New Feature: Import and Export Project Templates in JSON Format

We’re continually looking for ways to make MeisterTask more flexible. By offering you more intuitive features that speed up task and project management, we help you work quickly and effectively and get more done. With this in mind, we’ve introduced a new feature to MeisterTask — the ability to import and export projects from MeisterTask in JSON format. In this post, we’ll be looking at how the feature works and what you can use it for.

New Feature: Import and Export Project Templates in JSON Format

Feature development at MeisterTask doesn’t happen by accident. We pride ourselves on keeping our feature set sleek and streamlined, focusing only on the tools most needed by you. We listen intently to user feedback to find out how we can make our tool even better to use, then integrate your views in order to keep improving.

You can find out all about what MeisterTask can do for you on our features page. Got a great idea about how to make MeisterTask even better? Contact us with your ideas!

Why Exports?

One of the most-requested features of recent times has been the ability to create project templates that can be exported and imported easily. Users everywhere felt they could benefit from sharing full, oven-ready projects that anyone can use to get started and working immediately. Our new JSON import/export feature is important because it allows you to do exactly that. 

Rather than centering on tasks (our CSV export integration covers this in more detail) JSON exports focus more intensely on saving project frameworks in a portable format that can simply be plugged and played. By saving you time on project setup, we ensure you can spend more time on the projects themselves and improve your team’s productivity.

New to exports? Find out more about CSV exports in this help center article.

Especially if you are working with colleagues who are using a task management system for the first time, a well-structured project board template can help get them up and running with the minimum of fuss. 

How it Works

In short, the JSON import feature allows you to export projects from MeisterTask, save them locally, and then to import them into MeisterTask again (for example in a different account).

The focus on creating project templates meant that we had to be specific in choosing which project and task information to import/export, and which to leave to one side. Exporting a project using the new feature will save the following information to your local storage as a JSON file. 

  1. Project name.
  2. Tasks and their properties. Imported task information includes: due dates, tags, descriptions, current checklist status, timeline scheduling, and project status.
  3. Sections. Section imports include descriptions, colors and icons, sequence, and WIP limits.
  4. Custom fields. Any custom fields included as standard in the task dialog of new tasks in your project will also appear after import. 
  5. Tags. Tags belonging to your project will be exported. To avoid confusion, delete any unused tags before exporting.
  6. Pre-defined checklists. All saved checklists will remain available after importing a project.
  7. Power-up status. Time tracking and timeline will be exported with the project, but integrations will not.

You can only import data that is contained in features included in your current MeisterTask plan. For example, you will not be able to import custom fields if you only have a MeisterTask Basic account. Get the most out of task management by upgrading to a paid plan today — find out about what’s included on our pricing page.

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What isn’t imported?

The following project information will not be included in the export: assignees, automations, task dependencies and relations, attachments, activity log, comments, tracked time and trashed or archived tasks.

Important: As the JSON export focuses on projects, rather than tasks, it is not suitable for exporting working projects either as backups or for import into new accounts. To do this, you will need to use the JSON import in conjunction with a .CSV import.

How to Import/Export Projects

In this section, we’ll go through the basics of exporting your projects from MeisterTask in JSON format, then importing them back again. 

Exporting a Project

To start exporting and importing files in JSON format, first you will need to decide which project you want to export. For this example, we’ve created a project that can be used in many different situations — a simple marketing project template. 

Certain tasks appear in almost every marketing project, so to save time in future, these will be included in the export. To make things even easier for future users of the template, we’d recommend including the following: 

  • Section structure. We’ve gone for a standard Open, In Progress, In Review, Done structure (with an extra section for project reference material), but feel free to customize this based on your company’s existing project workflows. 
  • Tags. Add tags that provide an at-a-glance overview of what each task is about. We’ve created tags that show which type of marketing activity the task belongs to (Design, Content, Digital Marketing), which also helps you navigate project filters more easily. 
  • Checklists. Create standard checklists that can be loaded into each project task. These are usually steps in the workflow towards completing a task. 
  • WIP Limits. These markers show the number of tasks allowed in each section, helping to prevent overloads. Set these depending on the size of the project team and your estimation of how many tasks can be worked on at any one time. 

Not getting the most out of MeisterTask? Read our list of genius ways to work smarter and boost your productivity.

Once you have decided to export the project, proceed as follows: 

  1. Click the (i) at the top of the project screen. 
  2. Click … More in the next menu. 
  3. Click Export. 

  1. In the next menu, click Export next to JSON in order to export your file

  1. You’ll get a notification when your export is ready for download. Click Download Now to save it to local storage (you can choose a location from the explorer). 

The export from MeisterTask will be downloaded in a zipped folder. You will need to extract the files before importing them again.

  1. That’s it! Your project template is now saved to your computer. 

Import a Project Template

Now that you’ve saved your project template, you can use it whenever you create a new project that requires the same sections and basic structure as the original. To do this: 

  1. Go to the dashboard and click the (+) next to Projects in the left sidebar. 
  2. Click Import.

  1. In the Import menu, select MeisterTask as the import format, then click Continue.

  1. Click Choose .json file, then select the template you want to import. 

  1. Once the file is uploaded, select Continue. 

  1. You’ll receive another notification when the import is complete. Click Open Project to go to the newly created project. You can also access it from the projects list on the left side of the dashboard.

Make It Your Own

You will notice that the imported project looks very similar to one you just exported. Now it is time to customize your project in order to make it relevant to the job at hand. To do this:

  • Choose a new name for the project.
  • Select customization options for the project, such as a background and project icon.
  • Invite the new project team and assign tasks to the relevant team members.
  • Set due dates for tasks (and add them to the project Timeline to visualize them).
  • Set up automations to speed up project progress.

In just a few clicks, you’ll have a fully-functional project based on the template you created. 

Let’s Get to Work

You can create as many project templates as you like and use them again and again over time. By reducing the steps to set up new projects, MeisterTask ensures that you can start work faster, while the increased consistency of standardized templates means that you can avoid confusion in your team.

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Now you can show us: send us some screenshots of your favorite project templates on Twitter @MeisterTask. We can’t wait to see how you use MeisterTask to boost your productivity.