Notes and Tips on Using Rule Workflows

Notes and Tips on Using Rule Workflows

Most Conditions and Actions for Rules are self-explanatory. Here are a few notes on how to use specific Conditions and Actions, that might not be obvious.
In addition to these tips, note that you can use Flowana's variable substitution capability in rule conditions and actions; see Variable Substitution in Flowsana for details.


Starts or due...
When using any of the date-based rule conditions, you must properly set the My Time Zone field on the My Account page of your Flowsana portal. Flowsana needs to know your time zone in order for it to know exactly when “today”, “in 3 days”, etc. occurs for you.

Name contains the word or phrase...
You can use this condition to match a word or phrase (i.e. a set of consecutive words) anywhere in the name of a task. The comparison is not case-sensitive; i.e. it will match regardless of whether the word or phrase has any capitalization in it or not. Also, punctuation is ignored, so it will match regardless if you have quotation marks, exclamation points, etc.

Normally it will match on a whole word or phrase; that is, there must be a space if the word or phrase has other words around it. However, you can use * (the asterisk symbol) as a "wild card" indicator, to override this and match on partial words. Here are some examples of this:
Word entered for this condition: cat
Task name: Feed the cat and dog
Result: Match

Task name: Identify the catalyst for this equation
Result: No match

Task name: Pick up a housecat at the shelter
Result: No match

Word entered for this condition: cat*
Task name: Feed the cat and dog
Result: Match

Task name: Identify the catalyst for this equation
Result: Match

Task name: Pick up a housecat at the shelter
Result: No match

Word entered for this condition: *cat
Task name: Feed the cat and dog
Result: Match

Task name: Identify the catalyst for this equation
Result: No match

Task name: Pick up a housecat at the shelter
Result: Match

Has custom field set to...
This condition supports all three custom field types: dropdown list, text, and number. For text and number fields, in addition to checking for the presence of a specific text or number value, you can also use * (the asterisk symbol) as a "wild card", to match partial text or numbers. The * wild card symbol works identically here to the behavior described in the above Name contains the word or phrase... section, so see that above description for details on usage.
There is one additional feature available here, in addition to the above description: if you put [*] as the value to match for a text or number custom field (that's an asterisk surrounded by square brackets), that tells Flowsana to match any text or number. In other words, putting [*] tells Flowsana, "if anything at all is entered into this custom field, then perform this rule."


Send an email notification to...
With this action, you can have people be notified when any Flowsana rule condition changes. You can choose one of three options for recipients of the notification:
  1. the task's assignee
  2. the task's followers
  3. all project members
By default, the notification email will identify exactly what changed; here is an example:

However, you have the ability to specify your own custom Subject and/or Body content for the notification email, which will supercede the above defaults.

Create a new project from a template...
This action lets you automatically create new projects from an Asana template based on any rule condition occurring. You specify the template to use as the source for the new project and the name you'd like the new project to be called. You can optionally specify a team in which you want the new project created; if you do not specify a team, the new project will be created in the same team as the task that triggered the rule.

When specifying the desired project name, you can use a special syntax of {} which will be replaced with the name of the task that triggered the rule.

If the template being copied has Flowsana Rules attached to it, those Rules will be duplicated into the newly created project.

Add subtasks...
This action lets you automatically add a predefined set of subtasks to a task based on any rule condition. To use this action, you create a task, in any project outside of the target project, and add a set of subtasks underneath it. This task becomes in essence a “subtask template”, and the subtasks become the subtasks that will be created underneath whatever task triggered the rule. For example, you could say that if a new task is created in a particular project, add a certain set of subtasks to it. Or if a task is moved into a certain column (section), or if it has some custom field set to some particular value, or gets a certain tag added to it, etc., then add a certain set of subtasks to it. 

The template and its subtasks can reside in any project other than the target project where the subtasks will be added into (this avoids potential endless loops of adding subtasks). The recommended approach is that you create a project, let’s call it “Subtask Templates”, and this project is where you house all of these “subtask template” tasks.

You can also optionally have Flowsana add start/due dates to the subtasks it adds. To do this, set a date on the "subtask template" task, then set dates on subtasks that you wish to have dated, where the subtask dates reflect the appropriate relative spacing from the "subtask template" date. (We recommend you set dates far in the future so it's clear that these are just "placeholder" dates.)

Then, when you create the task that triggers the "Add subtasks" rule (that is, the task under which the subtasks get added), set its actual due date. Flowsana will then populate the subtask dates appropriately, relative to this actual date.

For example, let's say you have an employee onboarding template and have three subtasks that you want performed two weeks, one week, and one day prior to the onboarding deadline. Set your template like this:
If you then trigger the "Add subtasks" rule on a task that has a date of July 16, this will be the result:

In other words, Flowsana calculated the relative distance between each of the template subtasks and the parent "subtask template" task's date; then it took the actual target date of July 16 and it set the date of each subtask to the same relative distance from July 16 - two weeks, one week, and one day.

If you have any questions about the above or any aspect of Flowsana, please don’t hesitate to email  .   

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