How to Create Custom Workflows in SharePoint


For organization level collaboration and sharing, SharePoint is the best platform out there. Reading more into it might convince you that it is the right choice for you too! It is important to recognize that while using SharePoint, you will need to create custom workflows for any business process to initiate. There are several ways you can create a custom workflow in SharePoint. However, choosing the right option for you demands some thorough reading.

No Workflow

Sounds confusing, right? If creating workflows seems like too much work for your organization, you can use the Alerts feature offered by SharePoint alongside metadata columns. Another option is to use a feature called Assigned To columns alongside a task list or an issues log which will give you the power to send emails to individual users you have assigned. In this section, you can alter several fields!  These fields include;

  • Send Alerts To
  • Delivery Method
  • Change Type of Alert
  • Send Alerts For These Changes
  • When to Send Alerts

Content Approval Feature

You may also utilize the Content Approval feature already existing in SharePoint. Even though this feature only allows for content to flow one way and be approved, it can be a great help for simple approvals such as vacation requests and document checks. You can accept or reject such claims in this feature and add your comments regarding the reasoning for either approval or rejection. How convenient is that? If you ask us, plenty convenient!

Box Workflows

With SharePoint, you also get in-built workflows to choose from.  These workflows are profoundly simple but also elaborate in many ways. With this feature you get access to the following;

  • Approval of Workflows
  • Feedback Collection
  • Signature Collection
  • Deposition Approval
  • Three-state


Though these workflows might not be very appealing and are not extremely customizable to your liking, they do tend to get the job done with the three-state workflow that gives you some options to choose from. These may include workflow state, task details, and email details.

SharePoint Designer Workflows

If you are in store for flexibility in terms of customization in your workflows, SharePoint Designer is the right fit for you! This is a free tool offered by Microsoft itself that gives organizations the opportunity to create complex workflows that include parallel and multi-stage serial approvals across the entire business. The only downside to SharePoint Designer is that it takes some getting used to. However, once you familiarize yourself with the who’s and what’s of this type of workflows, it’s smooth sailing from there. If you have some time to invest, we recommend that you opt for SharePoint Designer.

If none of the options above work for you, there are always third-party tools that you can use. The integration might be a little tricky but other than that; you’ll be good to go! However, keep in mind that with those, you might not get the kind of support that you’ll get with conventional workflow tools offered from Microsoft.

(Learn More About Our Custom Workflows)