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3 min read

The power of buttons! Optimize your work day using the new capabilities of Flow Buttons

Well, Flow buttons have been with us for a while, and have been gaining much popularity with our business users as they help them work smarter and faster.  Until today, users could use buttons to trigger flows on demand, gather user inputs (such as text, or dropdown of values), Invite team members to run the same button, and more. Watch this short video to remember what it’s all about.

Starting today, you can also create or run buttons which support image uploading. Furthermore, you can create and run buttons which receive email addresses as inputs.

With this new ability to receive image inputs, you can leverage buttons like never before to optimize your workday:

  • Do you often go on business trips? Logging expenses is always time consuming. Imagine using a button to track your trip expenses: just scan the receipt and trigger a button to quickly log your expenses into a sheet.
  • Just wrapped up a meeting and running off to the next one? How often do you write important notes or diagrams on the whiteboard? Use a button to send a capture of the whiteboard the all meeting attendees.
  • Is your team attending an event? Perhaps a conference, a workshop, or even just a fun-day? These are the kinds of moments you’d want to share with one another and jointly save. Now, the team members can easily use a shared button to upload event photos to the same folder in Onedrive for Business, or to GoogleDrive, or to Dropbox.
  • How about OCR? How often do you have a printed document, or a sign, which you’d like to scan and then automatically convert it to text? Use a button to Recognize text in an image (OCR), and send it in email.

The list goes on and on – all these can be done using buttons, and can be shared with your peers to increase efficiency and consistency.

In this blog I will walk you through such an example.

Before diving into our button example, I’d like to just raise your awareness to the new On-the-go collection we’ve added. whether you’re away from your desk for the afternoon or don’t use an office desk at all, Flow mobile capabilities make it easy to automate day-to-day tasks to keep you connected, organized, and ready to respond to the needs of your business. We hope you find this new template collection useful.    

Getting started

Now, back to our example  – let’s dive in. Button flows can be created and triggered both from the Flow Mobile app and the flow website. I’ll be showing the following example on mobile.

If you haven’t installed the mobile app yet (available for iOS, Android and Windows), you can download it from our Mobile download page.

To define a file input for a button trigger, just start by creating a flow from scratch, and select the ‘Flow button for mobile trigger’.

Then choose the type of user input you wish to use, in our case, simply select File type. You can add more inputs to the button as needed.

   

That’s it, after creating the button trigger, you can now add flow actions according to the workflow you wish to build.

The other option, of course, is to start from a template. For a full list of templates you can check out this list of templates to start using buttons within your teams.

Let’s take the example of a team event I mentioned above, where you all wish to upload the event photos to the same location. I call it ‘crowd imaging’.

Let’s create a flow from the template Upload photos to OneDrive for Business. You can either navigate to it direct from the link, or in the Browse tab, search for keywords like “photos” and “OneDrive”.

 

Now enter the OneDrive Folder path where you wish to store the images, and then choose ‘Create’ to complete flow creation.

That’s it, the button flow was created successfully, and now you can share it with the rest of your team directly from the ‘Share button’ option.

You can also choose to share it with your team later on. Just locate your new button on your buttons tab, and tap the options menu to get started. The selected people or groups will receive a mail inviting them to use the button and to add it to their buttons tab.

  

Now that the button is ready, you can all attend your upcoming event or conference and use it. Just push the button and take the desired picture, or select an existing one from your photo gallery. Click Done.

  

Your button will be triggered, and you will shortly find your images in the defined location.

For example, here’s a glimpse of team images recently uploaded using this button, in our very own Town Hall.

Learn more and connect with us

check out our documentation that covers app concepts, from getting started to more advanced capabilities.

Visit the Mobile section on our community and share what you’re doing, ask questions or even submit new ideas and reach out to us on Twitter.