Best practices for organising automations: naming conventions, organization & cloud vs local

Keeping order of automations in SmartThings is… well, not easy. If using lots of conditions, time-controlled and motion controlled routines, they soon become too many to keep organized, especially on a mobile phone.

  1. What naming conventions do you use for automations? Something using trigger, conditions & actions + device(s) affected, but in a short enough way to easily grasp.
  2. Since SmartThings automations can only be created and viewed via the SmartThings app there’s no easy way to get an overview on the computer. How do you keep order of all your automations? Should a Google Sheet be necessary, that requires update any time a routine is created or updated?
  3. Do you use SharpTools rules also for automations that could be created in SmartThings, just to get a better overview? Even though SharpTools is in the cloud? Then much of the advantage of Edge drivers is getting lost. Edit: I just read about SharpTools making the move away from Groovy and now opening the beta for everyone.

I feel that SharpTools rules is a whole lot easier for slightly more complex automations, with conditions etc. But that does make me depend on the cloud, which again is a dependency that Edge is supposed to make me get rid of. And yes, I know several services are and will continue to require Internet connection, like calendar, weather, Spotify etc.

I’ve always kept a spreadsheet for my rules, in part because I’m using multiple platforms: SmartThings routines, SmartThings smartlighting, IFTTT, Alexa routines, HomeKit, Philips Hue, etc.

As for naming the rules, for me it’s more about use case than content: Michael Gets Home, Movie Night, Dogwalker Arrives, etc. But that’s just me. :sunglasses::dog:

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You can also make automations using RulesAPI

Rules | SmartThings Developers

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Thanks. I suppose that’s what tools like SharpTools are using too?

As you noted in your edit to the first post, we’re moving to the next gen REST APIs (from Groovy), but the logic processing for the SharpTools Rule Engine is all handled on our side. That’s what enables us to layer in features like SMS, Pushbullet/Pushover, Emails, Variables, State Stays, etc.

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And it also enables you to get around the 100 rule limit that ST imposes, so you can have as many Sharptool rules as you like, but they aren’t local.

I sure wish SmartThings would create folders for Routines (Automations) similar to Rooms for devices, but since there’s a lack Routines separation, I use a category approach sorted A-Z.

Anything starting with zero, are Routines I’m playing with or working on since they will always appear at the top of the list.
0 • (discription)

Then there are my catigories. Here are some examples.

Air Quality • (discription)
Camera • (discription)
Computer • (discription)
Lighting • (discription)
Minimote (name) • (button discription)
Notification • (discription)
Power • (discription)
Security • (discription)
STHM Away • (discription)
STHM Disarm • (discription)
STHM Stay • (discription)
Temperature • (discription)
Thermostat • (discription)

But instead of scrolling through the very long list of Routines, I just use the Device’s Routines page instead, BUT that page doesn’t sort the Routines whatsoever.

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