As an example, an organization can put a Drop Off Library on each department’s site. After employees upload their expense reports and select the expense report content type, SharePoint will then move the expense report to the appropriate document library on the accounting department’s site. The employees never have to leave their own department’s site.
Before you begin, make sure you have created the necessary content types and assigned those content types to the destination drop off libraries. If you’re going to use the same content type across multiple sites within the same site collection, set up the content type at the top level of the site collection so that you only have to create it once. Similarly, if you’re going to use the same content type across multiple site collections, set it up in your content type hub (if you have one). For more information on creating content types, see my previous blog post Document Sets: A Step-by-Step Guide.
To begin, you must first activate the Content Organizer site feature on all the sites where you want to have drop off libraries (the dumping ground) and destination libraries.
1. Site Settings > Manage Site Features > Content Organizer > Activate
Next, you will set up the Content Organizer Settings on all the sites where you will have a Drop Off Library.
Review the default options and change any that don’t fit your business needs. For example, if you want to allow documents to move to a library in another site (or site collection), you’ll need to mark the checkbox for Allow rules to specify another site as a target location.
Depending on your philosophy about folders in SharePoint, you may want to mark the checkbox to Create subfolders after a target location has too many items. Personally, I try not to use folders in SharePoint, but one level of folders is my acceptable limit.
In case an employee uploads the same file multiple times, by default SharePoint will apply versioning. If you’d rather have separate files (think about your storage capacity), you can mark the checkbox for Append unique characters to the end of duplicate filenames. FYI, these are random characters and cannot be customized.
To ensure that documents uploaded to a Drop Off Library are routed in a timely manner, rule managers will receive an email when submissions do not match a rule or when content has been left in the Drop Off Library. The default is three days, but you can change that number to better suite your business needs. You can also specify who the rule managers are (individuals or groups).
After the Content Organizer Settings are to your liking, you will need to set up the Content Organizer Rules.
4. Click + new item to create a new rule.
Hopefully, when you created your content types, you put them into a unique group so that you can filter by that group here. If you didn’t name the content types the same on this site (or site collection) as the site (or site collection) where the destination library is, you’ll need to mark the checkbox for This content type has alternate names in other sites.
By default, there is one property-based condition started for you. You can complete it if you want to use conditions, or you can delete it if you don’t.
In the Destination box, enter the URL for the destination library. Alternatively, you can click the Browse button to locate the destination library.
If the content type has not been assigned to the destination library, you will see the error message The selected library does not have this content type.
When all the settings are appropriately configured, click OK. You will be returned to the Content Organizer Rules screen, where you can view existing rules or create a new one.
Now you’re ready to test your Drop Off Library.
5. Navigate to the Drop Off Library. (There will be a link to it on the Quick Launch.)
6. Upload a document.
You’ll notice that the document is checked out to you. Before you check it in, you need to select a content type for the document.
7. Mark the checkbox next to the item, click the Files tab above the ribbon, and click Edit Properties.
When the Edit Properties screen opens, you’ll notice a message in a yellow bar at the top.
8. From the Content Type dropdown, select the appropriate content type.
9. Click Submit.
The message Saved to final location will appear with a link to where the document was moved.