Workflow: Reminder Before Due Date – MOSS vs. WSS

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a workflow that reminds you a week before an item is due.  This item could be anything in SharePoint, such as a document or task.  In the example, I’ll use a task, and the built in Due Date field.  Note that a Due Date field could be added to any type of list or library in SharePoint.  There are probably many ways to go about solving this, but this (MOSS) way is my favorite.  First I’ll show you how it can be done in MOSS, and then how it can similarly be done in WSS, and the drawbacks involved.

Here is a little more information, so you’ll understand the reasoning behind some of this.  With Information Management Policy settings in MOSS, we can set up a rule that will kick off a workflow on a certain date based off of a date field in the list.  Therefore with MOSS, we don’t have to leave workflows running and waiting.  You’ll see what I’m talking about when I compare these two methods.  In this MOSS method, the first thing that may seem strange, is that I’m not just creating a calculated column.  That’s because a calculated column won’t be available in the information management policy settings.

MOSS Reminder Workflow

  1. In the SharePoint task list, create a new column called Reminder Date, and set it as a Date field.  Uncheck the “Add to default view” box, and click OK.
    CropperCapture[67]
  2. We don’t want this field to be displayed to users when they are filling out the form, so we hide it.
    In the list’s settings, click Advanced Settings.  Change Allow management of Content Types to Yes.  Click OK.
  3. In the Content Types section of the list’s settings, click the name of the one content type in there.  In this example, it’s “Task”.  Then, in the List Content Type information screen, click the name of the Reminder Date field.  Change it from Optional to Hidden, and click OK.
  4. Now it’s time to create a workflow that will set the Reminder Date.  In SharePoint Designer, open the site, and click the File menu, and New… Workflow.
  5. Call it Task Reminder, and connect it to the Tasks list.  Set it to run on create and on change.
    CropperCapture[68]
  6. There need not be a condition, and the actions are the following:
    ”Add Time to Date”
    ”Set field in Current Item”
    CropperCapture[73]
    (trick: to get that last underlined field to show a variable, choose workflow data as the source)
  7. Click Finish to save the workflow.

    Another important thing to note is that if your SharePoint Server has not been upgraded to service pack 2, this workflow could end up running in an infinite loop.

  8. Create a new item in the task list, and see this workflow in action.  It fills in the Reminder Date field automatically.  You can add this field to the default view, for testing purposes, so you’ll see the value get filled in.
  9. The next step is to create the workflow that actually sends the reminder email.  Call it Task email, and uncheck all the boxes as so:
    CropperCapture[75]
  10. Click Next.
  11. Create one action, to send an email to the person that the task is assigned to, and make the email say whatever you want.  Then click Finish.
    CropperCapture[76]
  12. Next, to set the policy…  On the list settings screen, click Information Management Policy Settings. (This is only available in MOSS, not WSS)
  13. Click the name of the content type, in this case it is Task.  Select Define a Policy, and click OK.
  14. Put a check box next to Enable Expiration.  Fill in the section as follows.  Remember, that when I created the Task Email workflow, I unchecked all the boxes that indicate when the workflow is supposed to run, but I can still kick it off using a policy!
    CropperCapture[82]
  15. That’s it.  Test it out.  Make sure you fill in the Assigned To field on the tasks, so that the reminder email will go out.

Another note…  It doesn’t let you put a ZERO here, for + 0 days.  This is why I set my reminder date to calculate –8, since I know I’ll have to put a +1 here.  Math.  Negative 8 plus positive 1 equals negative 7, which equals a reminder 7 days ahead of the due date.  Click OK.

About Information Management Policy settings and starting a workflow:
Each time after you edit the Task Email workflow in SharePoint Designer, you have to go back to the screen in the above screenshot, and RE-select the current workflow name, and click OK.

WSS Reminder Workflow

This section will show how different it is creating the same workflow in WSS.  Since we don’t have the benefit of information management policy settings, we have to set a workflow to run, waiting for the reminder date to arrive.

  1. Create a new SharePoint Designer workflow, connect it to the tasks list, and set it to run each time a new item is created.
  2. The actions should be as follows:
    CropperCapture[83]
    ”Add Time to Date”
    ”Log to History List”
    “Pause Until Date”
    ”Send an Email”

That’s all the WSS workflow entails, but there are a couple of drawbacks:

  • If the due date is more than about 2 or 3 months away, that paused workflow becomes more unreliable.  There is an underlying “Workflow History” list on each site, and apparently it auto-purges records that are over 60 days old.  I hear that this auto-purge can cause problems in long-running workflows.
  • Even if the workflow is set to run on create AND on item change, the reminder variable still doesn’t change when the task item’s due date is modified.  There’s got to be a way around this, which would most likely entail a more complex workflow… but I’m sure it would have pausing involved.

UPDATE: 3/2016 – This is one of the most commonly asked about topics.  There is a product called Pentalogic Reminders that is great for this since SharePoint just sucks when it comes to trying to do this with out of box functionality. They even have an app in the SharePoint store, for Office 365!

102 comments

  • bmerri19@gmail.com

    My reminder date keeps coming out at 1/1/1900, what am I doing wrong? I’m keeping it simple and only want to have a reminder the day before.

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  • bmerri, Are you setting your Due Date as required and filling it in for each item? Not sure where your workflow is going wrong without seeing your whole list and workflow steps.

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  • Hi Laura Can a create a calculated column to fetch the reminder date before 60 days of due date, instead of using the Task Reminder work flow? Because it is difficult to deploy two work flows on production environment.

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  • Mohit, Nope, at step 14, it won’t show calculated columns in the drop-down box. That’s the only reason I used a workflow.

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  • Hi Laura My environment uses SP1 and not SP2. How do i remove infinite loop from our work flow?

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  • Ramesh, The MOSS solution will only run once a day, and the WSS solution won’t have an infinite loop since you’re only setting it to run once, when a new item is created. Infinite loops only happen when a workflow is set to run when at item is changed.

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  • Do you know if the Information Management Policy can see content types that are only available from within folders in a custom list? It works fine for the items outside folders, but not inside them.

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  • mark.hendricks@sas.com

    Hi Laura, In this example, you mention this “About Information Management Policy settings and starting a workflow: Each time after you edit the Task Email workflow in SharePoint Designer, you have to go back to the screen in the above screenshot, and RE-select the current workflow name, and click OK.” I followed your steps and was able to get this to work on a doc lib. However, when I made a change to the wf in sp designer, I’m not sure which ‘current workflow name’ to select. Multiple ones are showing up now (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…etc and one with JUST the wf name with no number after it). Which one is the ‘current one’..? Thanks, Mark

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  • Hey Mark, Go to the list settings, and click workflow settings. Remove every single version of the workflow (hopefully none of them are currently running). Then, open the workflow in SPD and re-publish it. Just open and click Finish. Then you’ll know that the one version is the correct one.

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  • leah.samy@dtz.com

    Hi I am getting the same as above “My reminder date keeps coming out at 1/1/1900, what am I doing wrong? I’m keeping it simple and only want to have a reminder the day before” Due date is filled in… any ideas?

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  • Hey Laura, I’m using WSS 3.0 SP 2 and I am also able to define a policy with an Expiration. Does this functionality not work on WSS or why do you make a difference between MOSS and WSS? Thanks, Eike

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  • It works! Thanks for your great Tutorial! Eike

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  • doubleoh0@gmail.com

    “Even if the workflow is set to run on create AND on item change, the reminder variable still doesn’t change when the task item’s due date is modified. There’s got to be a way around this, which would most likely entail a more complex workflow… but I’m sure it would have pausing involved.” I added another workflow to the list that will activate on item change. If the Due Date has changed, the workflow will use the create a new item action to clone the current item and then delete the current item. This will “update” the “Pause Until” field on the workflow with the new due date.

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  • jharder@artesianwater.com

    I get nothing in my Reminder Date. Is there a service running this that may not have permiisions to change the the due date?

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  • Hey Laura, Great article again! Do you have it adapted for 2010?

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  • david.haskell@oregonstate.edu

    Laura, Is there a difference between a ‘due date’ and the option to give ‘each person’ a certain amount of time to finish their task? We run our process in serial. I just want a reminder to go out when their task is beyond 4 days. Thanks!

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  • Great Article…

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  • Laura, Once the policy is run on an item, that item is ‘exempt from policy’, so no other emails will be sent. In my case, I want the user to be able to update the due date for that item and have the policy kick off again, but sure how to do this, since there is no SPD action to remove policy exemption. Do you know how I might accomplish this?

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  • Jadvanced@gmail.com

    I have moss 2007. workflow works but the second for email notification does not work. I don’t get any email notification. I tested email system and it works and made sure the reminder date falls on the right date and followed your steps

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  • ellen_kong@sra.com

    Great post! Really handy. However, we have document libraries that are versioned, requires check-out, AND has content types “turned on”. Any one of these features disables the workflow. We get a status of “Stopped” with a message stating that there’s an “Error updating the list item” and “Document checked out”. Do you have any ideas on how to get around this?

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  • doubleoh0, Yes, you’re right, this doesn’t account for the due date changing (in 2007 there’s no way). Martin, Same in 2010, except now you have more functionality in the information mgmt policy settings, such as different stages, and the ability to make it repeat. Darah, Same thing, there’s no way to make it repeat in 2007 (that I know of) in info mgmt policies. David, For that, you’d set your email to go out based on Due Date +4, so that it would only go out after the due date has passed 4 days. jadvanced, the info mgmt policy is based on a timer job that runs every night on the server. Ask the server admin to troubleshoot. ellen, you’ll have to set the workflow at the first step to “wait for …and pick the check out field with a value of checked in…before you let the workflow do anything else.

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  • Laura, I am using 2007 and a task was just modified not the due date but the assigned to and comments. Now our customers are getting several Task Reminder emails. How can I get this to stop? Also will this reminder send an email every day up until the due date? BTW – I love your new book. Very easy to follow and has helped me a lot in my 2010 test environment. Customer is not ready to move in that direction just yet, but I am pushing for it. :o)

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  • Shellie, Which method did you use that is causing problems, the “wait” or the info mgmt policy? Maybe you could add an extra field to the list and hide it, something like “email sent”. Then, as a condition in the workflow, add “and Email Sent is not equal to yes”, and then as the last action after the email is sent, change Email Sent to yes. Thanks! So glad you like the book! 😉

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  • i need to genenrating email once the task due date is over.i.e due date is 25.04.2011(DD/MM/YY) and todays date is 26.04.2011(DD/MM/YY)

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  • Laura, I set this up and it is working. However, I have an issue with Save Conflicts now with the documents. Evidently the timer is kicking off the workflow after a change. Then if you go back into the document to do another edit and try to save the Save Conflict warning appears. Then, the only way to rid this is to close the document completely, wait for a couple of minutes and then edit again. I know that the workflow is locking the documet, but is there a way around this so we don’t have to make excuses to the users? Or, is there a way to “speed up” the workflow or change the process so it runs without a confict?

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  • Brad, Since there’s no document in the scenario in this blog post, should I assume that you’ve created a due date in a document library? Which method are you using, the MOSS or WSS workflow?

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  • Well sorry I did not mean to say document. I meant list item. I guess that I could have the users just wait until the workflow finishes before they go back in. However is there a way to get the “This item is exempt from policy. This item will not be expired until the exemption is removed. Remove exemption… ” off of the display?

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  • How do you do a reminder before due date on a document library. Is it the same? explain.

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  • I need to know if you can set up a workflow in spd that will send an email to the appropriate business unit. There are about 6 members in a business unit that I will need to send an email to each member for their approval based on the amount. So in short, I need if then statements that will send an email based on the business unit and the amount of a claim. For example, if the credit amount is greater than $1000 and is equal to this business unit, then send an approval email to this group of people. Else if credit amount is greater than $2500 and equal to this business unit, then send approval email to these people. Keeping in mind that everyone has to approve this and if rejected by one person then the whole workflow will be cancelled. Is this possible in spd. Thanks for your help in advance.

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  • Brad, No, there isn’t a way to do that, but they did improve it in 2010, and there’s a way to set the stage to “repeat”. Kenneth, Yes it’s the same. Ken, Yes, it’s possible, I do it all the time. You just have to understand the logic and create the conditions and actions accordingly.

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  • I am getting the same as above “My reminder date keeps coming out at 1/1/1900, what am I doing wrong?

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  • I set my due date field to a required field and everything came out ok.

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  • Jabeen, Make sure your variable is a date variable.

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  • Arsalan Adam Khatri

    hey Laura, First thanks for the tutorial, i wanted to ask a question somewhat beyond the scope of this post.. Can we set due date to due time, I mean can we assign particular hours to complete the task in Out-of-the-box Approval Workflow? Either by making a custom workflow or by combinations of different approaches, anything :)… Regards, Arsalan

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  • Based on the directions listed here, I have created a workflow to set an archive date in a custom list based on the created date. This is set to run on creation and on modify. I then created a workflow for archiving items from one list to another. This, as per directions, has no start conditions. The Information Management Policy I then set (which is set for ‘archive date + 1 day’ for testing purposes) should kick off that archive workflow. The only problem being that it does not actually start the workflow. There are no errors listed anywhere – it simply is not even apparently attempting to fire off the workflow. Is there somewhere else I need to check?

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  • Arsalan, In SharePoint 2010, you can do it with a SharePoint Designer workflow, but not with the out of box ones. You have to create a variable in the workflow based on the workflow context field of when the workflow was initiated. Calculate that date field plus however many hours, and put that in a variable. then, for the due date, insert that variable. Alonwye, Look at the information management policy timer job on the server. It’s probably not running.

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  • Nice Article, just how I can test it, can you please tell .

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  • Hi, still not working, i did the same thing above, but still not running please help

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  • I am receiving continuous weekly reminder mails froma task which was overdue 2 months back and is in rejected state. Not able to figure out the reson for the same. How to stop these mails. I have SPS 2010.

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  • Hello Laura, I setup the workflow and the policy to send a reminder message before due date, the only diffence is that I’m working with a calendar and I included a little change to your workflow: I added a condition (if, then, else) and it is not working. My question is: Is it not working because of the conditions?? I need to send different message depending on a field of the calendar and that’s why I setup conditions. Could you please help me with this? thanks

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  • Mahmoud, If you’re doing the information mgmt policy, take a look at the server to see if the information mgmt tiner job is running at all when it’s supposed to. Ruchi, You can delete the workflow completely. Erika, WSS or MOSS? Test without the condition and see if it works.

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  • Hi Laura, I have created this workflow for a document library but I am not receiving any emails…not sure what I am doing wrong. I am using SharePoint online and Sharepoint Designer 2010.. Please help…. 🙂 Thanks

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  • Nidhi, Check with your server admin and get them to look at the server’s email settings.

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  • Hi Laura, I checked the server’s email settings and I am getting other emails but not sure why email workflow is not working…. 😦

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  • Hi Laura! I have created a workflow in SharePoint Designer 2007 (MOSS) that automatically triggers an email when a record in the associated list is edited. The workflow is sending the email successfully. My problem is that the recipient of my email is another system that requires the email be in plain text. While the copy I receive in my Outlook looks like plain text, I have found that the other system is actually receiving an email that has inserted for each of my carriage returns. I need to get these breaks out of there. I really hope you can help! Thank you for your time! Susan

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  • Nidhi, I recommend working with your server administrator and troubleshooting the server. also, you can add “log to history list” items in your workflow after each action, and write descriptive text about what just happened. Then, after the workflow runs you’ll be able to look at the workflow history list to see exactly what actions did happen. Susan, All I can think of in that case is not not put any carriage returns in the email. I don’t know how you’d modify the code or get the email server to send it any differently.

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  • Great article! I think I have it running on SP2010. On SP2010, could this be deployed for all Task lists on a site collection? I’m guessing this could be applied by adjusting the Information Management Policy Settings on the Task content type at the root level. That would be a good way to automatically remind everyone in the organization of overdue tasks in a standardized way.

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  • I’d like to see this WF using SP Designer 2010 ma’am. I couldn’t succcessfully complete it because of the differences in Designer. Any chance you can help?

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  • lironnn@gmail.com

    I’m using SharePoint designer 2010, I have create Task List and I add to this list new field (field name: Reminder Date, Filed type:Date and time). I have create Reusable Workflow (Workflow name: Task Reminder). I save and publish the workflow, and then I Associate the workflow to the list. now I want to edit the workflow, so I add the “Set Field in Current Item” action. when I try to configure this action I do not see the associate list field. from the workflow setting page I do not see the associated list. where I make a mistake?

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  • Anthony, The enterprise, or the non-enterprise one? Lironnn, In a reusable workflow, you have to use site columns as your lists’s columns, and click the “association columns” button in the reusable workflow.

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  • Hi Laura, I have created a workflow in SPD which “collect data from a user” (e.g.myself), the URL displayed as “(no title)” instead of the display name of the SP user. I have checked the task list, in the “Related Content” column, it also displayed “(no title)” with a valid URL http://Spsite/Portal/Lists/CRT/DispForm.aspx?ID=1 Do you have any idea to fix this issue? Thanks for your assistance. The email received from SP 2010 is listed below: ============My email recevied from SP=========== Task assigned by Roger on 10/12/2011. To complete this task: 1. Review (no title). 2. Perform the specific activities required for this task. 3. Open this task to mark the task as completed.

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  • What is the difference between “Duration per Task” and “Due Date for Task Process” in the context of Approval Process in SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows ? What is the significance of Duration per task ?

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  • Roger, The place where the (no title) is, is usually where the name of the item is shown. This is the name of the item in the list that you’re running the workflow from. For example, if it’s a sharepoint list, this will be the value in the “Title” field. I recommend using the “Start Approval Process” task action instead of collect data from user. This way you can customize the email and everything else. Here’s more info on the task process designer: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/use-the-task-process-editor-for-approval-workflows-HA101863538.aspx?CTT=3

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  • Sam, Duration per task is the number of days that you will give each person to complete their one task, and the clock starts ticking when each individual task is assigned. Due Date for Task process is when the whole set of approvals needs to be completed by a certain specific date.

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  • Hi Laura, I have a requirement to send email everyday to user about their tasks. I have to group tasks completed, Inprogress and due task in a single mail. How can i use here workflow and how.

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  • My reminder date keeps coming out at 1/1/1900, what am I doing wrong? I’m keeping it simple and only want to have a reminder the day before.

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  • I have a workflow attached to a preventative maintenance system that is suppose to assign an item once it becomes due. The due date triggers workflow. If it is a new item that is created on due date, workflow works. Any workflows set for future even though I have it to pause until due date will not run. Suggestions appreciated. WSS3.0 using SharePoint Designer 2007

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  • Hello Laura, I have to expire the dcoument based on user entry or by default after the 5 Years. I have to notify the User 5 days before the document will get expire. Can you explain me the How Can I achieve this using the Retention stages which are moving the document to Another Library also ? You help Appriciated. Regards, Shivaji

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  • Really useful article – thanks. I have a SP designer workflow set up to warn the creator that their document is due for archive in 30 days, pause until the archive date and then perfom the archive actions if the archive date remains unchanged. I have created a warning date variable and set up the management policy as described. It all runs fine in so far as it does what it sets out to do. However I get an error message saying ‘failed to start (retrying)’. It appears to fail first time but then run second time a minute later. I have tested the workflow running on creation and that works fine and have also tested running an oob workflow via an info mgt policy and that works fine so I think this error is particular to running an SP designer workflow via an info mgt policy? I have googled the error and there seems to be lots about it but have found nothing that matches my circumstances. I appreciate it is a long shot but any ideas off the top of your head? Many thanks.

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  • Siva, There isn’t an out-of-box way to send an email about multiple items like that. Alejandro, Are you using the WSS or the MOSS method? Tduncan, Try using a pause until Due Date is greater than 1/1/2000. It makes you put a date in there when you’re dealing with a date field in the workflow. Shivaji, I guess you’d have to do 2 different retention rules. On would be the one of Created + 5 years, which would delete or move it. The other would have to be Created + 1820 days I guess. That’s 5 years minus 5 days. Rebecca, Is this in SharePoint 2010? I’ve seen this happen in 2007, but I thought it was fixed in 2010.

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  • Does this process only work on a Record Center Site or can it be applied to a regular sharepoint site?

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  • Hi Laura, thanks for the post, it works great for me. One question for you though; can you think of an easy way to make the reminders ignore weekends? The scenario is, we need to send an email reminder 2 days before a due date, but if that due date is a Monday for example, the email would go out on Saturday currently, meaning the user gets the email on Monday to tell them somethings due today! The only way i can think of is to calculate the day of week for the due date and do something specific for each day (i.e. send email earlier for due dates that are Mondays or Tuesdays). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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  • How do you get the variable:8 days ahead while setting up the workflow? Secondly, when setting the action in workflow Add – 8 days to date (when adding value here it asks to define workflow lookup). How to do that?

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  • Andrea, I’ve never tried this on a Record Center site, so the answer is “yes” it can be done on any site. Matt, Take a look at my other blog post to see if it gives you what you need: http://www.sharepoint911.com/blogs/laura/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=108 Yasmeen, There’s a workflow action called “add time to date”. Use that and put -8 as the number of days to add.

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  • the date before due date which is fetched is coming as 1/1/1900, the due date is put in as required field itself

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  • Hi Laura, This is a great tutorial. Thank you. I’m currently testing it in SharePoint 2010 MOSS & SPD. Since I’m using my company SharePoint provision, can the information management setting policy run by default as i do not have access to server settings. I have followed the above steps and waiting for workflow to shoot the email. Any idea if there is a specific time the when the policy runs so it will trigger the workflow? Appreciate your help.

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  • Rajesh, Typically, the information management policy runs at about midnight every night. I’ve noticed in 2010 though, that by default that timer job is only set to run once a week. It really needs to run once a day for this to run properly.

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  • Hi Laura, Thank you for your response. It looks like you are right. I did not get any email through workflow. Just curious if there is any other alternative method that will do the job, in my environment where I can’t change the server settings? Pause until date or duration did not work either. Not sure if this issue can be solved. Any ideas? Regards Rajesh S

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  • Hi Laura, I found this blog of yours helpful in my current issue: We are working on a SharePoint site where we need to create a calculated column named Expire Date where all of the documents expiration will be a year from the modified date [Modified]. We’re able to create it but has an accurate result showing 1900 date. We tried to refresh the calculation and it showed correct value again. Hours after, it went back to 1900 date. Everytime we edit the calculation and save it, it shows correct result but issue went back hours after. Right now, it is showing a two year Expiration Date though formula is [Modified] + 365. one thing I noticed is: almost every files are showing inaccurate results except for .csv, .txt, and images file type. Another concern in the calculation is when I first select the Modified column, it shows with a bracket, [], but when formula is revisited, the bracket is not there. BTW, is leap year computation considered in that formula? Thanks.

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  • Hi, I am having trouble with the emails not sending out. What timer job should I try to “Run Now” so I can test? Tks

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  • Hi Laura, Sorry I just added a comment about what timer jobs I can “Run Now” to test. I am on SharePoint Server 2010.
    I tried to run both the “Information management policy ” and the “Expiration policy” timer jobs and only emails in the past seem to get sent out, nothing from today’s date. The reminder date is getting set correctly. What else can I check?

    Thank you!

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  • Hi Laura,
    Awesome post – has helped us out tremendously with our SP2010 setup. One scenario I’d like to request your thoughts on: a list item comes due and the reminder is sent (we send ours out both 48 hours before due and on the date due), and for whatever reason the person gets the green light to push the due date out further and changes that value for the list item.

    In such an instance, the workflows properly set the new 48-hour and day-of reminder dates in SP, but because the info mgmt policy events have already Completed for both notifications (under Compliance Details for that item), no new notifications will be sent. Is there any way you can think of to work around this?

    Thanks!

    Tres

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  • Sonia,
    Have you looked at the Compliance Details for those list items? That is, mouse over the list item’s title and click the pulldown arrow that appears to the right of it, then click Compliance Details. This will show you the Information Mgmt policy’s retention-stage info, including when the notifications are scheduled to fire under “Scheduled occurrence date”.

    Also, how frequently are your timer jobs set to run? By default it is weekly but we run them daily. Make sure you run the “Information management policy” job BEFORE the “Expiration policy” job. (See http://bernado-nguyen-hoan.com/2011/05/30/how-to-force-expirationretention-policy-to-execute-on-sharepoint-2010)

    Beyond that I would double-check your actual workflows to ensure all the dates and timings are set correctly, as there are a bunch of moving parts!

    Note that if you have a multi-stage policy (like ours, which sends notifications at 48 hours before due date and on the due date) it only will send one notification a day. That is, in our scenario if we set the due date for tomorrow and the timer jobs don’t run till tomorrow morning, only the 48-hour notification will be sent tomorrow morning and we’ll have to wait till the NEXT day for the date-due reminder (which is effectively coming a day late). Just FYI.

    Good luck!

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  • Eike,
    Information management policies are not included in WSS or Foundation, so I’m not sure why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
    Jharder (and anyone asking questions),
    You have to let me know which you’re on, WSS or MOSS. With MOSS, you have to make sure the information management timer job is running and see how often it’s running.

    Yes everyone,
    In 2007, with an information management policy, it will only run once. In general, this solution only accounts for sending one reminder and nothing repetitive. I’ve actually been using a really useful 3rd party product for this lately, called Pentalogic Reminders. If your reminders are important and you want them working correctly and repeating correctly, I recommend looking into it.

    Like

  • “Hi Tres, thank you so much for your help. The order I was running the jobs in was not right and also good tip about the compliance details.

    Thanks again!”

    Like

  • Sonia,
    You are welcome and hopefully that helps with the issues you were experiencing!

    Thanks Laura for the update – will have to see if there are other options for SP2010.

    Like

  • Hi Laura,
    I have a SPD 2010 workflow with custom task with due date set as 3 working days. My requirement is to send an email notification 1 day before the task expires and then escalate the task to current users manager after the task expires.
    I am trying to use “When a task expires” block in Custom Task Editor in SPD but strangely it does not kickoff if I set due date in Before a task is assigned block, but it kicks off if I manually set due date in the Custom Task properties dialog box. Any idea what am I doing wrong and a better way of implementing escalation in spd 2010 workflow ??

    Thanks in Advance.
    Bikash

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    A bit new to all this. Can you please post up a screenshot step by step for SP2010? Would be really helpful.

    Thanks.

    Like

  • Bikash,
    This solution is not going to do what you’re trying to accomplish. I recommend a 3rd party tool called Pentalogic Reminders.

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    Great post, I’ve read thru the moss version and the comment, I must be doing something very wrong, i’m getting stuck with the content type, when I try to derive a new content type from task, the start this workflow is grayed out. The only content type I can derive it from where the start this workflow is not grayed out is document type.

    Is this something you’ve seen or anyone has seen.

    I’m working in a moss 2007 environment, service pack 2

    Thanks,
    Art

    Like

  • Art,
    At exactly which step are you getting stuck, and on exactly what screen in browser or SPD is where you see something grayed out?

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    Thanks for your great post. However, I have tried to follow the “WSS Reminder Workflow” for 10 minutes before the event instead of 7 days but no luck.

    So far what I have achieved:
    Conditions: blank
    Actions:
    Add -10 minutes to Calendar: Start Time (Output to Variable:date)
    then Log Variable: date to the workflow history list
    then Pause until variable: date
    then Email

    after I finish create a new event, I received the email straight away

    Please help

    cheers

    Like

  • Actually your workflow is correct, it is just the system time was set wrong..

    However, I have another question….
    This workflow seems not working on reoccurring event

    Any idea?

    Thanks again

    Win

    Like

  • Hi Laura –

    I am using MOSS and everything works well EXCEPT when I update the workflow in SPD 2007. I rerun the workflow (resave) and then reselect the workflow inside IMP settings, add a new item to my list, and manually run the IMF but it continues to send the workflow email prior to the update. I have gone into Remove a Workflow and removed all but current but no luck. Any help will be desparately and gratefully appreciated!!

    Like

  • OK so I figured out what I was doing wrong. I found out that when you update an SPD 2007 workflow (at least on my install), a new ‘version’ is created and the number 2 in parentheses is appended to the workflow name which you can see in the workflow settings page. You have to select this new name which is the latest instance of your workflow in the Information Management Policy Expiration section. It seems no matter how many times you update your workflow the number 2 is appended to the name but the older versions will also append the words ‘previous version:’ and give a time. So at least in my case, the latest version is always the workflow name with a 2 appended to it. Hope this helps someone else!

    Like

  • Win,
    Unfortunately, recurring events are structured completely differently (the way the data/dates are stored), so this solution won’t work on them.

    Maddie,
    Yep, each time you edit the workflow, you have to go back into the information management policy and make sure it points to the new version.

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    Thank you for the great post. I’m working with 2007 MOSS. I followed exactly what you wrote. However I don’t receive a reminder email. I’m not sure if that a server issue but I got emails from another workflow. One more thing is for the second workflow, in the “action” step, i only get an option “Email: this message” instead of “Email Task:Assigned To”, so I have to hard code my email address there.

    What have I done wrong?

    Like

  • And the IMP is something new to me, my question is do the sp admin need to activate anything to make it works?

    Annie

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    My apologies for not reading all the comments very clearly. Now I get it that the IMP is based on timer job that need the server admin to troubleshoot.

    Thanks,

    Annie

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    The IMP setting just works for 1 workflow only? Can we set it so that it works for more than 1 workflow?

    1 more question: In SP 2010 do we need to do the same thing to kick off the workflow this way?

    Annie

    Like

  • Annie,
    Yes, the IMP will trigger only one workflow. I guess if you wanted a second workflow to be triggered, you could try this:
    Create an extra field in the list called “Trigger” or something. Set your second workflow to run if Trigger is equal to yes. Then in your first workflow, add an action to the end to set the Trigger field to yes. See the logic? Try something like that.

    Like

  • Laura,

    Thank you for the information you provided. I would like to know how a condition can be added to the workflow.

    Example
    If the task has been completed before the due date how can the workflow be terminated.

    Like

  • Hi Laura,

    I am using SharePoint 2010, i can get the first workflow to work but not the second one to send the email. I have followed all the steps but i cant see why the email is not working, i dont see the option to display the column for “ExpireReminderEmail” for the list so that i can track where the issue is. any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie

    Like

  • Hi! What if you want the workflow to skip checking empty cells in a list? I’m making a workflow to send email when licenses are due date – 30 days.. And some of the cells are empty and my workflow now is including them as well in the result…
    I would like to have it more like this:
    “if cell is empty, skip check if date is soon due”

    Like

  • Bo Clarence Shizzle III

    To all those who had the 1/1/1900 issue. (I didn’t see any solution for that yet. Unless I missed it.)

    I’m using SharePoint designer 2010 to make the workflow. Rather than setting in step 6 of this tutorial to “add -8 days to Tasks:Due Date” I set it to “add -8 days to Current Item:Due Date”

    The reminder date is now being set properly. Haven’t gone onto the next steps but so far so good.

    Like

  • Denis the SharePoint 1st Time Expert

    Bo Clarence Shizzle III thanks a lot! Now it works for me either!

    Like

  • Kevin,
    In your workflow, use the condition button to add the condition IF status is not equal to Completed. That way, if it is completed, the workflow won’t do anything.

    Stephanie,
    Is the email not working just in this particular workflow, or is email not working in any workflow you create? Are regular SharePoint alerts working fine?

    Knut,
    By “cell” do you mean “field”? Add a condition to the workflow to say IF ___ (your field) is not blank. That way if it is blank, then nothing will happen.

    Like

  • you can simple set ReimderDate=[DueDate]-7 Done ….

    Like

  • Shadi,
    Nope, you can’t create an information management policy based off of a calculated field. Would be nice, though.

    Like

  • email workflow is not starting
    “Reminder Mail” workflow failed to Start.
    Same workflow is working if started manually, but if you are initiating via expiration policy it is throwing error “Failed to start” please help.

    Like

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