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Build workflows using Drive documents, with an approval process and email notifications.


A Google Drive folder will be used to store all new files created in the workflow. Overdrive will sync this folder with Drive - any items created in the folder will appear in Drive and vice versa. Workflow uses Drive permissions, including central ownership of all files, so you can set up a page that is as tightly controlled or as open as you need it to be - simply set up the Drive folder with the correct permissions for the users you are inviting into the workflow. A few key things to note about Drive permissions:

  • The workflow template should be shared with the Drive Owner
  • Assignees and Approvers need to be Overdrive Editors and should have at least View access to the workflow folder


Choose the file from Google Drive to be used as a template for the workflow. Workflow currently allows you to use the following file types:

  • Google Document
  • Google Sheet
  • Google Slides
  • Google Drawings

Drive Owner

All newly created workflow items will be owned by this user. The selected owner must be an Overdrive Editor and have Edit access to the folder, plus at least View access to the Template.


Choose one or more users who will be invited to approve workflow items. All approvers receive an email when approval is requested. They can approve or reject.

Note: Approvers are not Assignees unless explicitly assigned. An Assignee is the user that has responsibility for the workflow item. The assignee is initially the creator of the item.

Button Label

Add the text to appear on the + button that is used to add new items.


Set the text that will show when a user clicks the + button.

New File Name

Set the default file name for each item created. There are a few tricks to help you create standard file names. The following special markers can be used in the New File Name box:

  • #### - Inserts an automatically sequenced number. Hashes are replaced by zeros in order to achieve a leading zero format. Number of hashes indicates the minimum number of digits E.g. for 123
    • # = 123
    • ## = 123
    • ### = 123
    • #### = 0123
    • ##### = 00123
    • etc
  • @{option]@ - adds dynamic data to each file name:
    • @user.firstname@
    • @user.fullname@
    • @user.lastname@
    • @user.emailaddress@
    • @date format@  -- where format is standard Sheet date or time eg:
      • @date YYYY-MM-DD@ = eg 2019-01-12 
      • @date hh:mm a@ = eg 2:30 pm
      • @date HH:mm:ss@ = eg 14:30:56
      • For a full list of options click here.

For example, if you want every file created in your workflow to be a standard name followed by a sequential number and today's date, try: Press Release: #### - @date YYYY-MM-DD@

On Create

Choose how to display newly created items ie what the user sees after clicking the "New" button and naming the item.

File Visibility

Choose which items viewers of this page will see - for example, you can choose to only show Approved files. Note: Approvers will see everything and Assignees will see their items, regardless of this setting.

Stages of Workflow


Any Overdrive Editor can add a new workflow item by clicking on the + button.

  • The user becomes the “assignee” of the new workflow item 
  • A new file, owned by the Drive Owner, is created from the workflow template
  • The item status is set to Draft
  • The assignee has Edit access to the file


When a file is ready for approval the assignee can request approval by clicking the Request Approval button whilst viewing/editing the file.

  • The item Status changes to Pending
  • An email is sent to all approvers to request approval
  • The assignee’s access to the file is changed from Edit to Can Comment


      A file can be approved by any Approver by clicking the Approve button.

      • The item Status changes to Approved
      • An email is sent to the assignee


      A file can be rejected by any approver by clicking the Reject button.

      • The item Status changes to Rejected
      • An email is sent to the assignee
      • The assignee’s access to the file is changed from Can Comment to Edit
      • The item can be sent for approval once more

      Additional Features


      Users can re-assign an item by clicking the Reassign button when viewing the file. The new assignee is given Edit access to the file and notified by email


      At each stage of the workflow assignees or approvers can add notes. All notes can be viewed in History when viewing/editing a file.

      Important Notes

      • To interact with the Workflow or appear on pick lists, users must be an Overdrive Editor
      • An Assignee is the user that has responsibility for the workflow item. The assignee is initially the creator of the item
      • Drafts will always open in Edit mode; to edit items at other Stages users should click on the tile hamburger icon and choose Switch to Edit mode.
      • If you disable the tile header then Workflow items will only be editable in Drive, we recommend you keep the tile header in place for Workflow tiles.