Approval Flow Notification Bug or am I doing something wrong?

Approval Flow Notification Bug or am I doing something wrong?

edited 05/18/20 in Formulas and Functions

Good morning everyone.

I have a sheet linked to a request form which based on the info submitted needs to be approved by a number of people. I have 14 approval workflows, based on country of the requestor, the total amount requested, and or reason for request. There are 4 to 5 approvals required based on the type of request. The issue is that after the first approval is captured, the remaining approvers receive 14 email notifications/requests to approve the request. Obviously I have tested by disabling some of the workflows and came to the conclusion that one email notifications/requests to approve is sent per active approval workflow on the sheet. Now I do not understand this, since all workflows have different conditions.

I have tried with triggers = ***when rows are added* or ***when rows are added or changed***

I will try and share this via screenshots but would appreciate any help. I have other sheets where approvals are required but only one approval - so difficult to see what I am doing wrong.

Thanks in advance.


I've attached screen shots of one full workflow for requests up to 25K. I've attached a screenshot of a second workflow similar to the first one but different in terms of the value of the request which is 25K to 100K; the approval steps are the same as the first workflow but just different people. These are the only workflows activated so I get 2 email notifications/requests to approve the request instead of 14; but only for all approvers after the first approval is captured.

Best Answer


  • Hi @JDen,

    I know you have redacted the email addresses so they can't be seen, but wondering if the approval request is going out to a particular person, a mailing list, or a value in a contact cell?

    Ramzi Khuri (

  • Hi Ramzi,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to follow up on this, as I am stuck.

    The email addresses are all unique, no mailing list.

    If you can think of anything else that would be great.

    Best regards,


  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @JDen

    It’s hard to see the complete overview/process.

    I’d be happy to take a quick look.

    Can you maybe share the sheet(s)/copies of the sheet(s)? (Delete/replace any confidential/sensitive information before sharing) That would make it easier to help. (share too, [email protected])

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

  • Hi all,

    I am happy and sad to say I found the issue.

    It seems that Smartsheet won't allow you to use the same "save response in" column for multiple workflows. I have 14 workflows (based on country, total amount, request type) and was using the same 4-5 save response in" columns to capture approvals. Well SmartSheet does not like that for some reason and was sending each approval request email 14 times.

    The only way now to avoid this is to create one "save response in" column per required approval per workflow. So I need to create close to 70 approval columns to avoid this issue.

    This is a going to be a real pain in the a** to do and it's going to be a pain to track.

    This is something SmartSheet should fix.

  • JDenJDen
    edited 05/25/20

    Thanks Andrée,

    That does seem to work but I still find it to be a lot of work considering the number of approval workflows I have going on and conditions. This took me another 3 hours to setup and I have another sheet with similar issue.

    Your solution seems to be a good fix but SmartSheet should work on fixing the root cause because most newbies will be totally lost and unable to go further. This translates in lost users and ultimately lost customers.

    Thanks again.

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭


    Happy to help!

    Yes, I agree that there is room for improvement.

    Please submit an Enhancement Request when you have a moment


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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