December 11, 2023 Knowledge Center Office 365

Go with the Flow: How Power Automate Can Make Completing Tasks Easier Than Ever

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As we’ve covered in previous articles, the Microsoft ecosystem provides tools that make completing your daily and/or repetitive tasks easier and less time-consuming with programs such as Teams, Outlook, Excel, and more. But what if, in addition to saving time, these tools could also virtually eliminate the potential for human error throughout the completion process?  

That’s where the Power Platform comes in. Or, more specifically, Power Automate, just one of the tools within the Power Platform suite. While one of the more advanced Microsoft programs, Power Automate makes it possible to automate workflows and assist with smooth integrations between your commonly used applications and services. And, by developing a comprehensive understanding of how to use this tool, you’ll be able to save time by reducing your manual workload and streamline processes, such as data transferring, scheduling social media posts, report generation, and more.  

Benefits of Leveraging Power Automate 

Because Power Automate is a little more complicated to master, it might seem like too much effort to invest the time in learning. However, becoming versed in the capabilities of the tool can open the door of possibilities in terms of your productivity, such as: 

  • More time saved: Power Automate helps manage the repetitive tasks you handle every day, which allows you to focus on more pressing responsibilities or projects. This feature of Power Automate takes care of things like organizing your email inbox, which means you don’t have to.  
  • Less room for human error: By automating processes that you would normally be responsible for, Power Automate eliminates the potential for human error, ensuring that all tasks in the process are completed accurately on time, every time.  
  • Easy integration: Because the Microsoft suite is so extensive and is also compatible with a large range of third-party applications, Power Automate can seamlessly integrate with several other applications, which creates a connected and efficient workflow.  
  • Customizable solutions: Like many other Microsoft tools, Power Automate is highly customizable, which means you can tailor it to meet your specific needs. 
  • Streamlined approvals: Power Automates simplifies the approval process by automatically sending notifications for items in need of review.   

Tasks Made Simpler 

While knowing the benefits of implementing Power Automate is one thing, it’s more important to recognize the specific use cases of the tool in order to see how those benefits play out in action. Some of the ways Power Automate can streamline your everyday tasks include:  

Report Generation

Power Automate can generate and distribute reports by gathering data from various other applications. It can then automatically send the generated reports to an identified list without you needing to perform any extra steps.  

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a recurring trigger (e.g., every Friday at 2:00 PM) 
  • Step 2: Gather data from an identified source (e.g. the “Get Rows” action for Excel) 
  • Step 3: Create a report with the “Compose” action  
  • Step 4: Send the report using the “Send an email” action to share as an attachment. 

Intelligent Email Sorting

With Power Automate, you can set up a workflow that automatically sorts incoming emails into different folders based on filters such as sender, subject, etc., which takes the manual effort out of keeping your emails organized.  

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a trigger to set off the workflow (e.g., when a new email arrives…) 
  • Step 2: Add a condition to determine if received emails meets your specific criteria 
  • Step 3: Use the “move email” action to move each email to the corresponding folder 

Scheduled Social Media Posts

When it comes to managing your organization’s social media presence, Power Automate can integrate with other platforms to schedule your posts, allowing for the execution of a cohesive strategy with minimal effort. 

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a recurring trigger (e.g., daily or weekly) 
  • Step 2: Utilize the “Compose” action to create the content for your social media posts. 
  • Step 3: Use another “Compose” action to set the date and time for your social media post to go live.  
  • Step 4: Create your posts using the “HTTP” action or a connector for a specific social media platform (e.g., LinkedIn). Make sure to include the composed message and formatted date and time.  

Approval Workflows

Power Automate can take the back and forth out of the approval process with the ability to set up workflows that automatically send approval requests and notifications, ultimately saving you time.  

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a trigger to set off the workflow (e.g., “When a file is a created or modified” if the document is stored in SharePoint) 
  • Step 2: Add the “start and wait for approval” action after identifying the necessary list of approvers. Configure the approval with the approvers’ email addresses and include details about the document in the approval request. 
  • Step 3: Add a condition to check for the outcome of the approval.  
    • If approved, proceed to next step 
    • If rejected, send a notification, update a status, or take other relevant actions 
  • Step 4: Set up an action to publish the document, if approved.  

Document Management

A Power Automate workflow makes it possible to manage, organize, and organize your documents, ensuring that your most important files are stored in the right place and easy to find when you need them. 

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a trigger to set off the workflow (e.g., “When a file is created or modified” for documents stored in SharePoint 
  • Step 2: Define criteria for document management (e.g., documents not modified for over a year). 
  • Step 3: Use an action to move documents to the appropriate folder based on type or category 
  • Step 4: Set up an action to notify relevant parties of the approval status and location of the document 

Data Entry:

Eliminate the need to manually enter data with a Power Automate workflow that makes it possible to pull information from emails, forms, and other sources and accurately enter into it the proper database.  

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a trigger to identify new data from form fills or emails 
  • Step 2: Use the ‘Compose” action to format, transform, or extract data as needed. 
  • Step 3: Use the “Add row” action to automatically add your data to programs like Excel 

Employee Onboarding

When a new employee joins your team, it’s exciting, but it can also be a hassle. Streamline their onboarding process by establishing a workflow that automatically sends welcome emails, sets up the necessary system accounts, and schedules introductory meetings with relevant team members.   

Example Flow 

  • Step 1: Establish a trigger so the workflow is set to go off when a new employee record is entered 
  • Step 2: Use the “Azure AD – Create user” action or similar to generate new user accounts for onboarding employees 
  • Leverage the “Send an email” action to send a series of welcome emails with relevant information and resources 

Power Up with Power Automate 

Power Automate allows you to take your usage of the Microsoft suite of tools to a whole new level, but only if you’re willing to invest the time in learning how to leverage it to its full potential. However, the team at SUCCESS recognizes that often one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to get started. That’s why we offer the guidance needed to help your team get more out of tools like Power Automate, as well as the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Request a call today and discover what’s possible for your business.