Monday, February 28, 2011

Admin Journal: Preventing My @Salesforce Users from Including Time-Specific Information in Description Fields with a #Simple Validation Rule

dear_admin_journal

I’ve noticed while doing data cleaning that some users add date-specific information to Description fields on Accounts, Leads or Contacts.

Why This is Bad

No one may notice ‘must follow up by 12/11/2007 or earth will explode’ in the Description of a record such as an Account. That could be bad news.

An Easy Fix (Sorta)

To encourage users to log this information in the most efficient way, I an create a validation rule that looks for keywords in the Description field of a specific object, such as Account.

I can customize the rule based on the typical phrases that I know my users enter, such as ‘follow up on’.

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I like to include a detailed error message so that the user will have a good idea of what their next step should be.

Error: You have included a 'Follow up' task in the Description field, where it may be overlooked. Please remove that reference from the Description field and add it instead as a related task.

I gave it a quick test and it worked.

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I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to accomplish the same thing, but this simple rule is one way to gently herd my users in the right direction.

dear_admin_journal_end

 

Additional Resources

  • Haven’t heard of Salesforce? Find out about it here.

 

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Showing Mouse Action in a Screen Capture with @ScreenSteps #Tip [Updated]

Update (March 3, 2011): The developers of ScreenSteps informed me that this functionality is already included in the software. Yay! Find out more here.

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Often when I’m creating a tutorial using ScreenSteps, I need to show an action taking place, such as a dropdown list actually dropping down or what the user will see when their mouse hovers over something.

By default, when you are grabbing an image for a step, ScreenSteps captures the current screen state.

I compensate for this by using a screen capture software that automatically copies the saved image to the clipboard and then choose the option in ScreenSteps to pull the image from the clipboard.

Here’s how:

Step 1

Make sure you have another screen capture software installed with a keyboard shortcut to capture and option to save to clipboard.
 
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Suggestions:

Step 2

Perform action with your mouse and use keyboard shortcut to launch screen capture software.
 
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If I was using ScreenSteps native image capture tool, my screen capture would look like this:

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As you can see, I can't display the dropdown/hover behavior unless I use my other screen capture software.

Step 3

Jump to ScreenSteps and right click on camera icon. Choose 'Replace Image with Clipboard'.
 
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You can also use the 'Import Image File' option to use an image that you have already saved.

Note: You can also use this technique if you need to provide documentation that includes screencaptures of ScreenSteps itself.

Additional Resources

  • I created this post with ScreenSteps and exported it as a draft. It’s a great documentation tool. Check it out.

 

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Admin Journal: Quick Help with a Force.com Labs App by @ReidCarlberg, Another Reason Why the Salesforce Community Rocks

dear_admin_journal

Last week, I discovered an app on the Salesforce AppExchange that I was extremely interested in: Campaign Membership Manager.

Why?

It filled a gap that we had noticed for some time. When it came to campaigns, such as mass emails, we were struggling to get input from our sales team with the regard to who they wanted to exclude/include. As we began to use filters based on custom fields to manage campaign inclusion for Contacts/Leads, we discovered that our sales team still wanted the ability to fine tune which of their Contacts were included.

In the past, I would export a list of each person’s Contacts into Excel using the Excel Connector, then add a column for ‘Include’ and send it to each sales person. <groan>

Then, when the sales person finally got around to reviewing the spreadsheet, adding ‘x’s to all the Contacts that they wanted to include and emailing it back to me, I had to combine all the x’d Contact IDs and use that to add members to the campaign via the Excel Connector.

Are you still following along? If not, I don’t blame you. Just typing that was rather painful. Doing it was… bad. I became increasingly apathetic about campaigns with each one that we launched.

At Last

Finally, I found an option for simplifying our workflow on the AppExchange. And the best part? It’s made by Force.com Labs, so it is free. Awesome functionality. Free. Two phrases that make my heart go pitter-pat.

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But, when I installed the app, I discovered that it wasn’t using the current api (blah blah blah technical details) and it was throwing an error.

I posted to the developer community and explained the issue.

Enter Reid Carlberg

I contacted Reid, whom I follow on Twitter and who is a Force.com Lab app developer. I shared some screencaptures of exactly what I was seeing.

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Within a few days, Reid fixed the issue and send me a link to reinstall the app.

Awesome.

Improved Workflow

Now, I can just email our sales people before we launch an email campaign with the message ‘Click here to review all of your contacts that are currently enrolled in ________ campaign. Click to exclude any that you do not wish to receive the email.’ No more painful export/combine/import process. <contented sigh>

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Just another example of why I love the Salesforce Community. It’s a pretty tight-knit and responsive group with serious skillz.

dear_admin_journal_end

Note: Force.com Labs graphic from AppExchange listing. Credit goes to Salesforce.

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rather Geeky Gets Fit: The End of Week Two

I finished the second week of Couch to 5k this morning.

photo (9)

I don’t feel any different yet. But, I know that these things take time. And, I haven’t been as proactive about my diet as I hoped I’d be. (Cooking for one is just so… ugh.) I started off eating well and then slid into my normal habits of finding something quick and easy. I am trying to make healthier choices though and make sure that I drink more water, eat more fruit/veggies and have healthier snacks available.

A few days ago, one of my friends told me about the Netflix app. I didn’t realize I could watch my queued streaming videos on my iPhone. Woo hoo! This has made my treadmill sessions a bit less boring. After all, 30 minutes of just staring at the wall isn’t very stimulating.

I’ve had the support of a few friends that have met up with me, whether in the early morning or the late evening. Sometimes we jog around my neighborhood. Other times, it’s in the country with the smell of cows hanging in the air. It’s so much more motivating to work out with another person.

Several more volunteers lined up for the upcoming week. So, bring on week 3!

Here’s what I’m (still) using:

Additional Resources

  • Read more about the Couch to 5k Program here.

 

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quick Glimpse: New Facebook Features for Pages

If you are managing a Facebook page, such as for a business, the recent changes are pretty stinkin' awesome. That's all I have to say. Read on to find out the details.

(Confession: When I received the notification that improvements to Pages were coming, I may have squealed out loud.)

The Tour

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The Upgrade

So, I upgraded the page I use for my photography, The Awkward Photographer. In the past, I have tweeted my complaints regarding page notifications. If someone commented on a photo or an older post, it fell through the cracks unless I scrolled through all of my past activity. No more! Now, I can stay informed with the same kind of notifications that I get from my personal Facebook profile page.

Here are some screen captures.

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The navigation is now a bit more familiar.

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Notifications. Yay!

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I can see new 'fans.'

These are only a few of the changes that I've noticed. I am so excited to see how this improves my communication with people following my Pages.

 

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about the upgrades here.
  • To submit feedback to Facebook about their new features for Pages, click here.
  • I created this post with ScreenSteps and exported it as a draft. Check it out. 

 

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I <3 My Rickshaw Laptop Commuter Bag So Stinkin’ Much

I received a Rickshaw bag at Dreamforce 2010 for being actively involved in the Salesforce community.

And it’s awesome.

Like seriously awesome.

Like I-already-threw-out-my-other-laptop-bags awesome.

Here’s Why

  1. It holds everything.
  2. It’s super sturdy.
  3. Forget a noisy velcro closure. I want magnets.
  4. The pockets!
  5. It’s comfy.

Proof

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Above: Look at those straps. In addition to the magnets, I’m pretty sure I could book it down the street if I was late and nothing would tumble out.

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Above: I’m not sure what that little dealy is on the left. There’s one on either side of the back. Hmm. Suggestions?

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Above: Hey look, there’s my stuff! I crammed a lot more in here at the beginning of my work day. (And today, I didn’t bring my purse. I carried my laptop and all my necessities in here. That’s a pretty big deal, because I’m a girl. Yeah.)

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Above: Love the magnets! They don’t make that annoying scrapfchfcrzzzip noise when I’m pulling out my laptop at the library.

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Above: Pockets! And they are lined with rather soft material. I’m not sure if that matters to anyone else, but I like it.

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Above, right: Someone told me (was it @GeraldineGray?) that you can use this to adjust your bag while you are wearing it (without twisting around awkwardly). I haven’t really tested it out yet.

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And after that you not only know that Rickshaw bags are awesome, you also know that I’m a geek who carefully balances her iPhone camera and photographs herself with cool products after other people leave the office. Yep, that’s me. I’m @RatherGeeky after all.

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Preventing Emails Sent to ‘Everyone’ from Creating Cases in FogBugz Mailboxes with a Simple Gmail Filter

The Setup

The company I work for uses Google Apps for the Enterprise and FogBugz (for bug tracking).

We have several dedicated Google Apps email addresses for logging bugs so that users can just send an email to fix___@ourdomain.com. These are configured in the Mailboxes section of FogBugz.

We currently have 5 email addresses configured as FogBugz mailboxes.

The Problem

We have a group for everyone@ourdomain.com, created by an administrator in the ‘Manage Domain’ > Groups panel. This group has a membership of ‘All users within domain’. You cannot selectively remove individual accounts.

You can't selectively remove addresses from the 'everyone' group.

So, when someone sends an email to everyone@ourdomain.com, it automatically sends it to our addresses that are reserved for creating FogBugz cases… and each reply potentially creates additional cases (if users change the subject line). <insert sad face>

That means that for each email sent to everyone in our domain (eg: company announcements), five or more new cases are created in FogBugz that we have to go in and close, since it is not possible to delete cases. This is rather very annoying.

I contacted FogBugz support and they discussed this scenario with me and made a few recommendations. Unfortunately, their suggestions weren’t practical for our situation. But, a brainstorming session with our internal Google Apps guru guy yielded this option: create a filter in each Gmail account to delete the message on arrival, before it even gets to FogBugz.

The Solution

I logged in to each email account in Gmail that we have reserved for using as a FogBugz mailbox. I set up a filter to delete all messages sent to everyone@ourdomain.com.

This was my test filter.

Note: As shown above, I first tested to make sure the filter would work by blocking any emails from my own email address. (I figured it would be better than testing by sending a fake email to everyone in the company.)

Just as I expected, my email message ended up in the trash and no case was created. Success!

It worked!

After this successful test, I updated the filter to what I really wanted: any messages sent to everyone@ourdomain.com, delete.

The actual filter

I added this filter to all 5 of our email accounts that reroute to FogBugz by logging into them separately via our domain.

This was a fairly simple way to resolve an issue that had been bothering me for at least a year. Yay!

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips
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