Go With the Flow

What is Flow? 

Using automated workflows, Microsoft’s Flow enables you to focus on your work instead of getting bogged down with mundane tasks. No matter your industry or department, there’s a flow that will make your life easier. This game-changing tool is part of the Office365 suite and is part of your subscription for common processes. In many cases, a template already exists making it super easy to set up and start leveraging the power of Flow in moments.  

Why use Flow? 

Increase productivity by setting up automated flows to do tedious tasks and free up your day to do more of what you love. Here are a few ways Flow can make your work-life easier no matter what department you’re in. 

  • Admins: Where is that file? When did that email come in? Get the latest document updates, folder additions, and industry information delivered to you. 
  • Developers: Automate repetitive bug tracking, workload, and service health monitoring and get back to doing the work you enjoy. 
  • Human Resources: Automate recurring HR tasks, like posting new job listings, managing vacation requests, and managing health insurance reimbursement workflows. 
  • Marketing: Track and manage your social media presence. 
  • Education: Make the school day a breeze by automating repetitive tasks like tracking completed assignments, responding to student requests, archiving projects, and managing forms. 

Still not convinced? Do you use any of the following resources? Then there’s likely a flow that will bring productivity your way! 

  • Top Connectors in Flow:  
    • Office 365 Outlook 
    • OneDrive for Business 
    • SharePoint 
    • Twitter 
    • Notifications 
    • RSS 
    • MS Teams 
    • MS Planner 
    • Salesforce 
    • Power BI 
    • Google Calendar/Drive 
    • OneNote 
    • Wunderlist 
    • Trello 

How PixelMill uses Flow 

We have multiple flows set up here at PixelMill that speed up our workflows and set us up for consistent process success. For instance, our sales team uses Flow to streamline several new-client processes. For example, we have a Flow set up that connects Forms, Teams, and OneNote. When an account manager completes a new client form, Flow generates a custom announcement in the appropriate channel in Teams to alert the sales team and creates a new page in One Note that transfers the content from the Form to one area for the whole team to view.

5 Flows to try today to increase productivity: 

1) Receive a daily email with a list of items that need attention, i.e., PTO requests.

Why? There’s no greater feeling than checking things off your to-do list. Set up a quick flow that will pull in daily to-dos that need your attention from workflow lists like PTO requests or content approvals. Start using this flow now

2) Save Office 365 email attachments to OneDrive for Business

Why? Never worry about downloading another attachment again. This flow automatically stores attachments that come to your inbox into OneDrive. Start using this flow now

3) Create Planner tasks for flagged emails in Office 365.

Why? Flagging emails is a great practice, but then you need to remember to take care of those flagged emails. Setting up a flow that will create your to-do list in Planner takes a step out of that process for you. Now instead of sorting through your emails hop over to Planner instead and check out your follow-up list. Start using this flow now

4) Send an email when a new file is added. 

Why? This one is a no brainer! If you have a list that you check periodically to see if any updates have been made, etc. Use the flow to send an email whenever anything is added or updated within that list.  Start using this flow now

5) Post a message to Teams.

Why? Have a signed or approved document that you want to share with the team? Once the document has been uploaded to your specific folder, use this flow to post a message in a specific teams channel that updates or additions have been made. This can pull in the Document Title name, and create an announcement to your Team that a new contract was signed, or a new document (with X name was added). Almost any type of notification or alert for many actions that can happen in Office 365 can use flow to make your workday a little more manageable. Start using this flow now.  

For more ways to automate your tasks, search the available Flow templates ready for you to start using today.  

Want to learn more? Microsoft offers a learning path that serves as an excellent introduction and hands-on experience to MS Flow: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/automate-process-using-flow/  

Looking to leverage Flow to the fullest? One of our PixelMill productivity experts would love to chat with you about possible integrations and ways to cut down on tedious tasks to free up time to get the heavy lifting done.

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