The Activity Log tab provides an automatic series of log entries that track "significant" events or actions. Examples of "significant" events include:
- Starting or ending the program
- Opening or closing a pipeline file
- Editing a contact
- Editing a group of contacts
- Sending an email...
- A phone call, managed through the Calls & Research tab
Who cares? You do. No, really you do care.
One reason you care is that log entries provide a centralized way of recalling what-you-did-and-when-you did-it. For example, you may have sent out a series of emails and want to recall to whom they were sent. Each email is recorded as a log entry.
Who else cares? Your manager does
One of the dreary realities for many sales professionals is that they have managers. And these managers want to know "what have you done for me lately?" The activity call log file is a .CSV text file that can be imported to Microsoft Excel and analyzed beyond recognition by managers. So - for example - if you are an outbound telemarketing rep, you can dump your activity log as a text file and email it to your manager and keep him/her busy and trouble free for days on end analyzing exactly what you have been up to.
Journal Entries versus Activity logging
Some activities - like sending an email - will automatically create a Journal entry within the contact. While this is helpful when you are looking at that contact, it is not so helpful in addressing the troubling issue of "who did I send a message to last week?" Activity log entries answer the day-by-day questions.
There is a small performance price...
Creating an activity record for each action has a small performance price. Every time you do something interesting a record is written to you computer's disk. On todays robust systems, the overhead is small. However, if you are running an old system with limited memory, you can choose to turn off logging through File ==> User Settings ==> Log Changes and gain a small measure of performance improvement.
How much do you need to see?
Each time you start the program new activity is logged - and information already in the Activity log file - while still present - is not displayed. This improves performance. You can view previous entries using the Activity Log ribbon tab's Filter buttons:
- View Today's Activities: Shows all activity that occurred today.
- View All Activities: Shows all activities in the activity.csv log file
- View By Date: Shows all activity records starting with a date you select.
Best Practice: Keep your log file as small as possible
For performance reasons, you want to keep your log file small. To that end you can
- Enable or disable logging as needed
- Periodically delete activity records prior to a date you choose
- Start a new activity log file.