Automated actions are inconsistently triggered

When I enter a new Task into this sheet, I'd like to automate it so that all the other columns auto-fill. I'll set the automations to auto-fill default values, and then I'll simply change those cells that need adjusting.

Setting this up felt straightforward, but now that I've got it set up it's happening inconsistently. Sometimes I add new rows but they do not auto-fill. Just now, I refreshed the sheet and the automation applied to every row including all the already-existing rows (and overwrote the values in those cells).

Can you help me understand where I've goofed? What I'm intending is that when I enter text into a new row, in the Tasks column, it triggers the following:


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Answers

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @melissa.g.mendez

    I hope you're well and safe!

    How did you test the Workflow?

    Be safe, and have a fantastic week!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up, Awesome, or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E:[email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • I've tested it a half-dozen times by entering text into a new row. Nothing happens if I wait a min or two, so I then either save or refresh the page. Sometimes the rest of the row then auto-fills, but often times it doesn't. Sometimes the last row I entered auto-fills, but not the 4 or 5 above it for which I also just entered text. Once or twice, clicking save repeatedly at 10-15s intervals caused the row to populate, but other times it didn't.

    The time it overwrote values already in the form was the one time I clicked >run now in the >automation >manage workflows page, so I know to avoid that, but I can't figure out why the automations work occasionally but not consistently.

    Thanks for your help!

  • MichaelTCA
    MichaelTCA ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello @melissa.g.mendez

    Have you tried changing the trigger to "When rows are added or changed"?

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @melissa.g.mendez

    Happy to help!

    Try changing your workflow triggers to added or changed instead and check if that makes a difference.

    Did it work?

    Remember! Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up/Awesome or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

    SMARTSHEET EXPERT CONSULTANT & PARTNER

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E:[email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • melissa.g.mendez
    edited 02/09/24

    Thanks both for suggestions. I've got it now; here's what I learned.

    1. Patience is key. The rows eventually auto-fill about 1/2 the time, but it takes more than a few minutes and about half the time they simply don't auto-fill. Still, sometimes is better than never.
    2. Changing the trigger from "when a row is added" to either of the options that included a "when the row is changed" wasn't fit for purpose because I need to update and change rows all the time, so this made a mess with additional (the default) values popping in at unwanted times.
    3. I'd been concerned that it be quick because I occasionally wanted to be able to choose non-default values (values other than the automated cell contents) immediately after entering new rows, so I was mashing the button so that I could then make the changes. Instead, I added exceptions to each automation so that if I choose a value in that column, the automation doesn't run in that column.

    Now I have an automation like this example for every column, I can choose values where needed, and the columns I leave blank will auto-populate with my default values (eventually).

    Thanks for the steer, and hope this write-up is helpful to anyone else searching up the same scenario!

  • Comment added later to add that it doesn't work more often than it does. Perhaps because I'm in an enterprise and cloud access isn't instantaneous (?). I love the idea of automating these features but it's not reliable as executed.