Often times personalizing your home dashboard just to show calendars and scheduling is not ideal. If you find yourself in this situation but still need to see multiple calendars, you will be happy to know there is an activities dashboard you can use. We’ll cover that in this video. We can either click on Activities or Activities Overview to get there. This dashboard is different than your home dashboard, so you can have this totally customized in a way that makes sense for activities, and still have home make sense as a landing page.
Most of the time this will start somewhat configured, however I am starting with a blank, or almost blank, dashboard so we can go through the configuration here. There are two portlets I can’t get rid of. The first is Settings, and typically you can’t remove this from any dashboard; the second is Scheduler.
Settings has a few less options than it had under home. Personalize Dashboard is still here, and it will open up the window where we can add or remove content. Set Preferences takes us to the same screen it did before. Edit Custom Tab is new, and it takes us to the Center Tab customizer, but this is really only for administrators. Last, we have this Campaign Subscription Center and this is where you can go to manage your subscriptions to any information your company sends out. I recommend staying on your company’s email list, because this way you know what your customers are seeing. Also, since it’s your company, if the emails you receive are annoying to you, I guarantee their annoying to your customers.
Back at activities, we also have the Scheduler portlet. From here we can easily find periods of availability to schedule a new event. Let’s look at how this works. If I want to schedule a meeting I can start by adding a couple of employees. I’ll add myself, because I’ll be in the meeting, and I’ll add Dale Williams and Miles Grey. I’ll also add a conference room so we have a place to meet. Right away we can see the times when they are busy and free, as well as times when our resource, the conference room, is available. We can select a time slot for our meeting by clicking on a time that looks good. Now we can click Create New Event and we are taken to the event creation form with the Attendees and Resources already filled in. Best of all we know that everyone and everything we need is available. I’m not going to save this, but rather, just go right back to activities.
Let’s go to Personalize and see what else we can add to make this view more functional. We don’t have as much content as we would on our home dashboard, but that is because all these options are tailored toward scheduling. There are options for Calendars, Links, Lists, Quick Add and Quick Search. Missing from this list are Phone Calls and Tasks, but they can be added using the two list portlets since those things can be displayed as lists. I’ll go ahead and add a calendar for myself, and one for an employee of mine I want to be able to keep an eye on. I can have up to five calendars, but I’ll only setup two for now. The first thing I am going to do is position both of these where I want them by collapsing and reorganizing them.
I’ll have my calendar here on the left, and one for my employee on the right. I’m also going to set mine up to be an agenda view. I’ll go into setup and choose to show Today’s and Upcoming Activities. I will set this to display 15 records, to better see what I have coming up in the next few days. Now I can click Save and my calendar is looking pretty much how I want it. I’ll set this next calendar up for Brad Sparling, by selecting him in this dropdown menu. I want to look at his calendar in a month view so I’ll select that here. I also don’t really care about what Brad is doing over the weekend, so I am going to select not to show that time, by going to setup and un-checking, Show Weekends, in Monthly View.
I have a lot of tasks, and I don’t want to forget to do any of these, so the next thing I’m going to do is add a list of them to the top. I’ll click Personalize, and select the List portlet. If I go to Set Up, I can select the list type I want, and I’ll choose Task by searching for it up here. Ten should be fine for the result size; this means that I will see ten tasks at a time. I’ll also leave this Inline editing box checked, so that I can edit tasks right from this list. Once I click save, my list of tasks is shown. I could add another list for phone calls, but the steps are the same.
There are two more portlets I want to add to my activity dashboard, Quick Search and Quick Add. There are a few more portlets here that you can experiment with on your own. You also have a Report and Trend tab over here. These are the same as what you have on your home dashboard, and there are times when it makes a lot of sense to have an activities report on this page, but I don’t need one, so I’ll leave it off. Since I’m done adding things I’ll close this window to free up some space.
I still want to setup my quick search so that I can search for events. I could change the Search For, but I would have to change this every time I logged in, and that seems inconvenient. If I go to setup, I can change the general search type to event and now it will always default to this.
I also need to setup this Quick Add portlet, but first let me explain why I put this here. I am viewing my calendar using the Agenda view. Because of this, I have no way to add an event, task or phone call from it. Having quick add will let me quickly add any one of those. I’ll go to Set Up, and since I work with tasks a lot I will set the type to task and choose save. Task makes sense for me because I already have a way to add events, which usually involve someone else anyway, at the bottom of the screen. I also don’t need phone calls that much. Of course, you should set this up in a manner that makes sense to you.
You might have noticed we also have the Calendar Preferences link up here. This is the same link that we found under Activities and Setup. So you can make changes to your calendar preferences here if you want.
There is still one last thing I want to do. I want my layout for this dashboard to have the smaller column on the right and the larger one on the left. I can do this by going to Layout and then selecting this layout.
Now I have my activities dashboard all setup how I want it, and I can get to it any time by clicking on Activities at the top. I still have my home dashboard, and it’s still exactly how I left it. Nothing I did here affected it. But now I have two well-functioning dashboards that will help me get a better hold of my day.