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Product Updates

Introducing: The activity record type

David Simpson
January 7, 2022

You can now filter and search activities on timelines. You can also import to, and export from, the timeline of any record. This is the first phase of our brand new timelines functionality.

We're really excited to announce the release of the first phase of our timelines improvements. Your timeline activities are now stored as their own special record type (similar to how we store tasks as records), which makes lots of useful things possible!

Your timelines will, for the most part, look exactly the same. But it's what's going on under the hood that makes everything work in a great new way.

Lets take a quick look at what these changes mean:

1. The new Activity record type

You can create activities from timelines just like you always have, and activities are automatically created just as they always were, but now activities are stored like other record types.

Admins can head to Settings -> Sidebar and can add the Activities record type to your sidebar. Your team can then view all of your activities from there, just like any other record type.

This means that you can now apply filters to activities. Want to find everyone who you have had a phone call with in the last 6 months whose membership is up for renewal? Now you can!

2. Create new types of activities and store more information about them

You can now create new types of activities by customising the Activites record type. You'll see that there are already several types pre-built for you, and they have different fields for storing the important information about that activity.

For example, you could create a new 'Site visit' activity to store when a VIP comes to your office. You can choose all of the fields you'd like to store about that activity. When a site visit happens then you can add a new activity to the timeline of that VIP's person record.

Screen Recording 2022-01-06 at 06.16 pm

Everyone look busy!

3. Import and Export activities

You can create import templates and export templates for your activities, just like you would do for any other record type. This means that if you have a ledger with a history of activites for people it's now a piece of cake to import to import them into Beacon.

You can also do handy things like export a summary of all phone calls made to people who've donated over £500 in the past year.

4. The security you would expect from Beacon

We've been very careful to consider the implications of storing activities as records. The Activity record type can be controlled using Roles and Permissions and there are some additional restrictions to keep things secure.

For example, if you restrict the Case record type, users without read permissions for Cases will not be able to view Activity records that point at cases. Clever stuff.

Screen Recording 2022-01-06 at 06.26 pm

There's more to come!

This is the first phase of our timelines improvements. Phase II will include:

  • Surfacing activities from timelines of related records (e.g. membership timeline activities on people records)
  • Filtering from within a record's timeline
  • Filtering based on audit logs (you'll be able to filter all the people who have submitted a particular form, for example)

Phase I is already live and ready for you to use, and we're planning to release the phase II features gradually over the next couple of months - stay tuned!

Got questions for us? Fire off an email to or click the chat button in the bottom right corner of your Beacon dashboard.