Advice on keeping automations organized

As my home automation journey has progressed, I've noticed that its become a bit of a rats nest of apps and automations. I have several apps installed with overlapping functionality and its finally gotten bad enough that I've decided to do something about it. Before I do, I thought I'd ask the group how you keep your apps and automations organized. Here are a few things up for consolidation.

I have rules built using
Rule Machine
Basic Rules
Simple Automation Rules

There are some simple notifications coming from the "Notifications" app.

On top of that I also have things set up in:
Device Watchdog
Hub Watchdog
Event Engine

Part of me wants to move everything possible over to Rule Machine, but I also wonder about things like whether doing simple things with simple tools is somehow more efficient for the hub than doing everything in Rule Machine.

With all of that said....

How does everyone else keep their automations and notifications organized?

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For better or worse, I myself ended up moving all of my rule stuff to Rule Machine in order to get them all in one place. Beyond that advantage, using one rule app helps keeps me "fluent" in its particular creating/building nuances.

But I'll eventually give Room Lighting a try -- I'm waiting on the dust to settle more on that new app and some Inovelli Blues before I take on Room Lighting, but it does seem to offer some nice advantages... I envision I'll end up using RL for all lighting stuff and RM for other stuff.

I have a few rules in HSM and a few notifications set up in Notifications, but those are things I very rarely mess with, so I don't really mind those being off on their own.

I used to think using RM for everything (instead of BR / SAR) would be an unnecessary drain on my hub, but that's not a concern unless you're doing some pretty bananas & complex stuff -- I am definitely not in that category.

Just my $0.02 and worth about that much :wink:


My crap is all over the place. But I have developed a naming convention that allows me to group within applications, particularly within RM.

Anything that has to do with HSM I start with "HSM." Anything that has to do with a particular room I start with the room name. Anything that is a notification (I have a bunch in RM) I start with "Notify" and so on.

I also use room name in my devices. "Sunroom motion," and so forth. That also makes it really easy to locate devices. I started this before the "room" feature was released and I've just continued it because it's easier. Sometimes though it does lead to rather lengthy device names... "2nd floor bathroom shower motion" for example. That can be a pain on dashboards.


I think the main thing I do is just name the apps something that makes sense to me, generally a short description of the automation (and something shorter than the default name for things like "When X turns on, turn on Y, then turn off Z"). I also prefix the app name with the actual name of the app or an abbreviation. Some of my app names:

  • LoMP - Living Room
  • DBC - Bedroom
  • BC - TV Pico
  • Rule 5.1 - Announce Dryer Done
  • Notifier - Front Door Stayed Unlocked

("LoMP" and "DBC" are two custom apps of mine, Lights on Motion Plus and Dimmer Button Controller. "BC" is Button Controller. I used to use "RM" instead of "Rule x," but now I kind of like to see what version it was made under.) This is really more handy for Logs, where I can tell what an app is better at a glance; it's not super useful for the Apps page where parent/child apps are already togeter, though I guess it saves reading the headings/parent app.

I don't see the need to, for example, make everything Rule Machine (or some other app) so that it's "all in one place." It is all in one place; that's what the Apps page is. :slight_smile: I use the app that is best suited for the automation. For apps where speed is crucial, like motion lighting, it is likely a smaller, purpose-built app will load and execute a bit faster (whether this is noticeable or not, I don't know). They're also easier to set up.

Beyond that, if I want to know what automation is using a device, I don't need to look at the Apps page or make guesses; the device detail page will tell me, and with sensibly named apps I can usually figure it out.

So...maybe I'm not much help. :smiley: But this has never really been something I've needed to concern myself with, which I think is because of all of the above.


Yes, I do think I could get a long way with better/stricter naming conventions. I do try to make them more meaningful than the default names.

One of the other clever things I've seen people do to help keep the names short is to use emoji's. ex. Bedroom :thermometer:

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I use the right tool for the job rather than going for looks, so I also have a ton of apps. I don't see over complicating things and just using Rule Machine or limiting myself in some way to one app. That being said, the new Room Lighting will help this a lot to combine motion, simple, basic, and other rules. It isn't 100% there but an amazing start.

Some use icons to organize, they insert :bulb: or :electric_plug: or other symbols to help sort. If it works, fine, but I usually search and it is easier to type Bedroom than remember how to use :bed: icon.

To me, naming goes a long way to helping organization. I use room names as prefixes, so most of my stuff for Basement for example will be Basement Motion, Basement Fan, and so on. So worst case, I just have to remember a room name and not the full automation name.


I like what I'm hearing. Sounds like I'll leave my app setups as is because I really was trying to use the right tool for the right job. I'm just going to go through all the rules and devices and tighten up my naming scheme.


I keep almost all of my automations in Webcore with fairly specific naming conventions. Generally that works well for me. But my hub variables are getting out of control. So :person_shrugging:. My Webcore mentor keeps an Excel spreadsheet with all pistons and variables and debugging items, etc, listed there. He programs home automation systems for a living and has hundreds, possibly thousands, of pistons to track.

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Hi @Pantheon , maybe this is a little difficult to do, but it would be great if you could share that spreadsheet.

Just to look at what he keeps track of.

Sorry. I do not have access to that. It is part of his business.

I understand, thanks anyway.

For us (me) amateurs it would be nice to learn new ways of keeping things organized.