Best way to implement a notification upon sheet creation

Hi Smartsheet community,

We have a number of pre-formated sheet templates that we make available to workspaces in Smartsheet. Smartsheet users are able to save copies of these templates for their own use (including any templated automations).

What would be the best way to implement a notification that triggers each time a copy of a template is saved (ideally with said notification including a link to the newly saved copy)?

My current idea: Set up a recurring custom automation in the template sheet. Start time = a date in the past. Cadence = daily. Ending after 1 execution. The notification should include a link to the sheet, but no specific fields.

  • Would this work?
  • When a user saves a copy of this template sheet, will the copy of the automation trigger, providing a link to the copied sheet?


Thanks all!

M

Best Answer

  • 404.IRL
    404.IRL
    Answer ✓

    No. The "template" will have the value set to "NEW TITLE", or whatever value you know won't be used (this is key). Once the template is copied, used, and that value is changed by the user, it will trigger the notification. This assumes that the users(s) won't populate any cells in that column with that value, this will cause it to only trigger once - when it's changed. That's why it's key to chose a value that you know won't be used in that column.

    The trigger should be - when a row is changed, column "the column you will put the value in", then, condition - when "The column you will put the value in" IS NOT "NEW TITLE, or whatever value you chose above. I'm done with PM calls and it's holiday slow. Drop me an email and I'd be glad to get on a Teams call if you want more help.

    Fernando Flores | M365 Enterprise Project Manager ✌️ 🍻

Answers

  • Good day, @Matthew C.C. Chan . You could pre-populate a cell in the first row of your template, then run a workflow that triggers when it's changed. The value for the cell in the template would be something that would not be generally used in that cell - i.e. Column = First Name, Cell Value = 01/01/01.

    • Workflow - When rows are changed
    • Condition - Check for value in named cell
    • Alert someone - Pick your recipient(s)
    • Customize message - Select includes Link to sheet and all fields

    Not clean by any means, but I'm not aware of a "Workspace" or "Sheets" workflow/automation function.

    Fernando Flores | M365 Enterprise Project Manager ✌️ 🍻

  • Matthew C.C. Chan
    edited 11/19/21

    Thanks for the suggestion Fernando (@404.IRL). If I'm understanding your idea, I think I initially tried something very similar:

    I had one of the cells in the field "Task" populated with the placeholder text "NEW TITLE". The idea was that when a user duplicated the sheet and replaced the placeholder text, the notification should trigger.

    In my tests, what seemed to happen was that the notification would fire on when a cell in the "Task" field was changed from something else to "NEW TITLE". Not very helpful. But perhaps I went wrong somewhere in my implementation?

  • My instructions were lacking - Friday brain. You want to put - "When task is NOT". So, save the template with a preset value in the cell, such as "Task" = "New Title".

    Then, the workflow will be set to trigger when that value is no longer "New Title". Presumably, when they initially start populating the sheet. I set up something similar - like I mentioned, not clean, but it works!

    Fernando Flores | M365 Enterprise Project Manager ✌️ 🍻

  • @404.IRL Ah, I see!

    But so:

    1. What condition tells Smartsheet to only trigger off the row that previously contained "New Title" (i.e. the first row, if this is where you're storing your placeholder preset value)? Otherwise won't this notification go out every time the "Task" field is changed in any row? (That would be too many notifications!)
    2. What if a user happens to change the field that previously contained "New Title" (trigger #1) and then he/she changes it again? This would cause the automation to trigger again (trigger #2) wouldn't it? As this solution is only a proxy for a true "on sheet creation" condition, is there any way to guard against this?

    Thank you!!

  • 404.IRL
    404.IRL
    Answer ✓

    No. The "template" will have the value set to "NEW TITLE", or whatever value you know won't be used (this is key). Once the template is copied, used, and that value is changed by the user, it will trigger the notification. This assumes that the users(s) won't populate any cells in that column with that value, this will cause it to only trigger once - when it's changed. That's why it's key to chose a value that you know won't be used in that column.

    The trigger should be - when a row is changed, column "the column you will put the value in", then, condition - when "The column you will put the value in" IS NOT "NEW TITLE, or whatever value you chose above. I'm done with PM calls and it's holiday slow. Drop me an email and I'd be glad to get on a Teams call if you want more help.

    Fernando Flores | M365 Enterprise Project Manager ✌️ 🍻

  • ooops Fernie.Flores @ iCloud . com

    Fernando Flores | M365 Enterprise Project Manager ✌️ 🍻