I need to set up a workflow for sending email notifications based on a timer, given the condition that no new related items have been added to a list after a set amount of time.

Here is the problem in detail:

In my company, we need to perform a certain check on equipment every 5 days. There are 11 different pieces of equipment that receive this same test, and the test results are all logged on the same list.

I want to set up a workflow that will send an email notification to a group of users if a certain equipment hasn't had its test in the past 3 days. It needs to be specific to each equipment, Machine1 receiving the test doesn't mean that Machine2 is off the hook.

I also need it to send reminder emails every 12 hours after the initial 3 day wait period.

The biggest issue I'm having is getting a workflow to cancel once the test has been performed for that equipment.

The notification doesn't need to send if technicians stay on top of their tests and perform them in a timely fashion. But if they don't, the reminders need to be constant.

Any ideas? Thanks for your help. If you'd like any more details on the problem please ask.

1 Answer 1


You can create a looping workflow which pauses for three days, then loops every 12 hours. You can make this conditionally based on a status field of some sort. I.e. if Status equals In Progress, send email, loop for 12 hours, if Status equals... etc. Your testers would just update the status once they've performed the test which would end the loop.

  • Does this require the item on the list itself to be held "in-progress?" I don't think that would work for us, because we need each test to be held as an individual event. Completing one test starts the timer for the next one to be completed, and so on. In that sense, the test is -always- in progress. Tests need to be recorded individually as having been completed at a recorded time. We aren't just updating the status of the equipment; we're forming a list/log of all the times this test has been performed. And at the same time, we make sure they happen at the correct intervals.
    – ErikPFO
    Dec 7, 2018 at 14:56
  • The workflow can operate at the item level so in your scenario, if i'm understanding it correctly, each test would be its own item with it's own looping workflow attached. If you need to tie these to an equipment list you could do so with a lookup column to a separate list (equipment list).
    – Nate
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:17
  • Thanks for your follow up, Nate. You're correct that all of these tests are list items. Would the looping workflow be able to be stopped by the addition of an additional list item (test) that shares a column value (equipment name) with the original item in this example? For instance: Test 1 is added to the list for Machine 1, and a looping workflow starts for the reminder system that I've described above. The looping reminder workflow is stopped upon the addition of a new list item, test 2 for Machine1. Now Test 2 begins the same looping workflow, which will stop with Test 3 for Machine 1.
    – ErikPFO
    Dec 11, 2018 at 16:23
  • I believe you can do that, but it's much more complicated. Link below has some info on how to create a workflow that will loop through items in a list and conditionally update items accordingly. Essentially you could loop through the list, then change the status for all items which have the lookup value "Machine 1" so that only the newest item is "In Progress" wonderlaura.com/2014/08/01/…
    – Nate
    Dec 11, 2018 at 17:10
  • Thanks Nate, you're right this looks very complicated...I'm not sure I'll be able to implement this, but I can see how it might solve my issue.
    – ErikPFO
    Dec 13, 2018 at 17:19

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