Tasks: Create your Own Reminders (Using Process Builder and Flows)

This post is in collaboration with Gorav Seth who patiently led me step by step to mastering this magic! His blog post includes some screenshots (using the event object) of the steps involved. Thanks, Gorav!

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Wouldn’t it be great to get a reminder when a task is due…Like, an email straight to your inbox alerting you, ” Hey you! This task is due in an hour!”…Unfortunately, this is not native for Salesforce and that’s when you need to wrap your head around alternative Salesforce capabilities to do what you want. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a thread where this exact issue what being discussed.

In this example, we will create a simple reminder for a task related to a contact.

What we want: An email reminder one hour before a task is due.

What we need to do: Use process builder to launch a flow that will send the email.*

HERE’S HOW

1. Create a flow – Go to Setup>Create>Workflow & Approvals>Flows> New Flow

2. Lookup Task – From the left palette, drag the “Fast Lookup” element onto your canvas (big screen area)

  • Name: Lookup Event
  • Unique Name: Autopopulates
  • Lookup: Task
  • Criteria: Field = Id, Operator = equals, Value = vaTaskId

The value vaTaskId is a new variable you will create to match up the task in question to work with this flow. We will later use it to reference the task in process builder.

  • Variable: sovTask

This time, you are creating an sObject Variable to store the results of the lookup. This is basically a representation of your task, in memory, which you can later reference for the email.

  • Fields: Select the fields that you would like to hold and later reference.
  • Click Ok

3. Lookup Contact – From the left palette, drag the “Fast Lookup” element onto your canvas (big screen area)

  • Name: Lookup Contact
  • Unique Name: Autopopulates
  • Lookup: Contact
  • Criteria: Field = Id, Operator = equals, Value = {!sovTask.WhoId}

Because we have “saved” the task, we can now refer to it’s field and match up the correct contact associated with that task.

  • Fields: Select the fields that you would like to hold and later reference (e.g. FirstName, LastName)
  • Click OK

**Option to have a lookup step to grab the task owner/assigned to info and use that to send the email. For now, we’ll skip it and just assign the email manually.**

4. Send email –  From the left palette, drag the “Send email” element onto your canvas (big screen area)

  • Name: Send Reminder Email
  • Unique Name: Autopopulates

For the body and subject, we will create text templates using variables from the task we previously referenced and held.

  • Add row > Select Email Addresses (comma-separated), and enter the email of the desired recipient (or reference the email of the owner if you have referenced it earlier)
  •  Click OK

5. Connect the screens– Going in order of the screens, click on the little node on the bottom and drag it to the next element. Then go to the first screen (fast task lookup) and click on the little green icon to set it as the first step.

6. Save – Save your flow and give it a name! Ensure that the type is set to auto-launched. Press OK. Close and then activate your flow

There! We have created the flow to send an email reminder….now we need to launch the flow!

7. Open Process Builder – Go to Setup>Create>Workflow & Approvals>Process Builder> New

  • Name: Activate Task Reminder
  • Api Name: Autopopulates
  • Click Save

8. Select the Task object – Click on the rectangle “Add Object” and select task in the right panel.

  • Save

9. Add Criteria – Click on the add criteria Shape. In my example, we want it to fire when the reminder field is checked off.

  • Name: Task Criteria
  • Criteria: Conditions are met
  • Conditions: field = reminder set, operator = equals, type = boolean, value = True
  • Save

10. Schedule the action – In the scheduled action rectangle, click on set schedule.

  • 1 hours before Reminder date/time
  • Save

11. Add the action – Click on add action (below scheduled actions)

  • Action: Select Flows
  • Action Name: Launch Flow Email
  • Flow: Select the flow you just created
  • Set Flow Variables by clicking add row: variable = vaTaskId, type = reference, value = Activity ID
  • Save

12. Activate your flow

That’s it it takes!

Enjoy the wonderful and magical fruits of your labor.

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* In case you’re wondering why we don’t use Workflow rules, you can’t send email alerts as a workflow action.

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Resources:

http://goravseth.clarify-it.com/d/nhpcx4

Top Tip # 2

User Meme

So, you’re a new admin adding users to your organization. But what do all those fields really mean?

Create New user

You enter the first name, the last name, alias auto-populates and then you look at the next field.

Add New User

Email. Easy enough. Enter the new user’s email. Username. Re-enter the email? It might work and it might not. You see, email needs to be an actual existing email that the user can access to activate his account, receive notifications etc. Username, while in an email format, does not have the be a real email. It is a unique login for a user and can not be used in multiple accounts.

User Error

In this scenario, “Rachelnatik@gmail.com” has already been used for another org and is not able to be the username for this new user. We can replace it with unique text in email format and then press save. New user created!

user4

Salesforce Certification: My Journey

With 3 Salesforce Certifications under my belt (and one earned today!), I feel that it’s time for me to share my experiences and paths to this accomplishment. For many, the exam seems daunting and they shy away from it.  Please read on and check out the resources below to find your path to certification.

ADMINISTRATOR: About 9 months after being introduced to Salesforce, I realized that career potential and decided to actively pursue one. I quickly realized that the first step was to become certified. In preparation, I attended the ADM 201 which was a disappointment to me. There wasn’t much that I learned and with the high price, I didn’t feel that the class was worth it. Also, it doesn’t cover all the topics you need for the exam

At the conclusion of the week-long course, I spent 2 weeks reviewing it and the other topics listed in the study guide. I then felt confident to take the exam…..and passed!

DEVELOPER: About 1.5 years later, I started preparing for the Dev 401 exam. It is very similar to the Admin exam so in retrospect I would recommend you do it immediately after. This time, I watched a recorded Salesforce course and reviewed the necessary information. I looked over the study guide, felt that I scored high enough and went for it….and passed!

**Tip: Use the study guide as a…guide. Gauge your knowledge of each topic and give yourself a rating. Once you score over 85% – 90%, you should have sufficient knowledge to pass the test.

ADVANCED ADMINISTRATOR: For this exam, I followed David Liu‘s recommendation. I went though the study guide topic by topic and read the relevant Salesforce documentation on it. Then, I rated my knowledge on each topic. My last step was to go through the flashcards. All this done, I felt ready to take the exam…and passed!

So yes, with lots of studying and prepping, I passed these 3 exams on the first try.

You can do it too!

Tip #1: Review the study guide. I can’t stress it enough. It outlines exactly what you need to know and what percentage of the exam it covers. Adjust your studying accordingly.

Tip #2: Watch videos on topics you’re not familiar with. If you don’t have hands-on experience with a specific feature, it is sometime hard to visualize what you read on it.

Tip #3: Use flashcards and mock exams. While they may not accurately reflect the exams, they will help you think in a question/answer format and probe into areas you may have overlooked.

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Resources

Udacity: Intro to Point & Click App Development: Great place to get hands on overview of many Salesforce functions.

Trailhead: Another great place to get aquainted with Salesforce

SFDC99: Guide to Passing all Salesforce Certifications

Charidy.com: The New Crowdfunding

 Launched in the beginning of 2014, this crowdfunding site has run over 380 campaigns,  raising over $24,000 000 for various non-profits. They credit their success to these 3 campaign criteria:

1. Three matchers. That’s right. You need 3 donors (or groups of donors) that will match dollar for dollar all donations received to reach their goal. So if your organization wants to raise $250,000, then you need 3 donors of $62,500 (is my math correct?) to match the rest of the participants. On the flip side, every dollar donated has quadruple impact; $50 becomes $200, $1000 becomes $4000….

2. It’s all or nothing. You reach your goal, you get all the money. Should you not, the funds are returned to the donors.

3. Only 24 hours. Every campaign runs for 24 hours. Any start and finish time. But it’s only 24 hours.

“To date, Charidy.com campaigns have an 100% success rate!”

Why the interest and why the success?

I watched in astonishment as hundreds of charities ran fundraising campaigns with Charidy. My astonishment changed to delight as I watched the funds come in and goals reached. This week, an organization that I support ran such a campaign and I finally got it.

The thrill

The anxiety

The excitement

The tension

The stress

The emotion

The passion

The care.

The support

Because, for only 24 hours, every dollar donated would be matched by three matchers and it’s all or nothing.

Simple and brilliant.

For 24 hours, supporters were glued to their phones and computers, watching the success of the campaign, calling friends and relatives to donate, posting on social media and spreading the word. There was a hype and frenzy that comes about when there is so much at stake. And then we hit the goal and the stress and anxiety left. Elation and exhilaration kicked in.

Another Charidy success.

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Disclaimer: This post is purely my thoughts and not written at the request or behest of any company or organization.

Power of Us Hub: A Love Affair

Like flour is to a cake.

Like water is to a pool.

Like a smile is to a face.

Like the HUB is to NPSP users. Or just non-profit Salesforce users. Or soon to be users.

Seriously.

When I first stumbled through Google some three years ago in search of answers and solutions for my Salesfore org, I came across 2 Google Group forums dedicated to users of the NPSP. It was there that I was first introduced to the wonderful community of Salesforce. There were hundreds of threads on various topics, ideas and solutions for best practices, and a place to connect with other users.

It was at first sight.

Since then, the NPSP community has grown by leaps and bounds (I know, Cliche, right?) and the updates the Salesforce Foundation made to the system are incredible. But to me, the most incredible change is the HUB.

Sooo, what is it?

Its a private community for non-profit users – whether you use the NPSP or not. Its a place to connect, to discover, to learn, to share, to inspire and to be inspired. It’s a place to get answers, discuss solutions and brainstorm ideas. But the first word that comes to my mind is “COMMUNITY“. There is a vibe and family ambiance of caring and helping each other that goes beyond the written words on my screen.

I must admit, that at first I was quite lost. I would login (**Using my regular login!!- no new usernames and passwords to remember!**), look around, get intimidated after a bit, and then logout. All the time. Here and there I would deviate and join a group. And that was it. And the Weekly Chatter Digest was ignored. But slowly, things changed (mostly along with the new interface). I would see a question and think, “Hey, I know the answer to that!” or, “Wow, we had the same problem. What is their solution?” And that’s when I fell in love again. And I joined more discussions, and asked questions, and learned, and reached out. And that’s when I realized the Power of US: Me, you and you and you and you. Yes YOU. All of US together, empowering each other.  

So if you are a Non-Profit User, and have not logged into the HUB yet, do so now. It will be a transforming experience for you and your organization.

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According to Salesforce Foundation:

The Power of Us Hub is a one-stop resource center where customers of the Salesforce Foundation can find resources and training specific to nonprofit and higher education users, engage with one-another, and connect with employees, MVP’s in our community, and relevant partners.

  • Ask Questions
  • Answer a Question
  • Collaborate
  • Share resources
  • Access Nonprofit Starter Pack documentation
  • and lots more to come . . .

Login by visiting, https://powerofus.force.com and the logging in with your regular (non-profit) Salesforce username.