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Template that automatically sends notifications to assignees on due dates

I'm trying to find an app that automates our processes — finance to training to sales.


I want to create a template that I can that I use every time there is a new job to do.

When training is booked for example, I want to create a new sheet, add the date of the training and have all the due dates automatically calculate.


I believe I've worked out how to make the due dates automatically calculate using predecessors.


However, now I want the notifications to automatically send to the assignees based on the new due dates.


At the moment it seems I need to click on the notification then set the date manually.

Some of our process have nearly 50 subtasks. I don't want to have to manually set all of those everytime I start a project.






  • Atus Bartal
    Atus Bartal ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    Setting reminders based on the due date column must be a solution.

    "Reminders are automatic emails that are set to remind you, or your team members who are shared to the sheet, of upcoming task deadlines, event dates or task commencement. They can be sent on a specified date or based on a date column in your sheet, however, you can't select the time of day the reminder will be sent."


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 03/22/16



    And also, you can not set the Alerts on the Template. Once it is saved as a Template, the Alerts are lost. You'll need to set up the template as a Sheet. Make sure you put the triggering date far enough out in time so that you don't get unwanted (and invalid) Reminders.



  • I second the sheet level reminder. You can set a single reminder for the entire sheet that sends the reminder to the person assigned to task based on a date column (such as the start date). 

  • Hello,


    When will you add the feature to be able to save predefined alerts with the templates?

    It's very important for us. For example when a task ia at risk or whn anything changes in the row, the assignee should get a notification.

    In this way the alert is generic and can be part of the template.

  • Atus Bartal
    Atus Bartal ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I guess the concept of "templates" is not clear in this discussion. From Help: "You can use Templates to create a default layout for future sheets. A template defines the column names, column types, and conditional formatting rules. You also have the option to define attachments, discussions, and cell data, that will exist in the template."


    As Craig wrote above, you can't set alerts (Notifications and Reminders) for templatesIf you refer to sheets created from templates, then it's fine,  on sheets you can set either Notifications or Reminders. If you have a "Flag" or other symbol for tasks at risk, you can set a Notification for changing the content of the specific column.


    Unfortunately, however, right now it's not possible to set a Notification to a person in a Contact List type column (like in the case of Reminders). I don't really know why. I'll post it as an enhancement request soon - it would be important for me, too.

  • James Fisher-Martins
    edited 03/23/16

    It's interesting that few apps do this.


    I've tested Asana, process.st, DoInbound, Wrike and none of them seem to be able to create repeatable processes with notifications that work out the timing of tasks based on a deadline date. So I guess it is a very complicated thing to program, or people in the world work very differently from me.

    Smartsheet has been the best so far in terms of calculating task timing based on a deadline. So if you can get the developers to add that feature you'd be one step ahead!


    (slightly off topic UX woes here..)

    The trouble I always face with these decisions is getting the various team members with their various tech abilities involved. These processes have to be fool proof: You add a date and some other info and the app does the rest.

    Everyone can use email and spreadsheets so being able to keep the UI within these realms makes it easier for the team.

    I believe many of us suffer from app overload these days.

    When tried Wrike, there was something about the design that stopped people really engaging with it.



  • Travis
    Travis Employee

    Great feedback everyone!


    We have heard from users that they want default Alerts on sheets and I will pass this feedback along. A couple notes:


    We used to have notifications enabled by default on new sheets for users who are shared to the sheet. We found this caused users to get too many unwanted emails and now notifications need to be enabled on new sheets. 


    (Atus) We are working on conditional notifications (example: only show me changes on tasks I am assigned to). This is on our product roadmap


    My personal opinions - As for adding reminders to templates (from a UX point of view). Only users shared to the sheet will receive reminder emails. This could cause a poor experience if a user creates a new sheet and see's reminders are set up but doesnt know the sheet needs to be shared and then reminders are not sent. Right now, when you manually set up reminders you are given a warning that users need to be shared:



    Also, (from a UX point of view) there are users who create hundreds of sheets from templates. If there are reminders on the hundred sheets, then users will get a hundred emails for tasks. I understand you could choose not to include reminders (as you can with other aspects of templates) but it is not always apparent. We want to make the best user experience possible and this could potentially set up users for a bad experience. 

    Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.59.32 AM.png

  • James Fisher-Martins
    edited 03/23/16

    Interesting to hear the realities of these issues.


    In my mental model I saw the reminders triggered by the row's due date and assignee column.

    The due dates would automatically be calculated based on the deadline.

    The assignees could be assigned (in our case) by adding who was running that particular project. 

    In all cases the roles would be the same "Sales, Production, Trainers". 

    So the assignee would always be one of those and I guess each row could be set up to see who was assigned to job XXXX at the beginning.



    We do about 200 courses a year.

    But we are also trying to find a tool to run all our processes (finance, sales etc).

    This is part of a move to systematize the company with playbooks and checklists to and make it more sellable.

    Just need to find the tools to do it!

  • Greg Hawk
    Greg Hawk
    edited 03/23/16

    James I understand how you need to make common processes to make sure everything is set up correctly. At least reminders are quick to set up!


    You said you want an email to be sent to the assigned user on the due date. This can be done by setting up a single sheet level reminder which takes about 10 seconds to do. Just add it to your process when you create a new sheet. Maybe create a row at the top of your template that says "Set sheet level reminder". 

  • This link is broken

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

    WIthout knowing what the content was exactly, I am guessing this might help



This discussion has been closed.