The Activities Tab
Introduction to Activities
There are two types of activities: tasks and events. When you create a new activity, event or task, you are scheduling something and involving other people and their calendars. This section will discuss the following activity related items:
- Events are meetings which show up on the calendar
- Tasks are phone calls, emails, or general tasks and do not show up on calendars, but they appear in relation to many other items.
- Scheduling conflicts
- Managing the Activities: Find, Edit, Cancel. . .
- Logging Activities already completed
Events can be created from the calendar (click on the icon next to the day or the time), from the Activities Tab, or from various accounts, contacts, leads, cases, and opportunities screens that have an Activities section displayed.
When you've had your event, you can log the actual time (start and finish time) and mark it as “Completed.” Marking the actual time for the Event does not also record your billable hours for the work, you must do that separately.
NOTE Recording Billable Hours: You can refer to the section Work Effort and Time Sheets for information about recording the billable hours for any purpose. Billable time needs to be entered separately via the Work Effort Manager, Time Sheets function.
Tasks can be created from the Activities Tab and also from accounts, contacts, leads, cases, and opportunities screens where the Activities section is displayed.
A task is created using the same steps as are used for Events. Tasks are created in the “Scheduled” state.
Time Keeping: When the user is ready to start the activity, update the task to “Started” and enter the start time. If no time is supplied, the system will record the current time as started. Similarly, when the user is ready to mark it done (“Completed”), the system will record the finish time if the user does not enter a time.
In the case of an email Task, when you click [Send Email] the system will record the start time of your email. When you actually click [Send], the system will record the completion time. If you save it for later, the activity will not be recorded as Completed until you actually send your email, creating a possible discrepancy in duration of the task.
WARNING: Recording task or event durations is different than time entry for billing, and billable time needs to be entered separately via the Work Effort Manager, Time Sheets function. See Work Effort and Time Sheets.
When creating an activity (event or task), you can enter the scheduled start date/time and the duration. If a participant will be busy during that interval, or if there is another event or task already scheduled for the participant in that interval, and they have already set the “Busy” or “Away” status flag, then the system will generate an error message.
If you still want to schedule at that time anyway, then set “Ignore Schedule Conflicts.” When you update an event, you must always set “Ignore Schedule Conflicts” if it conflicts with an existing event. You can always contact individuals with conflicts to seek resolution in addition to using this override option for conflicting time entries.
Managing the Pending or Completed Activities:
This section provides guidance on processing Activities.
To Find an Activity
Click the Activity Tab and use the search box by entering a partial or whole Activity name to search using the [Find Activities] button. Select the desired Activity from the search list to open the Activity Detail screen.
Working with Activities Detail
On Activity Details screen, you will see the activity details at the top, a list of parties (accounts/contacts/leads/team members) associated with it in the middle, and then, if it is an email, the email below.
You can[Edit], or [Cancel] an Activity by clicking these buttons on the upper right. Once an event is canceled, it will no longer show up on the calendars.
You can begin to record actual Activity times using the [Start] button, and then the [Finish] button when completed.
To add or remove participants in an Activity use the form below the Participants section. Currently only the calendar owner (the creator of the activity) can update availability status of attendees, and add or remove them.
Also see the page Activity Details Screen.
To log an activity is to record an Activity that has already taken place. These activities are created as Completed. The user enters the actual start and finish time, plus other data items consistent with Event or Task. When logging a phone call or email, use the “INBOUND/OUTBOUND” box to specify which direction this correspondence item flowed.
Details on Using Activities Tab Functions
- [My Calender] Button and Screen provides for Team calendering of Events.
- [Pending Emails] Button and Screen displays both inbound and outbound email that needs to be further processed by the team.
- [Create Event] Button and Screen support managing calendered Events that involve the Team.
To create an Event, the originator will Click: [Create Event] button, and enter;
• The scheduled start time, and • The projected duration • The Related Party is your Customer Account ID • The Opportunity is entered if you have created one already (If not, see section The Opportunities Tab for instructions.) • The Case ID if this Event is about a documented Case on the system • A location for the planned Event • A Description of the Event purpose, goals, measurements, attendees, etc. • Your own Availability for the Event if that is relevant (optional item) • Ignore Scheduling Conflict equals Yes if you want to proceed no matter what • When you click Create the Event is recorded and displayed in all relevant screens • Add participating Parties to this Event once it is Created, using the format at the bottom of the new screen Adding a party automatically assigns them.
Note: Parties cannot be added to an event if they are already assigned to another event or task at the same time and their availability status on that is “Busy.” If no status is set, then the time slot is assumed available.
- [Create Task] Button and Screen support management of work activity not shown on the calender, but which is tracked for status and closure.
- [Log Email] Button and Screen provides for log keeping of email that relates to the Team but which does not come in by the opentaps automated email handling system.
- Using Special Email Processing in opentaps explains how opentaps can be used to process all email in the context of the business transactions being processed and recorded in the system.
- [Write Email] discusses how to write emails so that the maximum business context is recorded in the system when the emails are sent.
- [Log Call] Button and Screen provides for log keeping of phone calls that relate to the Team and add context regarding Customer relationships.