Workflow actions
Charis Barg avatar
Written by Charis Barg
Updated over a week ago

Updated Jul 10, 2023

Creating a workflow allows you to automate your business process. Go to Templates >> Workflows to get started.

Each step in a workflow is made up of an action and a trigger. The workflow action is what you want the workflow to do.

🚨 This article describes workflow actions only. Triggers are the When portion, which is not discussed in this article. Click here for information on workflow triggers.


Change Project Status

Automatically moves the project into the project status of your choice.

screenshot of project statuses

Selecting this workflow action will create an additional dropdown. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Status for Project

Open the dropdown to see all available project statuses.

To add a project status that saves in Dubsado, go to Projects >> Customize.

Example uses:

  • Move clients from “new inquiries” to “consultation booked” once they’ve scheduled an appointment.

  • Switch from “waiting on contract” to “start web design” after your client signs the contract.

  • Change clients from “photograph wedding” to “edit photos” after the wedding date passes.

Common errors: Deleting a project status used in a workflow will pause that workflow with the error message "This supplied project status does not exist". Update your workflow in Templates >> Workflows with a new project status. To fix for an active client:

  1. Go to Projects and select your client.

  2. Select the Workflows tab.

  3. Click Add Action.

  4. Select Change Project Status and choose a different project status.

  5. Click Remove on the action with the error.

  6. Click the Paused button to unpause the workflow. The button will change to say Active and the workflow will continue.


Add Tag

Automatically adds one or more tags to the project.

Selecting this workflow action will create an additional dropdown. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Tag to Add

Open the dropdown to see all available tags.

To add tags that save in Dubsado, go to Projects >> Customize or open the dropdown and click Create New Tag.

Example use: You have a lead capture form that leads to different workflows depending on if clients select “engagement”, “family”, or “headshots”.

Common errors: Deleting a tag used in a workflow won’t add the tag to the project. The workflow won’t pause, but the Add Tag action will be marked as completed. Update your workflow in Templates >> Workflows with a new tag. To fix for an active client:

  1. Go to Projects and select your client.

  2. In the sidebar, manually add the correct tag under Tags.


Send Email

Sends an email to your client without any Dubsado forms attached. To send an email with a Dubsado form, use Send Form instead.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Email to send

Select the email that you want to send to the client.

To add an email template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Canned Emails.

The email won’t show any form smart field links. To send an email with a form, use Send Form instead.

Subject Line and Email Body

Any edits here update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your email template in Templates >> Canned Emails.

Example uses:

  • "Thank you" auto-responses.

  • Instructions before an event.

  • Sending the client portal link and password.

Common errors:

  • You can’t attach a file to an email in a workflow. Attaching a file to an email can only be done manually.

  • You can only add a contract or portal smart field link in the email as long as you’ve added the Send Contract or Activate Portal actions beforehand within the workflow.

  • Editing the email in Templates >> Canned Emails won’t automatically update the email in a workflow. To load the latest version in your template, go to Templates >> Workflows and re-select the email template. To fix for an active client:

    1. Go to Projects and select your client.

    2. Select the Workflows tab.

    3. Click Edit on the Send email action.

    4. Re-select the email template from the dropdown to load the latest version.

    5. Click Apply.


Send Form

Sends an email to your client with a link to a sub-agreement, questionnaire, or proposal form. To send a contract, use Send Contract.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Send Form Options

Choose how you’d like the client to receive the form.

Send email and apply to portal: The form is both emailed to your client and uploaded to the client portal.

Apply to portal: The form is added to the client portal only — the client won’t get any emails or notifications.

Apply to project only: The form is added to the client’s project under the Forms tab — the client won’t get any emails or notifications and can’t access the form.

Regardless of the option, forms are automatically loaded into each client’s project under the Forms tab once the workflow starts.

Form Template to Send

Select the form that you want to link to in the email.

To add a form template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Forms.

Email to send

Select the email that you want to send to the client.

To add an email template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Canned Emails.

For the form link to appear in the email, your email must include the smart field {{form | formLink}}. Add the smart field by clicking Smart Field >> Link >> Form Link.

Subject Line and Email Body

Any edits here update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your email template in Templates >> Canned Emails.

Example uses:

  • Send a contract link, client portal link, and one form link all in one email.

  • Upload a PDF as a form to get more information from your client.

  • Add forms to the client’s project for later use.

Common errors:

  • Only one form per email may be sent. To send multiple forms:

    1. Create separate Send Form actions for each form with Apply to portal checked.

    2. Add a Send Email action with client portal information written out in the email. That way, your client can access all their forms through their client portal instead of receiving multiple emails.

  • You can only add a contract or portal smart field link in the email as long as you’ve added the Send Contract or Activate Portal actions beforehand within the workflow.


Create Todo

Creates a reminder for you to manually complete a task.

screenshot of an example task within a workflow

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Assigned User

Assign the task to a multi-user. Assigned tasks appear in their Dubsado account. Tasks won’t appear in the brand owner’s account.

Assign the task to yourself or leave it blank. Assigned tasks appear on your Dubsado dashboard. Unassigned tasks only show on the Tasks page or in the client’s project.

Reminder

Write the task that you need to complete. Use smart fields to automatically populate additional details.

Send email reminder

Check this box to receive an email to complete the task when the workflow reaches this step.

Both the brand owner and assigned multi-user will receive an email.

View or mark your todo tasks as complete in any of the following areas in Dubsado:

  • Click Tasks to see tasks for all active projects.

  • Go to Projects and select your client. Click on either the Workflows or Tasks tabs.

  • Click Dashboard and scroll down to Tasks to see tasks for all active projects.

Example uses:

  • “Edit wedding photos.”

  • “Call {{client.name}} at {{client.phone}}.”

Common errors:

  • To pause the workflow until you complete the task, only use the workflow trigger After all previous actions complete. The workflow won’t continue until you’ve checked the task as complete.

  • You can’t add due dates on tasks created through a workflow. Only tasks created manually from Tasks >> Add Task can have due dates.

  • Deleting a task created by a workflow (even if you didn’t complete it) will register as completing the task, so your workflow will move on to the next step.


Send Contract

Sends the main contract for the project. To send a sub-agreement, use Send Form instead.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Send Contract Options

Choose how you’d like the client to receive the contract.

Send email and apply to portal: The contract is both emailed to your client and uploaded to the client portal.

Apply to portal: The contract is added to the client portal only — the client won’t get any emails or notifications.

Apply to project only: The contract is added to the client’s project from the sidebar under Contract — the client won’t get any emails or notifications and can’t access the form.

Contract Template to Send

Select the contract that you want to link to in the email.

To add a contract template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Forms.

Email to Send

Select the email that you want to send to the client.

To add an email template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Canned Emails.

For the contract link to appear in the email, your email must include the smart field {{job | contractLink}}. Add the smart field by clicking Smart Field >> Link >> Contract Link.

Subject Line and Email Body

Any edits here update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your email template in Templates >> Canned Emails.

Example uses:

  • Email the contract automatically after a questionnaire gets filled out.

  • Load the contract to your client’s project to make edits before emailing.

Common errors:

  • If you have a proposal with a contract attached to it, use Send Form to send both the proposal and contract. Don’t use this workflow action.

  • Unlike forms, contracts aren’t automatically loaded into each client’s project once the workflow starts. Therefore, to edit the contract before sending it to the client, create two Send Contract actions — the first using Apply to project only and the second using Send email and apply to portal.


Send Primary Invoice

Sends the primary invoice for the project.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Email to send

Select the email that you want to send to the client.

To add an email template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Canned Emails.

For the invoice link to appear in the email, your email must include the smart field {{job | invoiceLink}}. Add the smart field by clicking Smart Field >> Link >> Invoice Link.

Subject Line and Email Body

Any edits here update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your email template in Templates >> Canned Emails.

Example uses:

  • Review a client's proposal before sending the invoice.

  • Send out the invoice link as a transaction receipt (only possible with workflow triggers After invoice paid in full or After invoice installment paid).

Common errors:


Create Invoice

Creates a new invoice that gets added to the client’s project.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Packages

Select the invoice template that you want to assign to the client.

To add an invoice template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Packages.

Any edits to the package update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your package template in Templates >> Packages.

New Line Item or Notes

Click to create an invoice directly within the workflow.

Select Discount

Select a discount that gets applied to the invoice.

To add a discount template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Packages >> Discounts or open the dropdown and click Create New Discount.

Select Payment Plan

Optional. Choose a payment plan that will apply to the selected invoice.

To add a payment plan template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Payment Plans or open the dropdown and click Create Payment Plan.

You can’t trigger other actions in the workflow based on this payment plan. To trigger an action based on a payment plan, apply a payment plan to the entire workflow instead.

Send Email With Invoice

Check to send the invoice link in an email at the same time that the invoice is created.

Additional fields will appear to choose an email template. See Send primary invoice for specifics.

Example uses:

  • Email an invoice after clients fill out a lead capture form.

  • Initiate a base invoice with additional customization options after an initial consultation.

Common errors:

  • If you have a proposal with an invoice attached to it, don't use this workflow action or a second invoice will get created. Send the proposal with Send Form.

    • If you have a payment plan applied to the entire workflow, leave the Payment plan section blank in your proposal template settings. Connecting a payment plan on both the workflow and the proposal template will cause an error.

  • Payment plans applied to the entire workflow won't get added to invoices created using this workflow action.

  • If an invoice already exists in the client's project, the invoice created by this workflow action won't become the primary invoice.


Activate or Deactivate Portal

Activates or deactivates the client portal. When you activate the client portal, your client won’t get any emails or notifications, so you will still need to send them an email with their client portal details. You must also create a client portal password.

Example use:

Below is a workflow example of activating the client portal, setting a password, and emailing your client the information as soon as the client signs their contract:

  1. Activate Portal immediately After contract signed by client.

  2. Create Todo “create portal password” immediately After contract signed by client.

  3. Send Email “portal link and onboarding information” immediately After all previous actions complete.

Common errors:

  • The Send Email action must include the client portal smart field link for clients to access the portal.

  • There isn’t a way to automate setting up a password.

  • It’s not necessary to deactivate the client portal unless you want to revoke client access to your forms. Client portals can remain active indefinitely.


Pause Workflow

Prevents the workflow from completing future actions until you manually unpause the workflow.

To restart the workflow:

  1. Go to Projects and select the client’s project.

  2. Go to the Workflows tab

  3. Click the yellow Paused button. The button will turn green and say Active.

Example uses:

  • After a client completes their questionnaire, you want to prepare a customized quote.

  • Once a client books an appointment and you want to personalize the email.

Common errors:

  • You most likely won’t need this workflow action often unless you often create highly customized quotes.

  • You won’t get a notification to unpause the workflow so remember to manually unpause the workflow.

  • Paused workflows won’t create todo reminders.


Hold Actions Until

Prevents future actions in the workflow from running until specific conditions are met.

You can list multiple Hold Actions Until in a row if you want to pause the workflow until multiple actions are completed by the client.

Example uses:

  • Require a paid invoice before continuing the workflow.

  • Get a completed questionnaire before sending an email.

Common errors:

  • You must use the workflow trigger After all previous actions complete on any future workflow actions that you want to hold.

  • If a future workflow action runs before the condition is met, it’s because the workflow trigger was based on a stand-alone trigger. For instance, an action with the trigger After project end date will activate as soon as the project date is reached.


Send Appointment Scheduler

Sends an appointment scheduler template.

Selecting this workflow action will open additional fields to fill out. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Require approval before completing this action

Check to pause the workflow until you manually approve the workflow to continue. Click here for more information.

Send Scheduler Options

Choose how you’d like the client to receive the scheduler.

Send email and apply to portal: The scheduler is both emailed to your client and uploaded to the client portal.

Apply to portal: The scheduler is added to the client portal only — the client won’t get any emails or notifications.

Apply to project only: The scheduler is added to the client’s project under the Appointments tab — the client won’t get any emails or notifications and can’t access the scheduler.

Scheduler Template to Send

Select the scheduler that you want to link to in the email.

To add a scheduler template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Scheduler.

The scheduler selected can be watched for future appointment-based workflow triggers.

Email to send

Select the email that you want to send to the client.

To add an email template that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Canned Emails.

For the scheduler link to appear in the email, your email must include the smart field {{scheduler | schedulerLink}}. Add the smart field by clicking Smart Field >> Link >> Scheduler Link.

Subject Line and Email Body

Any edits here update for this specific workflow only — edits won’t change your email template in Templates >> Canned Emails.

Example uses:

  • You use Apply to project to book appointments on behalf of your client.

  • Add the scheduler to the client portal so clients can easily schedule multiple appointments.

  • You don’t want your availability to be public, so you send your calendar to serious inquiries only.

Common errors:

  • Appointment-based workflow triggers (After an appointment is scheduled, Before an appointment start time, and After an appointment has ended) are based on the scheduler selected for this workflow action. To use any of the above workflow triggers, you must incorporate this action previously in the workflow.

  • Make sure the scheduler you select in Scheduler Template to Send doesn’t have a lead capture form attached or a second project will get generated. To check:

    1. Go to Templates >> Scheduler and select your scheduler.

    2. Click Advanced.

    3. Under Additional form, make sure there is no form selected.


Start a Workflow

Applies and activates a new workflow on the project.

Selecting this workflow action will create an additional dropdown. See the table below for details:

What to fill out

Description

Choose a workflow

Open the dropdown to see all available workflows.

To add a workflow that saves in Dubsado, go to Templates >> Workflows.

Example uses:

  • Instead of one large workflow, break up the process with shorter workflows.

  • Create a “contract reminders” workflow within a workflow that sends out reminders without detracting from the main workflow.

Common errors:

  • The new workflow isn’t visible in the client’s project until the main workflow reaches this action.

  • The new workflow will start automatically. If you want to review the workflow before it starts, use the Pause Workflow action as the first step. That way, the new workflow won’t start until you manually approve it.

  • The same workflow cannot be automatically restarted to use indefinitely.

  • You can’t use workflows to trigger actions in another workflow. For instance, sending a form in workflow A won’t trigger anything based on the form in workflow B.


Archive Project

Archives the project and pauses all workflows.

Example use:

  • Remove completed projects from the Projects page.

Common errors:

  • Any time you archive a project, the associated workflow will immediately pause. Don’t archive a project if you have workflow items that haven’t been completed yet.

  • Unarchiving a project won’t automatically resume the workflow.

  • To resume a workflow in an archived project, you must first unarchive the project:

    1. Go to the Projects page and select your archived project.

    2. Next to the project title, click the dropdown arrow.

    3. Select Un-Archive. Your project is now active.

    4. Click the Workflows tab.

    5. Click the Paused button to activate the workflow.

  • Archiving a project with a lead project status deletes any invoices on that project.

  • Archiving a project with a job status keeps the invoice associated with that project.

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