The Bottom Line on Formulas

The Bottom Line, join and participate in the success community!

First, if you have not joined SteveMo’s “Who owes me a beer?!?” group on the community then you need to do that right now. Go ahead. I will wait here.

Not only is this group a direct line to SteveMo, the most famous Salesforce MVP in the community (and the most humble and genuinely cool person you will ever meet), it is also where ALL THE EXPERTS hang out just waiting for a chance to answer your formula questions! I mean, you are seriously missing out if you don’t join this group.

Even if you just read the questions and answers on the feed every few days, you will learn more than you ever imagined possible!

To really get my point across, check out these two profiles for the top two contributors on the ENTIRE success community: they have literally answered tens-of-thousands of questions. When you have a community of people like this at your fingertips, you should NEVER feel alone.


In addition, often your question has already been posted and answered by someone else on the community so it is a great place to search for answers. If you can’t find an answer to your question then you should post a question. Before posting a question in the community read these posts about how to search for answers and how to ask a good question:

Search the community for a best answer on your question
Getting the most from the community (how to post a good question)
Posting a Question on the Community (how to post a good question)

TBL, practice makes perfect

Go to Trailhead and blaze the trail on Advanced Formulas! I personally helped write this trail with a bunch of other people so this one is obviously my favorite, but you can see for yourself and let me know what you think. Use #Trailhead and @MVDSFDC on Twitter to start a conversation with me!

If you don’t know what Trailhead is, click here to learn more and get started (you need to create a free Dev Org and link it to your Trailhead, so that you can test your challenges and display your badges as you earn them!!! Super fun way to learn (and totally FREE)!!

And now that you have a developer org, you can practice any use cases you want, because there is nothing to break!

So… if you read a post on the Who Owes me a Beer forum, and think the answer is really interesting and would love to know if you could do it on your own… go ahead and make it happen in your dev org!  Spending your free time learning how to best leverage Formula Fields, Workflow Rules (w/field updates), and Validation Rules will have the biggest return on your investment. Period.

The better your skills are around implementing these three features, the more powerful you become in your ability to design and solution for your stakeholders. It’s like knowing how to say a few individual words in a new language, like “hello” and “goodbye”, versus actually speaking the language. You can’t really speak the language (be productive in the real world) until you have gathered a knowledge of how the words work in sentences, and even then, it simply takes time to build a library of all the translated words in the human language.

The only way to the goal line, is practice. There are no short cuts!

So, invest time in these three areas as much as possible; and you will not be sorry!

Other Awesome Resources for your further research and practice in this area: 

The Power of 1 by SteveMo via (aka “The Greatest Salesforce Formula EVER Written”) – Check this out and seriously give it a try, once you understand this concept it changes everything!

Salesforce Formula Examples – a blog series by Vinay Chaturvedi

Become Expert in Formulas – great summary post by Jitendra Zaa with links to awesome videos about formulas!

How to create formula bar using formulas – cool use case by Jitendra Zaa

Some formula use-case examples are below: 

(as provided in my 10 Tips to Becoming a Change Agent guest post on

Validation Rules Example: Quickly destroy email churn replacing email with a custom object as a form solution. Use validation rules to ensure correct data is entered on each form type so the person actioning the request has everything they need from the start (without any back and forth needed)! Also, use it as an opportunity to train users during the process by giving clear validation rule errors so they understand what the issue is when saving, so they don’t get frustrated by errors. See below as an example:

Workflow Rule & Field Updates Example: Remove roadblocks by automating processes! Enhance reporting / SLA tracking by stamping the date when criteria are met (such as submittal date or approved date). See below example:
Formula Field Example: Use Text Formula Fields to visualize data from related records (such as the Account lookup field). Or (as shown below) use a Number Formula Field to calculate the number of days between two dates (such as submitted date and actioned date)! Once you make a formula field, the data is back populated automatically across all record, there is no need for a data load of any kind.