9Activities and Calendars

This chapter contains the following:

As a sales representative, you typically check your calendar for appointments that you have on any particular day before you begin your retail visit. You can plan your day based on the appointments and the notes if any that you have or want to include in your appointment.

Here's what you can do when you work with appointments:

  • Add resources to an appointment.

  • Use appointments to check your schedule and the visits that you need to make.

  • Review the details of the visits for an account and plan your tasks for the day.

  • Add an account to an appointment and the appointment is assigned to a field sales representative who is the owner of that account and appears on the assignee's calendar.

  • Create notes for any additional information that you may need to record regarding your retail visit.

The activities pages include the My Calendar, My Tasks, and Activities pages. You use these pages to manage tasks, appointments, and call reports outside the context of a particular record. Within an activity, you can associate the activity itself with a record, such as a lead or opportunity. Additionally, in some of the sales applications, you can manage activities within the records themselves.

In the Activities pages, you can:

  • Create new tasks and appointments.

  • Search for and view tasks and appointments.

  • Edit existing tasks and appointments.

  • View reports and analytics information.

  • Manage your calendar.

  • View other sales users' calendars, as well as team calendars, with permission.

  • View at-a-glance which tasks are overdue.

Activities help you keep track of things you plan to do, like tasks and appointments, or things that you need to track, like customer calls.

Types of Activities

There are three types of activities:

  • Tasks are to-do items assigned to people or groups.

    Tip: You can use tasks to record completed customer interactions that aren't scheduled in your calendar as appointments.
  • Appointments are calendar events, for example, a meeting with another person or a scheduled phone call.

  • Call reports let you record brief summaries of you phone calls. They can be created from an appointment, a task, or standalone from the Activities landing page. When created from a task or appointment, the application automatically populates all pertinent data into the call report for you.

Collectively called "activities", tasks and appointments can be meetings, calls, demonstrations, events, and so on. The difference between a task and an appointment is that a task appears in a task list and has a due date and status, while an appointment is scheduled on your calendar with a specific date and time. For all activities, the Type field lets you categorize the item. For example, when you create a task you can set the type as a Call or a Meeting.

How You Access Activities

From the home page you can use the Activities landing page, or list page, to access all of your activities. Additionally, the Activities tab in many of the edit pages lets you access the same functionality as the landing page.

Here are some things to keep in mind about the Activities list:

  • Appointment and task icons make it easy to differentiate between the different types of activities.

  • You can use the default search filters to quickly find a set of activities, and you can use the additional search operators to further expand or refine your search.

  • Note that in the list of activities, columns may be blank if there's no applicable data. For example, some fields apply only to tasks and some only to appointments; thus, blank fields appear when there is nothing relevant to display.

To access a list of Activities from the home page:

  1. Sign in as a salesperson.

  2. On the home page, click Sales > Activities.

  3. Click the Activities tab.

Create New Tasks and Appointments

You can create new tasks and appointments in several ways:

  • In the My Calendar page, click Create Appointment to create a new appointment.

  • In the My Tasks page, click Create Task to create a new task.

  • In the Activities page, click Create Task or Create Appointment.

  • Create follow-up tasks or appointments from existing ones: In the Actions menu for the existing task or appointment, select Create Follow-Up Task or Create Follow-Up Appointment.

  • Create tasks or appointments related to opportunities or leads: Navigate to a lead or opportunity and click the Activities tab. Tasks or appointments you create automatically are associated with the related record.

Manage Your Calendar

Use the Calendar pages to keep track of all your appointments. You can:

  • View your appointments in a daily, weekly, or monthly format, and either in a calendar view or as a list.

  • Move appointments from one time and day to another day or time.

  • Create new appointments, including recurring appointments.

  • View and edit existing appointments.

  • View your colleagues' appointments, if you have permission.

  • Access additional calendars. Additional calendars, if enabled, are available after you click the Manage My Calendar icon.

See the Calendars section in this chapter for more topics on using calendars.

Manage Your Tasks

The Tasks landing page displays your tasks that include a due date, allowing you to see at-a-glance which ones are due on which dates. Icons help you spot overdue tasks quickly. You can use the My Tasks list to sort tasks by due date, subject, or priority.

Use the My Calendar page within Activities to manage calendar views.

View Calendars

You can view calendars by day, week, month, or agenda. You can view the status of other deals by selecting a different calendar listed in the side panel. The steps to view a calendar using the side panel are the same for opportunity and account. In the following procedure, account is used as an example.

Weekly View

The default calendar view is the Weekly View. From here, you can see all of the items on your calendar for the week. On the left, each user added to the team calendar is displayed (by default only the signed-in user is displayed, as in single calendar mode). Each day shows:

  • Start time of appointment, with recurrence icon (if applicable)

  • Whether the appointment is multi-day (indicated by an arrow)

  • Appointment subject

You can view and edit the recurrence information in the Add: Recurrence dialog box that appears when you click the Recurrence button. Nonrecurring appointments display the edit page for the appointment.

Note: The appointment time isn't reset when the All Day check box is cleared.

You can only edit your own appointments. Even if your peers have given you permission to view theirs, you can't edit them. Appointments marked by others as Private display as Busy on their calendar entry, and don't include details.

Day View

On the Day View, you can see all of the items on your calendar for the current day. On the left, each user added to the team calendar is displayed (the default only shows the signed-in user).

Along the top are the hours of each day, where the calendar entries are displayed. Each day shows:

  • Start time of appointment, with recurrence icon (if applicable)

  • Whether the appointment is multi-day (indicated by an arrow)

  • Appointment subject

You can view and edit the recurrence information in the Recurring Appointments dialog box. Nonrecurring appointments display the edit page for the appointment.

You can only edit your own appointments. Even if your peers have given you permission to view theirs, you can't edit them. Others who can edit other users' appointments include:

  • The administrator.

  • The user's manager, if the person is in their resource hierarchy and the manager has the Sales Manager duty role.

Appointments marked by others as Private display as busy on their calendar entry, and don't include details.

Appointment Colors

The legend at the bottom of the calendar displays the colors associated with different appointment types. If an appointment is of one of these types, the appointment box in the calendar is displayed in that color. You can change these colors using Setup Manager.

Appointments that show a user as busy don't display any details because you don't have access to their record.

Add Appointments

To add new appointments to the calendar click Create Appointment. Selecting the check boxes next to the user names in your team calendar automatically adds those users as resources to the new appointment.

You can let other users access your calendar appointment details by giving them permission to view them.

Permit Appointment Visibility

Use the following procedure to give others permission to view your appointments.
  1. In the global header, within the Settings and Actions menu, click your user name and select Set Preferences under Personalization.

  2. Select Calendar and Appointment Preferences. The Calendar and Activity page appears.

  3. In the Additional Calendar Sharing Levels with Specific Resources section, add a row to the table. Select the individuals that you want to share your appointment details with.

  4. Set the Access Level value to Show appointment details.

  5. Save your changes.

    The users you select can access your calendar appointment details from the Calendar page by selecting your name in the Resource list.

You can create tasks for a business object from a task template. First select a set of tasks for a template task and then create tasks. In this topic, the opportunity business object is used as an example. However, the procedure to create task templates is the same for all objects.

Note: Tasks can be autogenerated from a task template and displayed in the Activities subtab. For example, a task template is associated with a sales stage. On updating the sales stage, the autogenerated tasks appear in the opportunity Activities tab.

Here's how you create tasks from a task template:

  1. From the Navigator, click Opportunities.

  2. Select the opportunity for which you want to create a task.

    The Edit Opportunity page opens.

  3. Click the Activities subtab.

  4. Click Create Tasks from a Template.

    Note: If the administrator hasn't set up task templates, a warning appears.
  5. Select the template name from the available task templates.

  6. (Optional) Enter the name of the owner of the task. If the field is blank, the signed-in user is set as default as the owner of the task.

  7. Click Save and Close, on the Create Tasks from a Template page.

    The tasks are created from the template.

A call report is a central place for salespeople to capture what happened in a sales activity, make related changes, and track key updates. Call reports can boost salespeople's productivity by saving time, increasing visibility into their business, and selling more in less time.

A call report is a type of activity like tasks and appointments. You can create call reports for scheduled appointments or ad hoc call reports from the Activities tab. Each scheduled appointment can have multiple call reports, created by different salespeople. The call reports for an appointment are listed in and viewed from that appointment. Salespeople can also create ad hoc call reports to report sales activities that aren't scheduled on their calendar.

Note: The administrator must use Application Composer to enable the Create Call Reports button on the Activities tab, the Activities list, and the Tasks tab.

Call reports record a snapshot of the outcome of the sales activity and key changes, including:

  • Outcome summary, meeting minutes, complete objectives, attendees, attachments, notes, and so forth.

  • Related objects, such as appointments, accounts, opportunities, and leads

Appointment resources and others who have access to an appointment can create a call report from it. Multiple call reports can be created from one appointment.

Add and Remove Objectives

Appointment objectives are copied over to the call report by default. You can add additional objectives, or remove existing ones.

To add objectives, you can either select them from a predefined list or type free text to add new ones. Predefined objectives include:

  • Demo product

  • Determine next steps

  • Discuss proposal

  • Identify stakeholders

  • Review RFP or RFI (Review Request for Proposal or Request for Information)

You can check an objective in a call report to mark it as complete, or deselect it to mark it incomplete. Objectives copied over from the appointment or added by user are deselected by default.

Appointment Contacts and Resources

Appointment contacts and resources are copied to the call report. You can add or remove contacts and resources. You can also check or deselect a contact or resource's attendance status to indicate whether he or she attended the meeting.

  • Contacts that are defaulted from the appointment are marked as attendees by default.

  • Resources that are defaulted from the appointment are marked as attendees by default if the resource's response in the appointment isn't Declined.

  • Resources and contacts that aren't defaulted from the appointment and added by the user are marked as attendees by default.

Appointment Outcome

You can select an appointment outcome from a list of predefined values. Your sales administrator can add or remove values from this list as needed. Default values are:

  • Call answered

  • Call transferred

  • Captured issue

  • Failed

  • Left message

  • Not available

  • Provided information

  • Successful

  • Incomplete

  • At risk

  • Customer undecided

Attachments and Notes

You can add attachments to a call report in the same way that you add them to other objects.

Anyone who has access to the call report can create notes on it. Call reports support both internal and external notes. You can use external notes to share with external contacts.

Any user who can view the call report can see non-private notes, but only the note creator can see private notes.

Call Report Security

Call reports include a Private setting, which determines who can view it:

  • If the call report is set to Private, then only the call report resources can view it.

  • If the call report isn't set to private, then anyone who can view the related appointment can view the call report.

If the administrator has exposed the address selector in the Activities pages, you can associate an address with an activity's account or contact. This association helps sales managers audit and relate call report contact or account location with actual sales. Managers can also view an audit trail of a salesperson's customer visits. On a call report, the address selector helps to automatically populate the address of the account or contact.

Remember the following rules:

  • You can change the selected address as needed, except after a call report is submitted.

  • The addresses are available for accounts, if both accounts and contacts are defined for the activity.

  • If only contacts are defined for an activity, but not an account, then the address shown is related to the primary contact.

Your administrator can enable the ability to select addresses on call reports, appointments, and tasks. Using the address selector on a call report is used as an example in the following procedure. To select an address:

  1. Open an appointment or a task to access a call report.

  2. Click Create Call Report or open an existing Call Report.

  3. Select an account.

  4. Select an address related to the account from the Addresses section.

  5. Click Save and Close.

Use Activity Subtype

You and your management can track your activities by type and subtype. For example, your activity of type, email, has subtypes of outbound, inbound, and so on..

As a salesperson, you can use the Type field to:

  • Categorize your activity types by selecting values in the Type field on the activity create and edit pages.

  • Search for activities based on type.

  • View and sort activities by type.

  • Update values on the Activities list page using the click-to-edit functionality.

You can select multiple activity records and update all of them to the same value for a field using the mass update feature.

Among the fields that you can update are:

  • Due Date

  • Owner

  • Priority

  • Status

  • Type

Note: Your administrator must enable this feature before it's available in the application.

Steps to Apply Mass Update

Here's how to update several fields on multiple activities at once:

  1. Navigate to the Activities landing page.

  2. Search for the records you want to update.

  3. Click Update from the Actions menu.

  4. Select the records that you want to update and click the Update button.

  5. Select the fields and assign or enter values for them. Keep in mind:

    • If you want to update a field that has a parent field, then the value of the parent field must be the same across all child records selected for mass update.

    • You can't apply mass update to conditionally updatable fields.

  6. When you're done making updates click Submit.

Activity Search and Lists

Overview of Creating Lists

You can refine your list of activities by creating lists from Activities using Saved Search in the Advanced Search pane. For example, you can create a list of all completed tasks you own. A date range is required when using the Saved Search (list) pane. The available Show filters are Open, All, Completed.

Show Filter Description

Open

Displays all appointments that have a start date of today or in the future within defined date range, all open tasks with a due date in the defined date range, and open tasks with no due date.

All

Displays all appointments within the defined date range, open tasks with no due date or with a due date within the defined date range, and closed tasks with an end date in the defined date range.

Completed

Displays appointments in the past with a start date that falls within the defined date range, and tasks having been completed within the defined date range.

Use the Show filter in activities when you want to:

  • Create saved searches for activities.

  • Search for activities in associated objects, such as opportunities or accounts.

When the Show filter is set to All or Completed, the sort order displays your future activities first, followed by the historic activities. To view future activities:

  1. Sign in to the application as a sales representative.

  2. Navigate to Sales > Activities.

    The My Calendar page appears.

  3. Click the Activities subtab.

    The Activities landing page appears.

  4. Click the Show Advanced Search icon.

    The Advanced Search pane appears.

  5. In the Advanced Search pane, select My Open Activities from the Saved Search drop-down list.

  6. Select Complete or All from the Show field.

    A list of all the future appointments and open tasks appears.

You can create your own list of activities. For creating your own lists you must set your search criteria and save the list. You can view your list in the List field.

Here's how you can create your own lists:

  1. Sign in as a sales representative.

  2. On the home page, click Sales > Activities.

    The My Calendar page appears.

  3. Click the Activities subtab.

    The Activities landing page appears.

  4. Click the Show Advanced Search icon.

    The Advanced Search pane appears.

  5. In the Advanced Search pane, select I Own in the Record Set field.

  6. Click Save.

    The Create Saved Search dialog box appears.

  7. Name the list.

  8. Click the Run Automatically check box, and click OK.

  9. View the list in the Saved Search field.

Activity Notifications

Activities generate notifications when you perform various tasks or make certain updates. Let's take a look at how the notification process works.

When Notifications Are Sent

Notifications are sent by email or on a global notification list (also called a bell notification list). You can choose whether to receive email, a notification in the notifications list, or both. Notifications are triggered when a change is saved. Notifications can be sent when an appointment or task is created, updated, or deleted. You can also send notifications as a reminder for appointments.

Note: For updates, notifications are triggered on any update except settings and values specific to an individual user. For example, notifications are triggered by:
  • Show Time As

  • Reminder

  • Response

Notification messages are displayed only on the bell notification list. The messages aren't displayed in the Worklist for notifications and approvals.

For more information on setting your notification preferences, see Set the Preference to Receive Notifications later in this chapter.

Use Notifications to Drill Down to Records

You can opt in to use the capability to drill down and act from activity notifications and receive notifications through notification lists and email. If you opt in to receive notifications, then list and email notifications are generated when you create or update appointments and tasks. Each notification includes a link that you can drill down on to view the record details before you approve or reject the request. You can accept or decline appointments and complete tasks from notifications. You can decide whether to use the enhanced notifications with drill-down capability or continue to use the earlier option with no drill-down capabilities.

To receive notifications, you must set a preference in your Preferences page. See the section in this topic, Set the Preference to Receive Notifications, for more information. After you opt in, you receive two types of notifications: Action Required and FYI. In the Pending Notifications window, you can act on each notification by clicking Accept or Decline.

Appointments and tasks have the following set of fields that appear by default in the email notifications:

  • Task

  • Due Date

  • Owner

  • Status

  • Assigned to

Each appointment notification has the following default fields:

  • Subject

  • Date

  • Location

  • Invitees

In addition, all email notifications include the following fields, if they're defined on an activity.

  • Account

  • Opportunity

  • Lead

  • Asset

  • Description

To drill down into an activity, click the subject or task link in the appointment notification. You can also accept or decline an appointment or complete a task from the email notification.

Set the Preference to Receive Notifications

Here's how you can receive notifications by email and lists.

  1. Sign in as a sales representative.

  2. Click Setting and Actions > Set Preferences in the global header.

  3. Click Calendar and Appointment Preferences.

    The Calendar and Activity page appears.

  4. In the Appointments and Task sections, select the Notify me by check box.

    The figure shows the Notify me by check box.
  5. Click Save.

Activities and Assets

After the administrator enables the functionality, you can can associate assets with activities, including appointments, call reports, and tasks.

Associating an asset with an activity and then viewing the asset calendar helps you manage your appointments. You can view all the related appointments for an asset in a single place. After you or someone else in your organization associates an asset with an appointment, then the asset calendar is enabled.

If the functionality is enabled by the administrator, you can add assets to all types of activities, including appointments, call reports, and tasks. You can add assets to new and existing activities, using the activity create and edit pages. After you add an asset to an activity, then you can view the asset on that activity's page.

After an asset is associated with an appointment, you can view the asset calendar from the Manage My Calendar window available on the My Calendar page. For more information, see the related topics.

To add an asset to an appointment:

  1. Access the activity page where the Assets list if enabled. For example, click Create Appointment in the My Calendar page.

  2. Click Search in the Asset drop-down list.

    The Select: Asset page appears.

  3. Click Search.

    The search results appear.

  4. In the search results, select an asset and click OK.

    The Create Appointment page appears.

  5. The asset number and asset serial number of the selected asset, if available, are automatically populated.

  6. Click Save and Continue in the Create Appointment page.

    The asset appears as a link.

  7. Click Save and Close.

Use your calendar to manage assets. An asset calendar displays the appointments relevant to your assets. Team members view all upcoming appointments related to an asset in the calendar and coordinate their activities for the asset.

You can create an asset calendar for:

  • Assets that you can access

  • One asset at a time

The asset calendar displays all appointments for the asset and private appointments. The asset calendar identifies the owners of the appointment with a picture or icon with the user initials or name. With the asset calendar you can:

  • View all appointments related to an asset in a single calendar view.

  • View all the owners of appointments related to an asset.

  • Hide or show appointments of individual or multiple appointment owners.

  • Save asset calendars to a list and access the calendar that you want.

  • Determine the owner of each appointment on the calendar.

  • Switch between all calendar views: day, week, month, and agenda.

An asset calendar displays the appointments relevant to your assets. After an appointment is associated with an asset, you can create an asset calendar view from the My Calendar page. The asset calendar is available to the whole organization as soon as one person across an organization associates an appointment with an asset.

The asset calendar displays:

  • All appointments that are associated with an asset.

  • All owners of appointments associated with an asset. The appointments can be owned by different people.

Here's how you can create an asset calendar view:

  1. Click the Manage My Calendar icon on the My Calendar page.

  2. Click Other Calendars.

  3. Click Create Asset Calendar View.

    The Create Asset Calendar page appears.

    Tip: Remember, an asset calendar can only be enabled after an appointment is associated with an asset.
  4. Click Search in the Asset field.

    The Select: Asset page appears.

  5. Search for and select an asset. Alternatively, you can create an asset to use.

  6. Click OK.

    The name of the asset is automatically populated as the calendar name, but you can change it if needed.

  7. Save your changes.

    You can access the asset calendar from the My Calendar page by clicking Manage My Calendar > Other Calendars. You can filter the calendar to view appointments associated with a particular owner.

FAQs for Activities and Calendars

When you select the My Open Activities list in the Activities work area, the application displays a list of all of the future appointments and open tasks where you are listed as a resource. You are automatically a resource if you created the activity or you can be assigned as a resource by another resource or an automated process.

What activity records do the different record sets permit you to search?

The different record sets in the Saved Searches window restrict your saved searches to different sets of activities. To improve saved search performance, restrict your saved searches to smaller record sets. For example, rather than searching all the records you can see, search all the records you and your subordinates own. Or restrict your searches to a smaller geographical area. For example, search all the activities in one state instead of the whole country.

Here's a list of the record sets for activities. Not all record sets are available to all users. For example, the record set involving subordinates is available only to managers.

Record Set Name Description

I own

Activities you either created or ownership was assigned to you.

I am a resource

Activities where you're a resource.

My subordinates own

Activities owned by you and your subordinates.

All records I can see

Activities that you can view based on your resource team membership, sales territory assignments, your position in the organization, and security permissions.

This record set is available only if the administrator enables it using a profile option.

How can I search all activity records?

In the Activities landing page, you use the Find field to search all activities you're associated with.

To broaden the search to all activities, use the advanced search and select the record set you want to see. Your administrator must enable this feature for you to search all activities, including those you don't own or aren't associated with.

The Show filter displays activities based on certain criteria. Here's a list of the show filter criteria for activities:

Show Filter Tasks Appointments

Open

All open tasks with a due date in the defined date range, and open tasks with no due date

All appointments that have a start date of today or in the future within a defined date range

All

Open tasks with no due date or with a due date within the defined date range. Closed tasks with an end date in the defined date range

Open tasks with no due date or with a due date within the defined date range. Closed tasks with an end date in the defined date range

Completed

Tasks that are completed within the defined date range

Appointments in the past with a start date that falls within the defined date range

You can only view activities that are set as private if you're the owner of the activity, are delegated by other users to view it, or are a resource or contact of the activity.

Tip: The Private check box is hidden by default in the tasks pages. Administrators can use Application Composer to display the check box on the Create Appointment page and enable you to set a task as private.

You can define your own criteria for an interaction using the Activities feature. Customer interactions are logged either as completed tasks or as appointments using the activity types you want to report on. To track your customer-facing interactions, generate a report to retrieve activities of a specific type with accounts or contacts associated. For example, you can list all calls with an associated contact. To track a completed task, go to the Activities page from the Customer, Opportunity, or Lead page, and click Log a Call.

You can use the time zone drop-down list to view the appointment time in a different time zone. The time zone for users is defined in the Regional area within Set Preferences. If no time zone is defined, the appointment time zone displays as null, and appointments are created based on Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) time. You can't change the default time zone.

When appointments include attendees from a different region, the appointment time zone drop-down list can be used to define an attendee-friendly time. For example, a user in Chicago selects 9 A.M., and sets the time zone to Cairo, Egypt time zone. Upon saving, the appointment displays to the Chicago user as 2 A.M., and the time zone drop-down list has the Chicago value.

What's the difference between a task, a call report, and an appointment?

A task is a unit of work to be completed by one or more people. Tasks are related to business objects such as opportunities or contacts, and can include attachments.

An appointment is a calendar entry related to a business object, such as an opportunity or a customer. Appointments can include attachments.

A call report provides a historical view of all communications initiated by you to a customer, or by a customer to you. Call reports don't document internal communications.