Two Minute Tuesday: Notes vs. Activities

Tuesday August 2, 2016

Two Minute Tuesday: Notes vs. Activities

In this Two Minute Tuesday, we’re going to talk about a subject that some users can find confusing. Namely, when to put information about a contact into the Notes and when to put it into the Activities. While PCRecruiter’s flexibility means you can often put your data wherever you find it most helpful to have, there are some clear-cut situations in which one or the other of these areas of the record is better suited to the job.

If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

It’s time for another Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

In this episode we’re going to talk about a subject that some users can find confusing. Namely, when to put information about a contact into the Notes and when to put it into the Activities. While PCRecruiter’s flexibility means you can often put your data wherever you find it most helpful to have, there are some clear-cut situations in which one or the other of these areas of the record is better suited to the job.

At the simplest level, the Notes area is for saving annotations to the record; things that aren’t in the candidate’s resume or don’t necessarily fit into a specific field. Your Notes might include information about their family or hobbies, or details about their job search or relationship with the company they work for. Notes are included in the system’s keyword index, so if you use the Keywords search box, any words stored the Notes will be included in that search. In addition, you’ll see the first 250 or so characters of the Notes when you hover your mouse over the contact’s name in your search results or Rollup views, making it a good place to jot down details you want to reference quickly in these contexts.

When you enter a Note on a record, the system stamps it with the date and time of entry and the user who entered it, so it can be tempting to use the Notes area to keep track of events like phone calls, meetings, interviews, and so forth. However, the date on your notes is simply the date that note was saved, which makes it tough to record a past or future event. The date and username are essentially just meta data within one large text document, not discrete pieces of trackable info.

If you want to keep track of what’s you’ve done or will be doing in regards to a contact outside of the context of a position Pipeline, you’ll want to record Activities instead. The system automatically writes some Activity records when you perform actions like adding or saving records, sending emails, and so on, but you can also create your own custom Activity Types under the System area to track things like cold calls, the date when you received a document, or when you sent a LinkedIn connection request. You can even set up Result Codes to log the outcomes – like whether that LinkedIn Request was accepted.

Because the Activities track the Username, Date, Activity Type, and the memo text as independent fields, you can filter, sort, search, and report on them to get an idea of what happened when, and who did it. You can also attach Activities and their follow-up events to your Schedule, so they track not just what you’ve done, but what you plan to do.

So, in short, when you want to supplement a record with searchable freeform information, the Notes are a good place to do it, but if you want to track something that occurred or will occur, then Activities are the better choice.

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