I've been out of the Sharepoint game for a few years, but the company I work for now has a need for a sharepoint site (and I'm the one to create it). I'm not a programmer and I've just recently installed designer, however my knowledge is limited there. So any guidance is appreciated.

I've created a team calendar, that is used to show various events, as well as show employee time off. What I'd like to do, is have only the employee time off requests require approval prior to showing on the calendar. Each new item is categorized by a choice dropdown column (OFF, Schedule Change, Meeting, Conference, Other). The OFF & Schedule Change categories are what need approval.

The other part to this is that people need to have those requests approved by specific supervisors (Example: Joe & Lisa report to Deb (she needs to approve), whereas Bob & Gina report to Nancy (she needs to approve).

Because only two categories need approval, I don't want to create a new column that will be applicable to all categories. I was trying to think of a way to create a calculated column that would populate only based on those two categories being selected, but I can't find a way to have a calculated column produce a people/group lookup (that would allow the user to select their supervisor).

I was hoping to get some suggestions on the best way to achieve this or another workaround altogether, while still using one team calendar.

1 Answer 1


I would probably turn on versioning (major and minor), require content approval, and set "Who should see draft items" to "Only users who can approve items." Then I'd write a workflow that first checks the category. If the category doesn't equal OFF or Schedule Change, publish and approve a major version. Else, look up requestor's manager from user profile services, and email them instructions to publish and approve the item.

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  • I'm using Sharepoint via Office 365 (which is new to me as well, my previous experience was with 2010 & 2013). I understand the concept of workflows, but haven't actually created one. When I go to create a workflow as you've suggested, I only seem to have options for assigning a reviewer and instructions for the reviewer (not seeing options that will allow me to create a workflow specific to columns, in my case the category column). I must be missing something, I'm sorry.
    – Chelsie556
    Jun 21, 2016 at 17:44
  • You could create workflows specific to content types, but getting users to select the right content type has always been a nightmare for me. So you would just create one workflow that runs on everything when it's created. As the first step in the workflow, check whether the value of category is OFF or Schedule Change, using an if-else action.
    – Erin L
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:04
  • So in Designer, in Step 1, I would create an "IF" workflow: If "Team Calendar:Category not equals OFF" and If "Team Calendar:Category not equals SC", then in Step 2, I should create an action that indicates to publish and approve? I apologize, as I mentioned, I'm new to workflow/designer, so trying to get it right. I'm not finding anything in Stage 2 actions that would give me that option. I tried Step 2, create list item, but that wasn't helpful either
    – Chelsie556
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:27
  • You got a good start. I think I was wrong about needing versioning. So try the "Set content approval" action. I'll add a screenshot to my post.
    – Erin L
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:42
  • In the email, I would give instructions for approving content. To get the approver, try setting a variable to User Profiles: Manager where Field account is Created By
    – Erin L
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:43

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