Sunday, November 29, 2015 - Using Advanced Notes (Part 1)

So, you've heard about the new notes object in SalesForce and you want to start using it.  What I've found is that it's very useful, however, it kind of disappeared on me with the new lightning experience of SalesForce.  Here I'll show you how to enable it, then we'll add to the forms so we can really start using it.

First, enable the object itself by going to Setup, then search for "note" in the search area (I always do this as it's so much easier to use to find the items).  Look for "Notes Settings".  Here you're going to enable the "enhanced notes", then save it.

Next, we have to add the "notes" related list to the right forms.  We'll do the account form here but you can do it for any object.  Please note, this is very different from the "notes and attachments" area of the form.  Once the new enhanced notes are enabled, you'll see that the old way of adding notes is now gone from that related list and you can only add attachments.

In the image above, you can see that I have "Notes" as it's own related list on this form.  To add that, open any account, then click "Edit Layout" in the upper right.

Now, add the related list by clicking on the related list area (on the left), then drag the "Notes" related list to the form.

This will add it to the list.  Save the form and you're ready to start using..... - Using Advanced Notes (Part 2)

Now, that we've enabled the enhanced notes, adding them to the form as a related list, we're now ready to start using the notes.

On the account form (or any other object that you added the "Notes" related list), find the Notes area at the top (next to the old "Notes and Attachments" list that will ONLY show older non-enhanced notes).

Once on there, you'll see the "Add Note" button on the list.

This will create a new enhanced note record.  Couple of points here on the enhanced note:

  • You can use things like bold, italics, underline for the fonts.  Can't do colors just yet....
  • You can do lists now!  This is priceless for me as I'm a big user of bullet points.
  • You can share the notes, you can do a lot more as well if you're using Chatter in SalesForce.
Now, just a piece of advice (something that drives me a little nuts), when you create a new note it is automatically saving.  I don't have to save it and it will save it and list a blank note under the account record.  Good and bad I guess, take a shot and play with it to see how your users can take advantage of this newer feature.

Also, if you do save the record, the note will stay on the screen and NOT return you to the parent record or object.  You'll have to use the menu on the right (the sharing) to jump back to the record. - Stay in Touch Email

Ever try and get your contacts updated but afraid to ask?  Let SalesForce do it for you, using the right template which the contact can then update (by clicking a link) or ignoring the email.  A real time saver....  Here's how:

Open a contact and click the button (towards the top) that says "Request Update".

You'll then get a form (you can edit the template for this one under the email templates), but you can change things here or use what's already there.  Add in your signature and click Send.

What they see on their side is an email that lists out their information and has two links where they can update changes or leave as is - either way you've got confirmation.  The link goes to a live Salesforce page where they can update the information.  They can also drop you a note at the bottom of that page (kind of nice).

Once they do this, you'll get an email to review the page then update the information in Salesforce.  The email will let you know that he/she verified it (if no changes) or it will have changes, with a link at the bottom of the email to go ahead and update the record.

Monday, November 2, 2015 - Enabling Email to Salesforce

With any CRM system, the most important thing is to be able to link and track activities with prospects, leads, or customers.  Today's day and age most of that activity is done via email so we need to be able to link those communications.  While the Salesforce for Outlook and other add-ons do this very well, there is another simple solution that many users utilize on a daily basis.

This "Email to Salesforce" allows users to BCC a particular email which Salesforce then takes and links to the record based on email address.  This has to be enabled, and then users can create a contact record in Outlook, Gmail, etc. to commonly email to this address (the BCC is just too long to copy and paste each time).

First you need to enable the feature by going to Setup>Administer>Email Administration>Email to Salesforce.  Once there, edit that and make sure it is active.

Next, each user has to edit and manage their own settings.  Go to <NAME>->Email->My Email to Saleforce.  Here you will see the actual email address that we want to use to email to in order to save copies of the email communications (again, these link by the recipient email).  There are other options on this page that are worth considering as well such as acceptable senders.

One important item is towards the bottom under the associations.  I always recommend that you have "If not matching records are found, create a task....." checked.

If you do that, will leave those emails that it can't link in your "My Unresolved Items" on your home page.

Finally, create a contact called "BCC SalesForce" or something like that with the email address from this page.  That will allow you to quickly connect to that contact either on the CC or the BCC fields as needed. - Enabling Inline Editing

I was at a client recently, a long time user of and they were not using inline editing.  This to me is priceless as it eliminates the need to put records in edit mode to make changes to an account, lead, contact, etc.  For years this client had been using "edit" mode which as we know can be time consuming....

Here's how to make sure it's enabled for your users.

  1. Click Setup
  2. Do a search for "user interface" or scroll to "Customize->User Interface" (at the bottom)
  3. We could spend hours on each of these items, but for here let's just click "Enable Inline Editing".

  4. Click Save.

Now, when your users are on a record, simply double click in a field to allow changes.  Those that can be changed will show a "pencil" icon to the right of the field, signifying that you can change that field without going into edit mode.

Incidentally, this works on views as well (most fields) where you can do mass updates of your records from views by double clicking the field (same pencil icon). - Enabling the Lightning Experience's latest initiative is known as the "Lightning Experience".  While it's fairly new and has amazing process flow capabilities, I find that right now it's best for those that are fans of SalesForce1 or use on a mobile device.

Here's how to enable the lightning experience for your users if you haven't already:

  1. Click Setup
  2. For the first few months of this change, the Lightning Experience link is on the upper right.  However, I'm assuming this will drop lower into "User Interface" or something like that later.

  3. Click the link
  4. This page shows some videos as well as some text about the experience and its intentions.
  5. At the bottom you have the options of which pieces you will enable for your users.  The last item is the most important.
  6. After this is enabled, each user will have to change the setting themselves to deploy it.  This is done under their name (at the top), clicking <NAME>->Switch To Lightning Experience