A first look at Rules in Microsoft Lists

Rules for Microsoft Lists are starting to roll out. Rules offer new opportunities for users to extend the functionality of their Lists without the relying on IT and without the steep learning curve that is sometimes associated with new technology. In this blog post I am going to walk through the experience of creating Rules using my favorite Microsoft Lists template, the Issue tracker.

Automate menu with new Create a rule and Manage rules options

Rules can be found in the “Automate” menu and provide you options to “Create a rule” and “Manage rules”. Rules are currently limited to email notifications. I am hopeful that this list of actions will expand in the future.

Scenario 1: A new item is created

Our first scenario will notify the person assigned to a new issue when it is created. From the Issue tracker list:

  • Click Automate and then click Create a rule.
  • Select A new item is created.
Create a rule screen with A new item is created selected
  • Select the Assigned to column and then click Create.
Create a rule for when a new item is created
  • The Manage rules screen will confirm your new rule and allow you to disable, edit and delete as required.
Manage rules screen
  • When the rule is triggered the person assigned to a new issue will receive the following message:
Rule email for A new item is created

Scenario 2: A column value changes

Our second scenario will notify the person who raised the issue to let them know that it has been resolved. From the Issue tracker list:

  • Click Automate and then click Create a rule.
  • Select A column value changes.
Create a rule screen with A column value changes
  • Set When to the “Status” column, is to the “Complete” value and send email to to the “Issue logged by” column and then click Create.
Create a rule for A column value changes
  • When the rule is triggered the person who raised the issue will receive the following message:
Rule email for A column value changes

Scenario 3: A column changes

Our third scenario will notify the assigned to person if the due date changes. From the Issue tracker list:

  • Click Automate and then click Create a rule.
  • Select A column changes.
Create a rule screen with A column changes
  • Set “When” to “Due Date” and “send email to” to “Assigned to”.
Create a rule for A column changes
  • When the rule is triggered the person assigned to the issue will receive the following message:
Rule email for A column changes

Scenario 4: An item is deleted

Our fourth and final scenario is to notify the assigned to person if the issue has been deleted. In the “real-world” you would probably create a clone of this rule to also notify the person who raised the issue. From the Issue tracker list:

  • Click Automate and then click Create a rule.
  • Select An item id deleted.
Create a rule screen with An item is deleted
  • Set send email to to the “Assigned to” column
Create a rule for When an item is deleted
  • When the rule is triggered the person assigned to the issue will receive the following message:
Rule email for When an item is deleted

The Manage rules screen will allow you to enable or disable, modify and delete rules. It is important to note that only 15 rules can be created for any one list.

List Rules offer new opportunities for users to work smarter using simple event driven automations with no technical debt and no reliance on tradition IT. When you consider the other investments into Microsoft Lists like the dedicated apps (M365 & mobile), column/view formatting, form customizations and so on, Lists becomes a platform for transforming your users business data into its own turn-key solution.

Thanks for reading.

NY

4 thoughts on “A first look at Rules in Microsoft Lists

  1. Hi Norm,
    Great blog. Keep up the great work!
    Question – off Topic – I have a SharePoint List which using Power Automate sends an email to a customer when their query has been logged and assigned to a team member and again when the issue has been resolved.
    Customers reply back to the final email we send – providing some feedback and rating our service.
    Is there a way to capture the 2 emails we send to our customer per query as well as their email feedback onto our SharePoint List?
    We use a central shared email.
    I couldn’t find a way to use Power Automate to copy the email we have send as well as emails received back from our customers.

    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi Amardip,

      Thanks for those kind words, I appreciate it!

      You should be able to save the email as a file and in turn, save it as an attachment to the list.
      There are options in Power Automate to send an email with “options” that might help simplify the feedback capture.

      I hope that helps.

      NY

      Like

  2. Is it possible to setup such notifications for changes to a custom Comments column? That column does not appear in the list of columns to monitor for changes. I would like for the Assigned To party to receive a notification when new comments are added to an issue being tracked.

    Like

    1. Hi Brian,

      Rules do not support creating a rule based on a multi-line text column. I would consider Flow in this scenario.

      Thanks for reading!

      NY

      Like

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