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stephenk
Posts: 2
Country: USA
Message 1 of 30 (4,912 Views)

History or Notes

I am confused as a relatively new user to ACT and we have a small implementation of 25 users, but we have been surprised that when you add a Note it does not update the History tab. We have some people using "add history" and some that "add notes" what is the right one to do ....

Should we get everybody to enter all contacts in history or notes ?
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Platinum Elite Contributor
GLComputing
Posts: 13,898
Country: Australia
Message 2 of 30 (4,897 Views)

Re: History or Notes

History and Notes are two quite different things.

 

History is for tracking everything you've done with the contacts in your database... emails yo've sent, calls you've made, meetings you've had, letters you've written, etc. It's for recording the day-to-day history of your relationships.

 

Notes (IMO), are more general. Useful for tracking impressions of a person or business or recording more long term items of interest.

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Copper Contributor
bradsandy
Posts: 42
Country: United States
Message 3 of 30 (4,871 Views)

Re: History or Notes

You ask a great question. Much of what you do with Notes and History look similar, to you the user of the database, but what Act is doing is recording the things you schedule - phone calls, meetings and mail as action you perform and clear the action. What happens when the customer or prospect returns your call? You only get to show this activity if you put in or Note or go to the Last Result field and enter something from your drop down menu.  Some people get so busy during the day that they forget to put down all their phone calls made during the day, so they enter data in notes.  This is fine until someone asks, "How many calls are your making?"

 

In the use of things like Notes and History you have to begin with the end in mind as to how people get value from the database.  If the reports are important then History must be created.  If people want to KNOW more about a customer then Notes are created. Remember that using a common language in Notes and History will help when people seach the database. If people call your company responding to a flyer, do you put that in the database and if so what words do you use? If you say, "prospect called wanting pricing?" and your notes don't reflect that they called because of an ad or a flyer you lose the value of selling action.

 

JR Juran - who taught Honda how to build a quality car said, "The point of a databse is the history of human interaction." Good luck on building your database.

 

Brad Sandy @ 800sell.com

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Bronze Contributor
pbuchtmann
Posts: 955
Country: Australia
Message 4 of 30 (4,460 Views)

Re: History or Notes

Brad I think that your points are very valid and in many designs I bring histroy to the front and push notes further down as many use notes simply because that is the first TAB they see and are unaware of how to make the change.
Paul Buchtmann
pbuchtmann@ozemail.com.au Australia
Australia's First ACT Consultant (1989)

FREE Record History to change default to Call or To-Do for ACT! 2010-2012 versions. Custom versions also available.
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Nickel Super Contributor
scotta
Posts: 380
Country: United States
Message 5 of 30 (4,399 Views)

Re: History or Notes

I have been training ACT! users since 1992 and the software has changed considerably regarding notes and histories over this time.

 

In previous versions Notes and Histories were combined under one view.  In the past, you could chronologically view the information and review the overall case history.

 

But, as was stated previously, Notes and Histories need to be separated as uniquely different.  An ACT! Note should only be used for commentary regarding the contact.  It should not include any information regarding any action that has occured. 

 

Consider using notes for commentary such as likes and dislikes, product preferences, personal highlights, etc.

 

Unlike Histories, Notes cannot be categorized. There is no Regarding field for a note.

Second, Notes do not have a classification or status such as Call Completed, Call Left Message, Meeting Held, To-Do Done, etc.

Third, Notes do not have a field to track duration.  How much time did this activity take?

Fourth, Notes do not update system fields like histories such as "Last Reach" or "Last Meeting" thus making it harder to determine when the last 'true' contact or touch was made.

 

Instead of simply typing a note the next time a contact calls you, right mouse click and choose "Record History"  Over time you will be glad you did.

 

Scott Abboud

Allied Financial Software, Inc.

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Copper Contributor
bradsandy
Posts: 42
Country: United States
Message 6 of 30 (4,395 Views)

Re: History or Notes

 

Scotta - As a CC for Act I would bet your answer includes something that is hidden - a customer who had a problem and the solution was as you described, but there is more to the story.

 

pbuchtmann - Has a similar response, it does not tell what he learned at a customer, but a comment "Yes that works."  To me, the power of this type of forum would be if you,  members of the ACC community, told a story about the customer in more specific terms.  For example, "I was at a customer who was looking for customer data and they realized that they could not find it - so this is what they learned and what they did going forward." You need not reveal any specific data, but some of your historical experiences would help readers learn what is best and what to avoid.  Think of this forum like the Food Network where great chefs share recipes.

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Platinum Elite Contributor
Roy_Laudenslage
Posts: 5,702
Country: United States
Message 7 of 30 (4,404 Views)

Re: History or Notes

Another option for the Notes/History issue with the current version of the ACT! program is to create a custom activity called Note. The you can create history and choose Note as the history type and have both notes and history on the same tab.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Tech Benders
royel@techbenders.com
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Platinum Elite Contributor
GLComputing
Posts: 13,898
Country: Australia
Message 8 of 30 (4,393 Views)

Re: History or Notes

ACT! wasn't the first contact manager, but it was the first to have a history function (AFAIK)... with the others back then, people just had notes. The problem with Notes is that people end up typing in full sentances and paragraphs, thereby spending more time entering data than in customer contact.

 

History (in the older versions of ACT!) only had the regarding field... so you only entered what was necessary. They later added the Details tab (now in the single dialog) so you could add more info if needed.

 

History is mostly automatic (sending emails, clearing activities,  changing fields, etc). Notes is always manual

 

Splitting Notes and History into 2 tabs was one of the biggest request of the early versions.

 

Roy's suggestion is the best way for those users who do want all the data in a single tab.

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Bronze Contributor
pbuchtmann
Posts: 955
Country: Australia
Message 9 of 30 (4,356 Views)

Re: History or Notes

Brad,

 

When recoridn history for a call you are able to specify it is an incoming or outgoing call so this is covered. The other great part about using record history is that you can schedule a follow up something you cannot do in notes without completing the note and then going to schedule another item

Paul Buchtmann
pbuchtmann@ozemail.com.au Australia
Australia's First ACT Consultant (1989)

FREE Record History to change default to Call or To-Do for ACT! 2010-2012 versions. Custom versions also available.
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Bronze Contributor
pbuchtmann
Posts: 955
Country: Australia
Message 10 of 30 (4,358 Views)

Re: History or Notes

Stephen,

 

Maybe you could think of it as Histroy is the audit trail of the things you have done for a contact and Notes are for those things you want to remember about a contact like what football team he likes, type of wine he or she drinks and there is no field in the database to record this type of information.

 

I think notes is often used because people either have done it that way for a long time or because it is the first TAB on the layout but this can be changed and Histroy could be the first TAB if you felt this was more important than notes.

Paul Buchtmann
pbuchtmann@ozemail.com.au Australia
Australia's First ACT Consultant (1989)

FREE Record History to change default to Call or To-Do for ACT! 2010-2012 versions. Custom versions also available.
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