Applies to

  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability

  • Owner
  • Admin
  • Editor

Action blocks: Specify what automation is triggered

Choose what type of automation your workflow performs when triggered, with an action block.


  • Smartsheet
  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


  • Owner
  • Admin
  • Editor

There are four types of workflows, and each type has different action types for it. Use the following tables as references for the workflow action types. 

Users with Editor-level permissions can only create, edit, or delete alerts or reminders with themselves as the recipient. Learn about workflow permissions.

Notification action types

Use this type of alert or actionIn this situationExample(s)
Alert someone
  • Alert people about key changes in specific fields, or when they’re assigned to a new task
  • Know when fields are set to a specific value 
You created a workflow to receive alerts when a Status field is set to Blocked.
Alert a Microsoft Teams channel
  • Send field or sheet-row updates to a Microsoft Teams channel
You created a workflow to send alerts to your team’s Microsoft Teams channel when a new form entry is added to your sheet. 
Alert a Slack channel
  • Send field or sheet-row updates to a Slack channel 
You created a workflow to send alerts to your team’s Slack channel when a task is tagged as Urgent.

Update and approval requests action types

Use this type of alert or actionIn this situationExample(s)
Update request
  • Ask for information about a work item from the task owner when that item is past the deadline and isn’t marked as complete yet
  • Seek the latest information from a work item’s assignee once a value changes in a specific field 
Your manager created a workflow to request the task assignees to update the Start Date column when the status on a row changes to In Progress.
Approval request
  • Ask a reviewer or a manager to review and approve a work item when a field meets a certain criteria

You created a workflow to ask the content reviewer to approve or decline the draft when a draft is tagged as Complete. 

The marketing team created a workflow to ask the finance team to review, and approve or decline the request when a work item’s cost exceeds the projected amount. 

Sheet changes action types

Use this type of alert or actionIn this situationExample(s)
Assign peopleAssign one or more people to a work item when a date is reached or when a row is added or changed.You created a workflow to assign tasks to the escalation team when a work item is tagged as Urgent.
Change cell value

Change data in these columns when certain conditions are met:

  • Text/Number 
  • Dropdown (Single Select)
  • Dropdown (Multi Select) 
  • Checkbox
You set the sheet to select the Complete checkbox column when a user sets the Approval Status column to Approved.  
Record a dateRecord the current date in your chosen field when a workflow is triggered.You set the sheet to record the current date when a task is marked as Complete.
Clear cell valueRemove the contents in a field when certain conditions are met.You created a workflow to help you remove contents.
Lock rowsPrevent further edits after an item has been approved or completed, or a particular point in time.You set the sheet to lock a row when the value in the Review Status column is set to In progress.
Unlock rowsAllow users to edit rows only when prerequisite steps are completed.You set the sheet to unlock a row when the value in the Review Status column is set to Complete.

Sheet-to-sheet workflows action types

Use this type of alert or actionIn this situationExample(s)
Move rows
  • Move a row to another sheet when it is marked as Complete
  • Route automatically incoming work items to different sheets based on characteristics 
The e-learning team created a workflow to remove requests that shouldn’t be on their team’s intake sheet. If they receive requests for the marketing team, the workflow moves the task to that department’s intake sheet.
Copy rows
  • Create a copy of a row in another sheet when a field meets a certain criteria. 
You have a sheet where all the completed tasks are recorded. To reduce manual work, you created a workflow to copy rows to that sheet when rows in your parent file are tagged as Complete.

You can change the action you selected, just go to the Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the block.

Take in consideration that the following actions change the sheet automatically: 


  • Move Row
  • Copy Row
  • Lock Row
  • Unlock Row
  • Approval Request
  • Record a Date
  • Assign People
  • Change Cell
  • Clear Cell
  • Generate document

Select your recipients

Configure the action block to ensure alerts and requests are sent to people who are involved with a specific work item. You can configure them to be sent out to:

  • People in a contact field for that row (for example: the assignee)
  • Everyone shared to the sheet
  • People you manually specify
  • People in a channel in a third-party app such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Customize the alert message

You can customize the alert message so the recipients get only the information they need to know. In the Customize message section, you can control which fields appear, and edit the subject and message. 

I didn't receive the alerts I set up for myself

Your sheet notifications might be off. To fix this, turn on the notifications for sheet changes. Not sure how to do it? Read the Trigger Automated Workflows on the Changes You Make article.

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