It's great to be able to schedule meetings and phone calls as activities in CiviCRM. A staff member can schedule activities for himself, for co-workers, or both, and the assigned activities will show up on the CiviCRM Contact Dashboard. Wonderful!
At Emphanos, we've found that this works well for some users, but that many people already have another software package that they rely on to schedule meetings and tasks. For these users, it's an additional step, often cumbersome, to remember to sign in to the CRM and check on their scheduled activities. What they really want is to see these activities in their preferred calendar software.
If you've ever wished you could see your CiviCRM activities in your Google Calendar, then you might enjoy the CiviCRM activities iCalendar feed module
. CiviCRM activities iCalendar feed is a Drupal module that will help you get your CiviCRM activities into Google Calendar, Outlook, or any other calendaring software that supports the iCalendar feed format.
Check out the video at left (starting at around 2:15) for a quick demo of the module in action.
Set up is pretty simple:
- Install it just as you would any Drupal module (see Drupal.org's Installing contributed modules).
- Decide which user roles should be able to access their own CiviCRM Activity iCalendar Feed. Then visit /admin/people/permissions, and enable the permission "Access CiviCRM activity iCalendar feed" for these roles.
NOTE: The ical feed links will only display if CiviCRM is configured to display assigned activities on the dashboard. To adjust this configuration, visit the CiviCRM Display Preferences page at /civicrm/admin/setting/preferences/display?reset=1, and ensure the option "Assigned Activities" is checked, in the section labeled "Contact Dashboard."
- Provide navigation to guide users to their feed information page. This is available at /civicrm_activity_ical/settings/user.
Note that the link to the feed information page is displayed at the top of the CiviCRM Contact Dashboard (/civicrm/user?reset=1)
- Take a look at the settings page for the module at admin/config/civicrm_activity_ical. The one configurable setting is "Cache Interval," which defines the length of time to cache each feed. This helps to limit any negative performance impact from software that checks the feeds too often. The default of 30 minutes will work fine for most installations, but you may want to adjust it to fit your needs.