Activity Timeline: View Activity data with ease

It’s time for a #LightningFlap 🐧! In our last post, we covered Account Hierarchies. Lets now look at Activity Timelines. We shall cover: 

  • What is an Activity Timeline?
  • How do I use it?
  • Can I turn Activity Timeline off?
  • Summary

What is an Activity Timeline?

Salesforce provides the tools to give us a 360-degree view of customers. Activities are key to this. They consist of Tasks, Events & Calendars. These show actions such as follow-ups, emails, and meetings. Each Task/Event can be related to other Salesforce records (e.g. Leads, Contacts, etc). For more on Activities, click here.  

In Classic, Activities were shown against a record in ”Open Activities’ and ‘Activity History’:

Screenshot of the 'Open Activities' and 'Activity History' Related Lists in Classic
Screenshot of the ‘Open Activities’ and ‘Activity History’ Related Lists in Classic

Lightning Experience introduces Activity Timelines. This shows Activity data in a single, consolidated view:

Screenshot of Activity Timeline
Screenshot of Activity Timeline

In other words, it provides a simpler view. Activity records are ordered by their ‘effective date’. More information on this is available here

How do I use it?

When using Activity Timeline, bear in mind:

  • Users can apply Filters to Activity data on a record. This is very useful when there is a lot of Activity!
    Screenshot of Activity Timeline filter options
    Screenshot of Activity Timeline filter options
  • You can change fields which are displayed and their order on the Activity Timeline. Click here for instructions

Can I turn activity Timeline off?

If a user does not want to see ‘Activity Timeline’, they can turn it off by following these steps:

  1. Click on the ‘View Profile’ icon (top right) in Lightning Experience
    Screenshot of how to access 'View Profile'
    Screenshot of how to access ‘View Profile’
  2. Click on ‘Settings’
    Screenshot of how to access a user's Settings
    Screenshot of how to access a user’s Settings
  3. Select: Display & Layout | Record Page Settings. Select ‘Related Lists’ and then ‘Save’. 
    Screenshot of how a user can turn off Activity Timeline
    Screenshot of how a user can turn off Activity Timeline

This will allow a user to see the ‘Open Activities’ & ‘Activity History’ related lists. 

To default this for an entire org, follow these steps:

  1. Go to ‘Setup’
    Screenshot of how to access 'Setup'
    Screenshot of how to access ‘Setup’
  2.  Within Quick Find, type ‘Record Page Settings’
    Screenshot of the 'Record Page Settings' option within Setup
    Screenshot of the ‘Record Page Settings’ option within Setup
  3. Scroll down to ‘Default Activities View (desktop only)
  4. Select the ‘Related Lists’ option
  5. Click Save
    Screenshot of how to select 'Related Lists' and Save
    Screenshot of how to select ‘Related Lists’ and Save
NOTE: If you are using Einstein Activity Capture, you must use ‘Activity Timeline’. 

When users refresh their pages, the ‘Related Lists’ should appear. However, you may need/want to apply additional changes to the record pages. Lightning Record Pages are covered in the next post. 

Summary

This post has outlined the ‘Activity Timeline’. It empowers users by showing Activity data in a single timeline. This can be customised and turned off as desired. In the next post, we shall explore Lightning Page Layouts. 

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