Do you want to send someone a direct link to an approval request in Power Automate? This can be useful if you want to remind them via chat or email or assign them a task in Planner or To Do. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to get a link to a specific approval request’s link that you can use in different Power Automate flow concepts.
You may already know that Power Automate has three approval related actions: Start and wait for an approval, Wait for an approval, and Create an approval. Each of these actions has different dynamic content available for later steps. To get a link to a specific approval request, we need to use the Create an approval action because it gives us access to the Respond link dynamic content. This is the link that will take users directly to the approval board in Power Automate with their approval task open awaiting response.
How can you use this link? For example, imagine you want to create a flow that runs when a new request is created in SharePoint and creates a Planner task for the approver with the link to the approval request.
Here are the steps for this particular request scenario:
How to create a Power Automate flow that assigns Planner tasks containing links to approval requests
Note: For sensitive information, like leave requests, you’ll want to be mindful of PII and privacy and consider email or chat or other ways to use the link so only individuals who should see sensitive content can. This is merely an example of how you might use Planner tasks for any request scenario.
For your flow’s trigger, search for SharePoint and select When an item is created. Configure the trigger by selecting the site and list where you want to monitor new items. For example, you might choose your HR site and the Leave request list.
Click Add an action and search for Create an approval. Configure the approval details as you need. In our example, you might want to request approval from the employee’s manager and set the title to “Leave request approval.” If you intend to send custom notifications via email, planner tasks, etc., click Show advanced options and set Enable notifications to No. This will prevent approvers from receiving multiple notifications about the same approval request.
Click Add an action and search for Create a task (Planner). Select the plan and bucket where you want to create the task. For example, you might choose your specific team’s plan and the Pending tasks bucket.
Click Add an action and search for Update task details (Planner). Select the task ID from the previous Planner action. In the References section, fill in the following fields: References Alias is the text that will be clickable. References Resource will be the Respond link dynamic content from the Approval step. And References Type will be Other.
Optionally, you can add more actions after creating the approval and updating the task details. For example, you could add a Wait for an approval action to take the outcome of the approval request and perform conditional actions based on it. Or you could add an Update item action (SharePoint) to set the original request’s Approval status from Pending to Approved or Rejected. Or you could add a Send an email action (Outlook) to notify the requestor, copying the approver and HR, with the final outcome of the request.
Save your flow and test it.
That’s it! Now whenever a new request is created in SharePoint, a Planner task will be created for the approver with a direct link to the approval request.
You can apply this technique in other scenarios as well. For example, you could send chat messages or emails with links to approvals using Teams or Outlook actions. Or you could create personal To Do tasks with links using Microsoft To Do actions.
How might you be able to use direct links to specific approval requests in your business processes?
References and further reading
Looking for a deeper dive and more ideas? Look no further.
Microsoft Planner has built-in notifications for assigned tasks, reminders, and overdue tasks, but sometimes you’ll want to be kept in the loop when important tasks are completed as well, even when the task isn’t assigned to you specifically.
We can create a Power Automate flow to accomplish this. In this post, I’ll cover three topics:
Creating a flow from a template
Creating a flow from scratch
Sending notifications to task assignees
Use a Power Automate template to send an email when a Planner task is completed
First, you’ll need to sign in to Power Automate using your work or school (not personal) Microsoft account. Then follow these steps:
Select Templates and search for “send email Planner completed” (or click this link)
Select the Group and Plan for which you’d like emails to be sent when tasks are completed.
Enter the email address(es) to which notifications should be sent when tasks are completed in the selected plan. You can also customize the message body simply by clicking in the body field and entering your own text and/or dynamic content.
Click Save (at the bottom or upper right)
Go to the specific plan for which you’ve created the flow (Hint: you’ll find it at https://tasks.office.com) and complete a task to test it. You may want to create a fake task for your test.
Check the email inbox for the address(es) you entered in step 4. You should have received your custom email. Note: It may take a few minutes for it to appear.