I am trying to automate an approvals process for a marketing agency. The basic workflow is that a writer creates a copy doc, someone reviews and either requests changes or approves. Right now we have a “Copy Draft” subitem assigned to the writer and a “Copy Approval” subitem assigned to the reviewer. I would ideally like to have this as just one subitem with an automation that assigns/changes the date based on whether changes are needed or it’s approved. I’m looking for some ideas on how to make this happen.
Here is the workflow I’d love to create:
- “Copy” task is created and assigned to the writer with a status of “Needs Action”
- Writer completes the draft, posts the document to the task, and selects a status of “Ready for Review.”
- An automation runs that re-assigns the task to the reviewer and pushes the due date out by two days.
- The reviewer then posts their edits to the task and changes status to “Revisions Needed.”
- An automation runs that re-assigns the task to the writer and pushes the due date out two days.
- Steps 2 & 3 can be repeated until the reviewer approves. Once approved, they would change the status to “Approved,” and the task would be considered complete.
The challenge I have is that the writer and reviewer change for each project, and I’m not sure how I could automate the re-assigning process.
The app Status Controlled Groups can do this. See this integration:
In this case when an item within the Bronze group changes to Pls. Review, the item is moved to a group Review 1 and the status is changed to Working. All persons you have in the Reviewer column will be copied to the Assignee column.
You can build multiple of those. e.g.
If you are more interested in basic automations instead of an application, we can explore some workarounds by tweaking a few columns and status labels.
We’ve implemented a similar workflow where we set up a status for each individual writer and reviewer (eg "Shawna is Writing or “Shawna Please Review”) and pair that with an automation like this:
In this use case you would have to create the automation for each person you would like to be assigned as a writer and reviewer. You can see , this approach can get complex quickly:
For larger teams, I would recommend considering using two columns for due dates: a Writer’s due date that would be a deadline for them (people column+date column) and a reviewer deadline people + date. Then, create a status column for the item and the subitem that are identical (text, case, and color!) to be able to run automations based on these statuses for a main line item and/or subtasks:
Here’s what we would propose as statuses and their associated automations:
- Copy Draft → The start of your workflow. Someone would manually create the item, set the Writer person column, set the Reviewer person column, and set the writer’s due date
*Please review → would automatically clear the writer’s due date and set the reviewer’s due date column out two days, and notify the reviewer people column to review.
Revisions Needed → would automatically clear the revisor’s due date, set the writer’s due date column out two days, and notify the writer people column to review
Ready to Publish → Would send a notification to whoever publishes
Published (“done” state) → automate archiving or moving to a “completed items” group
Needs Action → Notify writer/set due date to today (or similar action)
These steps and recommendations will need to be tweaked for your exact use case, but I hope this can help you think a bit differently about using columns and automations to create workarounds for your needs!
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Thank you! This might have to be how we approach. I was hoping to avoid multiple status and date columns, because of how they show up in “My Work,” but we may have to go that route and individually help everyone update their “My Work” customizations to reflect the date/status that applies to them.
thank you, this is an interesting solution! Since we are working with subtasks though and don’t want them moving to different groups, I’m not sure it will work for us.