Applies to

  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability

  • Owner
  • Admin 

Assign people with an automated workflow

Add an email address or contact to a contact column in a sheet with specific triggers.


  • Smartsheet
  • Business
  • Enterprise


  • Owner
  • Admin 

Follow these steps to assign people in an automated workflow:

  1. Go to Automation > Create workflow from template...
  2. In the Sheet change section, select Assign someone when specified criteria are met > Use Template.
  3. Enter a name for your workflow. 
  4. Configure what triggers the workflow. 
  5. Select the contact column where you want to add the existing or new contact (defined as email address). You can use either a single-select or multiple-select contact column.
  6. Select Save.

To know when assigning people:

  • If a cell in a multi-contact column already has non-contact text in it (for example, not applicable or any other text that isn't a contact/email address) and overwriting is disabled, the assign people action doesn't add a contact into the cell.
  • Only 20 contacts per cell can be added. If a workflow is constantly appending contacts to an existing cell, that cell may reach the limit and invalidate the workflow at that time.
  • Contacts can only be added to contact columns. 
  • You can only add email addresses or existing contacts that contain email addresses with the assign people action. Assign people action doesn't currently support the addition of groups, Created By, or Modified By contacts.
  • Assign people is a terminal action. You aren't able to add conditions or actions after assigning people
  • To avoid creating endless loops, Smartsheet doesn't initiate the Assign people action when the trigger cell includes cross-sheet formulas or are linked to other cells. To work around this, use time-based automations or recurrence workflows.

  • Update cell actions need time to update the sheet, especially if there are multiple workflows. 

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

Why am I receiving an error message from my workflow?

You may receive an error message in your workflow due to one of the following issues:

  • The Assign people action’s Contact column is deleted, or changes to a non-contact type column.
  • The Assign people action’s Contact column is changed from multi-contact to single-contact AND multiple contacts have been selected to be assigned. 
  • The Assign people action’s Contact column plus the number of contacts to be added during execution is greater than the max number of contacts (20).
  • The Assign people action’s column is no longer write-capable (e.g., it’s a column formula).
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