Overview of workflow automation

Workflows are like smart robot assistants that live in your Insightly account. You tell them what to do and when to do it, and they will take action when needed.

For each workflow, you will set up a process that contains criteria, triggers, and actions. You can think of these processes as "if/then" statements. For example:

  • If an opportunity with a value over $25,000 is won, then send an email to notify the sales director.
  • If a project status is changed to In Progress, then create a check-in task for the project manager 7 days later.

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:

  1. A welcome email is sent to the contact.
  2. A phone call task is created for a representative in the contact's region.
  3. After 3 days, another email is sent.
  4. 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.

And the owner of the new record will be the person who created or edited the record that triggered the action, keeping all the right people in the loop.

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.

The 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.

Access the Workflow Queue on the System Settings > Workflow Processes page.


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.

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

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