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September 29
Leverage the Content Organizer in SharePoint 2013

With multiple project sites, distribution lists and management of site permissions team members may easily become confused about where to deposit key project documents resulting in misdirected items, missed communications and frustration. You can prevent those “show me where to put this with a link” requests by leveraging the Content Organizer.

SharePoint 2013 standard functionality provides the Content Organizer to help direct key documents to exactly where you want them to go by providing one simple drop off document library. By working with your site features, site settings and content types – you can quickly and easily refine document submission into a manageable process for everyone.

First, five skill sets you need to leverage the Content Organizer:

1.       Site Features – Activate Content Organizer

2.       Site Settings –  Configure Content Organizer Settings

3.       Document Library – Configure Advanced Settings – Manage Content Types

4.       Site Settings – Configure Content Organizer Rules

5.       Central Administration – Verify Content Organizer Processing Job

Site Features – Activate Content Organizer

Let’s begin by reviewing your site features and activating the Content Organizer. Start with your site settings and navigate to manage site features within Site Actions.​


Site Features – Activate Content Organizer

Let’s begin by reviewing your site features and activating the Content Organizer. Start with your site settings and navigate to manage site features within Site Actions.


Review the status of the Content Organizer. If there is not a blue box that indicates it is “Active” to the right of the Content Organizer description, select “Activate.”

If you see Nora929Active.PNGyou are ready to go.
If you see Nora929Active2.PNG you need to select it to make it appear like this Nora929Active.PNG.

Site Settings – Content Organizer Settings

Return to the site settings and visit the Site Administration to configure the Content Organizer settings.
There are several key settings to configure. First, redirecting users to a drop off library. Once you select and save this option, a new library named “Drop Off Library” will appear in your left side navigation.

Determine how you will handle files that may have the same name. You may apply versioning or special characters to create unique file names.

Confirm who will manage the drop off library. If for some reason a document doesn’t match a rule, the Rule Manager will need to investigate. You may determine the interval of days to notify the Rule Manager.

Finally, save your work by selecting “OK” at the bottom of the page. If you fail to complete this step, you will not have a drop off library.

Once you’ve saved your work, the drop off library will appear in the left side navigation.

Document Library – Advanced Settings – Manage Content Types

Once you have created the Drop Off Library, you need to consider your “Destination Library” for
documents once they have rules applied to them – they need someplace to go! Within the destination
library, in this example it is named “Documents,” visit the library settings and the advanced settings.

Within the Advanced Settings, select to “Allow Management of Content Types” and save your selection.
Site Settings – Content Organizer Rules

Navigate back to your site settings and visit Site Administration. We’re ready to set up the Content Organizer Rules.

From within the Content Organizer Rule Set Up select “New Item”
Begin with the basics for your rule - give it a name.
Select the Content Type you wish to enable. In this example it is a Document Set Content Type Group, with a Document Set Content Type.

Define your conditions based upon document properties. In this example, if the document Name contains the value of Status the “Status Reports” rule will be applied.

Determine your destination or “target location.” This is the intended place for your documents to be routed once the rule is applied. In this example, it is a Shared Documents Library.

Finally, select OK to save your selections.

Central Administration – Verify Content Organizer Processing Job

Behind the scenes in Central Administration is a Content Organizer Processing Job. This function executes the workflows associated with the rules established for the Content Organizer. Typically, these functions will execute daily at a specified time. Check with your SharePoint Administrator to verify the job is enabled and what time it will run.

Now, you are ready to use your drop off library.

Navigate to your drop off library.  Upload a document just as you would in any other document library by selecting new document and browsing for your document, or by dragging files to the library.  In this example a document named PKC Status Report 08.08.14 was added to the drop off library.  

To verify that your rules are working, visit your destination library AFTER you know that the content organizer job configured in Central Administration has completed. In the example below, you see that the file, PKC Status Report 08.08.14, uploaded to the drop off library has now moved to its intended destination within the Documents library.
[If your document hasn’t moved from the drop off library within 24 hours, consult with your SharePoint administrator to confirm the content organizer job completed its processing.]

Mastering the skill sets of enabling site features, configuring content organizer settings and rules, and updating document library settings to manage content types can provide additional value to your project teams by simplifying their daily tasks.


If you're interested in learning more about Project Management for SharePoint, consider attending our SharePoint Project Managment Symposium​ in June.  Nora will be co-presenting at the event. Hope to see you there!  

For free opportunities to earn PDU credit, consider registering for a SharePoint Roundtable​ in your community! ​​

About Nora Ten Broeck, PMP, MOS: SharePoint 2013: Nora is a SharePoint enthusiast and expert-in-the-making with interests in collaboration, project management and improved business processes. Follow her @NoraTenBroeck

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