How to create a 'Today's date' date property.

OliviaB
HubSpot Employee

I recently discovered this smart way to create and maintain a 'Today's date' property using workflows. This can then be used in reporting, workflows and lists. 

To do this you can follow these steps: 
1) Create a custom date field property
2020-11-30 16_06_15-Property settings.png

 

2020-11-30 16_05_51-Property settings.png

2) Create a contact-based workflow with the enrollment triggers 'Today's date is known' OR 'Today's date in unknown'. 
3) Turn on re-enrollment for 'Today's date is known'. 
4) Add an if/then branch action with the trigger 'Today's date is known'. 
5) After the NO branch add the action 'set property value' and then set 'Today's date' to the 'date of step'. 
6) After the YES branch add the the action 'set property value' and then set 'Today's date' to the 'date of step'. 
7) The last steps after the YES branch will be a delay. To do this you will chose 'delay until a day or time' and then choose 00:15 or any other time after midnight. 

2020-11-30 16_19_56-Unnamed workflow - Mon Nov 30 2020 16_09_04 GMT+0800 _ HubSpot.png

 


This workflow will then work in the backround to always make sure each contact has today's date saved as the value on their record. The same can be repeated for company and deal properties. 


CRM
32 Replies 32
rwolupo
Top Contributor

great!

0 Upvotes
bi_developer
Participant

Hi OliviaB,

 

Thanks for providing this workaround solution. I hope it can help some people.

We did something like this in our company's hubspot account, and the solution worked on the first day, but ultimately did not work for us as a longterm solution.

1) we have hundreds of thousands of contacts, so this workflow is constantly calculating, and this has processing issues, which eventually breakdown and give incorrect data. It will be even worse for Deals data (millions)... like a perpetual for loop, constantly calculating.

2) some of our dates continued to update, and others became "frozen" on a particular date, which allows our users to create new reports using this column, but the output of the reports they create are wrong, and they won't know, unless they troubleshoot individual contacts to see where the workflow failed.

3) This kind of workflow is a perfect example of when Hubspot should make a feature, and not require users to build "expensive workflows" to solve a simple problem. 

 

Please see this thread: https://community.hubspot.com/t5/HubSpot-Ideas/Having-a-dynamic-today-field-in-the-Time-between-feat...

 

We have asked for a "Today's Date" feature to be added, with "Time Between" capabilities. We even directly wrote to the VP of Global Customer Support (David Hunt) on October 14th, 2020. Many people agree, it is shocking/disappointing that Hubspot does not provide this feature "out-of-the-box". Of course, all will be forgiven if we receive this feature soon 😉 We have waited 2 months, let's see how long it takes Hubspot to give users a necessary feature (this is not a UI nice-to-have feature, this is a business intelligence 'must-have' feature). 

 

Right now, we are forced to export our data into a data warehouse, converting Hubspot data into database tables, and then we do the getdate() calculations in SQL and build our automated reports this way. Or, in spreadsheets. Hubspot has become the thorn in our side -- a platform that requires us to use workarounds and ultimately just need to workaround Hubspot entirely, using other platforms to build our automated reports.

peterthegrant
Participant

were you able to fix the Frozen issue?

0 Upvotes
helenasolsona
Contributor

Hi @OliviaB, and thanks for your explanation.

I've tried this (as a deal property instead of a contact property) and I have a question: even though I have turned on the re-enrollment for "today's date is known" and set up a delay until 00:05am, deals did not re-enroll so the date was not automatically updated. Do you know why this might be happening?

peterthegrant
Participant

Were you able to fix the frozen deal issue?

0 Upvotes
peterthegrant
Participant

Also having the same issue where deals are not re-enrolling into the workflow..... super annoying. 

Is there a way to flick deals back anf forward between the same automation? ie. duplicate the workflow above and have the last step delay until 12:15 am and then send to the other identical workflow?

0 Upvotes
helenasolsona
Contributor

@peterthegrant It's not possible to make loops, Hubspot detects it and doesn't allow it. However, I've been able to fix this issue with the enrollment and re-enrollment triggers and re-enrollment settings of the 2 pictures bellow.
You will need to delete the delay until 12:15, otherwise every day the date will change a bit later and it will become a problem because "today's date" will change in the middle of the day. Anyway, with this re-enrollment settings the delay is not needed anymore.

 

Screenshot 2021-02-02 at 11.24.35.png     Screenshot 2021-02-02 at 11.23.39.png

 

Tip: use this setting to make sure that the updates happen during the night and your colleagues always see the right time 🙂 <-- UPDATE: Don't do this, I found that after some time it caused part of deals to not update for a day because the update would fall outside of the specified hours. So some were at 'Yesterday' for a day.

 

Screenshot 2021-02-02 at 11.20.03.png

I hope it works well for you!

dvel
Participant

@helenasolsona Do you have a similar workaround for the Contacts module? It doesn't seem like within Contacts that I can add a condition like " X has not been updated in the last Y" and the delay isn't working for me either. Trying to play with conditions to see if I can find something that for sure would update once per day.

 

EDIT: In case it helps anyone, I figured out a method that worked for today though haven't verified it works for multiple days (though I don't see a reason it shouldn't).

 

I created an active list with the following criteria (despite the condition name, this seems to work for records where the date is more than or equal to 1 day ago):

 

dvel_0-1612535752430.png

 

 

Then I created a workflow that enrolls (and has a re-enrollment trigger) on the list membership:

 

dvel_1-1612535839620.png

 

 

JLogeot
Participant

@dvel 

Did this work out for you? Looking into implementing this soon for contacts.

0 Upvotes
peterthegrant
Participant

Thanks Helenasola, nice work!

I have set that up - hopefully it will deliver. Surely HubSpot will provide a Today value at some point.

jan-kaare
Participant | Platinum Partner

Thx for sharing - hopefully this is exactly what i needed to set "Became MQL" date on a company level:)

CBader
Participant | Partner

Here is my solution to a date stamp for Today's Date in Deals, similar to the solution by @helenasolsona :

CBader_0-1613685680060.png 

CBader_1-1613685769855.png

It works well for Deals, but we only have hundreds, not millions.

 

It would really help to have a Today's date option built in to the Time Between date calculation properties so we don't have to use a workaround like this.

 

I'm hoping HubSpot can make the date calculation options much more robust soon.

 

2chars
Contributor

@CBader found this after a long time designing a workflow with a clone of itself that it can enroll so each runs on alternating days, each accomplishing the same task of setting a Today's Date stamp. 

 

What really held me up - using a delay until midnight and an enrollment trigger of Today's Date = Known isn't sufficient because HS thinks the deal is still in the workflow when the workflow is finishing, so Today's Date won't work as a re-enrollment trigger. It lets you set it up won't actually re-enroll deals.

 

I'm testing your method with one deal but it seems promising and I should be able to delete the two near-identical workflows I made. Thanks!

helenasolsona
Contributor

@2chars Have you tried losing the delay until midnight? With the reenrollment settings you don't need it and it would avoid that problem.

woody
Contributor

@CBader : Your solution works with deal workflow but doesn't work with contact workflow.
Contact workflow didn't let me re-enroll those triggers

 

contact workflow.jpg

0 Upvotes
CBader
Participant | Partner

@woody  - I discovered this too when I tried to make a Today's Date field in Contacts. Contacts cannot re-enroll based on a date field, but Deals can. I had to completely scrap the approach I used in Deals and start over with a different approach for Contacts.

 

Instead of a Today's Date field in Contacts, I ended up using a Contact-based workflow of the type "Center on a date property" as a workaround.

 

CBader_0-1614623550510.png

 

It is frustrating that Contacts and Deals are different this way.

 

I hope that this example for re-enrolling Contacts based on date is helpful. 

 

 

woody
Contributor

@CBader : I have found a way to make date stamp for Today's Date field in Contacts. But it need 3 workflows.

Workflow A:

 

A.jpg

Workflow B:

 

B.jpg

So that when workflow A finished, it will trigger workflow B, and when workflow B finished, it will enroll into workflow A. And I set a 30 minutes delay to make sure the contacts enroll to to workflow A when they have gone out workflow A. Because a slight lag in the workflows might cause some contacts to enroll into workflow A before they leave. 30 minutes is a bit extreme for workflow latency, but redundancy is better than lack.

And finally, workflow C is for contacts whose Today's Date field is unknown:

 

C.jpg

 

The combination of these 3 workflows worked for me for the past few days, and so far there haven't been any contacts go wrong. My current database is about 14000 contacts.

CBader
Participant | Partner

@woody - Nice! Thanks for sharing!

0 Upvotes
JLogeot
Participant

@woody Wanted to check in and see if this gave your any problems by now? I'm looking to implement this for contacts soon.

0 Upvotes
PamCotton
Community Manager

Thank you for sharing @CBader and @2chars .

 

Kindly,

Pam

Você sabia que a Comunidade está disponível em outros idiomas?
Participe de conversas regionais, alterando suas configurações de idioma !


Did you know that the Community is available in other languages?
Join regional conversations by changing your language settings !




Regily_Scott
Participant

Ok, so I'm not the only one who thinks it's a little crazy that we can't use something like 'Today'

Has anyone from HubSpot confirmed why these contacts are not enrolling? I have built out mine with delays, seems like it should work, but I'll need to wait on the schedule to confirm. 

 It's essentially the same as the original solution by Olivia. Difference is I do the delay in the Yes branch before executing the step to 'set property value' to 'date of the step'. 

My workflow starts after Midnight and will enroll all the contacts. (We have 5k-6k currently, should stay under 10k for quite sometime) The Unknown branch will set the date immediately, the Yes branch will give it an hour delay befor hitting all of those. It will re-enroll if the Date is Known, but won't re-enroll if unknown. In reality, no contact that ever re-enrolls will ever have a blank value. 

HubSpotMaster
Key Advisor | Platinum Partner

@OliviaB Are there any updates from the Hubspot side? Seems like everyone is having to use tools outside of HubSpot or game the system to get a simple requirement so we can use calculated properties effectively or use for BI reporting. Any updates would be great. 

 

Thanks

Adam

bi_developer
Participant

I sent a direct request to VP of Global Customer Support (David Hunt) on October 14th, 2020 -- still no word, no progress.

What can the community do to push Hubspot decision makers to prioritize a 2-week sprint for a dev team to add this feature?

Or maybe they ignore this feature because a Hubspot employee said there is a workaround and we don't need the feature?

 

There should be a fulltime dev team making enhancements, and prioritizing "must-have" features, and this feature should have been lifted to the top of priorities last year (or actually, this feature should have been built into the original version1, out of the box). 

 

Because we don't have this feature, I've given up on Hubspot and do 90% of reporting outside of Hubspot. The charting tools are weak, Hubspot doesn't have a web-based SQL editor to query on HS data (which would solve the today's date problem with getdate() and datediff functions), and it doesn't have must-have features like Today's Date.  Customer support is excellent, but even when they made these workflows for us, it broke and gave incorrect data. The workaround workflows is not a suitable solution. 

 

@PamCotton  @OliviaB Tell whoever prioritizes the dev team for enhancements to call me, and I will explain face to face if need be.  Or come and try your best workflows in our system and give us a Today's Date without it blowing up. Customer Support couldn't do it. It worked for 1 day and then broke, giving wrong data.

 

Quite unhappy with the response on this feature.

https://community.hubspot.com/t5/HubSpot-Ideas/Having-a-dynamic-today-field-in-the-Time-between-feat...

PamCotton
Community Manager

Hello @bi_developer, thank you for your feedback,  I would like to apologize for the frustrations, data issues, and business impact this has caused.  

At the moment our best recommendation is to please leave your feedback on the idea you specifically share, Upvoting in that idea will specifically alert our Product Team to the popularity of this request. Doing so will also auto-notify you if/when this functionality becomes available within HubSpot. You may read more about how that review process works here.

 

Kindly,

Pam

 

Você sabia que a Comunidade está disponível em outros idiomas?
Participe de conversas regionais, alterando suas configurações de idioma !


Did you know that the Community is available in other languages?
Join regional conversations by changing your language settings !




Tardiffp
Participant

Hi Pam, regardsing your recommendation to @bi_developer  "leave your feedback on the idea you specifically share, Upvoting in that idea will specifically alert our Product Team to the popularity of this request. " Haven't they already don that here? And I understand the concept of counting upvotes to determine interest but there are so many legs to the same topic just counting upvotes to one particular post total underestimates the criticality of resolving this issue.

 

From what I've read customers have been posting for years, not weeks or even months, requesting a solution to this issue yet the best answer is to post more requests and wait? Even a letter to the VP of Customer Service received no response! Maybe if HubSpot shared an active list of issues they are currently working on solving that is more important than this we'd be a little more patient. I am a new customer to HubSpot and am seriously questioning the decision to continue with this CRM, therefore, I'm sure others are too. Please give us confidence we made the right decision by not only listening to our concerns but promptly resolving them.

0 Upvotes
CFetterly
Participant

Thank you!!! This seems like such a basic data point to have available but I'm glad there's a workaround.

0 Upvotes
SSiow
Participant

Hi folks, I have actually tried this and found that it is not possible to keep updating the custom "Today's Date" property through a workflow as it would not keep updating the property through an endless loop automatically.

 

If you're testing this on your portals, you might want to keep manually re-enrolling your deals to keep the "today's date" property updated. 

0 Upvotes
helenasolsona
Contributor

Hey @SSiow, it does keep updating daily if you set the appropriate re-enrollment triggers for your workflow.

 

Screenshot 2021-09-24 at 12.11.34.png

JOpie
Participant

Thanks everyone for a great solution to a problem that shouldn't exist! HubSpot, please make it so!

 

Ah, and I noted that if you calculate the date using the between function, it returns a positive integer regardless of whether the close date is in the past.

 

You can get around that by using an additional property set by a workflow that I call 'PastDate' which after 'Today's Date' is set, checks to see if the property 'close date' was in  the past and sets this to true. Then you add a condition to the property (here: Days to close from today') so that it will only be calculated if PastDate is false. 

 

Workflow:

JOpie_0-1632822523628.png 

Days to close from today property settings:

JOpie_1-1632822574879.png

And yes, this makes this iterative (since PastDate is generated via a workflow that only runs once a day, basically, this value will lag by one day), but I can live with that rather than having deals show up with values in multiple years because they were closed far in the past...