, the icon will become animated. Clicking the icon will open a Rules menu for that section, allowing users to add new Rules or edit existing ones.

You can edit a Rule by clicking the pencil icon that appears when you hover over it.

section based rule

Trigger combinations & multiple actions

Custom Rules with conditions, Approval status changed trigger, and Add comment action are available to Business and Enterprise customers only.**

You can also use trigger combinations, and/or conditional logic & multiple actions to automate routine tasks so your team doesn’t have to think about them.

multiple triggers & actions

It's now possible to add up to 20 different trigger combinations and select up to 5 different actions when creating a custom rule. While you can select the same trigger more than once when creating a custom rule, you can only use an action once.

rule in action

Once a task has been added to the project from list/board view, via form, email or another area of the product, the custom rule should take effect right away.

Additional Triggers & Actions

additional triggers

Using other trigger & actions:

  1. When the status of an approval changes, you can specify the action that happens as a result
  2. Create a comment that will post as Asana anytime a selected trigger happens

Due Date is Approaching Trigger

Enterprise and Business customers can create a Custom Rule in the Rules dialogue and find Due date is approaching in the list of triggers. You can choose from a couple of preset options, or click Custom for more options.

Due date is approaching 1

The Custom option allows you to specify how many minutes, hours, days or weeks before the due date the Rule should trigger.

Due date is approaching 2

Task is Overdue Trigger

Enterprise and Business customers can find the Task is Overdue trigger when creating a Custom Rule. You can choose from a few preset options or click Custom for more options.

Task is Overdue 1

With the Custom option you can specify the number of minutes, hours, days or weeks after the task becomes overdue for the Rule to trigger.

Task is Overdue 2

If you choose days or weeks when setting up your trigger, it will ignore due times and fire based on due dates only. However if you choose minutes or hours, it will respect due times.

A Few Notes on Due Date is Approaching and Task is Overdue Triggers

  • These triggers fire based on the moment a task becomes due or overdue, not simply because a task is due or overdue.
  • Both of these triggers will not retroactively fire upon rule creation for all of the existing tasks in the project that match their criteria. They will only fire for due events that happen after rule creation.
  • These triggers only fire for incomplete tasks.
  • Rules with day or week precision will not execute precisely at midnight. Rather, these Rules will execute in the window between midnight and 1 am.

Rule types and limitations

Regardless of whether the Rules are in a Premium or Business Project, the limit is 20 Rules per Project

Custom Rules

Triggers

  • You can add up to 20 triggers per custom rule.
  • You can select the trigger more than once

Multiple Actions

  • When one or more triggers happen, you can select up to 5 actions to happen as a result.
  • You can't add the same action more than once.

Column or Section based triggers

Column or Section based triggers are for Boards view projects or projects that have been updated to use the new, collapsible sections.

Custom Field Rules

Custom Field Rules are available on all projects with Custom Fields.

custom Rules

To unlock these Rules, you must first add a Custom Field to your project.

Triggering Rules

You can trigger a Rule from anywhere (web, mobile, external integrations). If you update something on a task, we check to see if that task is in any projects with Rules, and if your action is the trigger on any of those Rules.

Projects you don't have access to

You can trigger Rules on projects that you don’t have access to but the yellow lightning bolt icon will not be displayed, to indicate that a Rule is running.

Anyone can trigger a Rule, including Guests.

Permissions: A few considerations

  • Only the owner of a Rule can edit or delete a Rule.
  • If the Project Owner is a Limited Access Member, they cannot edit a rule, they can only pause or activate it.
  • You can only set up Rules on projects you have full edit access to. If you only have permission to comment on a project, your Rule will be paused. To re-activate, you must have full edit access to the project, then you can re-activate from the edit view.
  • You can only set Rules to operate on things you have access to. If you do not have access to a project, you cannot have a Rule that multi-homes tasks into that project.

Who can enable or disable a rule?

Any user with edit access to a Project in which a rule is running will be able to enable or disable a rule created by someone else.

enable Rules

Users with edit access are also the only ones that can view the change history.

A user with edit access can pause or activate a rule but only the owner can edit a rule's triggers and actions

The Owner is still the only person that can edit or delete a rule.

Deprovisioning

When you deprovision someone who has Rules, their Rule will be paused and ownership of any Rules on projects will be passed to the Project Owner.

If there is no Project Owner, ownership will be passed to the Admin who deprovisioned the user. Only the new owner of a Rule can re-activate the Rule to have it continue running.

Updates on misconfigured Rules

If your Rule becomes mis-configured (example: “Marked complete > Move to column “Done” and someone deletes your “Done” column), we will email the owner of the Rule to let them know to fix it.

  • We will email you the first time a Rule is triggered but cannot fire due to being misconfigured. We will not email you again until it has been corrected, and successfully run at least once before misconfiguring again.

  • Owners will also see a warning sign instead of a lightning bolt in the Rules menu in their project toolbar, as well as specific information on which Rule is broken and whether it’s the trigger or action that needs to be re-configured.

  • Once you update the Rule to a correct configuration and save the updates, those warnings will go away.

Integrations

With App Rules, users can match rule triggers with actions in another tool. (For example - when a task is complete, send a Slack message.)

Asana Rules can trigger the following actions within integrations:

  • Send a message in Slack
  • Send a message in MSFT
  • Create a new Jira issue (works for both Cloud and Server)

How to use triggers to send custom notifications or to create Jira issues

For an optimal experience, you should first add the app to the project via the "Customize" icon in your project toolbar, then click "Add app".

Navigate to the Add rule pop up:

add rule

From Add Rule:

  1. Name the rule
  2. Choose a channel
  3. Write the message or create new Jira issue
  4. Select the action in the integration 1. Click Create rule to make the rule active

When tasks are created from integrations (e.g. Slack, Gmail, Outlook) they can trigger any of the following triggers:

  1. Task added to project
  2. Task assigned
  3. Due date changed
  4. Task marked complete
  5. Custom Field changed
  6. Attachment added

For all of these triggers, the automation action will be applied to all tasks, not just tasks from integrations.

Forms

When tasks are created from Forms they can trigger any of the following triggers:

Task added to a project

This trigger will apply to all tasks being added to a project, not just from Forms.

Custom Field set

For each drop-down Custom Field in the project, you will see a trigger and an action. So if your project has Priority and Stage Custom Fields, you'll see "Priority set" and "Stage set" as triggers. You pick which value on that Custom Field you want to trigger a Rule.

Example: If you have a drop-down Custom Field on your Form for Type of Request, with the options “Blog” and “Website”, you can set a Rule on the project for “When ‘Type of Request’ is set to ‘Blog’ it will add that task to the ‘Blog requests’ project.”

This only works for drop-down Custom Fields on the project. Some Form's drop-downs are not Custom Fields.

Guest permissions

Guest cannot create or own Rules, but they can trigger Rules.

Pricing

Business and Enterprise customers:

The Custom Rule Builder is available for all Business and Enterprise customers.

A subset of Rules are available to Premium customers:

  • Move to column/section > Mark complete
  • Mark complete > Move to column/section
  • Custom Field changed > Move to column/section
  • Move to column/section > Set Custom Field
  • Custom Field changed > Mark Complete
  • Mark Complete > Set Custom Field

Inverse Actions for Rules

Business and Enterprise customers:

Inverse actions are a compliment to existing rules that now provide the option to reset or remove data. By providing the option of inverse actions for rules, we have created a more robust rule engine that better maps the structure, quality and efficiency of customer workflows.

Available Inverse Actions:

  • Unassign Task
  • Move Task to Another Project
  • Clear Due Date
  • Mark Task Incomplete
  • Remove Collaborators

inverse actions

Inverse action capabilities support the reassignment, resetting or movement of tasks from one project to another.

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