Alternatives to subitems?

Howdy folks!

I’ve been using Monday for a couple of years, but I’m building out a new board for my company, and I’m struggling to map the basic logic of our project structure cleanly onto Monday’s.

We make videos that we break up into discreet parts which are worked on separately, so each chunk can be at a different stage in the process than the others, and the overall status of the video is a combination of those statuses. The natural solution in my mind is to use subitems to represent those chunks, but it seems like functionality falls off a cliff when you start using subitems. For example, I can’t set up an automation that updates all subitem statuses when the item status is changed.

The “Show Summary on Parent Item” function sorta works, but it is just a summary; I can’t use it to override the subitem statuses. Not to mention it requires the user to hover or expand the item to see any level of detail beyond “mostly purple” or “half green.”

I also am finding notifications to be tricky, as it’s easy to get spam-y when you are notifying for each subitem status instead of one global status. I wish there were some kind of “deliver 3 notifications as 1 if they happen within 1 second of each other” filter, but that might be a fever dream.

Is there a better way to structure my board that I’m missing? I have zero attachment to subitems, but it seems like the solution that Monday “wants” me to use.

Hi There!

Just to confirm my understanding. You are looking to change the status if the parent item with the subitem progression of statuses?

From what I am seeing, you would want to have the status of each Phase to define the overall video progress. If each part is assigned to different contributors, you want the subitems status that is updated by those that are assigned to the overall status so you know when its being worked on, stuck or even done. You would need the following:

  1. Add summary column of subitem statuses.
  2. Status Column on the Parent Item.
  3. In the Automation Template Library, look up Status Change.
  4. Find When status changes to something, change another status to something (Subitem Compatibale).
  5. You will also want to add When all subitem statues change to something, change a status to something.

These parts will get you to what you want.

if you are looking for a more sophisticated solution than above we provide free consult to show possibilities through the link below:

Hope this helps!

Mike B
Automation Architect

Hi Mike! Thanks for taking a crack at this!

I don’t see an option for “When all subitem statues change to something” when I make a new automation. Is that enabled through an integration or tucked away somewhere else?

I would also like to have the parent status override the subitem statuses. Is that possible? When I try to set that up, I get the “your previous selections don’t include subitem context” error.

Hi Riley,

That automation is found via the list of premade automation recipes (Automations Center)—this section includes some triggers and functions that are not available in custom automations.

Regarding using parent items to override subitem statuses: I can see the need for this. It’s a slightly deflating omission in’s native capabilities. Typically, I would use to either link the subitems to the parent (and manage it that way), or I’d just create some custom logic in the scenario.

Best of luck! And feel free to reach out via if you need any help.

Thank you, Francis! I wasn’t aware that there were options in the preset automations that can’t be used in the custom ones. A bit counterintuitive to me, but hey I’m glad it exists at least!

There are other nifty facts about the pre-built ones - “when status changes to something” ones can trigger off a mirror or summary column changing. These ones will let you pick a mirror column as the trigger.

I know unrelated but always worth being aware of it since it can enable some interesting things.

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It would be nice if we would have this option -
I wish there were some kind of “deliver 3 notifications as 1 if they happen within 1 second of each other” filter…

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