How to Set up an Approval Element in Jotform Approvals

January 23, 2022

The approval element is the center, if not the brain, of the whole approval flow. This is where the deciding factor of the approval flow comes in. In the approval element, you define the outcomes. By default, Approve and Deny are the options. You can add more if you wish and even set up multistep and parallel approvals.

From the Elements panel, drag and drop the Approval element to your workflow canvass. 

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Approval Properties

Click the gear icon next to the Approval element to open its properties. 

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The approval element has two sets of properties.

General

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Label Name

You can update the name of an individual approval element. Make sure the name is appropriate, especially when you set up multistep and parallel approvals.

Outcomes

Add more custom response options by clicking the +Add new outcome link. Change the outcome’s color by hovering over the option and clicking the ink drop icon.

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Reassign

When enabled, it allows your approver to reassign the task to another person, in Jotform Inbox.

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You can also opt to get an email when the approval is reassigned.

Request More Information

It allows your approver to ask for more details about the submission before they approve or reject the request, in Jotform Inbox.

inbox-request-more-info.jpg

Approver Email

This is set to your primary account email address by default. You can change this to another email address or select an email field from the Form Fields dropdown. Note that you can only add one approver. 

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Require login for the approver

If you want to require people to log in before approving a request, keep this option checked. If not, uncheck this option. We highly recommend using account-based approval (i.e., requiring login). If approvers are logged in, they can track their approvals through JotForm. Creating an account with Jotform is free — forever. 

Customize Approval Request Email

Clicking the Edit button in this section will open the customization window. 

In the Email tab, you can update the email subject and email content.

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In the Recipients tab, you can update the Sender Name, Reply-to Email, and Recipient Email

approvals-customize-approval-request-email-recipients.jpg

In the Advanced tab, you can upload a file attachment. Image files, PDFs, and Word documents are supported. You can also update the Sender Email. 

approvals-customize-approval-request-email-advanced.jpg

Related guides:

Advanced

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Allow Comment

If this is enabled, the approver can add a comment to their approval. By default, the comment box is optional, but you can require it by toggling the Require option.

Escalation

If the primary approver fails to approve the request within the allowed time period, the request will automatically be sent to someone else. For example, if you set it to escalate after three days, and no action is taken by the original approver within that period, the request will automatically be sent to the defined recipient/email address on the fourth day.

approvals-approval-properties-advanced-escalation.jpg

Expiration

You can set the approval request to expire automatically after a certain number of hours, days, weeks, or months, or on a custom date. This means that if the approver doesn’t approve the request within the defined time period, the request will automatically expire. 

You should set the expiration to greater than the escalation period. Otherwise, this will override the escalation step and automatically set the whole request as expired. 

approvals-approval-properties-advanced-expiration.jpg

Automatically Finish the Task

When toggled on, the request will automatically be completed with the selected outcome if the approver doesn’t process it within the defined time period. For example, if you set the task to auto-finish after seven days and choose to approve as the outcome, the task/approval request will be approved on the eighth day if the approver takes no action by the seventh day. 

You should set this for a different period than the escalation. If the escalation is set to three days, set this to four days or greater. That way, you give the escalated approver time to complete the request. 

Don’t use this option when you set an expiration. If you wish to tag the request as completed, disable the expiration. 

approvals-approval-properties-advanced-auto-finish.jpg

Send Reminder Emails

Toggle this to send periodic emails to remind the approver to complete their tasks. You can customize the email by clicking the Edit button next to Customize Reminder Email. The reminder email is sent up to three times, which means it stops automatically after the third time. For example, you’ve chosen to remind the approver after one day, the reminder email will be sent after one day, two days, and three days but won’t be sent after four days. 

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All changes are automatically saved for you. 

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