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Technology

Microsoft Flow Tutorial – How to promote your blog with Flow

Whats up Friends!

Today i want to teach you how to make a Flow that you can share with others to help promote your own blog. You may already be familiar with THIS Flow template, which helps you get an email each time the Official Microsoft Flow blog sends out a new post, if so, great! You already understand what we are trying to accomplish… If not, no worries, that’s why we are here!

To get prepared, a few things you will need are:

  1. A Microsoft Flow Account
  2. A Blog with RSS

Have both of those things? Awesome! Let’s Jump in!

First, we need to find the RSS url for your website.. to do that lets open up our browser and go to our blog page.

And then open up your developer tools in the Browser – For Chrome its the F12 key – then go to the “Elements” tab and press CTRL + F to do a find and then type in RSS

You should then jump down the page to see something like this:

And we can see from there, that my RSS feed url is http://jonlevesque.com/feed – Perfect! Now that we have that info, we can start to build our Flow.

First, head over to http://flow.microsoft.com and get signed in.

Click on My Flows at the top, then + Create From Blank and then choose Search hundreds of connectors and triggers to bring you to the full editor experience.

Now in the search box at the top, type RSS and choose RSS – When a feed item is published and go ahead and paste in the feed url from our earlier steps.. like this:

Now, click + New Step and Add an Action – Type Notification into the search box and choose Send me an email notification and then customize it to your liking.

Here is how i did mine.

Finally, Name your Flow and click Create Flow at the top which will take you to the Flow details page like this:

Now we made the Flow, how do we share it with other people?

We will export our Flow and then you can share it with others, and they can import it!

Lets walk through that process.

From the Flow details screen, click on …more and then Export, and then choose .zip

This will take you to the Export package page, go ahead and fill out the Name field and the Description field, you can see how i did mine:

After that is all done, click the blue EXPORT button at the bottom which will then give you a zip file with your Flow inside.

From there, upload your file to OneDrive and then click Share get a public link for it.

Then, Share your link out with the world along with THESE instructions for Importing Flows into your environment! Take a look at how i shared this as i made it!

 

And that’s that! You should now be able to build a flow that emails people when you blog, export that flow to a .zip package, upload it to OneDrive, and share it out so other people never miss a post from you!

That’s all for today! Leave me a comment below with your thoughts and ideas on how else you could use this Flow, or one like it! Or, leave a question if you need more help on this.

Talk to you all soon, friends!

Peace!

P.S – To never miss a post from me, download this flow and import it into your own flow environment!

 

Categories
Technology

Microsoft Flow Tutorial – Building a work hours tracker

What is up, my friends?!

So, in my previous posts, hiring an assistant and starting to understand the tools i talk about hiring someone for some extra hours in my week, and also, setting up some tools for us to use to ensure we can maximize our efficiency and get the most out of every hour we have.

So, one of the first things i wanted to do was set up a Flow to make it easy for Gabe (my assistant) to be able to track his hours every week an then have a place for us to record keep that info as well as visualize it in a dashboard. I will go ahead and walk you through that process so you could build one too if you want.

The first thing we need is a place to store the data. I am going to use a SharePoint list, think of it just like an excel spreadsheet

Go to Portal.office.com and login, then click on SharePoint. From there, choose a site you have available to you.. or If you have never done this before, create a new one. 

Once that is made and you are in the site, click on + New and choose list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, lets rename our title column to Project name, then add some new columns by clicking the + sign at the top and lets name those Hours Spent and Today’s Date like this:

 

 

 

 

 

Now, We need to create a Power BI Streaming Data Set – Head on over to the Power BI Home Page and get signed in

Once you are logged in and land on your work space, click + Create in the top right corner and choose Streaming dataset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then select API and Click Next

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name the project and set up your columns to match our SharePoint list and then be sure to turn on Historical Data and then Done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that our list and our streaming data set are set up, head over to the Microsoft Flow website get signed in, and click on My Flows at the top left.

From there click on + Create from blank and then Search hundreds of connectors and triggers – we are now at the full flow editor experience.

First we need to choose a Trigger – Lets choose the Flow button for mobile and then make two text input fields.. Project Name and Hours Spent like so:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, lets search for our first trigger, in the box search for Create item and choose the SharePoint create item action

Lets connect it to our SharePoint site and the list we just built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now lets click on Add Dynamic content and then map our fields 1:1 from the button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, lets add another action now and search for Power BI and choose Add rows to a dataset

 

 

 

 

 

Lets then connect it to our workspace, our dataset we just created and the proper table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we do that, we see that the rows in the dataset are exposed and we can add dynamic content again like so:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, Name your Flow at the top and then click Save Flow or Done

And then on the Flow Details Screen, click …More and then Run Now

And then enter the project name and the hours spent and then click Run Flow

Now we need to go back to Power BI and visualize our report.

Lets choose the second visualization, while having our Hours and Project Name items selected to show us the projects in a bar graph so we can see how many hours are going to what.

And just like that! A list, a dashboard and a Flow come together to build an hours tracking solution in a matter of about 15 minutes!

Boom! Real business problem solved!

Let me know if you will use this Flow for a similar purpose, or feel free to share one of your tracker flows with me.

Until next time!

Peace Friends!

 

PS – Want to never miss another blog post from me? Import this Flow into your environment and get an email each time i post!

Categories
Technology

Office 365 Tutorial – Starting to understand the tools

Whats up friends!

I have been acquiring these tools over the years, you DO NOT need to rush out and buy all of this at one time to be successful. You should just seek to add these items, or items like these to your kit, for the purposes I’m about to outline with you. This shouldn’t be scary, think of it as a list of cool shit to acquire along the way to make your stuff better and better

So we have two classes of tools.. The Hardware, and the Software

First up lets talk Hardware, which we will break down into camera stuff and studio stuff…

What are we using, and why are we using it?

Camera(s)

  1. Canon 5DMk3 DSLR – This is the main camera. This is for Photography & Studio Video. This is the centerpiece to our content creation for videos like this video about Microsoft Flow Approvals and Cognitive Services
  2. GoPro Hero 6 – The beautiful point and click video camera for grabbing footage while on the move  like during this Microsoft Flow Tutorial or doing easy time lapse.
  3. Nikon D5100 – Our second shooter, warm, light, easy to use anywhere.
  4. iPhone 8+ – Want to grab some quick slow-mo, time-lapse, or cant afford any of the other items? This thing is beautiful, use it!
  5. DJI Inspire 1 Drone – This one is the least “needed” but can add the most BANG to your video productions. Want to show off some 4K nature footage, Shoot a commercial about hiking, or have a camera without limits.. this is the tool!

Studio Equipment

  1. Lighting Kit – Obviously, to do video well, lights are important.. my latest kit was around $85 on Amazon. It’s not the best, but it does the trick for now.
  2. Microphone(s) – I bought a $150 shotgun mic and a $18 iPhone compatible lapel microphone. Again, not the best, but its better than nothing.. Promise.
  3. Props – You need a well lit area and you should probably have some stuff in it! Don’t make it too plain unless you can fill that space alone with your personality. And if you can, go on with your bad self!
  4. Computers – You’ll need one of these so you can edit your videos.. create graphics and assets, and use more than one screen hopefully.. I know i like 2+

Software & Services

  1. Adobe Creative Cloud – Want to edit videos? use Photoshop or Illustrator? Want to be successful in being creative… You need this. I sprung for the full suite, cause… why not have it all?
  2. Office 365 Business Premium – Very similarly to wanting to be successful in creative and having to have the Adobe suite… Want to be successful in business? You need to have Office 365 at some level. It offers cloud based solutions for everything from Email in exchange, to Word, PowerPoint, Excel and my favorite tool of all… Microsoft Flow – Flow is what allows us to build process automation, so the things i would normally have to do over and over again, i can just have Flow do them for me! I will talk more about this more in depth in future posts, but for now lets discuss the different items included in the 365 Business Premium Package that i am going to start using right away.
    • OneNote – We will use OneNote as a central information repository. A place to store meeting notes, helpful links and shared credentials
    • Microsoft Planner- Planner will be where we project manage. We will set up various “buckets” like Backlog, Planning, In-Progress, Needs Review, and Done – this way we both know where all projects are in the various stages of life, and can have a quick way to provide project tracking.
    • SharePoint Online – SharePoint will be a huge part of what we do. We will create lists (Think spreadsheets) for tracking all kinds of things, and all of our shared document space will live here too.
    • Teams – Tea,s is the hub. This is where conversation happens. This is where we will pin our Planner and OneNote tabs for easy access. This is where we will do 80% of all of our communication around projects and planning.
    • Microsoft Flow – Flow is the glue that allows us to connect all of these various tools. With Flow we can do things like… “When a planner item is moved to the “Needs Approval” bucket, do an Approval workflow. or, When someone fills out the form on my website, send them an email in return thanking them for joining and then check in on them 15 days later with some helpful links..

And there you have it. This is our tool kit. This is what I use to create all of the things you see me making. From here, now that the tools are in place and all set up, my next post will be to show you how to build a Flow Button that connects to a SharePoint list, where we can keep a bunch of information and also a Power BI Steaming data set, and we will combine all of those items to create a work hours tracking system.

If you want to never miss a blog from me, Import my Blog alert Flow into your own environment, and then ill teach you to build one for yourself in a future blog post!

Thanks for reading!

Peace friends!

 

Categories
Technology

Microsoft Flow Approval Workflow With Excel Online

What’s up everyone!

Today I am creating this Microsoft Flow Approval Workflow video in response to a request from Cesar Itriago here on YouTube where he asked me to make a video on Flow Modern Approvals using the Excel Online service.

So, In the video I make a Flow that has an approval using two different tables in Excel to achieve this solution.

If you enjoy this video, Please Like it and Subscribe to the channel.

To download this flow and import it into your environment, download it here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnFATp1ms-B-jK4OdQxpj1Cg-KQayw

For More information around Approvals, see our Documentation on the topic: https://preview.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/sequential-modern-approvals/

To see more cool stuff you can do with Approvals, check out the session from Ignite 2017 from Merwan Hade: https://myignite.microsoft.com/sessions/55718

To Follow Me on Twitter, so you can take part in more stuff like this Go Here: http://twitter.com/pnwadventureguy

To Visit the Microsoft Flow Community, to ask questions and connect with other fans: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Flow-Community/ct-p/FlowCommunity

Talk to you later friends!

Categories
Technology

Microsoft Flow Tutorial – Cognitive Services – Hot Dog, Not Hot Dog

Hey Friends

Myself and my friend Kent got together to see if we could re-create a popular app made in a TV show we saw. Come along with us as we introduce you to Flow, in this Microsoft Flow Tutorial that teaches how it works, and how we built the Hot Dog, Not Hot Dog app entirely using Flow, in only 1.5 hours!

In this video we use a few different pieces of tech.

Microsoft Flow
The Computer Vision API
Flow Buttons
SharePoint

What do you guys think? Should Kent and I do more videos together like this? What should we build next?!

Follow us on Twitter –

Kent – http://twitter.com/wearsy
Jon – http://twitter.com/pnwadventureguy

As Always… Please LIKE & SUBSCRIBE!

Later friends!