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Manage your workflows

Edit, remove, force, and mark actions complete in a workflow running on a project, and update your workflow templates.

Sam Gioia avatar
Written by Sam Gioia
Updated over a week ago

Updated May 2, 2024

This article has two main sections: changes you can make to a workflow that is already running inside of a project, and changes you can make to a workflow template.

Any changes you make to the workflow inside of a project will not impact the workflow template found in TemplatesWorkflows.

Changes that are made to a workflow template will only take effect for future applications of that workflow and will not affect any active workflows that are already applied to projects.

Jump to the second section if you’d like more information on managing your workflow templates.

Manage a workflow inside a project

After applying a workflow to a project, there are some manual adjustments you can make to customize the automation. These include editing, removing, or forcing actions, and even removing the workflow completely.

Checkmarks and timestamps

When you view a workflow running inside of a project under the Workflows tab, you will see a large checkmark next to any action that has already run or been marked complete. Dubsado automatically adds these checkmarks for you. After an action has run, you will not be able to stop it or make any further edits to it.

screenshot of checked workflow actions inside a project

If you see a smaller checkbox, it is from a Create Todo workflow action. You can click on the smaller checkbox to complete the task. Learn more about todos and approvals.

Timestamps will appear as soon as the workflow is able to calculate a trigger time for an action. For example, if an action is triggered by the project date, you'll see a timestamp appear as soon as a project date is set.

circle around timestamp

Actions that have run will show a timestamp in place of the original trigger. Sometimes, there is a delay between the time an action is triggered and the time it actually runs. If the trigger time has passed but you don't see a checkmark next to that action yet, wait a few minutes then refresh Dubsado.

Edit an action

Click Edit next to an action inside the workflow to change the type of action, trigger, or content being sent. Don't forget to click Apply on the workflow action to save your changes.

circle around edit link

Below are some examples of when you may want to edit an action:

  • Change the trigger to adjust the timing

  • Customize the email to reference specifics about the client’s project

  • Select a different form or scheduler to send — if you’re changing the form, make sure to first add the new form to the project from the Forms tab)

Other actions in your workflow may be dependent on specific timing or content being sent. Remember to update other actions as needed.

Remove an action

Click Remove to completely delete an action from the workflow.

circle around remove link

As soon as you click Remove, the action will be deleted immediately. Removing an action can’t be undone, so only remove an action when you’re certain you do not want it to run!

Other actions in your workflow may be dependent on the action you are deleting. Remember to update other workflow actions as needed.

Mark an action complete

Click Mark Completed on an action to skip that action in the workflow. A large checkmark will appear as if the action had been completed, but the workflow will not perform that action.

circle around mark completed link

Using Mark Completed is best when you already took that action manually. For example, manually sending an email outside of the workflow that would normally be automated.

If you accidentally marked something complete, it’s not possible to undo the action. To add the action back to your workflow, click the Add Action button to re-add that workflow action.

Force an action to run

Click Force Now to run an action immediately, regardless of its position in the workflow.

circle around force now link

There may be a delay of a few minutes before the action is completed. After a few minutes, you can refresh Dubsado to make sure the checkmark appears, indicating that the action has run.

Forcing actions is helpful when a client needs something right away or if you're testing a workflow with actions set to run far into the future.

Add an action

Click Add Action at the bottom of the workflow to add a brand new action to the workflow. After adding the action, you can click and drag it into position.

arrow pointing to add action button

You may need to add an action when a client needs to be sent an extra email or if you accidentally removed an action and need to replace it.

Archive a workflow

Click Archive Workflow to completely remove a workflow from the project. Only archive the workflow when you're certain you no longer want the workflow on the project.

arrow pointing to archive button

Archiving a workflow is permanent and cannot be undone. Archiving a workflow won’t undo any of the actions already completed or delete any of the content already added to the project.

Pause or reactivate a workflow

Click the Active button to pause a workflow. Pausing a workflow prevents it from running any more actions until you manually reactivate it.

arrow pointing to active button

If the workflow is paused, click the Paused button to reactivate it. This will allow the workflow to continue running where it left off.

arrow pointing to paused button

If your workflow has paused due to an error, fix the error and refresh the page before unpausing the workflow.

Managing workflow templates

To make changes to your workflow templates, head to Templates ➔ Workflows.

Any changes made to your workflow templates will not automatically be applied to workflows that are already within projects. If you make changes to a workflow template and you’d like those changes to take effect in active projects straight away, you have a few options:

  • Remove the workflow and reapply it: Enter a project’s Workflows tab and Archive the workflow; this removes it from the project. Then, reapply the workflow. Whenever a workflow is applied, the system references the version of the workflow found in Templates ➔ Workflows, so any changes you’ve recently made will be used.

  • Manually update existing project workflows: If a project’s workflow is already partially completed, it may not make sense to remove and reapply the workflow. Reapplying the workflow may end up repeating actions that have already occurred. Instead, you’ll want to make your edits directly to this project workflow using the options above.

  • Update Project Workflows button: While editing a workflow template within Templates ➔ Workflows, you’ll have the option to force your updates through to all project workflows by clicking Update Project Workflows. This button is located underneath the last workflow action. Read on for more information about this option.

Update project workflows

Heads up! While efficient, the Update Project Workflows button uses specific logic. Carefully consider the implications of using this button before proceeding, as these actions cannot be undone.

If you’re considering using the Update Project Workflows button, here’s how it will function in different scenarios:

  • If you add a new action, that action will be added to every active project workflow. Even if you added your new action at an earlier point in the workflow and a project workflow has already passed that point, it will still appear - because it's a new action.

  • If you edit an existing action, those edits will only appear on the workflows that have not yet performed that action. If a workflow has performed the action already, it won't make edits to it, because that action has been marked as Completed.

  • If a workflow is marked as Complete, all actions in the workflow have been performed. In this case, the Update Project Workflows button will add the action but not perform it. A workflow that is Complete is effectively paused, and will not perform additional actions automatically. You can click the "Force now" to force the action to occur immediately.

The Update Project Workflows button will affect in-use workflows on projects differently depending on how they have been edited within the specific projects. For example:

  • If you deleted a workflow action from a project workflow, but not from the master template, then clicking the "Update Project Workflows" button on the master template will re-add that action onto that project's workflow. It will then run as normal (or error), based on its trigger parameters.

  • If your workflow template has a payment plan attached and you changed the payment plan within the project, and you later use the “Update Project Workflows” button, the original payment plan from your workflow template will be reapplied - which may affect the other triggers in your workflow.

Because every single workflow on each project is going to be at a different point in the workflow, it can be difficult to know exactly how Update Project Workflows is going to affect all of your current uses of that workflow. For this reason, we recommend caution before using this button.

Consider clicking View Workflow on a workflow template to see an overview of all uses of that workflow.

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