Accelerate team execution and save valuable time when you replace manual, repetitive tasks with flexible, automated workflows:
- Send important alerts on changes or reminders about upcoming deadlines.
- Request updates and approvals on content.
- Lock and unlock rows, or move them between different sheets.
- Assign people to tasks and record the current date when milestones are reached.
- Combine multiple scenarios and actions to meet your needs with less effort.
You can easily collaborate with your team on workflows in the visual editor — no code required.
Automated workflows consist of three components: triggers, conditions and actions.
Blocks and Paths: Anatomy of an Automated Workflow
Building an automated workflow is similar to building a flowchart. You’ll place triggers, conditions, and actions together from a start block to one or more end blocks.
In the workflow builder:
- Select the Add button
- Choose what you want to add (condition, condition path, action).
To conceptualize automation, think about workflows through the following framework: when a change triggers the workflow, if the row meets the conditions you set, then do the action specified.
See the table below for details on what these elements do.
|Trigger block||The specified date and time, recurrence configuration, or activities in the sheet that set the automated workflow into motion.|
|Condition block||Used to filter which rows are included in workflow actions on the same path|
|Action block||The type of automation (alert, approval, request, and more) that you want to take place as a result of the trigger and preceding conditions. Details on the different types of automation available can be found here.|
|Condition path||A line that connects blocks to depict different routes that your workflow may take depending on the conditions you set. Your workflow may have a single path from trigger to action or it may have several paths to indicate different actions based on preceding conditions.|
Automated Workflow Best Practices
Keep the following in mind as you set up your workflow:
- Type a name for your workflow in the upper-left corner of the workflow builder
- Make sure to Save your workflow (click save in the lower-right corner) after set up or after any changes. You can come back and make further changes to your workflow at any time.
- Each sheet can have up to 150 workflows.
- Each workflow can have up to 100 blocks. This includes the Trigger, Condition, and Action blocks.
- Each workflow can have up to 30 Action blocks.
- Condition blocks can have up to 20 condition statements (20 lines within the block).
- Attachment links included in Automated Workflow emails expire after 14 days.
- Set your trigger to take place an hour before the action should take place. This will ensure that technical issues don't prevent the action from taking place on time.
- To prevent infinite approval loops, cells containing cross-sheet formulas or cell links will not trigger automation which automatically changes the sheet (Move Row, Copy Row, Lock Row, Unlock Row, Approval Request, Record a Date, Assign People, Change Cell, Clear Cell). To work around this, consider using time-based automation or recurrence workflows.
- The more active workflows you have on a sheet, the slower the workflows will be. To improve performance, combine workflows that should be triggered together and deactivate older workflows that are no longer needed.
- Unlike formulas, workflows take a few seconds to process. Emails, update/approval requests, move row automations on large sheets, and older workflows that haven't been recently modified may take a few minutes to complete.