Notifications: Keep Track of Sheet Changes

When you set up a notification, you’ll specify criteria based on the contents of the sheet that you're working with. As people make changes to the sheet, the recipients that you’ve specified will receive an alert that’s triggered when the conditions you’ve specified are met. For example, you could set up an alert and stay on top of tasks assigned to you or to people you manage, or you could be alerted when a task becomes at risk.

Requirements for Creating and Editing Notifications

Use the following table as a reference for whether you can create or edit notifications for yourself and others based on sheet sharing permissions.

 OwnerAdminEditorViewerNot Shared
Create notification rules for yourselfYesYesYesYesNo
Create notification rules for othersYesYesNoNoNo
Edit any rulesYesYesNoNoNo
Edit rules you createdYesYesYesYesNo
Receive notificationsYesYesYesYesYes*

*You may need to adjust an additional setting to allow anyone with a valid email address receive notifications. See the the next section "Control Who Can Receive Notifications" for details.

Control Who Can Receive Notifications

By default, notifications are only sent to people shared to the sheet. If you want notifications to be sent to anyone with a valid email address on a sheet-level or account-level, see the following help articles:

Receive Notifications on the Changes You Make

To receive notifications on the changes that you make to sheets, you'll want to adjust your personal settings. See Adjusting Personal Settings for more information on changing settings in your account.

Create a Notification Rule 

Notifications are automatically sent out when the conditions of the notification rule are met. To create a notification rule:

  1. Select the Alerts & Actions tab at the bottom of the sheet.
    The Alerts & Actions window appears. (This window will list all existing alerts and actions on your sheet.)
  2. Choose Send a notification from the first dropdown list. 
  3. In the second dropdown list, choose how you want the notification to be triggered.
  4. Click Next. The New Rule form appears.

In the New Rule form, you’ll specify the following criteria:

  • When—Specify what types of changes trigger the notification. The option you selected in the second dropdown field of the Alerts & Actions window defines this property.
  • In any row where—Only send rows that contain certain values. (After the When condition is met.)
  • Send a notification to—Choose your recipients, either specific email addresses or a Contact column in your sheet.
  • Frequency of the notification and row information included. (Click Delivery Settings to customize.)

Add More Conditions to Your Rule

Ensure that a notification is only sent out when necessary by specifying additional conditions in the When and In any row where... criteria of your rule.

Click Add Column (When) or Add Condition (In any row where...) to add criteria fields.


Customize the Message, Frequency, and Content Included

Click Delivery Settings to personalize the subject, message, and columns included, as well as the delivery frequency of the notification.


Edit, Disable, or Delete Existing Rules

To disable a rule or change rule conditions, recipients, frequency, or columns included:

  1. Click the Alerts & Actions tab at the bottom of the sheet. The Alerts & Actions window appears.
  2. Click the down-arrow down-arrow in the upper-right corner of the rule you want to change or disable.
Use this command To do this
DisableTemporarily turn off the rule. (Use this command if you may want to use the rule in the future.)

Rename or change the criteria for the rule.

You can also use this command to access the Customize Email link so that you can make changes to the subject, body, or columns included.

CloneCreate a copy of the rule.

Stop receiving the alert.

TIP: You can also unsubscribe directly from the alert or action that you receive by clicking the Unsubscribe link next to the “Don't want to receive this notification?” text at the bottom of the message.

DeleteDelete the rule completely. (This cannot be undone.)

Tips for Working with Notifications

As you’re working with notifications, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Notifications are set at the sheet level only (that is, they can’t be set for specific rows).
  • The time zone used for a notification is based on the sheet Owner’s time zone as specified in their Personal Settings. (For more information, see Adjusting Personal Settings.)
  • If one person makes the change that sets off the notification, their email address will appear as the reply-to in that notification's email messages. If multiple people make changes, the owner of the sheet will appear as the reply-to.
  • You cannot control the time of day that a notification is sent. With the exception of changes that you want to be notified of right away (which are sent right away), notification email messages are sent between 12:00 AM and 4:00 AM according to the sheet Owner’s time zone. (Weekly notifications are sent every Friday between 12:00 AM and 4:00 AM.)
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