3 steps to create a Workflow using SharePoint Designer

By | August 2, 2015

Microsoft SharePoint Designer Workflow

Workflows are now important part of any project. We can develop a Microsoft SharePoint Workflow using the available templates, SharePoint designer and Visual Studio. In this article will mainly focus on workflow creation using Microsoft SharePoint Designer.


  • Basic workflow can be implemented by trained users.
  • Relatively quick to implement for low complexity workflow.


  • No built-in source control.
  • Difficult to deploy to other environments.
  • Sequential workflow only.

Workflow created in three ways using Microsoft SharePoint designer:

  1. List workflow
  2. Reusable workflow
  3. Site workflow

Note: In this SharePoint for dummies tutorial you will learn simple basic workflow, where current date set in list item through SharePoint designer. I have used SharePoint Designer 2010 for implementation purpose but process will remain same if you use SharePoint Designer 2013.

Step 1: Create a list for SharePoint workflow

  1. Login with SharePoint site.
  2. Navigate to Site and Click on “Settings” option and then click on “site contents” option.SharePoint Site contents
  3. Then click on “add an app” option.add an app
  4. Select “Custom list” option from the “your app” page. It will be popup for open create custom list.Custom List in SharePoint
  5. Give the proper name and click on Create button.Adding Custom List
  6. These steps will create custom list in site, now you can add multiple columns with different data type in this list.New SharePoint List
  7. Now open create custom list and go through list setting and click on “Create column” option and create multiple column with different data type as per need.Create Column in SharePoint
  8. I have added Current Date and Description filed in this list.

Note: We have created a simple List here but another SharePoint for Dummies article on Multiple Ways to Create a Custom List in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is already covered here.

Step 2: Create workflow in SharePoint designer

  1. Open your SharePoint site in SharePoint designer.
  2. Click on “List and library” option in Navigation section.SharePoint Designer Lists and Libraries
  3. Select “TodaysDate” List and double click on it, it will open list’s properties.Custom List Properties
  4. Now, Click on “List Workflow” in ribbon bar and fill-up workflow information.List Workflows in Microsoft SharePoint
  5. It will open new window for workflow.New Window for Workflow
  6. Click on “Local Variables” in ribbon bar.Local Variables in ribbon bar
  7. It will open local variable window, where you can local add variable.Workflow Local Variables
  8. Add current date as local variable.Current date as Local Variables
  9. Now, come on workflow part, write set and just click on search option and select “set Workflow variable”.Set Workflow Variable
  10. Now, click on “workflow variable” and select “CurrentDate” option from dropdown.Workflow Variable OptionsWorkflow Variable Select Options
  11. Now click on value field and set current date option.Workflow Option Value
  12. Now select under line option and select.Workflow Underline Options
  13. Select “set Field in current Item”.Set Field in Current Item
  14. Now, click on Field item and select “CurrentDate”.Current Date Field Item
  15. Now, click on Value filed and click on selected item.it will open one pop-up. You have to select Data source as “Workflow variable and parameters” and Field from source as “current date”.Look up for Field Item
  16. Click on workflow settings in ribbon bar.SharePoint Workflow Settings
  17. Select “Start workflow automatically when an item is created” option. This option our workflow will be automatically start on while any item is adding.Start Workflow Automatically
  18. Now click on Publish button in the ribbon bar. So our workflow will be publish and its ready to use.

Step 3: Microsoft SharePoint Workflow Check

  1. Open SharePoint site and open TodaysDate custom list.
  2. Click on new item. It will open popup for entering value. You have to just add Title field’s value and click on save button.Running New Item
    then….Add Item in SharePoint Workflow
  3. Now, our workflow will start and it will set current date field’s value and workflow will completed.Running Workflow

More related from Microsoft SharePoint For Dummies:

Category: SharePoint 2013 SharePoint Designer Tags:

About imghani

Imran Abdul Ghani is working as Software Developer(Senior) with extensive knowledge in Web development technologies especially C#, ASP.NET, MVC, WCF, Web API, ADO.NET Entity Framework, jQuery etc. He has several years of experience in designing/developing enterprise level applications. He is Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET (MCSD.NET) since 2005. You can reach his blogging at www.webdevelopmenthelp.net, www.topwcftutorials.net, and www.sharepointfordummies.net.