A couple of weeks ago I was asked if it was possible, during a conversation about alerts, if you could not just be notified of changes but also remind someone if a change hasn’t been made for x number of days or hours, we ended up agreeing that the most logical way to do this was using a simple SharePoint Designer Workflow.
I have previously written an Introduction to SharePoint Designer as well as Creating a email workflow with SharePoint Designer and this post will compliment them nicely.
The Scenario is this, we have a simple, out of the box, task list and we would like to have a visual indication that a task has not been completed as well as an email reminder every day if it is still not complete.
So during the conversation we came up with two cool ideas;
- Conditional Formatting to colour the row if the task is incomplete
- An email reminder if it is incomplete
In this post let’s take a look at conditional formatting as it’s so simple in SharePoint Designer it will take two minutes to explain.
Navigate to your list, click on the List tab in the List Tools context menu (as below) and head all the way over to the right hand side to click on edit in SharePoint Designer.
Once SharePoint Designer has loaded you will be presented with the following screen, this will allow you to select the “All Tasks” view and we should be ready to apply our conditional formatting.
OK not quite, click on any where in the content area and then you will see the ribbon change to look the same as below, you can then click on Conditional Formatting > Format Row.
You will then be presented with the following dialogue box which will ask you to define the condition, in our example, we would like to change the background colour of the row if the status is not complete.
I will leave you to set the style and be as creative as you like.
The end result (which you will see in SPD design view) will look like this (below) depending on the tasks fulfilling the conditions you set.
Amazing right? No seriously, it actually is! The possibilities here are endless and users love this stuff, there are endless conversations on user adoption and this kind of thing really hits home with users, remember those guys who can’t move away from Excel because they have a spreadsheet that has some crazy conditional formatting. Now they can move right?
With all that being said, what if the users don’t check the website to see the tasks? That’s where tomorrow’s post kicks in as we will be setting up the workflow to remind them that the task is still due.