Tracking and Creating Activities
Activities in Dynamics 365 have a roll-up functionality. This means that if you add or track an activity to a “child” record, it will also appear in the “parent” records activity list. For example, if you add an activity to a case, that same activity will appear on the contact record and account record associated with the case. This helps prevent history and data from being lost or overlooked. Since there is no roll-down functionality, you should also add or track activity to the most specific record.
Notes are an open text field that automatically create a time-stamp and show the author of the note. Attached files are added to the notes section.
Best Practices for Activities and Notes in Dynamics 365
Users like using notes because they are quick, easy, and create a time-stamp. It is common for users to try and enter information that should be added as an activity type into a note. For example, a sales rep may add a note that says “Had a follow up phone call with Joe about the proposal we submitted on 6/3. He will make a decision by next week.” However, it is best practice to NOT use notes in this way. Actions such as tasks, emails, phone calls, and appointments should not be added as notes. Instead, these should be entered as activities.
Below is a list of downfalls to using notes:
- Notes are not searchable. Notes cannot be included in reports or advanced finds. Many organizations like to have statistics and reports around what activities have been completed.
- Notes do not roll-up. Unlike activities, if a note is added to an opportunity it will not appear on the account. This may cause data to be lost or extra work because users have to re-create the same note several times for different records.
- Information may be lost. Using notes creates another place for users to look when trying to find information about that record. Users may not find the note when looking for background history on the record.