Automation for When Contact Not Associated Properly

I have a sheet in which data is pasted (or imported) from another source.

One column (Requester) has been set up using the Contact list column type, as we have automations based on the status in another column changing or a row comment. The team entering the data pastes the data, then manually changes the Requester field for each row over to a Contact instead.

I'd like to set up an automation so the team who is responsible for managing the data entry gets a notification when a row has a plain text value entered for the name rather than it being properly associated to a Contact. What is the best way to do that?


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @RyanFMurphy

    There currently isn't a formula or function that can identify if the cell has a Contact type of value or a Name entered as a text value. There's an Idea posted in our Product Ideas and Feature Requests Category for an "IsContact" function. Please vote and comment on this idea with your own use-case! The Product team reviews the top-voted posts each month.

    For alternatives, how many Contacts options are there? If it's a small list, you could use the Assign workflow to automatically change those cells based on what's pasted in (see: Assign People in an Automated Workflow).

    If you have a large list but consistent names, I would recommend having a reference sheet in Smartsheet that has all the text names listed down one column and all the associate Contact values in another. Then you could use an INDEX(MATCH formula to auto-populate the Contact based on text pasted in a different column (see: Formula combinations for cross sheet references)



  • Thanks for this reply, Genevieve. I've got anywhere from 100-150 contacts who could be used in this column. However, I don't think having an extra column would be beneficial to the users of this sheet so it is what it is at this point. It seems like tying into the Contact Cards is a gap in the core functionality, as it doesn't seem like I can do any automations or even conditional formatting based on whether a Contact Card is associated or not. Hopefully Smartsheet can close this gap soon. :(