Productivity Managing Daily Activities
Previously in this series of 12 Tips to be more Effective using Infor CRM we have delved into:
1. Setting up your default options to work the way you want to work. Do this once to make life easier.
2. Using Groups - segmenting all types of information into intelligent bit-sized, digestible pieces of information.
3. Using Filters - to more effectively use information from Groups in finding patterns or drilling into the details
4. This article relates to the effective use of Activities - something you have scheduled but is not yet completed.
Learn how to create more "valuable" scheduled activities and then process through lists of scheduled work that is most important....
Activities include placing phone calls, attending meetings and completing to-dos such as sending correspondence or preparing presentations. Activities are generally scheduled for a specific time. Timeless activities are scheduled to occur on a selected day, but at no particular time. When you schedule an activity, it displays on the Calendar and Activities view, and in the Activities tabs on some detail views. Completed activities become history items.
When you schedule a timeless activity, you can set the activity to automatically roll over to the next day once it is past due. If you have more than 20 rollover activities, a progress bar may display when you log in.
Events include trade shows, business trips, conferences or other occasions that often span several days. When you schedule an event, it displays above the timeline on your Calendar view and in the Events tab on the Activities view.
The Infor CRM Web Client contains an Alerts feature that alerts you to triggered alarms and new activities that you have yet to confirm. Several activity types are available to accommodate your work requirements. For instance, you can create general activities, recurring activities and more. In general, you can edit, delete or complete activities and events that you create.
If you have Modify access to another user's calendar, you can view, edit, complete, or delete any activity on that user's calendar. If other users have Modify access to your calendar, they can view, edit, complete, or delete any activity on your calendar. Calendar access is controlled by your administrator. Note: your security access determines what functions are available.
The Activities tab appears in the Account, Contact, Ticket, Lead, and Opportunity Detail views. Use the Activities tab to manage activities and events related to the current record. Information displayed on the Activities tab includes the activity type, date and time, duration, user, category and regarding. If the tab is not visible, click the More Tabs tab.
NOTE: Your calendar security determines whose activities you can schedule, edit, complete, accept/decline, or delete. You can also view activities associated with contacts, leads, accounts, opportunities, or tickets that you can access.
Scheduling or Editing an Activity
To speed up the creation of a new Activity, start with the contact person already in "context" - meaning you are on that specific person's record. When you have the Activities tab open you can quickly see what current appointments are scheduled, Opportunities for this person, Notes/History and so forth.
At the far right side are icons for various actions.
- Filter - to show only certain types of activities, for a specific person, a date range and/or regarding.
- Schedule meeting
- Schedule phone call
- Schedule to- do
- Help ? icon
Here is where you can quickly select information to help classify the meeting, phone call or To-do activity. The drop down list of options for Regarding, Priority and Category can be setup with what works best for your business.
Note that the contact name and their related account name is already filled in. If you are scheduling for a specific sales opportunity or service ticket a pop up list of current related information can be easily chosen. The Leader is filled in with the current user's name but it can be changed in case you have an assistant scheduling your activities.
This image is an example of a fully scheduled meeting record. With a few mouse clicks the key fields are updated and OK will save the changes.
Now if you want to check Availability of a person's schedule or add other internal company people or resources this can be accomplished.
Additionally if the activity is reoccurring or has digital attachments, these can be defined when creating the new activity.
Adding in other Participants:
One of the newer capabilities of Infor CRM is the ability to add other participants to the scheduled activity. These can be contacts or leads currently in your Infor CRM. More importantly you can define the role of a participant such as a decision maker, influencer, etc.
The newly scheduled activity is now shown in the Activities tab.
An optional method for creating a new activity is to use the top menu items under Schedule:
Completing an Activity
Under the Activities tab simply click on the "Complete" blue hyperlink to open the complete activity dialog form.
If you selected to schedule a "Follow-up" activity a form will pop up so you can make any adjustments.
When you complete an activity, or write an e-mail, letter or fax, details about it are recorded in the Notes/History tab for the related account, contact, lead, ticket or opportunity.
Pop Up of Helpful Information:
When you are showing the detail activity form, additional contact information pops up when the mouse hovers over the contact name or account name
The Activities Main View
From the Infor CRM web client, left hand navigation panel there is an Activities option that takes the user to the Activities main view.
Note there are various tabs at the top to display "My Activities, "All Open, "Past Due, and so forth.
Highlight a given activity and right click to show various options: Open Activity, Complete Activity, Delete Activity, Go to [Account, Contact, Opportunity.....], or just Schedule a new activity.
TIP: Use the Go To sub options to quickly move directly to the related detail record if you need to find out more contextual information.
The Complete Activity will show the same completion form that was mentioned above.
Use the filters on the right to quickly make your view simpler and more manageable...
When making phone calls easily click on Activity type = Phone and the higher priority activities or you may want to filter by a specific time frame as you plan a set of site visits in the field.
TIP: Or you may have various activities that you want to complete in a batch. Select the activities and you can then use the Common Tasks (in the bottom right hand corner).
In above example, I selected a group of meetings that were completed and then clicked on "Complete Activity" under the Common Tasks panel. Next I can select a Result to be applied from a drop down list of results and then add a note that is appended to all items. Additionally you can prompt yourself for each activity "Individually" and select whether to apply the complete date based on date scheduled or the current time (now).
Past Due - Maintenance:
Over time activities will be forgotten and these are easily found under the "Past Due" Activity tab. To quickly clear up this list of the less priority items, use the tip above to highlight them and Complete as a batch.
Tips for Quickly getting your Scheduled work done:
- Select the "My Activities" tab from the Activities Main view
- Select filter(s) to narrow the focus on what most important now
- Make your work place view optimized for the way you need to work.
- Select to show detail panel at the bottom
- Or Select the "Summary" view of Activities:
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