I've created a document library and created a document set content type along with a workflow. In my document library, I've created multiple columns. When a user uploads a document, they also have to complete the values in the columns. The purpose of this process is to email individual approvers in sequential order, to review/approve a document.

User1 uploads the document> inputs the name of User2 in ColumnA and inputs the name of User3 in ColumnB>selects, Not Approved in ColumnC and in ColumnD>Clicks Check In. The result is an email is sent to User2 to review the document.

User2 goes to the site>checks out the document, signs> uploads it back to SharePoint> selects, Approved in ColumnC> Clicks Check In. The result is an email is sent to User3 to review the document.

User3 goes to the site> checks out the document> signs> uploads it back to SharePoint> selects, Approved in ColumnD, Clicks Check In. The result is the approval steps are complete.

I'm trying to figure out how to implement a reminder. So, if the document has not been approved in a week (meaning User2 or User3 have not selected Approved), then to send an email to User1 that the document has not been approved in a week from when it was uploaded. I understand this can be accomplished by creating a local variable and using the Add To Date and Pause Until Date actions, however, I do not want to pause the workflow because that means, the steps above will not get executed until the pause is complete. Is there another way to accomplish my requirement in SharePoint Designer?

1 Answer 1


I'm less familiar with SPD workflow. But from a Workflow Foundation perspective (I've been using Nintex WF since 2008) it sounds like Parallel Block might work here. This isn't ideal, but you might be able to put together a branch that waits and then triggers a reminder. If you are setting variables, you could use those variables like flags to flip them when the task gets done in one branch and then check for the flag in the timer branch. That way, if the task did get done no reminder would be sent. If the timer got done first then the reminder would be sent.

However, this has potential challenges if you can't use that variable to also end the parallel block. It's a reason why Nintex put reminders into the Flexi-Task Actions. Reminders can be really important, and all sorts of situations can arise when you really look at the logic. For example, you've got at least three stages of approval (user1, user2, and user3). Understanding how to manage Parallel blocks becomes a problem when you all branches have to complete. However, a CompletionCondition would be your friend at that point.

  • Hi @Carewen, since I'm using SPD workflow, is parallel block and CompletionCondition a component of SPD? Aug 4, 2021 at 12:40
  • It appeared to be. I did a search on SPD and parallel and that came forward. It would be worth a search a least. Parallel actions are a part of the core Windows Workflow Foundation (that Nintex shares) if I recall correctly. So, at the very least it would get you some flexibility to have tasks and reminders in parallel. Whether SPD includes a completion condition function would be something to test. Searching SPD Parallel Block brings up options. Here's the first: sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/162060/…
    – Carewen
    Aug 5, 2021 at 15:10

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