Two things I am trying to accomplish with PD automation that I cannot seem to figure out. Any feedback or suggestions welcome.

When someone changes a stage in their pipeline, we provide what we call "deal coaching". Things to pay attention to, internal process guidelines, sample questions to ask etc. Automation would be triggered on stage change - and to add a note to the deal. I can add an activity with a note - but not a note by itself.

At some point in the sales process, we want to make completing the expected close date mandatory if it's not been set. I can set it in automation and create an activity - but the expected close date is not available in a trigger. Trigger would be stage change.

Anyone doing something like this, maybe alternatives that accomplish the same/similar thing?