Act! Tips & Tricks

We want you to get the most out of your Act! software.  Here is a quick list of some good practices to keep everything running smoothly!

  1. Clean out the history of your Act Contact Record – Every Act user has a contact record in Act. When you log into Act, your Record is the first one Act Loads. Unfortunately, your record may also be one of the largest in the database.Every time you delete some other contact, a record of who you deleted will go into your contact record. If you delete a 1000 people one day while trying to clean up the database, then your history tab will have 1000 new records in it.
    Since Act loads your contact record first, this can slow start up time. Also, Act users tend to have email records from years back. We have seen users with over 50,000 history records. So delete the unneeded ones.
  2. Right click on any field to search on that particular field. Saves you 3 or 4 mouse clicks.
  3. Look up on any phone field. Say someone leaves you a message and you want to look that phone number in Act!. A plain Act system have 6 different phone fields – Phone, Mobile, Fax, Alt Phone, Home Phone and Pager. Your Act system may even have more phone fields as you can add more through “Define Fields”. You can search all 6 phone fields in the database by changing the Lookup drop down in the top left of the contact record to “Any Phone Field”. When you enter a phone number value in the “Contains” box, you do not need to add parantheses or dashes. For example our office number is (716) 837-5727. If you enter 8375727, it will search all records in the database on all phone type field for that value.
  4. Minimize your layouts – If you click on the layout drop in the mini tool bar, you’ll see a list of available layouts. Sometimes there are far more layouts in there than you’ll ever need. All layouts are loaded at startup so it’s a good idea to delete the unused layouts. They can found on your server in the layouts folder of your xxxx-database files folder.
  5. You can clone an existing contact record and create new one. Say you meet 5 people from the same company. You can enter the first contact complete with address, phone numbers, etc. Then click on Contact / Duplciate Contact and Act will create another contact record. You only need to add a name and e-mail address.
  6. Tag records – If you are preparing a list of contacts and want to “tweak” it, click on the Tag Mode check box and select the individual records you want to remove from the list. You will see that tagged records are blue. You can then remove the tagged by clicking on “Omit Selected” or keep the tagged records by clicking on “Lookup Tagged Records. This is helpful when you are building a list for E-mail Marketing or mailing.
  7. Once you have the right list, you can mass create histories. Say you held a webinar and want to add a history note to all of the indiviuals who attended. You could look each contact up and then manually create a history action. A faster way is to build a list of attendee through tagging and then clicking on the select all button. All records in the List view will be selected. Then click the history button and you can add a history to all of the selected records. We recommend that you tag no more 500 or 1000 records at a time.
  8. You could also schedule activities for all of these contacts. Tag them all and then press the “Call” button. You can add the details of the call. It is very important that you check the “Create separate activity for each contact” check box at the bottom. This will schedule a call for each contact, not a giant conference call. This checkbox is v17 only. In older versions of Act, you must click on the options pull down at the top right of the call box.
  9. Call timer – You can start a timer when the phone rings. Open the contact record, go to Tools – Timer. A timer will appear and you can start it. When you press Stop, a New History record will appear with the correct duration.
  10. Manage Add-ons – Starting with Act v16 Service Pack 1, you can go to Tools – Manage Add-ons and disable certain add-on from loading into Act. You may have an old Swiftpage add-on or plug-ins from software that you trialed. These plugins are usually loaded at start up. If you don’t need them, don’t load. Call us if you are not sure which ones you need. Not all plugins are self-explanatory.

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