If you need to pause your flow for a while, or pause your flow until a specific date/time in the future, our Wait task will be useful.

Either select Wait for a while or Wait until a date depending on what you want to do. Here's how the 2 options work.

Wait for a While

Type in any number of days, hours and minutes (or a combination of those), and the flow will wait that amount of time.

Note that if you type in 25 hours, this would be re-written as 1 day, 1 hour when you save the task.

Because of the way Flow XO works under the hood, the timing won't be exact, but it will be pretty close. As soon as the wait is up, your flow will continue on to the next task.

Wait Until a Date

If you have a known date, usually an output from the trigger or a previous task, you can wait until that date using this option. To find the output you need, click on the Flow XO logo to the right hand side of the field (or type {{).

It's a Flow XO date/time field, so it's clever enough to recognise almost any date/time format you can throw at it.

You can also use a fixed date/time if you have a known date, such as the date of an event. In that case just type in your date. The format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM will work just fine.

As with waiting for a while, the timing won't be exact, but it will be pretty close. As soon as it's approximately the date/time you set, the flow will continue on to the next task.

If the date/time you provide is in the past, your flow will move onto the next task straight away.

Let us know how we can improve Flow XO on our feedback site.

Wait For a Response

Wait for a Response allows you to pause the flow until a user provides some expected input. Wait for a Response behaves exactly like Ask a Question, and can be used to turn any messaging action (such as Send a Custom Request or Send Card) into a question. This action allows your users to respond to a wide variety of different conversational elements, including platform specific ones, without having to resort to setting up an additional flow.

Settings & Outputs

By default, Wait for a Response will accept any input, and expire after 5 minutes. It will remind the user of the question after about 2 minutes. You can customize any of these behaviors using the following optional settings:

  • Response Path - this tells Flow XO where to route the message (it's normally the response path output from the trigger).
  • Validation - only if you choose the text question type. Either choose from the available predefined validation formats (more details below), or select Regex to provide a regular expression.
  • Custom Validation Message (only shown if a validation type is chosen) - leave this field blank to use the default validation message, or add your own message to customize it.
  • Number of Invalid Answers (only shown if a validation type is chosen) - specify how many incorrect answers the user can provide before the question is abandoned.
  • Expire After - the question will expire after this amount of time, or the user has exhausted all retry attempts.
  • Notify on Timed Expiry - sends a message if the question expires automatically (after the amount of time selected in Expire After).
  • Custom Expiry Message - leave this field blank to use the default expiry message, or add your own message to customize it.
  • Send Reminder - send a message half way through the expiry time (or after 15 minutes if no expiry) to remind the user to answer the question.
  • Custom Reminder Message (only shown if you choose to send a reminder) - leave this field blank to use the default reminder message, or add your own message to customize it.
  • Skip Question - if you tick this option, we'll tell the user they can write "skip" (or similar words) to skip the question. If they do this, the answer output will be empty.

Here are the outputs you'll be able to use:

  • Date & Time - the date and time that the answer was received.
  • Parsed Answer - the value the user entered
  • Metadata - any platform specific data points included in the message. For example, when using Facebook's One Time Notification API, Facebook will provide a one_time_notif_token, which you can gather from the Metadata and store with your user for later use.


By choosing a validation, you can be sure that an answer will only be accepted if a known data type can be parsed from the user's response. The answer will also be standardized.

The available validations are:

  • Email Address
  • Integer
  • Decimal (10,00 - comma decimal mark)
  • Decimal (10.00 - dot decimal mark)
  • Date (mm/dd - American date format)
  • Date & Time (mm/dd - American date format)
  • Date (dd/mm - European date format)
  • Date & Time (dd/mm - European date format)
  • Time
  • Regex

Validations will produce the following standard formats:

  • Integer: 12
  • Decimal (10,00): 34,04
  • Decimal (10.00): 34.04
  • Date: 2017-01-14
  • Date & Time: 2017-01-14T12:30:00+10:00
  • Time: 13:30:00

The 'Date' and 'Date & Time' validations work with natural language expressions such as "tomorrow" or "friday at 10am". Our guide to Date & Time Handling has more details about what formats are understood.

Dates and times are processed and output in the timezone set at the account level, except where a timezone offset is provided as part of the date (for example, -05:00 or +0100).

If the user provides other words around the answer, we'll try to parse the answer itself from the response. For example, email will accept "my email is name@example.com" and output "name@example.com" as the answer.

Quit Interaction

The current interaction quits either on timeout, or if the user enters a recognised quit keyword ("quit", "exit", "goodbye", "bye", or "end"). This is different from skip because the entire interaction stops. The bot can only start again from the top.
The action will show in the logs as  abandoned.

Let us know how we can improve Flow XO on our feedback site.

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