My Zap only updates specific rows when updating multiple rows in Notion from Smartsheet.

  • 12 June 2023
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 1

I have a Smartsheet which contains financial data and when these figures are updated, I’d like the change to be also updated in certain cells within a Notion database. I currently have a draft Zap triggered by ‘Updated row in Smartsheet’, then it’s Action is to ‘Find Database Item in Notion’ and then ‘Update Database Item in Notion’. I’m finding that it only updates the Notion cells related to the example Name and Values I include in the ‘Find’ step. It doesn’t update all or any other rows which might have changed. The original Smartsheet has hundreds of rows so I can’t add a specific ‘Find’ action for all of them!
Is there an easier way to do this and what am I doing wrong?
(BTW, I did originally try without the ‘Find’ step, but it doesn’t seem to work).

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hey there @cb_etch -

Welcome back to the Community! I’d love to see if I could help you with this. First, I have a clarifying question; are you looking to have information from all 100+ rows (or is this columns perhaps?) populate within Notion? Or did you have several, specific rows in mind? 

Additionally, can you please upload a screenshot or two, similar to this, of your current Zap set up? This serves as a nice starting place and visual aid to get you squared away. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Hi there @cb_etch! 👋

When you say “I’m finding that it only updates the Notion cells related to the example Name and Values I include in the ‘Find’ step. It doesn’t update all or any other rows which might have changed”, is it that the Update Database Item action is updating the exact same item every time? 

If so, it could be that the item was selected from the dropdown of available items (in the Item field) - see: Why is my Zap action adding the same data each time it occurs? 

Usually you’ll want to select the ID for the item you wish to update from a previous trigger or action (like the Find Database Item action). So you’d want to select the Custom value option and select the ID field from the previous search action in the Zap. For example:

That should ensure that the Zap is able to update the correct database item with the information selected in that Update Database Item action. 

If that’s not the issue here, is it more that you’re wanting the Find Database Item action to find multiple items? If so, you could try using a Looping by Zapier action to get the Zap to run through a list of items and find and update multiple items. You can learn more on how to add loops to your Zap here: Loop your Zap actions

If I’ve misunderstood what you’re asking here, can you please share some more details about what the issue is. Any screenshots you can send to help give some further context here would be most appreciated. Please remove/hide any private information from screenshots (like names, email addresses etc.) before sharing in the Community.

Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

Userlevel 1

Hi, Thank you for your advice - I have made some changes which have improved things, but it’s not perfect yet.
When changes are made to the Smartsheet, the data is now successfully being pulled through to the Notion DB, but every time I make a change to the existing Smartsheet cells, I get a new line item in the Notion DB. I want the existing Notion data (if it exists) to be updated only, not for new lines to be created.

In the ‘Find Database Item’ action I do have ‘Create Notion Database Item if it doesn’t exist yet?’ checked as ON, as I found that if I turn this off then the data doesn’t pull through at all. Perhaps Looping Zaps is the best option here… I need to read up on that!

Screenshots attached of my process. Note: In the ‘Find database’ action, I selected the name of my Notion DB from the available dropdown items, so this is correct.


Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hi @cb_etch,

I’m jumping in to see if I can help!

It looks like you’re on the right track with your Zap setup here. However, I spotted a little hiccup that might cause some issues down the line. In your "Find Database" action step, there's a button labeled "Remove these extra fields". You can read more about this here:

If you could do me a favor and click on that button, then republish your Zap, it might just smooth out any potential bumps and help achieve the results you're aiming for.

(view larger)

Please keep us posted! 😊

Userlevel 1

Hi, sorry it’s been a while. I have tried the above suggestions, but still don’y get the desired outcome. To summarise, I want to be able to update existing rows and add new rows to a Smartsheet, and then for these changes to be reflected in the Notion database. What I’m finding is that either a) a new line item is created in the Notion DB and it doesn’t recognise that a Client of that name already exists, or b) that updates to cells don’t pull through at all. 
My latest attempt included using the Zap Looping action, although I’m not entirely sure how this works! Please can you take a look at my revised set up and tell me what I’m doing wrong or what I could do differently to get the desired outcome? 




Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hi there @cb_etch,

Thanks for the screenshots and additional details.

Looking at the setup, it looks like you might get away without adding the Looping by Zapier step.

You can setup your Zap like this:

  1. Trigger: Smartsheet - Updated Row
  2. Action: Notion: Find or Create Database Item - You can use the "Find Database Item" action in Notion. This action will search for an existing item in your Notion database that matches certain criteria. You can set the search criteria to be the "Client" name from your Smartsheet row.
  3. Action: Notion: Update Database Item - You can then map the Item ID in the “Item” field in the “Update Database” step from the “Find or Create Database” step.

If the above steps didn’t work, I suggest reaching out to our Support team so that they can take a closer look at the Zap and its logs to determine the cause of the issue. You can reach our Support team here: 

Hopefully, this helps! 😊

Userlevel 1

Thank you ken.a. 
I stripped out the Loop action and set up the Zap as you outlined above. The Zap works if the Find action is set to only look for one item (in this case, the Client name). However, I want the data from the whole row to be linked and update the adjacent cells for Target Value and Income Gap if they are changed too. I have identified the issue now I think; That it’s not able to link changes within the same row - the outcome is inconsistent. 

I am going to give up on this one for now and consider looking into it with your support team if it becomes an urgent business requirement for us. Thank you so much for your time to date though in helping me! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Hi @cb_etch,

Thank you for your update. It's great to hear that you've made some progress with your Zap, even though it's not quite working as you'd like it to yet.

I'm sorry to hear that you've decided to put this on hold for now. Don't hesitate to reach out to our Support team if it becomes a critical need for your business.

I appreciate your patience and your efforts in working through this issue. Thank you for your kind words. 😊