Overview of Workflow Automation

Workflow processes are sets of instructions that trigger actions if certain conditions are met.  You can think of these processes as "if/then" statements. Insightly admins can map out their repeatable business processes and set up workflows using relevant criteria, triggers, and actions.

  • How workflows work

  • Use cases

  • The parts of a workflow

  • Workflow Queue

  • Workflow Logs

  • Learn more

How workflows work

Workflows are a series of tasks you or your staff need to complete in order to complete an objective. They can always be described in statements like: "If this happens, then do that." Workflows are designed to guide you through series of tasks without missing any key steps. For more information, you can refer the videos

Workflows should be built for repeatable activities that take place to complete a specific task on a regular basis. This means that before an item begins the workflow, you know exactly what path it should take.

When a user completes a task, they will not responsible for passing data forward to the next task. The workflow is programmed to move forward based on the criteria, triggers, and actions you’ve configured. Insightly automatically moves the item from one step to another until it is completed.

You can also have multiple actions triggered by a process, and any action can happen immediately or at a scheduled time. Maybe when a contact from London is added to Insightly via the Web to Contact form:

  • A welcome email is sent to the contact.

  • A phone call task is created for a representative in the contact's region.

  • After 3 days, another email is sent.

  • After 5 days, a follow-up task is created for a representative to check in with the contact.


By setting up a workflow to trigger these activities, the actions occur automatically when the business rules are met. You can also choose whether Insightly evaluates each record when it's created or each time it's edited, and you can stop the evaluation process for a record once it has met the criteria.

When Insightly creates records or sends emails for you, they'll be linked to the original record that triggered them, just like when you manually create them yourself. The owner of the new record will be the person who created or edited the record that triggered the action.

You can only create 50 workflows per object type. For example, you can only have 50 workflows for Opportunity records.

Use cases

  • If a pipeline has been stagnant in a stage for an amount of time, automatically send an email to parties responsible for pipeline progression. This is accomplished by adding a hidden date field that updates to "today" using Workflow Automation. The automation runs on every edit meaning that if stage has changed, update the date field with the "today" value. Then use a workflow automation to trigger if the date field hasn’t changed in a specified amount of time, send an email. 

  • If a high value Opportunity from New York is created, automatically send an email to the user’s manager. Assign a task to follow up with the client in a week.

  • If an Opportunity with a value over $25,000 is won, send an email to notify the sales director.

  • If a Project status is changed to In Progress, create a check-in task for the project manager 7 days later.

  • Create a workflow for Employee onboarding, which might involve multiple meetings, reports, tasks, and departments.

The parts of a workflow

There are four possible parts to a workflow:

The Process > Criteria > Time Triggers > Actions

Each of these parts can be considered containers of the next part, because you can't have criteria without a process or actions without criteria.


When creating a workflow, you'll follow at least one step for each part. The third step, adding time triggers, is optional and is used when you want to schedule actions for a later date.

  1. Create a new process. This is a container for all the criteria and actions that will apply to a record type. To set it up:

    • Give the workflow a name

    • Define which record types will be monitored

    • Set how often records are evaluated

  2. Enter the criteria that will trigger actions in the workflow. These are the rules that Insightly will evaluate your records against. You can have multiple criteria for each workflow.

    • Enter the matching criteria that Insightly should be looking out for

  3. Add time triggers to your criteria. This is an optional step for setting up scheduled actions.

    • Set a date or time for the actions to occur. This date will be relative to other dates related to the record, such as 5 days after the trigger date, or 2 days before a Forecast Close Date.

  4. Define the actions that will take place when a record matches the criteria are met.

    • Add the actions to a time trigger if they are to happen at a specified date or time.

    • Add the details for creating a task, sending an email, updating a record (e.g., auto-populating fields or changing a stage), adding a webhook, or creating a new record.

How often you repeat steps 2-4 for each process depends on how complex you'd like to make it, since each process can contain multiple sets of criteria, and each set of criteria can contain multiple time triggers, and each trigger can contain multiple actions.


All the steps are covered in detail in How to configure an automated workflow.

Workflow Queue

All the actions triggered by workflows will be added to a queue. From the queue, you can view, filter, and cancel pending actions.

To access the Workflow Queue, navigate to System Settings > Workflow Automation and click Workflow Queue in the upper right of the screen.

Insightly will automatically delete any pending actions that are scheduled when:

  • A record is changed to no longer meet the criteria of a workflow.

  • A record with pending workflow actions is deleted.

  • Workflow criteria are changed and no longer match the records that triggered the actions. All records will be re-evaluated when this happens to see if they match the updated criteria. All the new records will be queued based on the current trigger setup, and there will be no changes to the old records.

Workflow Logs

For each workflow, Admins can review the log of executed workflow runs for each individual workflow. Navigate to System Settings > Workflow Automation and find the workflow you want to review. Click the three dot menu and select Show Workflow Log. Alternatively, you can click the Process Name and click View Log

The workflow log displays the last 100 entries for that specific Workflow Process, with the latest execution at the top (descending order). Admins can review successful log entries that have occurred in the last 90 days.

Learn more

For information about adding this feature to your account, email our sales team.

Read the following articles to learn more about workflow automation:

How to configure an automated workflow

Things to keep in mind for workflow automation

Webinar Recording: Streamline Business Processes Using Automation

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