Microsoft Power Automate Desktop is Now Free!
Power Automate is a RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tool that can automate repetitive, paperless business processes. Previously this was $40/mo. Automating 'back office' type tasks, allows companies to free up their employees time so they can focus on higher value, strategic activities.
You may be thinking, that sounds nice but how do I get started? Download it and play around with it! Power Automate is a no-code/low-code automation platform that means you can start automating work today without any knowledge of coding. And since you clicked on a post that has 'Microsoft' in the title, you are probably tech savvy enough to figure how to get started on your own.
Getting Started with Power Automate:
Download from MSFT: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=2102613&clcid=0x409
Open and Click 'New Flow' in the top left corner.
Wait a few seconds for a new screen to pop up.
On the left hand side, you will see a list of 'Actions' you can use in your programs. Expand the Actions to see what you can use in your programs.
Drag and drop a few to see how it work. Then delete them.
On the top, you will see 'Web Recorder' and 'Desktop Recorder'. Click on both and see how they work.
Build a Basic Bot
Make sure your workspace is clear.
Under the 'Outlook' Action, find 'Launch Outlook'. Drag this to the Center Pane.
Under the 'Outlook' Action, find 'Send Email'. Drag this to the center pane and place under Launch Outlook.
Fill out the parameters. Use your email in the 'To' and hit Save.
Save this program and exit the editor.
In the Power Automate Desktop home screen, run the program you just created. Wait a few seconds and you will see your email pop up in your inbox!
Congratulations! You just created your first (albeit not very useful) bot in Power Automate. Keep playing around with it and see what else you can do. Start thinking of the things that follow the same step-by-step process every time they need to get done. Write them out (Process Map, see example below) and use that as your guide to creating your programs. Before you know it you'll be making bots that read invoices from your email and entering the data into your accounting software.