Microsoft Flow is a workflow automation platform that allows you to automate tasks by connecting different apps and services. Flow works with a variety of Microsoft apps and services (Office 365), as well as other workplace apps, to automate tasks and increase productivity. Microsoft’s answer to IFTTT is Flow. How to use Microsoft Flow instead of IFTTT?
Microsoft Flow has undergone significant changes. Microsoft and everyday users are adding more and more Flows to help increase productivity, automation, and efficiency.
“Create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and more,” according to Microsoft. If you’ve used IFTTT (If This Then That), Microsoft Flow is similar to IFTTT, with the exception that Flows can be integrated with more services and handle the specific demands of a large corporation.
Microsoft Flow is different from IFTTT
Users can create workflows, also known as “flows,” with Microsoft Flow. Trigger events are used to create flows. Users can, for example, create a flow that downloads responses or replies to emails and then uploads them to OneDrive at predetermined intervals. A flow can also download and save to OneDrive every tweet sent from your business account to an Excel file.
How to use Microsoft Flow
Microsoft Flow is already included in the application suites Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. You can use Microsoft Flow for free even if you don’t have a Microsoft account or subscribe to any of those Microsoft services. All you need is a web browser and a Microsoft account. Microsoft Flow currently works with all versions of Microsoft Edge as well as other browsers such as Chrome and Safari. Here’s a quick video tutorial that will help you understand how Microsoft Flow works.
Microsoft Flow Templates
Many menial tasks must be completed on a daily basis. Flow templates help you take care of those tasks by automating them with Microsoft Flow, saving you time in the process.
When your boss emails your Gmail account, for example, Flow can send you a Slack notification. Predefined ‘flows’ for common processes are called flow templates. The vast Microsoft Flow database, which is available to all users, explains all of the flow templates.
So, if you have a great Flow in mind, make sure to look through the extensive library of existing flow templates before creating one that may already exist. Despite the fact that there are many flow templates to choose from, Microsoft frequently adds the most popular Flow templates created by other users to the list of general templates.
How to Create a Flow from a Template
If you have a Microsoft Flow account, creating a Microsoft Flow from a template is simple. If you don’t have one, you can get one here. Once you’ve created a Microsoft Flow account, you can start using any of the Flow templates that are currently available. You can learn more about how Flows work and how they can help you automate your workflow by looking through the available Flow templates.
Once you’ve decided on a Microsoft Flow template to use, you’ll probably need to change three things:
- Frequency: specify how often you want the flow to run.
- Content: Type of the content of the Flow template.
- Connect: Link the account(s) where you want to connect the services.
You can modify the template to work on your schedule and in your time zone when creating a flow for a recurring action. Email workflows can be modified to send emails during off-hours, holidays, or a planned vacation.
The three main types of workflows you can create with Microsoft Flow are as follows:
- Automated: A Flow designed to run automatically, based on the occurrence of an event—such as an email, edits made to a file, or a card added to Microsoft Teams.
- Button: A manual flow, which only runs when a button is clicked.
- Scheduled: A recurring flow, where you specify the frequency of the flow.
Microsoft also supports integration with popular applications for improved interconnectivity, in addition to custom workflows. Microsoft’s services, such as Office 365 and Dynamics 365, are among them. Slack, Dropbox, Twitter, and other popular third-party apps can all be integrated with Microsoft Flow. Other connector protocols, such as FTP and RSS, were also enabled by Microsoft Flow for even more customized integration.
Microsoft Flow currently offers three monthly plans. There are two monthly plans available, one of which is free and the other is paid. Here’s how each plan works and how much it costs.
Flow Free is free, but you are limited to 750 runs per month and 15-minute checks despite the fact that you can create unlimited flows. For $5 per user, per month, Flow Plan 1 provides 3-minute checks and 4,500 runs. At $15 per user, per month, Flow Plan 2 provides the most services and features.
Users of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 do not need to pay an extra monthly fee to use Microsoft Flow, but some features are limited. Their Office 365 and/or Dynamics 365 subscriptions allow for up to 2,000 monthly runs per user with a maximum flow frequency of 5 minutes.
In addition, the number of flow runs is totaled for all users covered by your Office 365 or Dynamics 365 subscription. If any user exceeds the included monthly runs per user, you can purchase an additional 50,000 runs for $40.00 per month. Details on the Microsoft Flow plan’s run and configuration limits can be found here.
Related: How to Unlock your Microsoft Account
Paid subscribers, of course, have access to more services and features. Microsoft added AI Builder to monitor and automate Flows for paid users in the latest Microsoft Flow update, 2019 release wave 2. Microsoft has created a YouTube video that goes over all of the new update’s features and services.
How to use Microsoft Flow instead of IFTTT?