Homey Community Forum

Flows naming

Hello,
I only started to use Homey few weeks ago and I only have few devices but I already am getting lost in my flows.
Could you please suggest some logical flows naming so it all makes sense and it is easy to use and navigate?
@Igy @fantross any suggestions? you helped with my first problems, maybe you can point me to right direction now as well?
Thank you
Peter

Best tip from me is to use folders. This will sort your flows according to what you name the folders you create. So you could create a folder for each room, device type or what ever you want.

In this case, it depends how you build your automation flows. Definitely folders in flows help to organize them, but also correct naming is a key. There is also app called FlowComment where you can put notes what does the flow should do.
In my case, I use folders according to automation topics. E.g. Blinds control, Lights logic, Security, Heating, Watering, etc but I do have also folder for Variables update or folder named Tablet, to control virtual buttons status for Homey dash. You can make also subfolders to get better sorting of many flows.
For naming of flows, it should be clear to you what does the flow do when you read the name, even after a year when you dont look into your Homey.
E.g. “Blinds sunset close”, “Temeperature freezer notify”, “Day temperature weekdays set”…
But this is kind of individual preference.

Flow name should indeed indicate what it more or less does.
On top of that I start every flow with a code that categorizes on what triggers the flow:

  • TYD: triggered on time

  • VAR: triggered by change of a variable

  • APP: triggered by a device

  • FLW: triggered by ‘starting a flow’

etc

1 Like

When you have a collection of Flows, and you reach that point very quickly just go through them. What Flows do you have?

I organised them first by place (folder called: Home) or settings (folder called Homey). The Homey folder contains all Flows that set variables, alter the LED ring or give me information not tied to a specific room in the house.
The Home folder has a folder of every room. And if a device or item has more than 2 Flows I add an other subfolder. So: Living Room/Plex or Toilet/Motion.

I name Flows somewhat like if, and, then. Motion, daytime, lights on. Sometimes Flownames get really long. I really like @Frank_van_de_Schuur nks idea.
Whichever way you look at it, Flows are great but leave a mess. For simple things you need multiple Flows. That doesn’t help with structuring it all.
It would be great to have a description field below the title to add notes for that Flow for instance.

As you can see the naming and structuring of flows is handled more or less differently by each one.
I have created folders for house levels, rooms and more or less devices (e.g. light, heating, blinds). In addition I created a folder (control center) with subfolders, in which Flows are stored, which cannot be clearly assigned to a room or individual devices, e.g. Flows for Heimdall.
Currently I have created my flows according to the following scheme:
Numerical listing / house level and room / device and action
1.0_FFBR_LightStripOn
1.1_FFBR_LightStripOff
2.0_FFBR_SealingLampOn
2.1_FFBR_SealingLampOff

FF = First Floor
BR = Bedroom

If I have a large number of dependent flows, the structure may look like this:
1.0.0_FFLR_xxx
1.0.1_FFLR_xxx
1.0.2_FFLR_xxx
1.1.0_FFLR_xxx
1.2.0_FFLR_xxx
etc.

Sometimes I add emojis to the name to make it easier to find them, e.g. a light bulb :bulb:.
Sometimes I add emojis that represent the trigger:
:alarm_clock: = Time
:stopwatch: = Timer (Chronograph app)
:signal_strength: = Sensor
:hash: = Numeric variable
:arrow_heading_down: = This flow was started

But I’m not 100% satisfied with my structure and it is possible that I will change the structure again.

@FKey has posted a tutorial how he structures his flows.

2 Likes

Thank you very much everyone for very useful sugestions! :+1:

I support this suggestion too!

Similar to @Frank_van_de_Schuur

I use:

  • t0800-: triggered on time
  • tr-: triggered by change of a variable or device
  • s-: triggered by a sensor
  • f-: triggered by ‘starting a flow’
  • za-: zone active
  • zi05-: zone inactive for 5 minutes
  • cd-set-: start a countdown timer
  • cd-stop-: stop a countdown timer
  • cd-zero-: when countdown timer reaches zero

@fantross emojis is a great idea!

In addition to grouping by room, I group the flows in each room in subfolders, by type:

  • On/off
  • Conditions
  • Countdown
  • Motion
  • Triggers
  • Schedule
  • Report

All are good suggestions.

The best solution for “you” though will ultimately depend on how your brain works and how it likes to interpret information and order things. Everyone’s thought process’s and priorities vary quite a lot.

Some techniques can be very efficient and are well structured but you really have to experiment yourself to find out what suits you and your own thought process’s . Also the size of your house and how complicated your setup is will also influence the best way to structure your folders and flows.

For me personally when I first got my Homey I just improvised for the first 6 months when trying to configure my flows and folders but then later on I had a big revelation one night (with the help of some nice Bourbon :blush:) and I completely restructured all my flows is two hours which worked out a lot better…

Two big things that will influence on how you should structure your setup is how big your house is and if you are an “enthusiast” and if you have a million devices … eg you have a sensor that monitors when you flush your toilet :laughing: , or if you just have a normal everyday type of household. .

For me I don’t have a million devices or a 12 bedroom mansion. I’m just a mild enthusiast. I use just what’s needed, what’s practical and what is functional with a few extras for my home entertainment setup.

For “me” what I find works best for a folder structure is this …

  • Lighting

  • Security and Fire Alert

  • Presence detection

  • Virtual device creation

  • Home Entertainment control

  • Miscellaneous

It’s a simple folder structure but I find it works ok for my needs.

Lighting) I don’t have a million rooms in my house so just one folder is fine for the creation of all my lighting, including motion sensors and managing timed lights.

Security and Fire). A folder that just covers all my cameras, smoke detectors and door/window contact sensors. The things of high priority. This could also include such things as water leak sensors.

Presence detection) . One folder for managing who’s in the house. This greatly influences the security and fire alarm monitoring and other warnings and also lighting control.

Virtual device creation) . One folder I use for creating Virtual devices. This is my my dirty “nuts a bolts” folder for creating virtual devices to be used in other folders and applications.

Home Entertainment). Manage the TV , amp , fancy led light strips etc etc

Misc). Things I consider not high priority. Just a few temp monitors. Opening the front gate … etc etc

This is not a lot of folders compared to what some others may have but I find this structure relatively easy to get my brain around and manage quickly …

The best recommendation I can make overall though is to keep the structure of your configuration as simple as possible. Ask any good engineer, they will all say simplicity ultimately rules. You can go nuts trying to make categories for categories, for sub categories, for sub sub categories etc etc … Just keep it simple if you don’t have a large house…

The final things I’d also recommend are.

  1. When wording the name of your flows I would try and use descriptions that are the most “worded” and are the most “descriptive” as possible. Don’t be scared in adding lots of words if you need to. Abbreviations are ok but I find your brain spends too much time trying to interpret abbreviations that it actually takes longer to scroll through large flow lists. For some this comes naturally though., Id just choose wording that works for you and what you will remember later on. (Or after x 50 Bourbon’s) :wink:. I personally try to craft them in such a away that i like to pretend that if I died tomorrow someone else would be able to log into my Homey and would be able to make sense of everything and take over. I’ve found this also helps a lot if you have a lot of flows and you have to go through them say 12 months later and you forgot some of them. Hmmm , what did that do again…

  2. Keep a repeating structure and format for the naming of your flows as much as possible for similar items. Eg say you have a 3x PIR motion sensors that trigger three different outside lights . One is in the driveway, one for the back yard , one for the front door. Let’s say all these sensors trigger a 10 minutes timer and then automatically turn those lights off.

I would format the naming of those flows in this manner.

Driveway PIR motion sensor (10min light trigger)
Backyard PIR motion sensor (10min light trigger)
Front door PIR motion sensor (10min light trigger)

In other words just try and keep a repeating format as much as possible if you can for similar items. …

It’s all fun… There’s many ways to skin a cat as they say … Just fool around and you’ll eventually work out what works for you …