A well-thought-out workflow adds a level of efficiency needed to maximize productivity and automate tasks.

In this blog, we’ll break down the 5 different types of Cognito Forms workflows to help you understand which one is right for you:

- Parallel Approval

- Basic Approval

- Parallel Tasks

- Serial Tasks

- Negotiations

And after understanding the benefits and narrowing down the elements of your own workflow, you can begin to decide which type is best suited for your business process.

Parallel Approval

As the name suggests, a parallel approval workflow occurs when multiple people are editing and approving the same information at the same time.

Parallel workflows are great for basic processes where the tasks can be divided into independent sub-tasks and ready for approval after each step.

They also allow you to meet deadlines faster and utilize available resources effectively. If one aspect of the workflow gets delayed, the other tasks are not affected because of that.

This could be:

Basic Approval

Basic approval workflows occur where one approval depends on the completion of a prior task. This type of workflow is generally easier to set up and allows anyone who is involved to review each stage, correct any errors, approve, and move on to the next one. Simple approvals consist of serial tasks, and

This could be:

Parallel Tasks

Be a master multi-tasker! In a parallel task workflow, more than one task is occurring at any given period. This simultaneous process is beneficial for projects that involve multiple people working on multiple tasks at once.

These could be:

Serial Tasks

A serial task workflow has tasks set one after the other, and each one is dependent on the action of the prior task. With a serial workflow, you’re able to get a better idea of what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done.

Serial task workflows offer a great deal of control and predictability to the process.

These could be:

  • Document reviews

  • Content requests


A negotiation workflow is a step-by-step process that moves back and forth across employees. Each step has specific requirements that must be met before the negotiation moves on to the next.

Negotiation workflows allow businesses to stay organized even when they’re creating multiple contracts at once and make it easier for employees to manage their workloads.

These could be:

  • Contract negotiations

  • Catering requests

Whichever type you choose for your own workflow, it’s important to customize each step to fit your business needs. After all, you know your business best. The important thing to remember is that workflows exist to save you time, money, and unnecessary stress.

Haley N.

Haley N.

Haley, the Content Specialist for Cognito Forms, helps customers discover how they can use the product to elevate their business. She knows that when it comes to getting things done, Cognito Forms is the perfect tool. When not at work, you can find her hiking, listening to podcasts, or buying plants.