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Asana Mailer

Asana Mailer is a script that retrieves metadata from an Asana project via Asana's REST API to generate a Text and HTML email using Jinja2 templates.

Requires Python 2.7.


  • pip install -r requirements.txt (We recommend using a virtualenv, more on virtualenv and pip).
  • python asana_mailer


  • Generates an inline CSS HTML email, using a default styled template. Inlining can be optionally turned off to help test new template styles.
  • Generates a Markdown-compatible plain-text email.
  • Allows you to swap out default templates with custom templates (place in templates directory).
  • Can filter tasks based on tags
    • Currently task filtering tests if the set of filters is a subset of the tags present on a given task.
  • Can list off completed tasks (strikethrough in default template) from the last 36 hours (doesn't include archived tasks)
  • Allows you to send the email via a local SMTP server, using multipart/alternative for both templates.
    • Relish in the fact that your friends with plaintext email clients will actually get a legible email.
    • Run it regularly via cron.

Too Many Arguments?

Asana Mailer uses argparse's fromfile_prefix_chars to place each of your command line arguments in a file (one per line, including option switches). Currently, Asana Mailer uses the '@' symbol for this prefix. More information here:

Python 2.7: argparse fromfile_prefix_chars


The standard way to use Asana Mailer to filter down the tasks and sections you're interested in sending info about, and then use a local SMTP server + cron to send an email. Alternatively, you can send the HTML and Text portions of the email via some other process using the generated Markdown/Text and HTML files. Here's an example for an evolving project:

  1. I want to send out a daily email with status updates for the "Bugs 1.1.0" section of my Asana project for a given milestone. I want this to be sent out at 13:30 every weekday before our daily standup.

    Create the following file awesome_webapp.args (without the annotations). Note one argument or switch per line:

     1234567890 [My Project ID]
     aoeuhtns',.pgcrl;qjkbmwv [My API Key in Asana]
     -s [Filter by section]
     Bugs 1.1.0 [Name of the section]
     Example Distribution List <>
     Example Meeting Owner <>

    Create a cron entry similar to the following:

     30 13 * * 1-5 python @awesome_webapp.args > /dev/null 2>&1
  2. Alright, so I want to keep recently completed tasks (within the last 36 hours below) for those who are going to receive the emails but aren't attending the standup, and I'd also like to filter out all tasks except user visible bug tasks tagged with "user_concern".

    Modify awesome_webapp.args to be the following:

     Bugs 1.1.0
     -f [Filter by tag]
     user_concern [Name of the tag]
     -c [Keep recently completed tasks]
     Example Distribution List <>
     Example Meeting Owner <>
  3. Finally, we've realized that it's best to have some of the core developers always explicitly CC'd on the email, as they filter emails to the distribution list normally and sometimes miss the standup notes before the meeting. Also, while the standard HTML template is decent, we'd like to simplify it even further by writing our own Jinja2 template.

    After template creation, modify awesome_webapp.args to be the following:

     Bugs 1.1.0
     Example Distribution List <>
     Dev One <>
     Dev Two <>
     Example Meeting Owner <>
     Project_Awesome_Template.html [Must reside in templates directory]

    And there you go, you have a customized workflow for better dissemination of information tracked in Asana. It's best to start with a few arguments and iterate slowly without sending emails until you're satisfied with the results, and then setup the addresses and cronjob.


The templates use Jinja2 as their templating language, and have access to the Project object as well as the current date. Feel free to customize your own template for use with your project.


usage: [-h] [-i] [-c HOURS] [-f TAG [TAG ...]]
                      [-s SECTION [SECTION ...]]
                      [--html-template HTML_TEMPLATE]
                      [--text-template TEXT_TEMPLATE]
                      [--mail-server HOSTNAME]
                      [--to-addresses ADDRESS [ADDRESS ...]]
                      [--cc-addresses ADDRESS [ADDRESS ...]]
                      [--from-address ADDRESS]
                      project_id api_key

Generates an email template for an Asana project

positional arguments:
  project_id            the asana project id
  api_key               your asana api key

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -i                    skip inlining CSS
  -c HOURS, --completed HOURS
                        show non-archived tasks completed within the past
                        hours specified
  -f TAG [TAG ...], --filter-tags TAG [TAG ...]
                        tags to filter tasks on
  -s SECTION [SECTION ...], --filter-sections SECTION [SECTION ...]
                        sections to filter tasks on
  --html-template HTML_TEMPLATE
                        a custom template to use for the html portion
  --text-template TEXT_TEMPLATE
                        a custom template to use for the plaintext portion

  arguments for sending emails

  --mail-server HOSTNAME
                        the hostname of the mail server to send email from
                        (default: localhost)
  --to-addresses ADDRESS [ADDRESS ...]
                        the 'To:' addresses for the outgoing email
  --cc-addresses ADDRESS [ADDRESS ...]
                        the 'Cc:' addresses for the outgoing email
  --from-address ADDRESS
                        the 'From:' address for the outgoing email
  --username ADDRESS
                        the username to authenticate to the outgoing (SMTP) mail server over SSL (optional)
  --password ADDRESS
                        the password to authenticate to the outgoing (SMTP) mail server over SSL (optional)


Asana Mailer is made available under the Apache 2.0 License.

Copyright 2013 Palantir Technologies

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


Feel free to file an issue.


A script that uses Asana's RESTful API to generate plaintext and HTML emails.








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