So... I want to create a workflow to send a reminder-email 7 days before a date specified in a column of a custom list. So far so good, I have very little experience with workflows (created only one so far), but I found this solution which seems to be nearly perfect:


(disclaimer: you can find the following questions in my comment below the referenced article, too. I got no answer there (yet) and hope I could get one here)

My Problem:

I don't want to add a "Previous due date" column (or something similar) to my list, because I have a very large NewForm/EditForm.aspx and I don't want to bloat it with more columns.

So, my questions:

Is there an easy way to hide such a column for my list forms? Or is it (as this would be perfect) possible to save the previous due date "in the workflow only" as a variable and set it to the due date on workflow-start and check it later as described in the referenced article?

If it's not possible: How should I add the previous due date to my List? Just date/time with today as standard value? Or empty?

And, last question: Should I configure the workflow to start only when creating a new list entry or also when an entry is changed?

I hope someone here could answer my questions. I think I just have not enough experience in creating workflows.

Best regards, Dominik

1 Answer 1



Yes you can hide column of a List to appear in forms, make a DateTime column for your list and then List Settings -> Advanced Settings -> Allow management of content types? -> Yes

Once you allowed management of content types and go back to List Settings, you will see a section for Content Types having Item listed... as below screenshot:
enter image description here

Click Item -> Columns List -> Choose the column you want to hide [Previous Due Date] -> Columns Settings -> Hidden as shown below:
enter image description here

This will hide the column from Display, Edit and New.. that means all of the forms for your List...

However if you want the column to appear in Display Form lets say but not in New and Edit Forms, there are several properties associated to SPField object as ShowInEditForm, ShowInNewForm and ShowInDisplayForm... You can set these fields through powershell or object model...

Now if you want to have Due Date column with a specified value, lets say [Today] or [Some other date column + Some days] then you can create a Calculated Column for this purpose... If its indefinite and you want to set it in workflow then you can set the Workflow to start on Item Add and use Update List Item action from SharePoint Designer Workflow Actions to set the date column!

Let me know if you need some clarification!

  • Great answer, as always! :) Thank you very very much!
    – Dominik
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 14:54
  • I am glad it was helpful... No problem :) Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 14:58
  • I can prepone my "integration to prod"-date nearly 2 weeks. Mostly because of you. So I cannot say how thankful I am, actually ;)
    – Dominik
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 15:11
  • No problem buddy... Remember me in your prayers! :) Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 15:15

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