I-SearchMost people know how to create a look up of contacts from the Task List view (click the Lookup button on the toolbar). But did you know that you can look up contacts related to selected tasks?

Check out three more ways that you can look up Contact(s) for a selected activities. While in Task List view…

    1. Click the hyper-linked Contact name
      In the Scheduled With column in the Task List view, the Contact name should display as blue, with an underline. Clicking on this link, displays the contact in Contact Detail view.
    2. Use the Create Lookup Command
      a. Filter your Task List view for the time period desired (Today, Past, Current Month, etc). We discussed this in a previous post on the secrets of using the Task List view.
      b. Then, right-click within the Task List window and select the Create Lookup command from the shortcut menu. (You could also click on the “View All Related Contacts” command in the Related Tasks pane at the left in the newer versions of ACT!.)
      c. ACT! creates a lookup of all of the contacts that have a scheduled activity for the time period that you used.
    3. Go To Contact option in Task List LookupUse the Go to Contact Command
      As an alternative to selecting Create Lookup (which selects all of the records that have a scheduled activity in the Current Task List view), you can use the Go to Contact command to select the specific activities you want to work with one-by-one.
      a. Select the first activity.
      b. Press and hold the Ctrl key and click on the other activities to add them to the selected list. They should now be highlighted.
      c. Right-click any of the selected activities to bring up the shortcut menu.
      d. Select the Go To Contact command (if multiple activities are selected, then ACT! will create a lookup containing Contacts whose activity’s you have highlighted).


ACT! Tip: When selecting activities for the lookup, if you have activities that are in sequence, you click on the first activity, press and hold the Shift key, then click the last activity. The activities in between will be highlighted.

Two ways to make field edits in Zoho CRM

by Susan Clark on May 28, 2013

After you have created and saved a record in Zoho CRM, there are two ways to make edits.

Let’s say you need to quickly update the Stage of a deal you are working on or you want to add a Mobile phone to the Contact’s record.

To make a quick edit of a single field:

  1. Making a Quick Edit in Zoho CRMPoint to the data that needs to be changed (or the field where it should be entered).
  2. Click on the Edit hyperlink the appears slightly to the right of the field.
  3. Make changes as desired.
  4. DON’T FORGET to click the Save button when finished,

If you need to make edits to more than one field on a record, it makes sense to put the entire record in edit mode to make the changes.

To edit multiple fields on a record:

  1. Edit icon in Zoho CRMIf you have started with a look up, and you see the record you want to edit in the list view, click the Edit icon (a pencil) to the left of the record you want to edit.
    Edit button in Zoho CRMif you have displayed the record in detail view, click the Edit button on the top of the view.
  2. Make changes in all desired fields.
  3. DON’T FORGET to click the Save button at the top of the screen when finished.
    Note: This method is the only way you can change a Contact’s name.

You can use either method to make your edits. Just pick the one that works best for you.

Hope all is going well. Watch for another tip next week.

My Hard Drive Crashed-Automating Your ACT! Backup

by Susan Clark on May 28, 2013

HD CrashA few weeks ago the hard drive on my new laptop (only 6 weeks old) died. After a 30-minute phone call to tech support and following instructions for a few secret function key diagnostics, the tech responded with “So sorry to tell you mam, that your hard drive is no longer functioning. We will schedule a technician for next week to swap out the defective hard drive with a new one. Will that be OK?”

“No, I think, I want to keep the one that doesn’t work.” OK, cutting the sarcasm.

So that brings me to this week’s tip.

Backing up your ACT! database (and other files)

I’m sure that your files on the server are being backed up on a nightly basis. However, did you know that open files are not backed up? Since ACT! is based on SQL, by definition, the ACT! database is always open… even if everyone is logged out of the database. Consequently your server backup is not making backups of up your ACT! database.

Fortunately, ACT! has included a way to automate the backup of your database(s) to a .zip file. Your server backup software can then backup these .zip files (so that you have lots of backups that can be easily restored if or when necessary).

To automate your ACT! backups

If you are using a remote sync database, your ACT! database is always backing up to the server, so you will not need to set this up for a remote. However, it would be really important to verify that it is setup and running on the server.

  1. In ACT!, click Tools, ACT! Scheduler…
  2. ACT Scheduler Create a TaskIf you don’t see a Backup task listed in the right pane (no one has created one yet), click the Create a task hyperlink at the left.
  3. Click the Browse… button to locate your ACT! database and click Open.
  4. Enter your User name: and Password: (enter a User Name with Administrator rights).
  5. Click Next >.
  6. From the drop-down, select the Database Backup option.  (Note: If you are on a remote and do not see the Database Backup option, you have not been given rights to perform Remote Administration to allow you to do backups.)
  7. Click Next>.
  8. Use the Browse button to select a new location for the backup, if desired.
  9. Modify the Default backup file name if you like (I usually don’t change this).
  10. I usually check the option to Include Attachments. If you have other backup software, you don’t really need to check the option… but it can be handy if you need to restore a backup later on.
  11. Click the Next> button.
  12. Use the up and down arrows to define how many backups you would like to keep before they start overwriting each other. Five is the default and should be fine for most companies (if you don’t see this option, your version of ACT! is really old).
  13. Click the Next> button.
  14. For timing, my preference is to click the Daily option. Then select a Start Time. Usually this will be sometime after 5PM, but before your server backup kicks off. It is not required that users be out of the database for a backup to occur, but it might slow down performance, so a later time in the day is preferable.
  15. Click the Finish button.
  16. While you are here, you might add another task to perform Database Maintenance on a Weekly basis. I like to choose Saturday or Sunday for this task, since it is automated.
  17. ACT Scheduler Start ServiceFinally, at the left, if Stop Service is bold and Start Service is grayed out, then you are done. Otherwise, click the Start Service link to Start the automated scheduler.
  18. Click Exit.

If the service is setup and running, then you will see a gold clock in the server’s system tray.

ACT Scheduler Service is Stopped.NOTE: If there is a red X on the icon, it means the service has not been started. You should open and click the Start Service link.

Backing up is really important. See my previous tip on manually backing up your database if you would like to create a quick manual backup before doing something like importing files.

Bonus Tip: Fortunately all of my non-ACT! files were backed up and easy to transfer to my new hard drive, but I still had about 30 software programs that I needed to re-install and re-register. My son turned me on to this site www.ninite.com which installed about 10 of those basic/free programs (AVG, Chrome, Adobe Reader, Trillian, Skype, etc.) all at the same time.

Gotta love and hate technology.

The Next ACT! or Hitting the Reset Button

by Susan Clark on May 20, 2013

Susan Clark with Bob Ogden and John Oechsle

Just got back from a couple of days in Scottsdale, sitting down and talking with almost all of the new Swiftpage management team at ACT! (Sage sold ACT! and SalesLogix to Swiftpage in March of this year).

Got a chance to meet with John Oechsle, the new President and CEO at Swiftpage (at the right in the photo). I’ve known Bob Ogdon (chairman of the board at Swiftpage) for almost 10 years. He was the primary reason that I was excited when Swiftpage announced that they were buying ACT! from Sage. The product could NOT be in better hands. Bob has always had a passion about developing software and services that transform end users’ businesses. He gets the concept of the sales cycle and building relationships.

Dan Ogdon is the new GM and product manager for ACT!. If you came to our Sage ACT! road show about 4 years ago, he was part of the Swiftpage team that came to town to support the show and spread the word about the new integration with ACT!. Now Dan is spending his days focusing on customer feedback and leading the team to integrate services that are in demand right now.

The whole management team that they are putting together has amazing backgrounds.

Of course they are well on the road to perfecting a SAAS version of ACT!, but they have also committed to keeping their desktop customers happy. I also got a look at the next desktop version that will be released sometime this fall.

So here is my first breaking news:

  • This next version (2014-v16) that will be released this fall has the most impressive set of features that I have seen in a long time. I mean real features that are usable, not ones that just sound good. More on that as I am allowed to talk about it.
  • After that release of 2014, Swiftpage will discontinue the focus on annual releases.They are focused on delivering a stabilized version with a code base that is updated via service packs This gives them the time to focus on putting more fully developed features into the product without the arbitrary threat of having to ship on an annual basis. Yea!
  • Swiftpage is committed to continuing the development of a web/SAAS model of ACT!
  • The mood is SOO different in the corporate offices. The product development team (they took most of the team from Sage) is excited about the new owners who definitely have more of a sales focus (as opposed to the accounting focus of the previous owners). They feel that management is much more open-minded and that they are encouraging creativity in the product direction. The sales teams are looking forward to having features that are valuable to talk about, as well as real options to online products like Salesforce.com.

Looking forward to the future of ACT! once again.

p.s. Back to regular tips starting next week.

ACT! Has New Owners

February 15, 2013

Tweet I wanted to let you know that there was an announcement made this morning that Sage has entered into an agreement to sell ACT! and SalesLogix to Swiftpage. Swiftpage is the partner that has provided the e-marketing platform for ACT and SalesLogix for about 10 years and has been a huge user and supporter [...]

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Adding Holidays to Your 2013 ACT! Calendar

January 10, 2013

Tweet Several years ago I scheduled a webinar on Memorial Day (because I didn’t have the Federal Holidays marked in my calendar). Oops! It’s a new year and I wanted to remind you how easy it is to add holidays as “Events” in your ACT! calendar. Only one person in the company needs to add [...]

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See an iPad in Your Future?

December 11, 2012

Tweet Do you see an iPad or other tablet in your future? Want to get a version of ACT! on your tablet or smart phone? I now have an iPad, a Google Nexus tablet, and a Droid phone. Love them all and use each of them for different reasons at different times. BUT I am [...]

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Some Obscure, but Helpful ACT! Preferences

October 30, 2012

Tweet In my last tip, I told you about the preferences that I always set when setting up my client’s workstation. Here are a few other obscure, but very useful preferences  that you might not know about. For example, would you like it if the alarm feature in ACT! actually made a sound? Prompt for a [...]

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5 ACT! Preferences I Always Set

October 1, 2012

Tweet Do you know what all those ACT! preference (Tools, Preferences) options really do? Here are the 5 preferences that I always change when I am setting up a client’s workstation to help make them more productive in their use of ACT! To modify your ACT! preferences Click Tools, Preferences… Set Grid Lines for list views. [...]

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The Most Important Appointment to Set

July 18, 2012

Tweet Last year during my annual physical (though not sure why I call it annual, since it had probably been several years since the last one), my doctor asked my “How long have you had that lump on your throat?” What lump? Long story shortened, I had my thyroid removed. Fortunately, all is well now, [...]

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