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Have you ever wondered if it is possible to visually display that you are tracking an appointment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?  The answer is YES! You can now easily color your calendar for tracked appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, simply follow the steps in this blog to do so. This would allow your users to maintain their appointments in CRM and quickly identify if an important meeting had not been tracked to Dynamics CRM yet.

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By using conditional formatting in Outlook ,we can create rules to define what color an appointment should show depending if the appointment had been tracked. Many times it may take some time for an appointment to sync – and by setting up appropriate rules, it is possible to visually indicate which appointments are pending to reach Dynamics CRM.  Even further, you can set up a rule to indicate if an appointment is no longer being tracked.

This post will show you how to setup three useful rules:

1. Set a color for appointments currently synced to CRM.

2. Set a color for appointments pending to sync to CRM.

3. Set a color for appointments that are no longer syncing to CRM, but were in the past.

Please Note- these steps are very similar in Outlook 2010 as in Outlook 2013.  Our example will be using Outlook 2013.

To set up these rules, the first step is to add a special column to a list view of Calendar Appointments (which the conditional formatting will be based on).

1.  To add this column, navigate to your Outlook calendar.

2.  Click the View tab, then click the Change View command and select List.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

3.  Click View Settings then click Columns, then click the button New Column.

4.  In the Name box add the following text: crmLinkState and change the Type to Number. Click Ok and close the windows.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

5.  Great, now we have the column we can use for conditional formatting. Change the view back to your full calendar view.  Next is to set up the conditional rules and colors.

6.  Click again on View Settings and then click Conditional Formatting.

Adding Rules

This is where you can add rules. To add the first rule for synced appointments:

1. Click Add and enter a name for your rule and choose a color.  I used Rule for Synced Appointments and the yellow color.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

2. Next, set up the condition by clicking on the Condition button.

3.  Select the Advanced tab, click Field and choose User-defined fields in folder and choose our added column crmLinkState.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

4.  The condition must be set to crmLinkState – equals – 2  as showing in screenshot. Click Add to List  then OK.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Fantastic!  You have added your first condition to show yellow for SYNCED appointments.

To add a condition for PENDING to sync appointments follow steps 1 through 2 again, choose a different color (I used orange),and enter the following condition for your rule:

crmLinkState – equals – 1 as shown in the screenshot below.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

To add condition for PREVIOUSLY synced appointments follow steps 1 through 2 again, choose a different color (I used dark blue), and enter the following condition for your rule:

crmLinkState – equals – 0  as shown in the screenshot below.

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Now take a look at your calendar. You can easily determine which appointments are synced (yellow), appointments pending to sync (orange), and those that were synced in the past (dark blue).

Color Code Your Calendar for Tracked Appointments in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

If you want to learn more about crmLinkState and the values we used in our conditions, there is a great blog post in the community. If you like using conditional formatting, check out our blog on conditional formatting in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook.

Happy CRM’ing

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JoeCRM

Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.