About Me

I am an experienced intranet and digitalworkplace adoption manager, having worked for about 20 years in intranet/SharePoint/Microsoft365 roles in multinational companies. After that, I worked some years for a Dutch mental health care organization.
Additionally, I have been a freelancer for Digital Workplace Group as social media coordinator.
And this is my collection of intranet promotion videos.

I have retired in January 2022, but will continue blogging and collecting videos as long as I have the inspiration.

Of course I have experience with strategy and governance, policies and housekeeping, usability and design, and I have created communication, training and promotions for the intranet and related tools. I will share some of my learnings and experiences here.

But I have also streamlined inefficient business processes with help of Microsoft SharePoint Team Sites. It is amazing what you can do with SharePoint Sites – and I am happy to share both our process for identifying and configuring these “solutions” as well as some of the more succesful results with you in this blog.

If you are interested to “Do More With SharePoint” by configuring SharePoint Sites to automate simple processes, or replace legacy applications,  please leave a comment or contact me via LinkedIn or Twitter (@ellenvanaken).

Originally I am a Food Technologist but during my career I moved into the intranet and Digital Workplace field, and I have never looked back ;-).
I live in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and my native language is Dutch.

Experiences and views are my own. All screenshots of examples are created in my own Office 365 environment (Business Basic).

6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Anouk January 9, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    Hi Ellen,
    I looked through your site and signed up a while ago for your newsletter, but I couldn’t find anything on event management. Certainly, I am not the only looking for SharePoint solution in which you can do event management which helps to manage registration for events, works flawlessly with Outlook and helps user to sign in and out at any time. Do you have any experience with this?


    • Ellen van Aken January 9, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      Hi Anouk, thank you for your mail. I have nothing tagged as “Event Management”, but there are two posts that may come close to what you are looking for:
      – Travel arrangements in a Team Site (http://wp.me/p1s5qM-db ), which gathered travel and other data from training attendees, and possibly
      – High Tea in a Team Site (http://wp.me/p1s5qM-4L), which collected reservations for High Tea in one of the coffee/tea shops.
      Perhaps these examples will help you on your way? Otherwise please connect via LinkedIn and we can discuss there.

  2. Jennifer July 1, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    Hi Ellen, I’ve been using your blog as a layperson in the public sector, new to the wonders of SharePoint. I’d like to ask a question regarding SharePoint Document Libraries: What MS software options do I have for creating a dynamic form to capture new data entries that’s compatible with a SP document library? – and it must be a document library.

    Each document library has around 100-200 entries and is built with data sets. This allows an entry to appear in the library in list format with meta data columns that I can create views on. If I click on an entry I then the data set opens where I can upload all associated documentation. Beautiful!

    The issue is that when a new entry is added to the library I need to collect up to 50 meta data fields. It would be brilliant to have branching options based on the response to certain data fields.

    I’ve looked at MS Forms working with MS Flow to insert the responses into SharePoint. However this only allows the data to be stored in an SP List Library, which is no help to me.

    Would InfoPath be an alternative option?

    I’m grateful for any pointers you can offer – I feel that I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole!

    Thanks in anticipation,


    • Ellen van Aken July 1, 2019 / 9:43 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you for your question.
      One thing is easy to answer: please do not go the InfoPath route. InfoPath is on its way out (although it may exist for a number of years) so I do not think it is wise to invest in outdated tech.

      50 meta data fields sounds like a lot. I used to work for a company where we had about 30. We used a Content Type with all those fields and they were populated by the SharePoint site creation process. So the requester completed a form, and some of the values entered were then added to the content type’s columns. However, it was all the same metadata per site and not per document library or document set.
      ShareGate was the tool we used to populate, but not sure if that can be done outside of the site creation process.

      Another option may be to use Forms to collect the data, then use the results in Excel to add the values to populate your fields by using the Quick Edit option in the library. You have to be very careful to make sure that all values are added into the correct fields. It may best be done it batches as the page with all fields will be very wide.

      Another option may be PowerApps where you can provide a good experience filling all those fields. You can build in some logic so if fields have a certain relation, you may need to only add one value to populate some others.

      Please note I am not in expert in any of these (our needs are usually more basic) so it may be a good idea to ask an expert in complex document management. Or does your organization have a Microsoft partner that can provide support?

      In any case, I hope to have given you some directions. Best of luck with this and best regards,

  3. spambbb October 10, 2022 / 2:09 pm

    You’ll be missed by many on the Interwebs. Have a happy and healthy retirement.

    • Ellen van Aken October 10, 2022 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you! But I will keep on blogging until I run out of inspiration 🙂

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