PLEASE NOTE: HoneyBook's Workflows have changed their name to Automations! They still have all the Workflow functionality you know and love, plus some exciting improvements and, of course, a brand new name.

Now that you understand what Automations are and how their actions and triggers work, it’s time to put it all together! Remember that Automations allow you to automate tasks in your project's lifecycle, sending out emails or documents at the cadence of your choice — so you can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on the parts of the business that you love.

In this article, we'll review:


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Setting up your Automation: the basics

We’ll review how to create Automations for specific scenarios in the next few sections, and you can learn more about using the Automations you’ve created with your contact form or in individual projects as well.

In this section, we’ll just review the basics of setting up an Automation!

To create a new Automation:

1. From your HoneyBook home page, click the Tools menu.

2. Select Automations from the menu.

3. Click Create Automation.

  • HoneyBook Tip: You can create as many Automations as you'd like!

4. Click the Automation title to rename it as you see fit. This will make it easy to find when you're adding an Automation to a specific project.

5. Click Add First Action to begin building Automation. You can choose to:

PLEASE NOTE: The email and document-based actions are customer-facing; your clients will receive whatever it is you choose to send. Tasks, however, are just for your internal use and organization, and will not be visible to your clients anywhere. Learn more about Actions here.

6. If your action sends an email and/or a document to a client, select the template (or templates) you’d like to send.

For example, if you selected the Send an Email action, you’ll simply select the email template you’d like to go out at this step of the Automation.

If you chose an action that sends a document, you’ll select both the document template and, since documents always go out with an email, the email template that should send with it.

7. In the When section, choose when you’d like this first step to trigger.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Setting an action to fire "0 days after" a trigger will ensure that the action happens immediately after the trigger occurs.

    For example, you can create an Automation that begins as soon as it is activated — which can be done manually, or automatically via a contact form — by setting the first action to trigger "0 days after automation is activated."

8. Choose the trigger you’d like to base the delay (if any) on.

For example, if you select Contract is Signed as the trigger, the delay you set will begin as soon as your client signs their contract. So, if you set this actions’ delay to 30 minutes after, the action will occur 30 minutes after the contract is signed.

We’ll walk you through how to set up each action below, and you can learn more about triggers here.

PLEASE NOTE: The first trigger is NOT what will activate/start the Automation as a whole. Automations are only considered “activated” when applied to a project, either automatically (via the contact form), or manually.

So, for example, if the first trigger you create states that the action should occur 30 minutes after a contract is signed, this Automation will not automatically begin simply because a contract has been signed. The Automation will need to have been applied to the project before the contract is signed in order for the Automation to function as intended.

9. To continue building out the Automation, click the Plus (+) button to add another step. You can add as many steps as you’d like.

10. Click Save when you're finished!

Now, you can apply this Automation manually to projects, or set it up to automatically begin when a contact form is submitted.

And remember, if you need to make changes, you can edit Automations once they’re applied to projects — or remove them entirely!

 


Sending an email via Automation

When you select Send Email as an action, you can choose to send any email template you've created, then edit the email as necessary (without changing the original template!), select when the email should send, and decide whether the email should go out automatically or with your review.

To send an email through an Automation:

1. Select Send Email as your action.

2. Choose the email template you'd like to send.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Have an attachment you'd like to include in the emails you send through Automations? Create an email template that includes whatever attachments you need, then be sure to select that email when creating your Automation!

3. Click Preview & Edit to make sure the email looks good for this particular client or scenario. If you need to make changes, click Edit This Email at the bottom of the email composer, make your changes, and click Use This Email when you’re finished.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Any changes you make to the email template you’ve selected will only apply to the email within this individual Automation — it will not update the original email template, or any other Automations in which you’ve used it. Learn more about the Send an Email action here.

4. Select your trigger and delay.

5. Select whether this email requires your approval before sending.

  • HoneyBook Tip: If you check Require Approval Before Sending, a task will appear in your project task list on the day your email should send (according to your Automation rules). You’ll have the option to send the email as-is, edit the message first and then send, or delete the step (via the trash can icon). Note that if you check the task off, the email will send right away!

6. Add more steps by clicking the plus (+) button, or click Save if you’re finished editing this Automation.

When the selected trigger date and time hits, your email will send! The email will appear as though it came directly from the project owner, and will go right to the inbox of the participant(s) associated with the project or Inquiry to which the Automation was applied.

And remember, if you need to make changes, you can edit Automations once they’re applied to projects — or remove them entirely!


Sending a document via Automation

To streamline your workflow even further, you can also use Automations to send documents at the appropriate points in your business process!

To send documents through an Automation:

1. Select a document type from the Actions menu.

2. Choose the document template you'd like to send.

3. Choose the email template you'd like to send along with the document — remember, documents will always send out with an email!

4. Select your trigger and delay.

5. Select whether this email & document require your approval before sending.

  • HoneyBook Tip: If you check Require Approval Before Sending, a task will appear in your project task list on the day your email should send (according to your Automation rules). You’ll have the option to send the email as-is, edit the message first and then send, or delete the step (via the trash can icon). You will not be able to edit the document template itself. Note that if you check the task off, the email will send right away!

6. Add more steps by clicking the plus (+) button, or click Save if you’re finished editing this Automation.

When the selected trigger date hits, your document and email will send out to your client(s)! The email will appear as though it came directly from the project owner, and will go right to the inbox of the participant(s) associated with the project or inquiry to which the Automation was applied.

And remember, if you need to make changes, you can edit Automations once they’re applied to projects — or remove them entirely!

Learn more about the Send a Document action here!



Creating a task via Automation

Tasks allow you to keep track of all your to-dos, and customize them for your unique Automation.

When you select Create Task as an action, you can edit the task itself, as well as when it should appear in your task list.

To create a task through an Automation:

1. Select Create Task as your action.

2. Name the task.

3. Set your trigger and delay.

4. Add more steps by clicking the plus (+) button, or click Save if you’re finished editing this Automation.

Now, when you apply this Automation to a project, the task will appear in the task list for that project at the time designated by the delay you set. And remember, if you need to make changes, you can edit Automations once they’re applied to projects — or remove them entirely!

Learn more about the Create A Task action here!


Applying & activating an Automation

You can activate an Automation in two ways:

Remember that since you can create as many Automations as you’d like, you can mix and match across projects and contact forms as necessary!

For example, you may have an Onboarding Automation that triggers immediately when a contact form inquiry comes in, and a separate Offboarding Automation that you manually apply to a project, which is set to start 3 days after the project date.


🚀 Get help from an Automations expert: HoneyBook Pros are trusted professionals who can set up your Automations and help take your business to the next level!

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Want to learn more?

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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