Parent Row Not Showing Up in Email Alerts


Hello! I set up a workflow to run daily to alert a user when a task has been assigned to them. However, only the task shows up in the email (see screenshot) and I'd like to include the parent row so the user knows what the task relates to.

I saw someone posted about adding a helper row and include the formula =JOIN(ANCESTORS(Primary Column@row), " / "). I added the formula and replaced "Primary Column" to "Task".

Are there any other suggestions? All my other workflow alerts have the parent rows included, so I'm not sure why this one is being stubborn. Please let me know if you need additional information. Thank you in advance!


  • Julie Fortney
    Julie Fortney Overachievers

    Hi @J.Gray

    The formula you noted in your post is exactly what I do for that scenario.

    For your other workflow alerts that DO include the parent row, that must be because the parent row also meets the criteria to trigger an alert.

    For instance, if I created a workflow to alert me when the Due Date is in the past and the Status is not "Complete" for this example below, I would receive one alert including all three of the highlighted rows:

    But if the only row that met that criteria (past due and not complete) was the child row called "Send the meeting invite," the notification would only include that row.

    I hope that helps!

  • J.Gray
    J.Gray ✭✭

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your response. Question for you: Is there a difference in the kind of trigger for getting the parent row in the alert? Specifically is there a difference between daily alerts that run at a specific time of day and alerts that are triggered when rows are added or changed?

    I ask because that seems to be the only difference in my alerts having parent rows vs. those that don't. For instance, this alert is triggered "When rows are added or changed AND when 'Status' changes to 'Completed'":

    All parent rows above Line 207 are marked as "In Progress." As far as I can tell from the workflow, the due date is not a factor (I know your example accounted for the due date, but I want to provide all the context I can for my situation).

    This is the workflow for the email that does not include the parent row:

    I made sure that all parent rows have a "In Progress" status in the column. Yet, the parents still don't show up in the alert. Could I be using the wrong trigger? Or do I need more information in the workflow?

    I hope all this makes sense; thank you for your help!

  • Julie Fortney
    Julie Fortney Overachievers
    edited 05/09/23

    Hi @J.Gray

    When it comes to workflows, keep in mind it's all about the row, regardless of where it is in the hierarchy.

    Looking at the workflow you provided a screenshot of... Do your parent rows have a contact in the "Task Owner" column? If not, the row cannot be sent to anyone because there is no contact defined.

    If my sheet looks like this:

    And I run the workflow in your screenshot, here is what I will receive in the alert:

    But if I add myself as Task Owner on the parent task, I will receive that row in the alert also.

    My sheet after I added myself as Task Owner on the parent task:

    The new alert:

    Let me know if that's the issue. If not, I'm happy to take another look.