As a Xylos Digital Coach, I’m often on the road to assist our customers. My schedule is managed by our Planning Coordinators through a system that synchronizes with my Outlook calendar.
And while this method works, I’d prefer to be made aware of every new item they put on my schedule.
My colleague Kurt came up with an excellent solution: a Power Automate flow (or MS Flow) which sends out a Teams message whenever someone adds an appointment to my Outlook calendar. This flow only takes about 15 minutes to set up.
Here’s an example of a Teams message about a new calendar item:
Do your colleagues manage your calendar and do you have Office 365 on your PC? If so, this solution may also come in handy for you. I’ll guide you through the different steps below:
Go to powerautomate.microsoft.com and log in.
Click ‘Create’ in the menu to the left and choose ‘Automated cloud flow’. This lets you add automated functionalities to your (cloud) Outlook calendar.
To do so, you’ll need Power Automate connectors. We’ll use two: one for Outlook (to track your calendar) and one for Teams (where you’ll receive your message).
On the next screen, choose a straightforward name to be the title and search for ‘When a new event’. This will show the connector you need: ‘When a new event is created (V3)’. Click ‘Create’ to go to the Edit screen, where you can edit and test your flow.
To activate the Outlook connector, you’ll need to select the relevant calendar – in this example, I’ve selected ‘Agenda’.
After this, you can move on to the next connector: Teams. Click ‘New step’ at the bottom of your flow, search ‘Post in chat’ and select the connector ‘Post message in chat or channel’.
Finally, you’ll need to set up this connector before you can start testing. Choose ‘Flow bot’ in the ‘Post as’ field, choose ‘Chat with Flow bot’ in ‘Post in’ and set yourself as the recipient. This way, you’ll receive messages from Power Automate as Teams messages to yourself.
The only thing you still need to do is write the actual message you want to receive through Teams chat. You’ll see an example in my screenshot, but of course, the exact content is completely up to you.
Some helpful tips:
- The blue elements in ‘*Message’ are dynamic content; they’re imported from the Outlook event that’s been added. The purple element is a formula, in this case formatDateTime(triggerOutputs()?[‘body/start’]) to display the date in a more elegant format. If you copy the text and paste it in the ‘Expression field’, you’ll see the final result.
That’s it! You’re all ready to start testing. You can do this by clicking ‘Test’ in the top right corner and choosing ‘Manually’. If you add an item to your calendar now, you’ll receive a notification message from Power Automate!
More possibilities with Power Automate
You can use a condition to select important appointments based on sender, subject, message body, etc.
I hope this blog post has given you some insight into what Power Automate has to offer, because we’ve barely scratched the surface here!
Want to know more about the possibilities with Power Automate? Have a look at our Power Automate trainings for yourself and your colleagues!