Use Power Automate to create a Planner task whenever an item is added to a SharePoint list

My newest video demonstrates how you can create a task in Planner whenever an item is added to a SharePoint list. In my example, I’m assigning Planner tasks whenever a new IT Support Request comes in.

For this to work, you’ll need:

  • A SharePoint list
  • A Planner plan for your team to share

How to automate Planner task creation based on SharePoint list additions

  1. Prepare your SharePoint list (any columns you’re tracking)
  2. Prepare your Planner plan (set up buckets, labels, etc. as you wish)
  3. Create the Power Automate flow following steps in my video.
    • Type and trigger: Automated when an item is created (SharePoint)
    • Second/last step: Create a task (Planner)
      • Expression used to set due date a week after creation: addDays(triggerOutputs()?[‘body/Created’],7)
The flow I build in the video | Click to enlarge

How to delete and restore a list in SharePoint Online

When you’re finished using a list in SharePoint Online, you may wish to delete it. Sometimes you’re at the end of a project and have no need to keep the list’s information, and other times you may have just been testing out capabilities and are ready to clean up.

You must be a site owner or site member to delete a list by default. List permissions can be changed, however, so that even as a member you may not have the ability. Check with your site’s owner if you’re running into an issue when following these steps.

Delete a SharePoint list

To delete a list in SharePoint Online, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the list you wish to delete
  2. Select the settings wheel in the upper right corner, then List settings.
  3. Select Delete this list and click OK when prompted in your browser.
Location of Delete this list option | Click to enlarge

Restore a previously deleted SharePoint list

Items, including lists, remain in your site’s recycle bin for 93 days once deleted. Site owners have access to a second-stage recycle bin from which they can restore “double deleted” items (when someone empties the main recycle bin, or deletes a specific item from it).

As long as you’re within the 93-day window, follow these steps to restore a SharePoint list:

  1. Go to your site’s Recycle bin (may be on the navigation menu, or in your Site contents (settings wheel in upper right > Site contents).
  2. Select the deleted list
  3. Choose Restore
Steps to restore a deleted SharePoint list | Click to enlarge

Here’s a video demonstration of the deletion and restoration process for SharePoint lists:

How to Alternate Request Assignment to Responsible Persons for various categories

animals birds feathers flamingos

I had a unique challenge recently to alternate assignment of requests (tracked in a SharePoint list) to individuals as they were created. User #1 would get requests 1, 3, 5, etc. and User #2 would get requests 2, 4, 6, etc. To make it more interesting, different pairs of experts might be assigned to different request topics, and sometimes a single individual would be responsible for a particular topic. The overall idea, though, was a somewhat evenly dispersed workload given quickly and efficiently to those who were responsible for those request areas.

One (less than ideal) option to accomplish this is to use a Get Items (SharePoint) step on the requests list with a Top Count of 1 and Order By OData query (Created desc) for the most recently created request, see who the assignee is, and then assign to the other person in that category’s assignee field (when applicable). But I needed something that was better-performing, sophisticated, simpler in design, and not dependent on any historical items in case they were deleted, re-assigned, etc.

So, to determine the assignment as requests randomly trickle in over time, I decided to have Power Automate determine whether a new request’s ID number (auto-generated by SharePoint) is odd or even. Odd requests would go to the first assignee of a subcategory, and even would go to the last. If there was only one assignee in a category, they’re both the first and the last so it still works.

A general good practice when building flows is to make sure you don’t put a particular assignee’s identity explicitly in a variable, task, or email step. For example, you wouldn’t want to put user #1’s email directly in an Outlook email step’s To line. This makes sure that if an employee leaves the company, that the flow won’t need a revision. Instead, I created a list in the team’s SharePoint site with request categories, sub-categories, and responsible persons. My flow refers to this list each time it needs to make an assignment, making sure it has up-to-date contacts for each subcategory.

Example of a request categories list | Click to enlarge

The managers of the process keep this updated with no more than two assignees per subcategory. This way, when new employees join, the list gets an update for what subcategories they’ll be handling, and the flow continues without a hiccup.

What you’ll need to build this solution

Overall, for this process to work, you’ll need:

  • A list of request categories with these columns:
    • Category (choice)
    • Subcategory (text or choice)
    • Assignees/Responsible (person with multi-select enabled)
  • A list of requests (submitted via a SharePoint form, Microsoft Forms form via Power Automate, or Power Apps app via Power Automate)
    • I’d recommend Power Apps if you have the time and resources – this way your choices (categories and subcategories) in the form can be dynamic (only have to be managed in one place) and reference your categories list without granting access to the main request list, or even the SharePoint site, itself
    • Consider adding additional fields for your assignees like Notes, Status, Priority, etc. for them to add additional context, reminders, and status updates as they work the requests
  • The Power Automate flow for assignment determination

How to build a flow that assigns tasks evenly and by category

The following video will walk you through the necessary components to build this flow in Power Automate. The result will dynamically assign tasks to responsible persons based on categories they’re responsible for, as well as alternating tasks to help distribute workloads more evenly within each category.

Ideas to enhance your categories list with additional fields for different assignment scenarios

Consider taking this concept further by adding additional columns to your categories list. Things like:

  • Sequential assignment (Yes/No) – Assign to the first person in the multi-select person field and if they don’t mark it complete within 2-3 days, add the second person as an assignee.
  • Assign to all (Yes/No) – Maybe some subcategories should have all assignees involved in the resolution. A simple checkbox would have the flow assign to both (when applicable).
  • Request specific assignment (Yes/No) – Not everything can be randomly or evenly assigned. You may wish to choose on a case-by-case basis. Set your flow up to send an adaptive card to the process manager(s) asking for selection of an individual for each request that comes in with this Yes/No checked.

MS-700 Managing Microsoft Teams Exam Prep Resources

Ready to become a certified Microsoft Teams Administrator? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Steps to getting your Teams Administrator certification

  1. Study for the MS-700 exam
  2. Schedule the MS-700 exam
  3. Pass the MS-700 exam

That’s it! The Teams Administrator certification only takes passing this one exam to obtain. In this post, I’ll share both free and paid resources to help you prepare.

Here are some resources:

Free MS-700 study resources

My MS-700 exam study guide with 168 practice questions

Ready for more? Check out Peter Rising’s and my MS-700 exam guide for in-depth exploration of the latest objectives. I recommend starting out by reviewing the objectives and focusing on your weakest areas.

If you use an exam guide or practice test, you’ll get a realistic idea of the types of questions that will appear on your actual exam. You can also check out some practice questions by watching my DC SP User Group recording where I shared some practice questions during the presentation.

MS-700 exam guide (2nd ed) table of contents

  1. Plan and configure network settings for Microsoft Teams
  2. Identify licensing requirements for Microsoft Teams
  3. Plan and configure security and compliance settings for Microsoft Teams
  4. Plan and implement governance and lifecycle management for Microsoft Teams
  5. Configure and manage external and guest users
  6. Configure and manage Microsoft Teams devices
  7. Creating and managing teams
  8. Plan and manage channels
  9. Manage chat and collaboration experiences
  10. Manage apps for Microsoft Teams
  11. Manage meeting experiences
  12. Manage phone numbers
  13. Manage Phone System for Microsoft Teams
  14. Monitor and report on a Microsoft Teams environment
  15. Troubleshoot audio, video, and client issues
  16. Mock exam
  17. Mock exam answers and explanations
  18. Answers (and explanations) to practice questions

Order our MS-700 exam guide here.

Good luck!

Announcing the return of a classic: The ABCs of SharePoint (2nd Edition)

Back in 2018, when The ABCs of SharePoint made its debut, it wasn’t just presenting information. Picture it as offering an intriguing postcard from the vast territory of SharePoint—a delightful and portable guide for every letter of the alphabet. More than a mere tech book, it crafted a fresh narrative, a playful yet insightful guide that many of you treasured, whether as newcomers or as SharePoint veterans seeking a fun refresher or shelf decoration.

However, the pace of technology is relentless. As SharePoint has evolved and expanded, it’s only right that our trusty ABCs keep up. And this sequel? Well, it’s not only richer in content but also boasts a sleeker design and a more user-friendly layout.

Click to enlarge

Introducing, The ABCs of SharePoint (2nd Edition), reimagined to guide you seamlessly from “Accessibility” straight through to the timely topic of “Zoom Out: SharePoint’s Role in Microsoft 365.” And no, this isn’t just a makeover. Each chapter is thoughtfully reconstructed, underscoring SharePoint’s amplified role within Microsoft 365. And trust me, “Zone Templates” from the previous edition just wouldn’t cut it in 2023.

What can you expect?

  • An exploration of site pages, lists, and libraries.
  • Essential tools to elevate your site using web parts, apps, and ingenious yet accessible workflows.
  • A closer look at SharePoint’s harmonious relationship with Teams, Viva apps, and OneDrive.
  • Concise overviews on vital areas such as accessibility, compliance, and governance.

At its heart, The ABCs of SharePoint (2nd Edition) remains true to its essence: it’s less of a prescriptive manual and more of an enchanting journey. With every letter, you’re not just learning; you’re conversing, sparking 26 delightful conversations to be exact. You can call it “26 ways to talk to techies,” if you like.

Keen to deepen your SharePoint vocabulary? Curious what I picked for X? No matter your motivation, delve into this revamped edition, perfect for both your professional growth and as a discerning gift for a colleague.

So, why wait? Dive letter by letter into the expansive world of SharePoint. Order your copy from Amazon now and embark on this reimagined odyssey. Cheers to a fresh adventure and to joyous reading!

📘 Hardcover:
📕 Paperback:
📙 E-book:

How to use the Mod function in a Power Automate expression to determine if a number is odd or even

Using the Mod function in an expression in Power Automate, you can quickly determine whether any numeric value is odd or even. In this post’s examples, I’ll be using a SharePoint item (or document) ID field as my numeric value, and I will determine if it is odd or even.

Did you know?
Every item and document in SharePoint is automatically assigned a unique ID number within its list or library. The field is called ID.

What is the Mod Function?

The Mod function takes two arguments: the number you want to divide and the divisor. It returns the remainder of the division. For example, Mod(5,2) returns 1, because 5 divided by 2 has a remainder of 1.

To check if a number is odd or even, you can use the Mod function with 2 as the divisor and compare the result (using the equals function) with 1. If the result is 1, then the number is odd. If the result is 0, then the number is even.

You can use the if and equals functions together to write this logic as a conditional expression. Here is an example using a SharePoint item ID as the number:


This expression says: if the SharePoint item ID divided by 2 has a remainder of 1, then return ‘Odd’, otherwise return ‘Even.’

You can use any numeric field instead of the SharePoint item ID, as long as it is available in your flow.

You can learn more on the Mod function here.

And explore a real scenario in which I used this idea in my other blog post.

How to Add the Expression to Your Power Automate Flow

Tip: I have a video of these steps if you’d prefer.

First, to begin adding your expression, click within a step’s field where you want Odd or Even to be returned, such as a variable or condition statement. Then, in the dynamic content panel that pops out, select Expression and you’ll be provided with a formula bar.

How to add an expression to a Power Automate flow | Click to enlarge

In your expression formula bar, use the following formula (modifying the field reference to your own numeric field):


This says if my numeric field divided by 2 has a remainder of 1 (making it an uneven quotient) then it’s odd, otherwise it’s even.

You can then use the result of this expression (Odd or Even) in further conditional expressions or condition blocks like this:

A condition block based on the result of odd/even expression | Click to enlarge

How to Insert a Dynamic Content Field into the Expression

If you are not sure how to find the reference for your numeric field, you can use the dynamic content panel to insert it into your expression. Here are the steps:

  1. Write your expression up until the point you need to enter the field name
Beginning of conditional Mod expression in Power Automate | Click to enlarge
  1. With your cursor active where you want to enter the field name (right after Mod( in my example), select Dynamic content, then select the numeric field you are using. In my case, it’s the ID field from a SharePoint list item.
Insertion of dynamic content in a Power Automate expression | Click to enlarge
  1. The selected field reference will automatically appear in your formula where your cursor was at the time of insert.
  2. Finish your expression. It might resemble this if you’re referencing a SharePoint item’s ID from a trigger like When an item is created:

Video: How to determine if a number is odd or even in Power Automate using the Mod function

That’s it! You have learned how to use the Mod function in Power Automate to determine if a numeric value is odd or even. I hope this helps you create more powerful and sophisticated flows. Good luck!

How to move OneNote section tabs and pages to the left (updated June 2023)

Back in 2018, I wrote about the only way to move section tabs to the left at the time and, unfortunately, it meant that you’d have sections on the left AND the top. Now, thanks to continuing development of OneNote, we have a new view setting called Tabs Layout that fixes the issue and moves your notebook, section, and page navigation panels to the left of your OneNote desktop app.

Now it’s simple, and you don’t even have to open the Options menu. Here’s how to move your section tabs and pages to the left:

  1. Select the View ribbon menu
  2. Select Tabs Layout and then
  3. Choose Vertical Tabs or Horizontal Tabs (default).
Tabs Layout options in the OneNote desktop app | Click to enlarge

Here’s a video demonstration of these steps with additional info:

It’s worth noting that if you select Vertical Tabs, your display settings (File | Options | Display) are restricted since it cancels out other options. For example, pages can’t be moved back to the right side.

And, lastly, f you don’t want to move pages to the left or if you ONLY want to move pages to the left, please check out my previous post for instructions on that setting.

How to add and remove page numbers in Microsoft Word documents

lots of numbers

Page numbers are an important part of many documents that span multiple pages. They help readers navigate through the document and keep track of where they are, as well as communicate clearly with others about references. In this blog post, I’ll cover adding and removing page numbers in a Microsoft Word document.

Let’s begin with adding page numbers in Word documents.

Adding page numbers to Microsoft Word documents

  1. Select the Insert tab in the upper left corner of the window.
  2. Select Page Number in the Header & Footer section.
  3. Choose where you want the page numbers to appear in your document.
Steps to add page numbers to Word documents | Click to enlarge

Notice that once you add page numbers, your ribbon menu shows additional settings for the header or footer (wherever you placed the page number). You could, for instance:

  • Have a cover page without a page number by selecting Different First Page and/or
  • Have odd pages’ numbers aligned left, and even numbered pages aligned right
Header and footer settings that can affect page numbers | Click to enlarge

You might also wish to have your second page start page numbering as page 1 (set Start at to 0 and select Different First Page), or use letters or Roman numbers instead of numbers. You can do this by selecting Page number | Format Page Numbers.

Format page numbers options | Click to enlarge
Video of how to add page numbers to a Word document

Next, let’s take a look at how to remove the page numbers.

Removing page numbers from Microsoft Word documents

  1. Go to Insert | Page Number, then select Remove Page Numbers.
Steps to remove page numbers from a Word document | Click to enlarge
  1. If the Remove Page Numbers option isn’t available or if some page numbers remain, double-click in the header or footer area where the page number is present, select the page number, and press Delete.
Video of how to remove page numbers from a Word document


How to delay or schedule Teams chat messages to send at a later time

flowers grass meadow time

If you’re working after hours or want to send a chat message during someone else’s working hours (such as when your colleagues are geographically dispersed across time zones), you can schedule your message to send at a later time in Teams. This works for both internal and external chat recipients.

This only applies to chats – not channel conversation posts.

Here’s how to delay Teams chat messages:

How to schedule Teams messages to send later

  1. Compose your message as you normally would.
  2. Right-click the Send button and set the date and time you’d like the message to be delivered
The message scheduling dialog when delaying a Teams message delivery | Click to enlarge
  1. Click Send at scheduled time
  2. Click the Send button
A scheduled message in a Microsoft Teams chat | Click to enlarge

That’s it! Your message will be sent at the scheduled time.

How to edit or delete a scheduled chat message in Microsoft Teams

Later, you may change your mind or want to edit the message text or change the delivery time for a previously scheduled message.

Deleted scheduled messages will not be delivered and cannot be restored.

Here’s how to edit or delete a scheduled message:

  1. Hover over the scheduled message and select the ellipsis ()
  2. Click Edit (or Delete if that’s what you want to do)
Edit option for a scheduled message | Click to enlarge
  1. Edit the message and select the checkmark when finished to save your changes.
A scheduled message in edit mode | Click to enlarge

That’s it!

If you don’t see the Edit option, it is likely that your Teams administrator has assigned a messaging policy to you that prevents editing sent messages. This is a simple toggle in the messaging policy they control.

Business use cases

Here are some scenarios in which scheduling messages to send later might be appropriate:

  • You want to send a message outside of business hours but don’t want it to end up at the bottom of many others to come
  • You want to send a reminder about an upcoming meeting or deadline
  • You want to send a message when someone is in a different time zone
  • You want to send a message when someone is on vacation or out of office
  • You want to make sure you don’t forget to welcome somebody back, or acknowledge a significant date

References and further reading

How to use Excel’s SUMIF function to calculate totals by category

four trays of varieties of fruits

If you have a large data set in Excel and you want to calculate totals based on specific criteria, such as sales by region or expenses by department, you can use the SUMIF function. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Excel workbook and select the cell where you want to display the total.
  2. Type =SUMIF( followed by the range of cells that contain the categories you want to sum (e.g., A1:A10), a comma (,), and the criteria you want to use to filter/indicate the category in that range (e.g., "North").
  3. Type another comma (,) followed by the range of cells that contain the values you want to sum (e.g., B1:B10).
  4. Close the parentheses and press Enter.

Your total will be displayed in the selected cell.

Here’s an example formula:


This formula will sum all values in column B (e.g., “Sales”) where the corresponding value in column A is “North.”

Example Data Set

Here’s some sample data I’ll use to demonstrate the SUMIF function’s potential.

Example data set of sales and expenses by region

Example Scenarios

Here are some examples of how you can use SUM and the SUMIF function with the previous data set example:

Total sales for all regions=SUM(B2:B5)625
Total expenses for all regions=SUM(C2:C5)110
Total sales for the North region=SUMIF(A2:A5,"North",B2:B5)100
Total expenses for the South region=SUMIF(A2:A5,"South",C2:C5)30
Total sales greater than $150=SUMIF(B2:B5,">150")375
Total expenses less than $30=SUMIF(C2:C5,"<30")45
Examples of formulas and results for various needs based on the example data

So now imagine that you have three months’ worth of data and “North” appears three times. Your SUMIF function becomes even more valuable as it only sums the North rows’ values.

Hopefully this helps! Let me know if you have any specific questions about using this function with your data.