How to create editorial calendar using Asana's proposed workback schedule practice

content-marketing
dependencies
workflow
timeline

#1

Hello –

I’m trying to understand how to use Asana to plan our content marketing calendar using the appealing notion of a workback schedule, as described in

https://blog.asana.com/2017/09/how-create-execute-editorial-calendar/
https://blog.asana.com/2017/10/how-plan-event-work-simple-steps/

I’m having trouble figuring out how to implement what I think is the very central notion behind a “workback” schedule: how far “back” does my “work” need to start in order to hit a given deadline.

That is, if I know that it takes us 12 steps to get a blog post release out, and I know roughly how long each step takes, then I should be able to ask “if the blog post needs to go live on April 15, how far back do we need to get started in order to hit that deadline”. This isn’t hugely complex – just additive reverse date calculation. Easy to do in Excel with some basic formula skills, and trivial in most other project management or “get a team of people to work together on a timeline to reach a deadline” tools. But I can’t figure out how to do it in Asana.

Is this really not possible? The guide at https://asana.com/guide/examples/marketing/event-planning suggests using heading to capture notions like “4 weeks ahead of time” and “2 weeks ahead of time”, but does that mean users need to manually do the date math to actually figure out what date “4 weeks ahead of time” corresponds to??

Hoping someone can help me figure out how to get this done automatically based on our project templates…

Thanks,

Ramon


#2

Hi Ramon,

Thanks for posting in the Asana Community!

We do not currently have the automation you mention built into Asana. We do need to do it manually. I myself tend to use the 4 weeks ahead, 2 weeks ahead, etc. sections in Asana - something I find rather useful with template tasks and projects. You might also explore custom fields as an easy way to mark timeline, however you would need to do it manually.

I think your best bet for automation would be to set up a trigger using Zapier or IFTTT. Have you explored these options yet?

Let us know if you have follow up questions :slight_smile:


#3

Hi Alexis –

Thanks for your reply. We did look at Zapier and IFTTT a bit but the general consensus is that this is “table stakes” for what we need to deliver template projects to our teams, and we don’t want to rely on wiring up 3rd party services to get the core functionality in place. I hope you’ll consider adding this in the near future, but for now we’ll have to pass.

Regards,

Ramon


#4

Hi Ramon,

We hope that Asana can still be a resource to you and your team. I encourage you to create a post in our #productfeedback category about what you feel you’re missing.

Thanks,
Alexis