What are Activities?

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, activities are used to track, plan, document and organize all customer interactions.  Examples include setting up appointments, taking notes, making phone calls, sending emails, or assigning yourself a task as you work a sales or resolve a customer service case.  The types of activities cover numerous types of interactions.

Each activity in CRM Online is automatically timestamped by the system as well as owner-identified.  You and your entire sales team can scroll through activities in the Activities view or via the timeline when browsing an opportunity.  The entire history of a customer will show up, giving a complete picture of interactions.

It is important that everyone in the organization tracks all customer interactions in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales in order to get a complete picture of the relationship.  This includes interactions such as emails, phone calls, tasks and appointments.  Every customer engagement should include a complete customer history of activities.

Licensing and Roles

LicenseDynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Dynamics 365 Sales Premium
Security RolesSalesperson and above
track and manage activities in dynamics crm - licenses and roles

Independent Activities in Dynamics CRM

Create independent activities that are not associated with any customer or sales record.

  • Click on Activity to select it, then on the command bar, select Email or Phone Call or Task, depending on which activity you want to create.
  • Conversely, you can edit an existing activity

Adding a Customer Activity

Most often, you’ll be creating an activity associated with a contact, opportunity, account, or other type of record to help you keep track of all the communication history you have with a customer.

To add an activity for a customer:

  1. Open the record (Opportunity, Account, etc.) . You can use Quick Search on the navigation bar to find a record quickly.
  2. Select Activities to add a task or phone call to the record. Select More (…) to add an email or appointment. Or, select Notes and then start typing.

Adding an activity for yourself

Add a task or note for yourself when you want a reminder to do something personal, like schedule a doctor’s appointment or attend a sporting event.

How to add an activity for yourself:

  1. On the navigation bar, select Create and then select the icon or tile for the activity.
  2. Fill in the fields and then select Save.

Attach a document to an Activity in Dynamics CRM

Documents, spreadsheets, pictures, and just about any type of file can be attached to email, appointments, and notes.

To attach a document to email:

  1. Open the email form.
  2. On the command bar, select Attach File.
  3. The Add attachment dialog box opens.
  4. Browse to and then select the file that you want to attach, and then select Attach.

To attach a document to appointments:

  1. Open the appointment form.
  2. Enter data in the required fields and save the form.
  3. In the Attachment section, select New Attachment.
  4. In the Manage Attachment dialog box, browse to and then select the file that you want to attach, and then select Attach.

Change your activities view

You can use views to see the activities you want. For example, you can use the My Activities view to see activities assigned to you and My Team Members’ Activities view to see your team’s activities.

Filter the list of activities

You can filter the list of activities to see only the ones you’re interested in. For example, you can further limit the activities you are seeing in a view by using the activity type filter. The activity type filter allows you to filter activities based on the type, such as email, task, phone call, and so on.

Best-practices for Activities

Add an activity for every customer interaction. Make sure a customer’s history includes a record of every communication you have with them.

Use the right activity type for the action in Dynamics CRM. It might be tempting to enter a new note that says, “Sent an email to confirm pricing,” or “Called the customer to discuss their service case.” However, you should add an email or phone call activity to track those types of actions and use notes for more general text.

tracking and managing activities in dynamics crm - best practices

Add activities for yourself, too. You can keep track of your own assignments, events, and notes without associating these activities with a customer.

Use the Create command on the navigation bar. Find these activities in the list by sorting on the Regarding column, which is blank to let you know that the activity isn’t associated with a customer record.

Keep in mind that activities “roll up” under their associated records. Let’s say you want to remind yourself to follow up with Cecil Langer, a contact who’s associated with the account, Wingtip Toys. You’ll need to add the task activity to the contact record for Cecil (not for the account, Wingtip Toys).

That way, your task will “roll up” under the account automatically, and you and other people on your team will see the task when they’re looking at the contact and when they’re looking at the account for Wingtip Toys. (And they’ll know you’ve got it handled.)