Time-Based Automations

Purpose

The automations feature functions like your personal assistant. You can use automations to create rules to move Contacts or Jobs through statuses in a workflow, create tasks, and even send email templates.

Time-based automations will perform an action or set of actions based on conditions you choose after a given amount of time. For example, if you would like a Contact's status to change 10 days after a Contact was moved into a specific status, you can create a time-based automation for that.

Before we get into it

Before you create your automation rules, look at your job process. To learn more about creating your job process, read more in our article about Workflows here. As you are going through your job process, make a note of actions, such as creating tasks, sending emails, and moving a Contact or Job from one status to the next, you might want to have every time at certain steps during the process.

Mark down all of the actions you want JobNimbus to do during your job process. If you need an email sent at a certain status, make note of that. If you need a task created at a certain status, make note of that, this is an event-based automation. To learn how to create event-based automations, read our article here. If you need a task created after a certain amount of time, and then an email sent out after that task is complete, make note of that, this is a time-based automation.

After you have made note of all of the actions you'd like JobNimbus to do during your job process, you can use those notes to help you build your automations so JobNimbus works for you.

We have included a set of Automation recipes for your convenience. You can access these recipes here.

Overview

The automation feature in JobNimbus utilizes "If/Then" programming to cut down on the repetitive tasks you need to do. This feature implements specific rules that, once triggered, initiate particular actions. Some examples of how time-based automations can be used are as follows:

  • Send an email at a specific time.
  • Notify a sales rep if a lead's status hasn't changed for a long time.
  • Change the status of a Contact or Job after a period of time.
  • Create a follow-up task after an appointment is completed.
  • Send appointment reminder emails to customers.
  • Change the status of a Contact or Job after a document is signed.

Accessing Automations

To access your automations, click on your name in the top right corner select "Settings" from the drop-down menu. Then, select "Automation" from the menu on the left. This will bring up your automations page to view all of your automation rules.

If you already have automation rules set up, you can duplicate existing automation rules by clicking on the 3 dots to the right of the rule title and select Duplicate.

Automations - Duplicate

To add a new rule, click on the "Add Rule" button in the top right of the Rules pane.

Automations - Add Rule Button

This will bring up the Add Automation Rule window.

Automations Time - Ruleset

To update the rule from Event based to Time based, click on the Trigger type drop-down and select "Time based" from the options provided.

Automations Time - Change Type

Changing the trigger type will update the Add Rule window.

Automations Time - Trigger Rule

In the Add Rule window, you can:

  1. Name your rule. Be descriptive in your name so you can easily find it in your rules list.
  2. Update the trigger type. Clicking on the drop-down menu will bring up two options: Event based and Time based. Switching to Event based will revert the Add Automation Rule window back to its default state so you can create an Event based automation rule. To learn more about Event based automation rules, read our article here.
  3. Update the trigger record. The different records you can use to trigger the automation are: Contact, Job, Task, Work Order, Material Order, Payment, Attachment, or Activity. Each different type of record will allow for different conditions to specify how the automation will trigger. Note that some of these trigger records will have to be enabled before they appear in the drop-down menu.
  4. Specify when to run the automation. You can use this section to specify how long after or before the conditions are met that the action happens. You can specify the time in the amount of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. You can also specify after the record is created, updated, or another option available with specific record types.
  5. Add a condition. These conditions are what JobNimbus will look for to trigger the automation. For example, you can add a condition for when a Contact's status is equal to Lead. When a Contact is in that status, the automation will trigger when the given time frame has elapsed. Conditions are explained in more detail below.
  6. Add an action. An action is what is triggered after a record meets the condition of the rule. For example, once the Contact is in the Lead status, a task can be created that is assigned to the Sales Rep to follow up with the Contact. Actions are detailed below.
  7. Save your automation rule.

Automation Conditions

Clicking on the "Add Condition" button, will pull up the Add Condition window. This is the "If" part of the "If/Then" programming of the automation. The options in this window will depend on the trigger record chosen.

Automations Time - Condition

In the Add Condition window, you can:

  1. Choose the category in the record type. For example, when using a Contact record, you can choose the condition to be a workflow type, a status, or a custom contact field.
  2. Choose the category to be equal or not equal to the option chosen in the next drop-down menu. This could be different depending on the record type chosen, such as for tasks, you can choose to view complete or incomplete.
  3. Specify the category further. For example, when using a Contact record and choosing the workflow type as the condition, you can choose the workflow type to be equal to Residential Retail. Now when a Contact is in that workflow type, the action will trigger.
  4. Save your Condition.

You can add as many conditions as you need to your automation rule. For example, when using a Contact record for the trigger, you can add a condition for "the Workflow type is equal to Residential Retail", and another condition for "the Status is equal to Write Estimate", and then another for "the Sales Rep to not be equal to [John Doe]". This could help specify the exact condition you want to trigger your action. The more specific the conditions are, the more control you have over triggering the automation and the more targeted you can make the resulting action.

Adding a condition will open another option on the Add Automation Rule window. This option allows you to require all the conditions be met to trigger the action, or just any condition be met for the action to be triggered.

Automations Event - Condition Required

If you have the option "Require all conditions to be true" checked, this means that each condition you have entered into the automation rule must be met before the automation can run. If the option "Require any condition to be true" is checked, only one of the conditions needs to be met in order for the automation to run.

Automation Actions

Clicking on the "Add Action" button will pull up the Add Action window. The action is the "Then" part of the "If/Then" programming in the automation.

Automations - Action

In the Add Action window, you can:

  1. Choose which action will be triggered. These actions are: Create Task, Send Email, Change Status of either Contact or Job, and Webhooks. These will be detailed below.
  2. Click Continue, which will allow you to create the details of the action.

Create Task Action

The create task action allows you to create a task when the condition or conditions are met.

Automations - Create Task

In the Create Task window, you can:

  1. Choose the task type. You can create custom task categories in your settings. To learn more about task types, read our article here.
  2. Name your task. This is required to create your task. Give your task a descriptive name.
  3. Give your task a description. You can use this text box to further describe your task.
  4. Mark the task as All Day. Unchecking this box, will unlock another option to specify the duration of your task.
  5. Specify the Start or Due Date of the task. This is specified to trigger after the condition or conditions are met. You can specify the time in the amount of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years.
  6. Update the priority of the task. The priority can be set to None, High, Medium, or Low.
  7. Choose the assignee for the task. This is required to create your task. Click in the text field to pull up a drop-down menu of all the team members you have in JobNimbus. You can also choose, Current Assignees, Sales Rep, Contact, or all Related Contacts.
  8. Choose to maintain related contacts in the task. This means that the task will relate the task to the Contact or Job of the trigger record if this is checked.
  9. Save your action.

Send Email Action

The send email action allows you to send an email when the condition or conditions are met.

Automations - Email Action

In the Send Email window, you can:

  1. Choose which email template you will be sending to your Contact. You can only send email templates through automation rules. To learn more about email templates, read our article here.
  2. Give your email a subject line.
  3. Choose one or more recipients for the email. Click in the text field to pull up a drop-down menu of all the team members you have in JobNimbus. You can also choose, Current Assignees, Sales Rep, Contact, or all Related Contacts. Note that Related Contacts does not include the actual Contact/Customer in your record.
  4. Save your action.

Change Status Action

The change status action allows you to change the status of a Contact or Job when the condition or conditions are met. You could also change the Contact or Job's workflow type using this action.

Automations - Status Action

In the Change Status window, you can:

  1. Choose the Workflow type you would like to move the Contact or Job into.
  2. Choose the Status the Contact or Job will have in the Workflow type.
  3. Save your action.

Webhook Action

Webhooks allow you to create specific code for automations. We do not recommend you creating webhooks if you are not familiar with programming.

Webhooks are a method for two websites or internet services to transfer data from a beginning point and an endpoint. The data transferred may encompass various purposes such as transferring contact information, sharing event or activity information between systems, or providing a reporting to an endpoint that collects and utilizes the data provided.

Within the Automations function of JobNimbus, you are able to connect JobNimbus to an open, static webhook URL to transfer data to another service. Examples of the record types’ information that may be transported via a webhook from JobNimbus include:

  • Contacts

  • Job details.

  • Tasks

  • Work Orders

  • Material Orders

  • Activity (Notes, System Information, and Timestamps)

To connect JobNimbus to an outside service using a webhook, you will need to retrieve a static webhook URL from the outside service. Please contact support of the outside service if you are unfamiliar with how to retrieve this.

The following fields are available for the various record types provided via a webhook URL:

  • Contacts:

    address line1, address line2, city, company, country name, created by, created by email, created by name, date created, date end, date start, date status change, date updated, description, display name, email, external id, fax number, first name, home phone, jnid (JobNimbus ID), last name, mobile phone, number, owners (Assignees), record type name, sales rep, sales rep email, sales rep name, source name, state text, status name, tags, type, website, work phone, zip.

  • Jobs:

    address line1, address line2, city, country name, created by, created by name, date created, date end, date start, date status change, date updated, description, external id, jnid (JobNimbus ID), name, number, owners (Assignees), primary id, primary name, primary number, primary type, record type name, related, sales rep, sales rep name, source name, state text, status name, tags, type, type contact, zip

  • Tasks

    created by, created by email, created by name, date created, date end, date start, date updated, description, external id, is completed, number, owners (Assignees), primary, priority, record type name, related, tags, title, type

  • Work Orders:

    date updated, created by, created by email, created by name, customer note, date created, date end, date start, date status change, internal note, jnid (JobNimbus ID), number, owners (Assignees), record type name, related, sales rep, status name, type

  • Material Orders:

    created by, created by email, created by name, customer note, date created, date material order, date status change, date updated, internal note, jnid (JobNimbus ID), number, owners (Assignees), related, sales rep, status name, type

  • Activity (Notes, System Information, and Timestamps):

    created by email, created by name, created by, date created, date updated, email status, external id, is status change, jnid (JobNimbus ID), note, owners (Assignees), primary id, primary name, primary new status, primary old status, primary type, record type name, related, sales rep, sales rep name, type

Time-Based Automation Recipes

The following are several recipes we have included for your use. If any of these tasks are something you would like JobNimbus to accomplish during your job process, use the recipe provided to create the time-based automation rule.

  1. Send an email notification when a Contact's status hasn't changed

  2. Move a contact to another status after a period of time

  3. Send an email and create task after a period of time for a job

  4. Send an email reminder before an appointment

  5. Create a task based on a custom field on a Contact or Job

  6. Change the status of a Work Order and create a task

  7. Send an email and change the Status of a Contact when a document is signed

  8. Send an email at a specific time

  9. Create an appointment reminder for team members

  10. Create a payment reminder to follow up with a non-paying customer

Recipe 1: Send an email notification when contact has been sitting in a Status for X amount of time

This recipe can help if a Contact has been sitting in a notification for a long time. You can send an email to the Contact to see if they are still interested. You could also use this recipe to send a notification to a team member or manager.

Prior to the automation setup:

  • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.

Creating the Automation

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Contact" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Status is equal to "Select appropriate status
  6. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  7. Select "Add Action"
  8. Choose the "Send Email" action
  9. Select the appropriate email template
  10. Type in the subject of your choice
  11. Select "Contact" in the Recipients text field

Automations Time - Recipe 01

Automations Time - Recipe 01 Action

Recipe 2: Move a Contact to another status after a period of time

This recipe would be helpful for moving old leads into a lost lead status. However, if you have other situations where it would make sense to move contacts into another status based on a time period you can do so.

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Contact" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Type is equal to "Select appropriate type"
  6. Select "Add Condition"
  7. Make the condition: If Status is equal to "Select appropriate status"
  8. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  9. Select "Add Action"
  10. Choose the "Change Status" action
  11. Choose the Workflow type
  12. Choose the "Lost" status (This can updated depending on what status you want the Contact to be moved to)
Automations Time - Recipe 02

Recipe 3: Send an email and create a task after a period of time for a job

Prior to the automation setup:

  • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.

Creating the Automation

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Job" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Status is equal to "Select appropriate status"
  6. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  7. Select "Add Action"
  8. Choose the "Create Task" action
  9. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"
  10. Select "Add Action" again
  11. Choose the "Send Email" action
  12. Select the appropriate email template
  13. Type in the subject of your choice
  14. Select "Select Appropriate Recipient" in the Recipients text field. This will be the parent contact the job is associated with

Automations Time - Recipe 03

Automations Time - Recipe 03 Action

Recipe 4: Send an email reminder before an appointment

This automation is for when you want to send an email notification to the Contact and Related Contacts a certain amount of time before an appointment start date.

Prior to the automation setup:

  • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.
  • Create a custom task type. To learn more about creating task types, read our article here.
  • Create an appointment for the Contact.

Creating the Automation

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Task" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "Before" "Start Date"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Task Type is equal to "Appointment"
  6. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  7. Select "Add Action"
  8. Choose the "Send Email" action
  9. Select the appropriate email template
  10. Type in the subject of your choice
  11. Select "All Related Contacts" as recipients.

Automations Time - Recipe 04

Recipe 5: Create a task based on a custom field on a Contact or Job

Prior to the automation setup:

  • Create a custom field on the "Contact Fields" tab. To read more on creating custom fields, read our article here.

Creating the Automation

Below are three examples of custom fields, Text, Boolean, and Options, used in a time-based automation. Keep in mind there are many variables so you would need to customize this automation to meet your specific needs.

You could create custom fields on a Contact, Job or Work Order. We will be using a Job but you can select Contact depending on your needs.

Text

The "Text" automation is triggered from a specific text you type into the text box. You could have a certain keyword that triggers this automation based on what you set up for a word in the automation.

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Job" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Custom Text Field is equal to "Given text" (given variables change on what you choose)
  6. Select "Add Condition" again
  7. Make the condition: If "Type" is equal to "Select appropriate workflow"
  8. Select "Add Condition" again
  9. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Select appropriate status"
  10. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  11. Select "Add Action"
  12. Choose the "Create Task" action
  13. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"

Automations Time - Recipe 05 Text

Boolean

The "Boolean" automation is triggered from a true or false statement chosen from a checkbox you check or uncheck in your Contact information.

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Job" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Custom Boolean Field is equal to "True" (given variables change on what you choose)
  6. Select "Add Condition" again
  7. Make the condition: If "Type" is equal to "Select appropriate workflow"
  8. Select "Add Condition" again
  9. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Select appropriate status"
  10. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  11. Select "Add Action"
  12. Choose the "Create Task" action
  13. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"

Automations Time - Recipe 05 Boolean

Options

The "Options" automation is triggered from a true or false statement chosen from a checkbox you check or uncheck in your Contact information.

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Job" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If Custom Option Field is equal to "Chosen Option" (given variables change on what you create)
  6. Select "Add Condition" again
  7. Make the condition: If "Type" is equal to "Select appropriate workflow"
  8. Select "Add Condition" again
  9. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Select appropriate status"
  10. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  11. Select "Add Action"
  12. Choose the "Create Task" action
  13. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"

Automations Time - Recipe 05 Options

Recipe 6: Change the status of a Work Order and create a task

  1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
  2. Select the "Work Order" trigger record
  3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
  4. Select "Add Condition"
  5. Make the condition: If "Type" is equal to "Appropriate Type"
  6. Select "Add Condition"
  7. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Appropriate Status"
  8. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
  9. Select "Add Action"
  10. Choose the "Create Task" action
  11. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"
  12. Select "Add Action" again
  13. Choose the "Change Status" action
  14. Select the appropriate Workflow type and Status

    Automations Time - Recipe 06  

    Recipe 7: Send an email and change the status of a Contact when a Document is signed

    Prior to the automation setup:

    • Create your document template. To learn more about creating document templates, read our article here. Make sure you include the signature template field. To learn about the signature template field, read our article here.
    • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.

    Creating the Automation

      1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
      2. Select the "Activity" trigger record
      3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
      4. Select "Add Condition"
      5. Make the condition: If "Note" contains any "Document Signed" or "Document Esigned"
      6. Check the radial for "Require any conditions to be true"
      7. Select "Add Action"
      8. Choose the "Change status Parent Contact" action
      9. Select the appropriate Workflow type and Status
      10. Select "Add Action" again
      11. Choose the "Send Email" action
      12. Select the appropriate email template
      13. Type in the subject of your choice
      14. Select "Appropriate Contacts" as recipients.
        Test a contact to test the automation. Create a document and sign it.

      Automations Time - Recipe 07   

      Recipe 8: Send an email at a specific time

      Prior to the automation setup:

      • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.
      • *For Related contacts to send an email there must be Contacts with valid emails in the related checkbox.

      Creating the Automation

        1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
        2. Select the "Contact" trigger record
        3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
        4. Check the "At" checkbox and choose a time. For example, "8:30 AM"
        5. Select "Add Condition"
        6. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Select appropriate status"
        7. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
        8. Select "Add Action"
        9. Choose the "Send Email" action
        10. Select the appropriate email template
        11. Type in the subject of your choice
        12. Select "Appropriate Contacts" as recipients.

        Automations Time - Recipe 08

        Recipe 9: Create an appointment reminder Task for team members

        Prior to the automation setup:

        • Create a custom task type. To learn more about creating task types, read our article here.

        Creating the Automation

        1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
        2. Select the "Task" trigger record
        3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "Before" "Start Date"
        4. Select "Add Condition"
        5. Make the condition: If "Task Type" is equal to "Select appropriate type"
        6. Select "Add Action"
        7. Choose the "Create Task" action
        8. Create your task and choose the assignees, then click "Save"

        Automations Time - Recipe 09

        Automations Time - Recipe 09 Action

        Recipe 10: Create a payment reminder to follow up with a non-paying customer

        Prior to the automation setup:

        • Create an email template. To learn more about creating email templates, read our article here.

        Creating the Automation

        1. Choose the "Time based" trigger type
        2. Select the "Contact" trigger record
        3. Run this automation "X " (Where X is the amount of time in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, or Years) "After" "Date Status Changed"
        4. Select "Add Condition"
        5. Make the condition: If "Status" is equal to "Pending Payment" (status may change depending on your workflow)
        6. Check the radial for "Require all conditions to be true"
        7. Select "Add Action"
        8. Choose the "Create Task" action
        9. Create your task and choose the assignees
        10. Select "Add Action" again
        11. Choose the "Send Email" action
        12. Select the appropriate email template

        Automations Time - Recipe 10

        Do's and Don'ts

        Do

        • Use automations to help you work more efficiently
        • Create email templates for your email automation
        • Consider adding custom task types if you are creating automations based on tasks to avoid accidental triggering from unintended tasks

        Don't

        • Create an automation that will create an infinite loop

        FAQ

        • What does "all related contacts" mean in relation to an email action? 

        All related contacts are Contacts that are related on the Contact. If no Contacts are related, then no email will trigger.

        • Why does the error "These settings can cause an automation loop. Please select another 'Task Type' for action or condition" display?

        This error message shows because if the automation was created it may create an infinite amount of automations. We will disable an automation if it creates more than 10 duplicate tasks and will notify you via email. Often a previously created automation can cause a conflict of this kind.

         

        Contact Us

        Still have a few questions about setting up your automation rules? Contact Support at (855) 964-6287 or via email at support@jobnimbus.com.

        Have a great idea to help us improve our automations feature? Recommend features and vote for requests at JobNimbus Feedback!