Use workflows to streamline your approval process

Melissa Yamada
Melissa Yamada ✭✭✭✭
edited 06/16/23 in Best Practice

Suppose you work in a marketing department, and your team creates various types of content, such as blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters. You want to establish a streamlined approval process to ensure that all content goes through the necessary stages before publication. Here's how you can set up a content approval workflow in Smartsheet:

Define Workflow Stages (Statuses):

  • Draft
  • Review
  • Revision Needed
  • Final Approval
  • Published

Create Columns:

  • Content Title
  • Assigned To (for assigning tasks to team members responsible for the review)
  • Due Date
  • Status (dropdown column with the defined workflow stages)
  • Comments (for feedback and communication during the review process)

Create Workflow Rules:

  • Rule 1: When the status is set to "Draft," assign the task to the relevant team member for the initial review and set the due date.
  • Rule 2: When a team member sets the status to "Review" and adds comments, automatically change the status to "Revision Needed" if any revisions are required.
  • Rule 3: When a team member sets the status to "Final Approval," assign the task to the appropriate approver for final review and set the due date.
  • Rule 4: When the approver sets the status to "Published," notify the team that the content is approved and ready for publication.

Collaborate and Track Progress:

  • Team members can access the Smartsheet, review assigned tasks, and update the status and comments as needed.
  • Approvers can easily view pending tasks, provide feedback, and approve the content for publication.

By implementing this content approval workflow in Smartsheet, you can streamline the review process, ensure proper feedback and revisions, and maintain visibility on the progress of each piece of content. The automation saves time by assigning tasks, triggering notifications, and keeping everyone involved in the loop. Additionally, the history and comment features in Smartsheet enable transparent communication and provide an audit trail of the entire approval process.


  • StevenBlackburnMBA
    StevenBlackburnMBA ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Melissa, does your team use Dynamic View? Do you have any workflow diagrams for your processes that you use?

    We have a workflow approval process that is similar, but it also includes a "Revise" section, that opens the approval back up and reruns the process. We have a routing formula that audits this entire process that is formulated by a combo of formulas and strings while we also map that audit trail and workflow to a document that is autogenerated at certain steps for review, so the teams can review the document instead of the complex string of text in a wrapped cell.

    Thanks for providing this information -- it's very useful! 😁


    -Smartsheet 2023 Core Product Certification

    -Smartsheet 2023 System Administrator Certification

  • Melissa Yamada
    Melissa Yamada ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Steven,

    Yes, Dynamic View is great for when users do not need to have full access to the underlying sheet.

    I also like your addition of a 'Revise' section. I just gave a baseline example, but there are many possibilities to expand/improve on the process based on your company's needs.

  • StevenBlackburnMBA
    StevenBlackburnMBA ✭✭✭✭✭

    I totally agree!!! Thanks for sharing your example -- I think it should be pinned somewhere, it would have been very useful to have as a new user and I think alot of people will benefit from viewing this 😁


    -Smartsheet 2023 Core Product Certification

    -Smartsheet 2023 System Administrator Certification

  • Hi Melissa,

    Can you share how you use the proofing feature within this approval workflow? I am trying to understand how these are used together or separately. Thank you for sharing your approval workflow!

  • scromer
    scromer ✭✭

    When you use this type of approval flow, is there a way to capture the name of the individual that flipped the status at each level into individual fields? For example:

    Rule1: Name of individual that completed the action

    Rule2: Name of individual etc..