CRM/Outlook Reminders Debate. Please weigh in. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am having a debate with another techie in my office.   He said outlook reminders (and CRM by inheritance) are made to pop and let you know that it is time for you to do something.  I, on the other hand, say that reminders are to let you know you failed to do something.  These definitions are pretty close so let me explain further.

    Them:  They use outlook like a secratary.  They don't look at their queues or their lists.  They use the reminder to say, "Hey time to do item A". They have reminder pop-up lists that have 5 - 50 items in them.

    Me:  I manage my work using my Tasks lists and completing items.  I hardly ever see a pop-up reminder window because I finish my tasks before the reminder ever show and close. them. 

    This has caused an issue because the other tech is writing workflows in CRM and setting the duration to 1 minute and setting the due date prior to the actual due date so that the system will pop up a reminder window and tell the appropriate person it is time to do something.

    Anyway, please weigh-in and let us know how you feel the system is meant to be used.  1) An alarm clock that alerts you to do your work 2) a reminder to let you know you failed to finish your work.
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 7:43 PM


  • The ultimate answer is 'whatever is practical' but for me, I use reminders to tell me when I have to be in a meeting in 15 minutes if its at the office or with an appropriate lead time if I have to travel.

    For tasks I do not use reminders at all as they are impractical. There are literally hundreds of items in my tasks and through categories, duration and priority I rank them in terms of importance. Tasks range from "do that import for customer x" through to "read that article on CRM". for the vast majority of tasks, there is no deadline and to schedule them is too rigid.

    Within reason, at any time I could be called into a presales meeting or conference call so to think that I'm going to jump when Outlook says 'do this' is folly. I have my list of tasks, I work through them.

    The great thing about CRM is its flexibility. You can use the notification accelerator to generate a 'queue' within Outlook of any records you like. Rather than use reminders, you could send emails and for those who have no interest, you could set up Outlook rules to filter them out. You could also have 'defcon' levels of reminders and embrace the 'and'. That is, have a reminder that a task needs to be completed and then if the deadline passes another reminder or escalation process. There is nothing worse than 'death my reminder/inbox' though so make sure you don't overwhelm.

    Leon Tribe
    Want to hear me talk about all things CRM? Check out my blog
    or hear me tweet @leontribe

    Want to hear me talk about all things CRM? Check out my blog http://leontribe.blogspot.com/ or hear me tweet @leontribe
    • Proposed as answer by Leon TribeMVP Wednesday, October 14, 2009 8:46 PM
    • Marked as answer by Timothy Hays Thursday, October 15, 2009 12:17 PM
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 8:46 PM