You've probably heard the word "action" in relation to Automations and Integrations and monday apps, but what exactly is an "action"? The first part of this article will give you a detailed explanation.
The second part of this article will teach you how to track and manage your account's actions. Read on to learn more.
What is an "action"?
Every automation recipe has a trigger and an action (or multiple actions). Let's look at an example: "When a status changes to something, delete the item"
In this case, the trigger is "When a status changes to something". The action is "delete the item". So, every time an item is deleted, one action is used. If you were to trigger this recipe three times, three items would be deleted and that would count as three actions used.
Every account has an action limit-- one for Automations and one for Integrations. These limits are slightly more complicated than they sound. To learn more about the action limit for your account, read the "What happens if I exceed my actions?" section of this article or check out the Pricing Page.
How many actions does one automation use?
For the most part, triggering one automation recipe will result in using one action.
However, there are a handful of recipes that will result in multiple actions each time they are triggered. The following are a few examples:
1. When status changes to something, create an item in board.
If a recipe maps information into a new item, actions are used differently than in other recipes. Anytime an item is mapped, if the Status, Tag, People, Dropdown columns, or Update Section are mapped, each will count as 1 action used. Additionally, one action will be used for creating the item.
Let's look at this recipe as an example:
If you choose to use this recipe and you map the item as follows:
Each time the automation is triggered, 3 actions will be used. That is because two Status columns are mapped and an item is being created.
2. When a status changes to something, notify board subscribers.
Any notification recipe can be configured to notify the board subscribers or a team instead of an individual:
In that case, an action will be used for each notification sent out. Meaning that, if you have 6 board subscribers, 6 actions will be used each time this automation runs.
3. When status changes to something, send an email to Text Column.
The Gmail or Outlook integration can send an email to an email column or a text column. While an email column can hold one email address, a text column can hold multiple email addresses. These integrations can also send an email to a team or the board's subscribers. All of these instances will result in using multiple actions.
For example, this recipe:
This recipe will actually result in using 2 actions, because the text column reads as follows:
4. Every time period, create an item.
Any recipe that occurs "every time period" is a perpetual recipe. In the case of the recipe below, a new item will be created every day. One action is used each time this recipe runs and an item is created.
As in example 1, if the Status, Tag, People, Dropdown columns, or Update Section are mapped in the new item creation, each will count as 1 additional action used.
5. Custom recipes with more than one action.
If you're building a custom recipe, it's likely that your recipe will involve multiple actions. Any custom recipe you build, regardless of whether or not it includes Integration blocks, will count towards your Automation action limit. Even if the recipe only includes Integration blocks, any actions resulting from triggering the recipe will count towards your Automation action limit.
What happens if I exceed my actions?
Automation and Integration limits
Every account has an action limit for Automation and Integrations. These limits are determined by the plan tier. That limit refreshes monthly. To give you an idea of how it works:
On the Standard plan. If an account surpasses its allocation of actions within the month, the number of additional actions used over the 250 limits will be deducted from the next month’s allocation. For example, if 280 Automation actions were used in April, then there will be 220 Automation actions available in May.
The opening of this article describes a simple example of action usage. In general, when you build an Automation, any actions used will count towards your Automation limit. When you build an Integration, any actions used will count towards your Integration limit.
However, when you build a custom recipe that includes both Automation and Integration blocks, the actions in that recipe will count towards your Automation limit. This is true regardless of what blocks your recipe includes. This is also true for monday apps; actions that occur in relation to any monday app will count towards your Automation limit.
When you exceed your limit
If you are on track to exceed your action limit, the admin will receive an email warning when the actions used for the month are at 50%, 75%, and finally 100% of the total available actions.
It is possible to use so many actions that you exhaust the current month's limit and the following month's as well. This means that it's possible to begin a month with 0 actions available. In that case, you would not be able to work with automations for the entire month.
In this situation, we recommend upgrading. To learn more about which plan is right for you, check out our Automation and Integration Pricing article.
As mentioned in the previous section, the admin will receive an email when the account is approaching its action limit.
However, you can monitor the number of actions your account is using at any time. To do so, please go to any board > click "Automations" or "Integrations" > click the “Account Usage” tab. There you can see the number of actions available and used by your account in the current month.
Actions and pricing
An action is a main component of our pricing model. You can learn more about how actions impact pricing by visiting our Automation and Integration Pricing article.
Below are some frequently asked questions about actions and pricing:
Can I buy actions?
At the moment, you can't buy actions for your account. The only actions available to your account are the ones that are included when you purchase your plan.
Can I pay to have my actions reactivated?
At this time, you can not pay to have your actions reactivated when you run out of actions.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our team right here. We’re available 24/7 and happy to help.