Going with the Flow


A few weeks ago a colleague told me that Microsoft was adding a workflow product called [drum roll] Flow to the Office 365 Suite. I think it is mostly intended for teams to pass work automatically from one person to the next.

But you can use it for (the good kind of) stalking. For instance, I set up a Flow to send me an email when someone adds a document to a SharePoint site I moderate for our Quantitative Literacy course. I can also use it to let me know when a stale form gets a response so I don’t have to add a task to regularly check it. The rest of this post walks through that.

Go to flow.microsoft.com and authenticate. Then select My flows at the left and click + New. Select create from template if you find one you like.

I am going to try to build one that sends me an email each day a particular Form is updated. So I went to +Create and selected Build a scheduled flow instead of using a template.

The Result of clicking Build a scheduled flow

I searched for Forms to get the first step of my flow. I selected Forms and using the trigger tab selected when a response is submitted. It then gave me a list of forms and I picked the one I wanted.

This shows the result after I picked the form I wanted.

I then clicked mail and in the action tab defined how I wanted the email response to work. I also went up to the top of the page and (I think) made it only send one email even if multiple responses were submitted.

The email and (hopefully) the restriction to running once per day

I clicked save and think it will work. I will know tomorrow at 5 AM.

Two simpler flows- triggering immediately when a document is added to a SharePoint site and a Form response is received certainly work as I have tested them.

Microsoft Flow seems to have a lot of power that I am ignoring. But, even what I’m using will make things a little easier on some of the irregular tasks I have to do.

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