At Mobile Mentor, we use Microsoft flow a lot. Recently, I have created automation to trigger when Forms are submitted, to create approval flows and complete logic for simple business processes. However, I had not previously considered automation for personal productivity gains.  

I also recently installed the Microsoft Power Automate app on my mobile and discovered the manual trigger Flow feature. This lets you start an instant automated workflow for continuous delivery with the tap of a button. It made me think, what tasks could I automate that would be useful to have in my day-to-day?  

For the purpose of demonstrating how the manual trigger Flow button works below I  show two easy flows that provide a quick way to set reminders and block out time in a calendar for focusing at short notice – great for people like me who are easily distracted with the next email notification, Teams message or meeting invite! 


Flow 1: Quick Reminder 

This instant flow lets me quickly set a reminder and specify the minutes until it alerts me via a phone and email notification.  

To start, create a new Instant Cloud Flow and set the trigger to Manually trigger a flow.

Give your inputs a name and prompt, you’ll need an input for the reminder subject, and a second for the minutes until the notifications.


Next, we’ll need to Parse JSON to let us use the inputs as dynamic content later in the flow. I have pulled in the Body from the trigger inputs defined in the last step and added a simple schema. The two outputs we will be using are “text” and “number”.


Add the Delay action next and set the count to the “number” output. This will force the flow to wait for x minutes before continuing onto the reminder steps.


Lastly, I’ve added a mobile notification and email notification which will run as soon as the delay ends. I have referenced “text” from the trigger input to populate the name of the notification.


Now let’s take a look at how to trigger the flow from the mobile app. Open the Power Automate app and select the Buttons tab at the bottom. You’ll see the instant cloud flow in here.


When you tap on the button it asks for the inputs we defined in the flow. Once you enter the reminder name and the minutes til the reminder tap on Done and you will see the flow has started.

Once the delay ends, you will receive a phone notification and email notification.


Flow 2: Quick 1hr Calendar Block 

This simple flow instantly blocks out the next hour of your time in your calendar and sets your state to Busy with a single tap of a button. This is useful for those urgent requests, short notice meetings or when you need to focus for an hour and want to let your colleagues know you may not respond immediately.  

As in our last flow, create an instant cloud flow with the Manual trigger. You don’t need to specify any inputs as they aren’t required here.

Next, add the action Create event (V4) as the next step in the flow. Ensure you have selected your account as the connection and specify your Calendar as the Calendar id. The subject of the event will be displayed in your calendar, here I have added a message explaining why the time has been blocked out.

For the start time, I have referenced the timestamp available in Dynamic content. This timestamp is created when the button is pressed and grabs the current time.

The End time of the event will be 1 hour from the current time. To achieve this, you can use the addHours() expression. Select and copy the Timestamp content into Notepad to find the ID.



To reference outputs you need to delete the leading @{ and ending } from the reference ID so it becomes: 


You can then use this in the addHours() expression to add 1 hour from the current time. The final expression will look like this 

addHours(triggerOutputs()[‘headers’][‘x-ms-user-timestamp’], +1)


Finally, configure the Show as to display you as Busy


To trigger the flow, you just need to tap on the button in the Power Automate app and it will immediately block out the next hour in your calendar.




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