The first two time saving tips of this series showed how to pin favorites and link records to email more efficiently in CRM 2011. If you missed this previous post and would like more information about these tips, please visit my last blog: Time Saving Tips for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 -#1 and #2.

#3 – Wildcard Searching

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time searching through records because you can’t quite remember the name of a lead? Let me guess, you can only remember certain parts of it – maybe part of the company’s name or the owner’s last name? You’re in luck. Fortunately, Microsoft supports a wildcard search which allows you to search for unknown parts of names within a search.

Staffing Software Wild Card

What is a wildcard? A wildcard, displayed with an asterisk (*), stands in place of any unknown text within a search field. It’s kind of like UNO, the card game. If you’re out of the color which is being played, you can play your wild card to change it to any color you have…depending on your strategy, of course.

Using a wildcard helps a search term be more relaxed. Instead of only searching for the first word in your search, using a wildcard (*) will give you some flexibility. The wildcard goes from searching words which begin with a specific word, for example “sales”, to searching for “sales” throughout the entire record.

 Staffing Software Wildcard Search Sales

This time saving trick is nice because you can use the wildcard search for any searchable field on the entity form. It’s pretty handy as long as you know something about the record, rather than replacing the rest of the text with an asterisk.

Let’s say you don’t know the first part of the search term. Type the asterisk before “sales” and vice versa if you can’t remember the last part of the search term. Like this: *sales or sales* or *sales*

At Professional Advantage, we use this trick all the time to find records more efficiently. Wildcard searches give you flexibility when trying to find records of any type. Now it’s too bad we didn’t have four colors to choose from.

#4 – Type and Tab

Type and Tab is the next time saving tip that you will find helpful when it comes to being efficient with your time. Instead of spending time looking up information within the record by searching many different categories in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the following tip will help you fill in information more efficiently for any record. It will reduce the amount of clicks, windows and ultimately the amount of time spent searching.

There are a number of fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 which have a lookup. First, open any CRM record and you will find that there are lookup fields – located on the right side of the search box. Below you can see the lookup field is displayed with a magnified glass. Usually, you would click the lookup field and do a search or select a category listed. This step isn’t too time consuming, depending on what you’re searching for, but there are a couple of ways to do this more efficiently.

Staffing Software Time Saving Look Up

To utilize your time more efficiently while filling in record information, click on the field you are searching for. For example, if you want to look up the outsource vendor for a particular record, click into the field and start typing the name. Let’s say I’m looking for J Smith Staffing.

The next step will only be effective if you’ve recently looked up specific information about the record. This isn’t the only way to enter in information efficiently, so stay tuned.  First I will type in “J”. If the search field remembers I have typed in “J Smith Staffing” in the field before, it will pop up, as shown below.  

Staffing Software CRM 2011 Time Saving

Staffing Software Type and Tab CRM 2011

If you start typing in the word and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 doesn’t find it right away, you can simply type “J”, then click the tab button. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will either find the record automatically or just add it in for you. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply Tab out, which will then give a warning sign in the box, as shown below. This will highlight the letter in red which was previously typed and underline it. By clicking on the underlined letter, you will get a few matches related to the letter or word given in the list.

Staffing Software Time Saving Warning Tab

Staffing Software CRM 2011 Type Tab

As you can see, there are a few ways to select field criteria without having to use the lookup itself. This time saving tip is most efficient when you have a large database of information to look through. By simply eliminating the number of clicks you perform on a record, the more time you will have for more pressing tasks.

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