Our organization is using a process in which the creator of a document drops it in SharePoint, reviewers have to either enter comments or concur on the document, and then the document is approved when everyone concurs.

We track which reviewers are still pending for review. Sometimes the reviews come late, which delays the entire process. It would improve efficiency, it users got a notification that a document that requires their attention has been dropped in to the system.

I can create general alerts, but how could I customize SharePoint alerts? For example, below a document is entered into the system and three reviewers are selected: ADCO, CapCom and CCP (Engineering). The required reviewers is a choice property of the document library

Document entered in SharePoint

Then, the document is in the system for everyone to review:

Document in Review Cycle

Can I create an alert such that I only get emails whenever a document is created in which ADCO is selected as a required reviewer?

The SharePoint alert does not seem to have much flexibility. SharePoint Alert

2 Answers 2


You're correct that the alerts don't have much flexibility. I think the approval process has been set up by somebody that doesn't understand the OOTB approval processes that Sharepoint comes with as standard.

I'm not sure which version of Sharepoint you're using, my experience is limited to 2010 & 2013, so I presume the approval process works in the same way with Online. With SP2013 Approvers can be automatically notified by email that they have a review task. Though you might want to get them to change their way of working and to use a Task Approval Summary page instead of relying solely on email (that's your design choice though) - here's how I have it for 4x Document Libraries in the same Site Collection:

Approval Task Summary page

These links should get your started:

  • Dummies. For SP2013 there are other OOTB workflows that can be used for document approval, I'm presuming the same process applies to

  • This MS link is a useful high-level summary of Approval.


Workflow is the only way to achieve this. Basically create a workflow that starts on item creation and use if statements for the approval task assignments. If Approver = ABC assign a task to XYZ. and so on.

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