- Journals are searchable: by Contact, by Date, by Subject, by Category. This allows the User to pull a set of journals for a particular Customer to see what has been going on at that location, or pull a report for a Manufacturer to let them know the amount of activity taking place on their behalf in the field.
- Journals are organized by date. What you get is a list that is defaultly sorted by date, resulting in a chronological order of touches with the contact. This makes it very easy to keep up to date on a wider range of contact activities, as well as provides a quick way to look at a contact before a planned visit or call. Additionally, the Journals are intermingled by date with other activities in the Activities tab, so that you get the overall, chronologically-ordered picture of what is taking place.
- Journals have several automatic fields that are filled in, such as the Date and Opened By fields. These fields make it easy to see when an activity took place and who recorded it. In combination with the other fields that are ready to be filled in, you have a more organized structure for everyone to follow, which results in more consistent entry, which in turn are easier to find and reference later by everyone in the company.
- Journals can be linked to multiple Contacts. This is a powerful means of cross-referencing activities that involve multiple contacts in a single journal entry. For example, if I make a sales call with a customer and talk to him about two of our lines, I can link the journal to both the customer and both manufacturers. In this way, when it comes time to report on activities with either manufacturer, a report that rolls-up all these activities can be generated very easily. The journal entry will appear in all linked contacts' Activity Listing, so it is easy to see what happened with any one of the linked contacts from any one of their contact cards.
- Journals record time. They can record the initial time, plus they have a logging feature that captures additional time put in as follow-up. Individually, it is sometimes helpful to see how much time was spent on a particular issue. As a whole, it is a powerful thing to see the totals of time spent on a particular customer or line, where time is being spent, and start to look at ways to better spend it.
- Journal Reports can be run to aggregate journal data. The power of a report is in its ability to pull together information from multiple entries, list them, and total various fields. For Journals, the reports can total where a User is spending their time, produce detailed activity for a given time range for a group of contact, or list out what you did with a particular contact recently.
The Journal is a versatile tool for recording, cross-referencing, and reporting on activities with a contact. Its intent is to be the basis for your call logging, activity reporting, and recording of any interaction with contacts in the system.
If your company has everyone entering Journals into the system to record activities, and entering them in the same way, then you will have a single repository to locate and coordinate all activities with any of your contacts.
For more information on Journals, as well as a detailed description of each of the Journal fields, take a look at the Contact Relationship Management User Manual.