Discover a new reality for those messy activity logs and make troubleshooting so much easier.

JimmySpencer_
Level 2 - Champion Level 2 - Champion
Level 2 - Champion

We all know it. Our activity logs are a mess. We have tons of data to sift through whenever it’s time troubleshoot, and headaches to go along with it.

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s time to make your life just a little bit easier. Keep reading and I’ll show you a way to help break up the activity log and call out your processes. The only limits here are YOUR creativity when creating your call outs, and your judgement on how often to apply this (hint, be judicious).

 

First, take a few minutes to pick out some of your most complex processes and/or those that you routinely need to search for when troubleshooting or doing evaluations for your users.

 

Once you’ve identified these processes:

  1. Take a few minutes to create a helper string field(s) that you can use for each of them

    • I like to use something like "Admin-Processing-Note".
  2. Add the new field to the beginning and end of your flow(s).

  3. At the beginning of each process you can kick off with an easily-identifiable value in your helper field.

    • For example you can start a multi-leg consent process with something like <———Begin Consent Processing———>

    • HINT: The longer you make the data value here, meaning the higher the character count, the easier it will be for it to stand out in your activity log. I like to add extra “-“‘s so that it creates a nice clean line pushing out from the rest of the data.

  4. At the end of each process close it out with a new value in your helper field.

    • For the consent processing example above you can end it with something like <——-End Consent Processing——->

  5. Review how your new companion field appears in the activity log. Is it too close to the rest of your data? Add more characters to push it out into the open.

Boom! Now when you’re going through endless pages of logs you have a helper. The processes you troubleshoot the most will jump off the page and say “Hey, come solve me.” 

 

If you have several processes throughout a processing event, you can update these notes every step of the way. So if your record fails on step 5, it's easy to pick that out.

 

This saves you time and effort and helps to keep things at least somewhat orderly in a land of activity log chaos. Just remember folks, use this judiciously. You don’t want to clutter your logs (that defeats the purpose!) so you most likely want to limit this to 5 or so processes that you frequently have to track in your logs.

 

 

 

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4 Comments
Balkar_Singh
Level 9

This is an elegant way to troubleshoot efficiently - I like the tip to add the "-" to stand out! Once I used a similar field called 'Processing Status' but I think adding Admin to the text clarifies better. We used to look at that field for many leads and then go to the exact smart campaign where it got stuck. Thanks for putting this up!

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

I generally use Interesting Moments for this. (In instances that have them.) Interesting interactions then become Tasks or other objects.

JimmySpencer_
Level 2 - Champion

@Sanj that's an interesting approach I considered before (though without the 2nd level of tasks). Do you use this in those instances with MSI? If so, are you able to suppress from CRM?

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

You have to have MSI to have IMs, yes. But rather than use IMs for Sales, I use them for Marketing checkpoints. There’s no problem with Sales seeing such log lines, they just know they’re not “interesting” to them. (Well, some of them are, like double opt-in processes for example.)

 

Really would be superb if there were a Marketo-only version of IMs for exactly this reason!