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Punta Dreamin 2018 Recap

Had such a great time in the beautiful Punta del Este in Uruguay for a fantastic community event led by Aldo Fernandez. After attending this event, I can certainly say, the Salesforce community is thriving in South America.
Punta Dreamin 2018 Recap

Punta Dreamin 2018 Recap

The Structure

This was the smallest of the community driven events I have ever attended. It’s also the only one that I’ve attended outside of the United States, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. What I got was quite surprising - tons and tons and tons of content - real educational and inspirational content, as opposed to marketing content, which I feel like sometimes takes over the “officially sanctioned” Salesforce events like Dreamforce and World Tours. Language barriers aside, I learned a lot during Punta Dreamin’. The format was really simple: open with a keynote (mostly in Spanish so it was a bit lost on me), breakout for back to back sessions, break for lunch, more back to back to back to back to back to back sessions (yes, this is how it felt), and lastly with closing remark by Don Robins (more on this later).

Me Speaking

I had the honor and privilege of speaking during one of the many breakout sessions. I spoke about working with remote teams and gave tips for everyone to learn from, no matter which side of the remote team they were on. I called it 10 Tips for Working with Remote Development Teams. It went over pretty well from what I could tell. I got lots of questions during the Q&A portion, and it was more well-attended than I thought it was going to be, especially since I did the talk in English (though I should add, everyone at the event spoke English).

Best Sessions

Building User Experiences with the Lightning Design System with Stephanie Rewis. Stephanie showed off the SLDS CSS library and how to build apps leveraging it. She even showed off a really amazing little element to add to existing “legacy” Visualforce pages - check out my tweet about its magic.

The Free Stuff with Phil Walton. Great tips here on all the free resources that are out there to learn all about Salesforce, from admin beginner all the way to hardcore developer and architect. Phil even brought some SWAG with him to juice up the crowd.

Lightning Component Magic with Greg Rewis. I was very skeptical going into this session with Greg. It was going to be a hard sell from the start. Up until this point I’ve been fairly down on Lightning and Components in general, but Greg turned me into a believer. He did some pretty “magical” things up on that stage - can’t wait to see what is coming next on the roadmap to componentize all the things. His big “magic” moment was when he completely eliminated the need for Apex to do DML operations on records that were viewed in a component, simply because they were related to the record that was in context. The use case was we had a lookup to another record in another object and he placed it inside a custom component that was written with a minimal amount of code and was able to edit data on the looked-up record and have the page all refresh at the same time. No more refreshing entire pages to see components interact with each other. Lightning data services at its finest.

Closing Keynote with Don Robins. If you watch one and only one session once these videos are posted online watch this one; you will not be dissapointed. There was a lot of chatter afterwards about how this one session was worth the trip all on its own. Don breaks down an extremely complex subject to it’s very core like the professional instructor that he is - success. This could have been a TED Talk - so impressive.  

A great event, even though I didn’t understand some of the content that was presented in Spanish, due to my own ignorance obviously (it’s as though I didn’t even take Spanish classes for 5 years in school). This was fine by me; I still got the spirit of what was going on, and I could see and feel that there was some magic in the air. Such a thriving community and a great event, can’t wait to do it all again in the years to come.  

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.

GTD Weekly Review Tuneup for the New Year

Your GTD Weekly Review practice could use a tune-up in the new year, here are some things to consider.
GTD Weekly Review Tuneup for the New Year

GTD Weekly Review Tuneup for the New Year

Like anything done fifty-two times a year, the Getting Things Done Weekly Review can get a little stagnant, a little “ho-hum” or completely mundane. The new year is a good time to step back and look at your Weekly Review with a questioning eye. Is it ready for a tune-up?


Think of your Weekly Review as part of your GTD journey; it is going to evolve as you evolve. Your responsibilities and areas of focus change from year to year, so why not your Weekly Review? If you have a repeating project in an application, open it up and read through the items with a critical eye. Do they all still make sense? Are there tasks that were there to build a habit you now possess? If you are just following the David Allen script, think about building your own custom template, adding and omitting as you go.

Fight Fear

Change, in any form, can be hard, and change to your Weekly Review can seem like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Try taking a moment to think about your Weekly Review from a higher perspective, asking a few questions along the way. Have you picked up any new inboxes recently, such as new social accounts? Are there places in your life where people assume you will be looking and you should review weekly? Do you have all your professional and personal projects captured? Do you think about that weekly? Maybe you should.


Another issue with the Weekly Review can be the bloat of being added to over a long period of time. This happens a lot if you are using some task management system where you can quickly add things to your Weekly Review. Now is a good time to review your review and see if there are task or items that should be their own projects. Remember, your Weekly Review is not time to “Do” it is time to “Review.” Go through each item and ask yourself does this really need to be done weekly? Is it making my Weekly Review take longer than it should? Could I remove this and make its own project that repeats on its own schedule?

What Attracts & Repels

Lastly, pay attention to your Weekly Review as you do it and notice if there are tasks that attract you. These would be things you are happy to do and almost can’t wait to get done. For me this is getting my physical desk inbox to zero -- nothing like scanning and shredding on a Saturday morning. Also notice if there are things that are repelling you in your review. For me this is reviewing my lists in Evernote. Sometimes it just feels like a lot to review, so I try to get through it fast. If you find things that attract or repel ask yourself why and see if you can re-word those tasks to make them feel more friendly and doable. Another trick is to add a task you like to do, “Start mood music,” right before something you don’t like to do, “Review all lists,” as a way of easing into it.

How is your Weekly Review or GTD practice coming along? Post a comment below, on our Facebook pagein the Success Community, or directly at me @JasonMAtwood

Raise Your Hands For Volunteers in Salesforce

This post speaks to an application that can assist you in enlisting and managing volunteers to support your events, activities, and programs.
Raise Your Hands For Volunteers in Salesforce

Raise Your Hands For Volunteers in Salesforce

We are living in an age of transformation, some good and even some not so good. My preference is to focus on the good, to me, it isthe positive that triumphs. Admittedly, transformation brings along challenges that seem insurmountable, but don’t tell that to the millions of people around the world facing them head-on by taking action. Strong, positive action. Many times individuals bring forth tremendous ideas, spawning programs or initiatives that reduce or solve the challenges, and many of these programs are driven by volunteers. 

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.” Shiv Khera

Volunteers are big contributors to the success of many organizations, programs, and initiatives focused on making this world a better place. Salesforce can help to manage funding, communications with prospects and donors, and events. Did you know Salesforce can also support you with volunteers? In fact, if you are running the current version of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), you already have a solution installed. For others who may be using Salesforce without NPSP, don’t fret, because the same solution is available for free on the AppExchange. The application is “Volunteers for Salesforce” and it provides tools for managing your organization's volunteering program, from small to large. Let’s dive into this robust toolset and I will let you decide whether it may fit your needs.


But First, Some Background

Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S) is the work of David Habib, a software consultant who has been focused exclusively on the nonprofit sector and on creating applications on the Salesforce platform that are free for nonprofits, including V4S. Many thanks to David for his outstanding contribution to our community. As of 2016, it has been adopted and included in releases of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) via and information can be found on the Power of Us hub.


What Can It Do For Me?

The following list contains some of the features of V4S:

  • Manage the volunteer jobs for your organization by helping to identify needs both filled and unfilled
  • Track the days, shifts, and hours a volunteer works
  • Track the skills and availability of your volunteers in order to match volunteers to needs
  • Display a calendar of jobs and shifts on your website that allows volunteers to sign up directly from the calendar
  • Send Reminder and Thank you emails

Where Do I Begin?

The best place to start is by learning all about the tool via the Trailhead module “Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S) Basics”, this is highly recommended for Nonprofits running NPSP who deal with volunteers on a regular basis. There you will learn how V4S utilizes a combination of standard (Contacts, Campaigns) and custom (Volunteer jobs, Volunteer shifts, Volunteer hours) objects in a well-organized and easy to understand data model structure. You will want to follow with the “Volunteer Management” module. This background will prove beneficial once you learn that the custom app “Volunteers” already exists in your instance. Wait, what? That’s correct, so head to Trailhead asap!



What Skills Do I Need?

Granted, V4S can appear complex at the outset but Trailhead does a great job breaking it down into manageable chunks. Look at the Salesforce object structure below, it’s very straightforward and one does not need to be a Salesforce expert to comprehend it. Anyone with the most basic technical skills who can navigate Salesforce can use V4S - if you can create records, then you are good to go. 

Some important terms to know:

  • A Campaign is the project or event for which you are utilizing (or hope to be) volunteers. Campaigns are a powerful object in Salesforce that can be used for many purposes, you can find some great use cases in my colleague Samantha Safin’s post “The Humble Salesforce Campaign”.
  • Volunteer Job is the volunteer job to fill and applicable skills needed, similar to a job posting for a position with an organization.



What About Reports?

Data in, data out. Take a gander at the out-of-the-box dashboard below, isn’t it a thing of beauty? Leaderboard, hours tracking, year over year metrics, all included. Concise and to the point and easy to customize as needed.


How Do Volunteers Sign Up for Events?

Here you have options, you can gather up lists and enter the volunteers manually, or allow people to register right on your website. Yes, I said website and yes, I previously stated that most people can manage this app. In short, you and a web developer partner up. What is awesome is that an administrator can set the configuration in Salesforce and the V4S application, accounting for approximately 95% of the work. From there, there are clear instructions that you can hand off to the developer so they can complete the integration.

The work entails:

  • Creating a Salesforce site

  • Activating and performing testing of the site

  • Customizing the sign-up form

  • (Optional) Setting up other V4S pages such as a Generic Volunteer Signup page, Calendar page, Report Hours Page, and Volunteer Lookup Pages

  • Providing the documentation to your web developer so that they can embed the V4S pages on the website


What are you waiting for? 

In closing, you would be hard pressed to find another free Salesforce application as rich in features and functionality. The provided support documentation and Trailhead modules are icing on the cake. Those interested can easily launch a developer org and start learning as they configure and launch a real world working volunteer management application. What are you waiting for?

What has your experience been? Want to share your thoughts or opinions? Please feel free to reach out on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @sfdcclicks.

Top Ideas for Salesforce Lightning

As Salesforce Lightning continues to roll—what is on deck on the IdeaExchange?
Top Ideas for Salesforce Lightning

Top Ideas for Salesforce Lightning

2017 marked the year of Lightning. 2018 and beyond will be no different. With the emphasis clearly on Lightning moving forward, the ideas on the IdeaExchange have flooded in. There are a ton of ideas that range from brand new to features that need to be implemented in Lightning to bring it in line with Classic. Here are some of my top ideas up for vote:

Configurable Default List View in Lightning Experience

This is a no-brainer feature that is requested by most Salesforce users that I have spoken with. For the vast majority of users, being able to view their recently viewed records from the home page is sufficient. In Spring 18 Salesforce gave us Personalized Navigation; it would be great if that was expanded on where every user could tailor their tab’s default list view to what they want it to be.

Lightning Experience: Recycle Bin

At this point, there should be no reason for a user to have to switch back to Classic in order to do something as simple as access the recycle bin. There have been AppExchange Packages and other workarounds developed, but this is something that needs to be readily available out of the box.

Lightning Experience: Lead and Contact List View - Campaign Filter

There are a myriad of reasons why users would want to filter their list view by Campaign, and a user should not have to switch back to Salesforce Classic in order to achieve it. This is a particularly powerful feature when coupled with List Email functionality. This is something that has to make it into future releases.

Ability to Share List View With Group in Lightning

In Salesforce Classic, users have the ability to create list views and share them with themselves, a group of users, or all users. In Salesforce Lightning, users cannot share their list views with groups, which is particularly important for teams who may need to interact with the same set of list views. Having to switch back and forth to Salesforce Classic in order to achieve list view sharing is not ideal and very inefficient.

Process Builder: Error Messages

We all love Process Builder. It provides us with an avenue to perform all types of automation with clicks and not code. It delivers in user efficiency and productivity. But what it doesn’t deliver on is comprehensive error handling when a user triggers an error. Process Builder needs to produce user-friendly error messages.

What are your thoughts on the state of Lightning? What else do you think should be added or improved upon? Share your ideas or thoughts with me on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @RyanOwensRPO.

Salesforce Spring 18 Ideas Delivered

Salesforce again delivers on ideas from the Community in the Spring ‘18 release.
Salesforce Spring 18 Ideas Delivered

Salesforce Spring 18 Ideas Delivered

Though the list of ideas delivered in this release isn’t huge (literally it’s 12 ideas) there are some good ones this time around. The point count this time is a total of 43,770. It’s also interesting that Salesforce is now not really highlighting delivered ideas in the release notes like they used to. In any case, here are a few ideas delivered worth mentioning.

Streamline Lead Conversion Without Opportunities

In Lead Settings, there are two options now for the Lead Conversion screen: hide the opportunity section completely or have the checkbox for not creating an opportunity on the convert screen checked by default. This idea was delivered with a whopping total of 34,330 points.

Path: Pick Your Own Path

Now we can create a Path based on any picklist field for standard objects. Examples include the ability to track the growth of your relationship with an organization or household, track Campaign progress, or track the support cycle of Cases.  The steps are the same in setting up the path; path steps are based on values in a picklist field, highlight the values using key fields, and include guidance to help users succeed at each step on the path. The Idea addressed by this feature had gathered a total of 5,820 points.

Share Credit for a Deal in Lightning Experience

Yeah for Sales teams! Opportunity Splits that were available in Classic are now in Lightning Experience. Team members working an opportunity can see how much credit they get for each deal. These can then be rolled into quota and pipeline reports for a team. You can add or adjust splits from the Opportunity Splits related list. This idea was delivered with a total of 1,540 points.

Do you have other favorite Ideas delivered in this latest release I didn’t mention? Please feel free to comment below, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @LeiferAshley or in the Success Community and Power of Us Hub.

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