Moving to SP online and trying to set up some workflows to simplify processes for employees, this particular scenario I have an employee who wants to auto-generate email(s) based on the dates in Excel columns, just need to do one column only, this column has dates entered, what I want is it to automatically generate emails when a date in any cell in the column gets down to 30 days from the current date (a renewal reminder of sorts).

What would the best way be to do this? Ideally I'd like it to generate an EMAIL to that specific person, but I'm not sure how difficult that may be, so at the very least I'd like to generate an email to 1-2 people and then it can be re-routed as needed, just don't want them to have to constantly sit and check documents to monitor those dates and have to send reminders.

1 Answer 1


Generating an email to a given person is the easy part. You can send the email to the person nominated in a person/group column (such as createdBy or modifiedBy).

Sending the email the 30 days before a given date is the tricky part. The easiest way is to set the date in a date column and then on creation set a second date based off the first date. This second date column is the reminder date (when the email will be sent).

Create the workflow that sends the email to the nominated person (easiest if you use SP Designer) In the To field you can set a SP user or you can look up a column (such as the createdBy column) and have it sent dynamically. You want the email action in an if statement which checks if today = secondDate column.

Go to the library/list settings > Information management and policies > Data type (documents) > Enable Retention then add as the stage start a workflow and select the workflow that you have made previously.

Using the recurrence set it to repeat everyday. This will cause the workflow to fire once per day and will only send the email on the day that is nominated in the 2nd column.

  • So you're talking about creating a new column in the excel sheet that just tacks on 30 days from creation? The issue I see with that is that if that field gets updated, how would it know to update the 30 day from field, or would it just see that the date column is updated and it'd adjust its date accordingly?
    – user52914
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 23:17
  • You would create a second workflow that fires on Creation and on Change that would set the 2nd column. That way every time the date changes it would update the reminder date column. Also by excel column you mean a SP column in SP and not in an excel document..
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 23:31

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