one-click approval

On one of my recent projects, a client asked if it would be possible for the link to a task within a workflow notification email to open the task in “edit” mode instead of “display”. If you’re unfamiliar with SharePoint 2013 task processes built in SharePoint Designer, here’s what their process looked like prior to our change:

  1. Someone submits form
  2. Approval request sent to manager
  3. Manager clicks link in email to open task
  4. Manager clicks “Edit”
  5. Manager clicks “Approve”

They wanted to eliminate step 4 to make the process as easy as possible (one-click after opening link in email). Here’s what we ended up doing:


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SPTechCon is one of the largest SharePoint and O365 conferences available. You can win a free full-conference (4-day) pass simply by tuning in to next week’s Lawrence SharePoint User Group (LSPUG) meeting.

Microsoft MVP Melissa Hubbard and April Dunnam will be presenting “Microsoft Flow and SharePoint: Integration and Automation”. Learn more about the session here.


This post illustrates how you can accomplish adding sections to the left pane, and moving the pages pane from the right-hand side to the left as seen above.

Move Sections from Top to Left

In a recent training session, I was asked if it were possible to move sections from the top to the left in OneNote. The answer is “sort of”. We can get sections on the left also, but we can’t get rid of them from the top. There are two ways to accomplish this:

DateKeys are essential for relative time measures. In “manage relationships” you tie the ‘DateKey'[Date] to a date field in each of your data sources. Giles Walker shared an excellent solution for a robust DateKey that includes measurements and calculations you’re sure to find useful. Here’s that same solution I’ve modified and expanded to be as useful as possible.

If you’re using a document Name field in a workflow but it’s not working as expected, it could be because there are apostrophes () or ampersands (&) in document names. In this case, SharePoint evaluates apostrophes () to &#39semicolon and ampersands (&) to &ampsemicolon As you can see here, most other punctuation evaluates perfectly well:


Note: This problem only occurs when using apostrophes and ampersands in document names, in document libraries. And we can fix the issue without needing to rename the files.

Document names cannot contain these punctuation marks: \ / . : * # “

Regular lists and document library fields aside from the Name field shouldn’t experience this issue. But if you’re using & or in your file names, and calling those file names in workflow, here’s how we can make it work:





Look at that workflow above – have you ever seen something so beautifully simple? I’m excited to share several solutions with you in this one post. This post should cover the following:

  1. Working with content types
  2. Creating a template for each content type capable of having merge fields
  3. Finding a way to merge list item info into a new document via workflow
  4. And if you’re super ambitious, expanding the workflow just a bit with an if/then statement to use different templates based on conditions in your list

But because this is a massive topic and could be tailored an infinite number of ways, I encourage you to comment or tweet me for additional guidance more specific to your scenario. So here we go!


So you’ve made a SharePoint calendar. In fact, you’ve even made some different views for it and then made those views into overlays. Hoorah!

But now, looking at the finished product, the unevenness of the overlay links leaves something to be desired. This post will show you how to take your overlays and, in just a few minutes, turn them into a more polished look as seen above.