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Some general questions about alerts and reminders

Evan Meyers
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

I have some general questions about alerts and reminders that I could not find the answers to when searching through the help files and the community.  Anyone know the answers?


What time of the day does the alert or reminder get sent?  I ask because I am trying to trigger reminder emails to contact list cells when a new row is added, so I'm triggering based off of Submit Date.  I'm wondering if this will not work based on the time of day that the alerts and reminders are triggered.  Perhaps I will have to do user a reminder date column and set that to +1 date of submission and have there be a slight lag in the alert?


When you set up a sheetwide alert based on a column, the alerts are sent on a row-by-row basis, meaning if I say to remind a program manager on a date, it will remind the program manager listed in the row based on the date as it appears in the row?  Rows that do not meet the criteria will not be emailed?


If I sent out update requests via forms, will the submission of an update alter the submission date on the row which is set when the form is initially submitted?


I am collecting contact list data via forms...how good is the matching on a contact list field?  What does the end user need to enter in the form so that the data will have the best chance of matching an address in the contact list?  What happens if there is no match and I'm triggering alerts off of this contact list data?  



  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Great questions. I (think I) know some of the answers.


    For Reminders, the doc says



    TIP: Reminders are sent between midnight and 5am (in the recipient's time zone) on the date selected. Thus, you generally can't receive a Reminder on the same day you create it as the Reminders have already run for the day. Change the default date to one in the future to ensure it's sent out


    My experience was that I would get them in the morning, but I can't remember if they were always waiting for me when I got to work. Maybe. 


    For Notifications, it says:



    Once a day notifications are compiled and sent out every day between 12 and 5 a.m. based on the recipient's time zone setting, and once a week notifications are sent each Friday during the same time period.


    Reminders are row-by-row and the person on the recieving end should not get the whole sheet.


    If I understand the first forms question, then it depends on how you are getting the submission date. I'd have to see your example to be able to answer that.


    And unfortunately, I don't quite follow the last paragraph.

    Can you rephrase the question?


    Hope this helps,



  • JohnHinkle
    JohnHinkle ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/17/15

    To build on what Craig said,


    Alerts are sent between 12am-5am in your local time. Alerts have to be set at least one day in the future if you want it to send. You idea of adding +1 day to the submission date would work.


    You are correct with sheet wide reminders. They will only send rows that meet the criteria (Date and PM).


    Will the submission date change if an update request is completed? Depends on how you are determining the submission date. If you use the Created (Date) system column - no the submission date will not change. But if you are using the Modified (Date) system column - yes the date will change. (date the row was created vs date the row was last modified).


    Adding contacts to a contact list field in a web form will NOT link them to a Smartsheet contact. This would need to be done once the row is in Smartsheet. This means if someone submits a web form for a row assigned to John Doe, a reminder would not be sent to John unless (after the form is submitted) someone goes into the sheet and types in John Doe which will prompt you to connect it to the contact. 


    One option is to use Zapier or Azuqua (third party API services) which can be used to email users content of rows when a row is added by a web form (or a number of other triggers). If you add an email address through the web form, rather than a name, these apps can email the content of the row to the email addresses provided (or any other email address).


    Both are paid services but Zapier has a free version which might work depending on how much you would need to utilize the service. 


  • Evan Meyers

    @Craig and @John,


    Great feedback!!!  I ran some tests overnight and found the alerts were sent ~ 2:45am.


    John caught what I was asking in the last paragraph.  I was wondering how the matching to contact lists worked when the contact is submitted through a form.  Sounds like part of the reviewal process will be selecting the appropriate contact for these fields.  I just checked and smartsheet gives a drop down icon with suggestions that most closely match the entered value and offer the ability to add a new contact where they don't exist.


    Anyone know of any clever ways to leverage conditional formatting to highlight if a field has not been matched to a real contact?

  • JohnHinkle
    JohnHinkle ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You could add a hidden checkbox column to your web form with it defaulted to "checked" then set a conditional formatting rule to highlight the contact cell if the checkbox is checked. Your process can be to adjust the contact cell then uncheck the box, which will remove the formatting. 

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