Monday, May 23, 2011

The @Salesforce Community Comes to the Rescue…. Again

I began my day a tad frustrated.

At the end of each month, I have to manually update the criteria in 4 list views so that I can send out a reminder email to users with a link to update records for the current fiscal period.

Background

Since a calendar month may not match a fiscal month exactly, we created a trigger to populate Fiscal Month and Fiscal Year (custom text fields) based on Opportunity Close Date and our custom fiscal year settings. Shamrock CRM developed this trigger for us and it’s working great!

However, I’m still left with the task of updating each list view manually like this:

image

After a year and a half of doing this, I decided that there had to be a better way. I tweeted my question.

Inspiration for a Solution

@hammnick, @knthornt and @michaelforce replied with suggestions.

I learned that you can filter based on Fiscal Quarter quite easily. Just use Close Date = THIS QUARTER. But, when it comes down to showing records for the current Fiscal Period, there is no date keyword to use. (Believe me, I tried. THIS PERIOD just gets an error.)

@michaelforce and @knthornt’s suggestions gave me an idea.

image

image

I create a new formula field that displays either “Current Fiscal Period”, “Previous Fiscal Period” or “Future Fiscal Period.” It compares the current date with 2 other custom fields that our trigger updates: Last_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c and First_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c. I created these fields and added them to the trigger, but hadn’t used them effectively in logic. I’m glad we have the data available though!

Here’s the formula.

image

And a closer look:

IF(
   AND(TODAY()>=First_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c,TODAY()<=Last_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c),"Current Fiscal Period",
      IF(TODAY()> Last_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c,"Previous Fiscal Period",
         IF(TODAY()<Last_Day_of_Fiscal_Period__c,"Future Fiscal Period","unknown")
)
)

 

Side note: I believe that I covered all scenarios, but I added the “unknown” text just in case.

It works!

Now, I don’t have to manually update my list views each month. I just filter based on this formula which does the work for me.

image

And the complex criteria in this other list view is greatly simplified!

Before

image

After

image

This will save me a bit of time (and potential headaches) each month.

Thanks again guys! (Gotta love the Salesforce Twitter community.)

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wal*Mart Wins: How I Scanned 119 Photos in 1 Hour for $2.99 (and saved hundreds of dollars)

I was on a mission: get 119 hardcopy photos scanned onto disc in two hours.

I needed to get the pictures (spanning the life of my nana) into a format that my family could review before passing the pictures on to the funeral home. I don't have a scanner, so I knew I'd have to pay for the service.

My first stop was Office Depot. They told me that it would cost an additional $2.99 for hand setting...each picture. They could group several photos on each page, but even if they put 4 images on a page, I would still have to pay more than $75 just for someone to put the photos on the scanner. I asked if they had any self-scanners. Nope. I left.

Next, I went to Ritz Camera. The cost there would be 19 cents per picture, but they wouldn't have them finished for another day.

I checked in at a local shipping and mailing store. When I saw the cost of $3 per scan, I walked out.

By this time, I was getting a bit antsy. I was eating into my time to actually get the photos scanned.

I decided to try one last place: Wal*Mart. The lady at the photo desk was quite helpful. She showed me how to use the scanning machine and I got to work. Fortunately, I could scan up to 5 pictures at a time and the machine would automatically split them into individual files. I figured I'd spend at least 19 cents per picture.

After about an hour of scanning the pictures, I was done. 5 minutes after I removed my last photo from the scanner, I had a disc in my hands. When I went to the register to pay, my total was: $2.99.

I did a happy dance and left. I got back home just in time to give the disc to my mom, who was on her way to check in with the rest of the family.

Thanks for saving the day Wal*Mart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I’m (Going to Be) a Mac

After months of deliberation, I did it. I bought a Mac.

product-imac-215in

I’ve ‘been a PC’ all my life. I’m nervous – nervous that I won’t adapt to the UI, that I’ll feel lost. But, I have heard such wonderful things about Macs from friends (computer savvy friends especially), so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to adjust quickly.

My iMac (21.5'-inch, 2.7GHz) should arrive in a few days.

I decided to purchase an iMac because I want to slowly limit my unnecessary computer-time. I currently have both a work laptop and a personal laptop and I often end up cradling my personal laptop in bed before I nod off to sleep. I figured that if I had a desktop computer, it would force me to go to bed… and sleep, not browse/play/work until the wee hours of the morning.

Eventually, I’ll get an iPad so that I can have the option of emailing/browsing on the go (or while I’m snuggled under the covers, on occasion).

Photo from: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac/select?mco=MjIwNTQyNjE

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, May 5, 2011

SocialDitto, or ‘How to Share Your Friend’s Facebook Comments Without His/Her Permission’

I stumbled upon a tool called SocialDitto today.

It allows you to embed your Facebook posts + comments somewhere else, such as a blog.

My first thought: “How cool!”

My second thought: “But, of course, you wouldn’t be able to share comments if someone has their account protected, right?”

So, I decided to test it out.

And, based on this message, I’m led to believe that you can share posts and comments without your friend’s knowledge.

image

Hmm.

I can see some neat applications of this in professional settings, but it also makes me a bit nervous. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of Facebook ‘privacy’?

I do believe it’s important to keep in mind that whatever you share online is potentially visible to someone else. But, I also realize that many people share personal information without much concern about it becoming public.

Food for thought.

Here’s a post from one of my Facebook Pages (my alter ego) that I maintain, as a test:

The Awkward PhotographerSome photographers outsource their post processing. Personally, I don't think I would ever do this. I want to have complete control over my images artistically from composition to lighting adjustments. What do you think?

(Granted, anything shared via a Facebook Page is not protected in the same way as posts from a Profile page.)

Would you use a tool like SocialDitto? Please share your thoughts below.

Admin Journal: A Quick @Salesforce Fix = Ego Points

dear_admin_journal 

As I’ve mentioned before, I love using Google Chat to communicate quickly with my users. Sometimes a phone call or desk visit is necessary to address a more complex question, but for the most part, I stick to chat if their status indicates they are available.

It’s one of the great things about using Google Apps for the Enterprise.

Today, a user emailed me with a question about the hierarchy for several accounts that were not related currently in the system but needed to be. He wasn’t sure how to reflect the hierarchy of their corporate structure in Salesforce.

I fleshed out the hierarchy for him, doing a little quick copy/pasting with the Salesforce Connector in Excel (my favorite for small batches of changes) and then sent him a link to verify via chat.

Here was his response.

2011-05-05_134207

It’s experiences like this that make me enjoy my job. First of all, to be able to leverage the Salesforce platform + integrations to provide such quick support, and secondly, to work with people that express their gratitude… and that use proper grammar (you’re).

dear_admin_journal_end

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