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 column as metadata about your tasks.
Before you get started: tips to organize the data in your spreadsheet
CSV Importer allows you to get your data into Asana with no manual mapping. You can name the columns in your spreadsheet with the following labels to automatically map fields in your project:
- Name: use this column for the names of the tasks in your project.
- Description: use this column to provide details and context within the task.
- Assignee: assign one owner to each task by adding the email address of an Asana user from your workspace or organization. Tasks created in Asana can only be assigned to one user.
- Collaborators: you can add several of your colleagues as collaborators on a task by adding email addresses of valid Asana users from your workspace or organization on a separate column. Take care to separate them with a comma and do not add any spaces in between.
- Due Date: use the standard US date format of month/day/year to track the due date of each task.
- Start Date: add a separate column for start dates, available with a paid subscription. If you do not have a paid subscription, the information in the start date column will appear in the description of your task.
- Type: set "Milestone” as a value to differentiate milestones from regular tasks in your project.
- Section/Column: a new section will be created once you manually move tasks into the desired section or column.
- Other information: additional column information will be listed from top to bottom in the task description field in the order of your columns.
If any column contains incorrect data, such as an email address in the Due Date column, none of the due dates will import correctly. A new text-based field will be created instead.
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
To import subtasks via the CSV Importer:
- Create a new column in your spreadsheet called Parent task
- Fill the Parent task 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
To specify dependencies via the CSV Importer:
- Create a new column in your spreadsheet called Dependents
- Fill the Dependents column to list tasks that the current row is blocked by
They should correspond to the dependent task names exactly. The dependent task should be located below the blocking task in the CSV file. In the example above, Planning Finished is dependent on both Kickoff meeting and Creative brainstorm. Since both tasks are blocking Planning Finished, Planning Finished is located below rows 2 and 3. If there are non-unique names in your CSV, the closest row above with a matching name will be used.
Importing data via CSV will not update any existing tasks in the project. Therefore, it will not be possible to create a dependency on any existing task by using the CSV importer.
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.
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 opportunities to import data from a CSV file into Asana:
- When creating a new project from a team
- When using the Quick Add button
- When using the drop-down menu in an existing project.
Importing data via CSV will not update any existing tasks in the project. The CSV importer can only add tasks to a project.
Create a project for a team by importing a spreadsheet
When creating a project via the Teams tab in the sidebar, hover over the team name and click Create project in the flyout.
Import spreadsheet from the Quick Add button
To import a CSV file to create a new project from the Quick Add button:
- Click the Quick Add button in the top right corner and select Project
- Once on the Choose a project template modal, click Import spreadsheet
Import spreadsheet from the drop-down menu in an existing project
To import a CSV file to add task to a project:
- Select the project header drop-down menu next to your project's name
- Hover over Import
- Choose CSV
Provide details, select a file and preview your project
Add details to your project
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:
- Use the Project name field to give a name to your project
- Select the team you wish to add the project to
- 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
- Click on Select file to import to continue
Select a CSV file to import
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
You can preview how the project will look, and make changes if you need to before finishing the import of the CSV file:
- Click on Upload new CSV to get back to the previous screen and select a different CSV file
- Select the Make changes option if you prefer to edit the information that has been uploaded to your project from the CSV file
- Click Go to project if you are happy with how your project looks
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 to data mapping
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
You can click on the Ignore columns option to ignore columns with data you prefer not to import to your project.
Change the encoding
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.
To get started, use the above as a template to create a spreadsheet and upload it to Asana.