I'm currently using SharePoint 2010 Designer, and the 2010 version of SharePoint.

So I'm currently designing a SharePoint application which can assign tasks to other employees. Any tasks assigned will automatically trigger a workflow which will send out an email to those employees selected.

I'm using two SharePoint lists in the designer, a "People" and "Tasks" list. The People list just has the following columns: Name, Email, Team. In the Tasks list, I have lookup columns which reference the People list.

My problem occurs when I try to create the initial workflow to just send the email. It allows me to manually start the workflow to send the email, meaning I am able to create a task, but I need to highlight the task after it's created, and then go to workflows, and manually trigger the email. I need this to happen automatically. In SharePoint Designer 2010, I keep getting an error that says: "You cannot use a task action in this workflow, because it will start another instance of the same workflow. Clear the Automatically start this workflow when a new item is created check box to fix this problem."

How can I get around this and make sure the workflow is automatically started? My workflow looks like the following: "Assign Task Name to Current Item:PeopleLookup, THEN Email Current Item:PeopleLookup:Email"

The highlighted error comes up right next to "Current Item:PeopleLookup"

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


You have the workflow set to start on change, and something in that workflow changes that list item. This would create a loop which SharePoint does not allow. See if your logic allows you to use only "start on creation" instead. If not, you can work around this by bouncing workflows between two lists.

  • I tried using only "start on creation", I still get the same problem where it doesn't allow me to publish it due to the same error. What do you mean by bouncing workflows between two lists?
    – Shake
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 16:00
  • In that case, your workflow creates a new item in the same list. Same looping issue. Bouncing would be having a workflow create a new item in a secondary list, which in turn fires a workflow which creates an item in the primary list.
    – Aboba
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 16:12
  • How would I create a new item in a secondary list? I'm pretty new to SharePoint and I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. Thank you for your help by the way!
    – Shake
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:18
  • The create item or copy item actions do this.
    – Aboba
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:20
  • Still having some issues, the primary list should have it's own workflow which creates in a secondary, and the secondary list should have it's own workflow to create back in the primary?
    – Shake
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 19:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.