Menu, Dashboard & Dashlets
This chapter gives an overview of CiviCRM's dashboard (it's 'home page') and the navigation menu available for people working in CiviCRM.
The navigation menu
The navigation menu is a small bar at the top of every "back office" page of CiviCRM.
It provides access to nearly every function of CiviCRM and is broadly organised into headings by individual CiviComponents (such as Contributions, Events and Mailings), with a few exceptions for Search and Administer, both of which cover all of the enabled CiviComponents.
The menu also features a Quick search field for finding contacts. Typing any part of a contact's name or email address into the Quick search field will pull down a list of possible matches that you can click on to go directly to the contact's summary page:
You can modify the navigation menu by going to: Administer > Customize > Navigation Menu and then adding or rearranging menu items on the screen. Remember that changes you make to the navigation menu will be seen by everyone who has the appropriate permissions to see the menu, for better or for worse, so be careful when modifying the navigation menu.
When you first log into CiviCRM, the first page that you will see is the dashboard (CiviCRM Home). The dashboard allows you to see important information about your site and CiviCRM by displaying a series of "dashlets". A dashlet is a snippet of information about a part of CiviCRM: many dashlets come with CiviCRM by default, and you or your administrator can create additional dashlets that are specific to your organisation's needs. Some examples of dashlets that come with CiviCRM include:
- Donor Report: a bar graph of the amount of total contributions per month for the last five months.
- Activities: a list of recent activities that have been recorded by CiviCRM (this could include emails sent to constituents, donations that have been made, or meetings that have been scheduled in CiviCRM).
- Membership Report: a table summarising information about Members tracked by CiviCRM and broken out by month. This includes the number of Members of each type total amounts of payments made and the number of contributions made, among other things.
You can add these dashlets to your CiviCRM dashboard by clicking the Configure Your Dashboard button. You will see a list of dashlets that can be dragged into the right or left column of your dashboard.
Clicking the Done button will allow you to save the dashlets to your dashboard. From now on, you will see updates to the status of your dashlets every time you log in (if you'd like to check and see any changes that have occurred more recently, you can always click Refresh Dashboard Data - this will reload each dashlet and pull in any new information).
Almost any CiviCRM report can be made available as a dashlet. Select a report from Reports > Create Reports from Templates. Update the report criteria as needed. For example, you may want the dashboard version of the report to always show data for "This Quarter" or "This Year". You can also choose to display the report as a table or as a bar or pie chart. Preview the report display. Then check the "Available for Dashboard" checkbox under Report Settings. (Refer to the Reporting section for more details on working with reports.)