Force offline sync

offline

#1

When I use Asana offline I seem to have a lot of my projects and tasks but not all. And the projects I seem to want to work on when on a flight are the ones that don’t sync.

Short question: Is there a way to force sync all before getting on a flight so that I’ve got everything.


#2

Only recently viewed projects are synced. If there’s a project you know you’ll need offline, you can create a repeating task in the project or in My Tasks to remind yourself to look at the project.

It would be nice to have more options in the mobile app to define what gets synced, although I’m guessing it could be problematic to keep everything synced all the time given how much data that might involve for large organizations.


#3

Thanks Craig. That explains a lot. Alas, plane time is often the only time I get to look at stalled projects, so I’ll need to do manual interventions.

I’m surprised though - I would have thought the data set was tiny compared to most offline apps eve for extensive users. I used to use Hill88 and the sync was small.

Any idea on the definition of recent? Recently viewed? Updated? 1 week?

Thanks


#4

I’m not sure about how long ago “recent” is – maybe @Alexis or @Kaitie could track that down.

As for data, I’m guessing the issue isn’t the bandwidth itself as much as the processing. Every time you click on a project or task on desktop or mobile, Asana looks up the pertinent data and delivers it to your device. None of the other projects or tasks have to be looked up or delivered. So in order for every user’s mobile device to be in sync with a cloud service, pretty much the whole cloud has to be processed and sent out constantly. Depending on what the sync interval is, this could be a pretty significant undertaking. Including attachments would be even more complicated. It’s doable, but I can imagine why Asana may have decided not to bulk up their servers and bandwidth to do it.

Google Drive lets you sync individual files offline with an affirmative switch for each file. Perhaps Asana could provide the option to keep a given project synced offline.


#5

Thanks Craig

I don’t use the attachments side of things – I agree with you that could get big, particularly if its syncing all the time.

What I’m used to in native iOS apps (calendar, mail, contacts etc) is if you drag down you can do a forced fetch/sync – in other words everything syncs normally per the user’s push / fetch cycles, but if you’re just about to board a plane or the cache doesn’t look up to date you can force a refresh and you’re good to go. I do this on Hill88 as a workaround but would like to go Asana native and stay in their environment.

Cheers


#6

Hi folks! Unfortunately we’re not able to provide as much specificity as you may be looking for, but I do think these two posts will help:

^^ thanks again for your suggestions, @Craig_Fifer!


#7

Wow, For me it means Asana is not at minimum viable product stage for offline use.

I’m pretty surprised at this given all the fanfare that Asana made about the product being ready for offline use.

And then to let users have to discover limitations and build workarounds is just poor. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

T


#8

I hope I’m not hijacking this thread but I had my first experience with offline sync last night that I wanted to share too.

I added a new task in Android and made a tag change and tasks owner etc and put my phone down. Later I noticed down the bottom of the screen is said something like “3 offline sync changes pending”. I thought, okay cool, it will sync shortly but it didn’t and each change popped up with an error timeout saying it failed.

My problem is, those changes are now gone on the phone (I can’t find them anyway) and have not synced to the server and it appears the new task has just vanished. Offline sync might work when it detects no data connection, but it seems that when there are server issues the sync doesn’t retry later, it just fails. At least that was my experience.

Intuitively i wanted to tap the message about the pending sync, but nothing happened, no option to force an upload or take me to trust.asana.com (which I eventually learned about after googling “is asana working” lol) where I discovered there were big service problems at that time.

Fortunately I remember what the task was and can recreate it, but if I have made lots of fine-grained changes or brain dumped something important, this would have made me very angry to lose all those changes.


#9

We found out the hard way, not with asana though, that offline activities mess up projects. The bigger the teams and the more tasks are to handle, the bigger the trouble that occurs. Therefore my whish: if you go any further with offline syncing, please make it an option that we can turn it off globally, thanks.


Tasks created offline disappear
#10

Thanks for sharing your experiences, @Marty_Potter and @Stefan_Neumann. I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties with offline sync! This feedback will be helpful for our product team to hear, so we appreciate you providing so much detail.


#11

Have to agree with Todd.
The whole idea of viewing tasks offline (even if its without the attachments) would make it easier to get organized when you have spare time, especially when you are on a flight.
The same is available on Evernote where all your ideas/brainstorming notes etc are available to view. And when you have the spare time, that is when you sit an organize it into tasks/projects etc.
the fact that only recently viewed once are available makes it hard, because normally those small notes/projects you have written months back (and lost somewhere) are what you would want to organize.


#12

Seems this issue remains unresolved. I’ve finally had a few minutes to update a stack of tasks on my phone and I get the same pending sync issue. This thread is a year old and no progress. Anyone at @Asana looking at the reduced functionality issues on your Android app? This is incredibly disappointing. If it was free software, fair enough. This simply isn’t good enough for a app that’s all about productivity.


#13

For anyone reading this rapidly needing a quick fix, I power cycled my phone and that seems to have triggered a force sync.


#14

Disappointed to report the only thing a power cycle did was hide the sync pending message until you dig back down into the task. Sorry to report that this is a total failure and now I have to boot up a PC as the app is a total failure for remote work and now I have to do it all again.

If you see sync pending, your team won’t get your updates. That is the long and the short of it. Total and utter failure on this Asana. You’ve tripled my handling time.