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

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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: