Automation options in Insightly

This article is part of the Insightly Automation Guide

Automation is about having Insightly do things for you exactly when you need them done.

There are two ways to automate actions in Insightly:

  • Pipelines and activity sets, which are available on all Insightly accounts
  • Workflows, which are available with top-tier subscription plans

With either option, you can save time and prevent important steps in any process from being skipped.

If you use Pipelines with activity sets and switch to workflows, or if you want to use both features, be sure to keep track of where your tasks are being created.

When a Pipeline stage is changed by a workflow, this will not trigger related activity sets. So, you'd have to create all the tasks in the workflow itself. Likewise, workflows that create tasks based on a Pipeline stage change might duplicate tasks that are already being created by a related activity set. 

Workflows vs. Pipelines with Activity Sets

Pipelines with activity sets can automatically create tasks and events when a Pipeline reaches a certain stage. Workflows can create and update many other types of records, as well as send emails, based on many other criteria.

Before getting to more details, here's a quick comparison chart.

  Workflows Pipelines + Activity Sets
Available actions Send emails
Create tasks
Change values in a record
Add a new record
Create tasks
Create events
Available triggers Too many to list. Just about any new or changed value in a record's fields. Pipeline stage change
Applies to these types of records Tasks
Contacts
Organizations
Leads
Opportunities
Projects
Opportunities
Projects
Subscription plan availability Professional and Enterprise plans All plans

Pipelines with Activity Sets

Some business processes are simple:

"When we reach the building stage of a project, create tasks for the crew."

Combining Pipelines and activity sets lets Insightly recognize when someone moves the Pipeline to the right stage and then create the tasks for you.

Think of Pipelines as a conveyor belt. You follow the same steps each time you work on a project or pursue a sale. When a certain stage is reached, an activity set can be waiting to create tasks and events for you, like a lever that flips a switch.

  Apply Pipelines with activity sets on:   So they can:   When:
  • Opportunities
  • Projects
  • Create tasks
  • Create events
  • Reaching a Pipeline stage

If this option meets your requirements, read more about Pipelines and how to set them up.

Workflow Automation

Other business processes are more complex:

"When a new contact is added as a customer:

  • Send them a welcome email immediately
  • Send a follow-up email three days later
  • Create a task for an account representative to check in

If it's added as a vendor:

  • Update the custom Billing ID field
  • Create a task for the accountant to add them to our payment system."

That's a lot for someone to monitor and do. With workflows, Insightly can watch for records that meet certain rules. When a record is added or updated and meets those rules, Insightly will take the actions you've set up for that item in a workflow.

Workflows require more careful planning and effort to set up, but the time savings going forward can be immense. Instead of the simple lever-and-switch action of Pipelines and activity sets, workflows are more like smart robots that follow detailed instructions.

  Configure Workflows for:   So they can:   When:
  • Tasks
  • Contacts
  • Organizations
  • Leads
  • Opportunities
  • Projects
  • Send emails
  • Create tasks
  • Change values in the record
  • Add a new record
  • A new record or updated record meets a wide selection of criteria that you customize

If you have complex processes you would like to automate, check out the detailed overview on workflows and the configuration instructions.

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