Dashboard charts are a great way to make data contained within ACT! easily visible to everyone in the organization, and a couple of changes could make them even more useful.
One of the common management reports required by many companies is "How many outbound telephone calls did we make today / this week / this month". Strangely, it is not possible to obtain this information using the Dashboards and it is not a straight forward matter in the Task list either.
The first challenge is to decide how the organization is going to record this information in ACT! Essentially, there are two options; either schedule a call then clear it when completed, which many people find too laborious, or Record a History which is much quicker.
The problem is that whilst a Dashboard will let me see calls that have been scheduled in ACT! the filter options won't let me show just the completed ones, the default option shows all the open activities, but not the cleared ones, or I can check the "Show Cleared" box which then shows me both open + cleared activities.
What we need is an additional check box for "Show Open Activities", the user would then have complete control over the data displayed and would be able to see and record work that has actually been done as opposed to work that was just scheduled to be done! The same additional filter would also be useful in the task list.
The difficulty with recording calls as History records on the other hand is that History is currently not available at all in the Dashboards, which I believe it should be. I do however share the views in another post that having completed activities recorded in both Activities and History is confusing and should be addressed. I would be in favour of reducing History to be the "audit trail", and focus on Acivities for management reporting purposes. So instead of a "Record a History" button why not move the functionality to the Activities area and have a "Record a Completed Activity" button to speed up the recording of calls and to-dos that have not been scheduled.
The easier it is to get useful, common management reports out of ACT! the more likely it will be that organizations will want to use it as a key sales management tool.
An ACT! Certified Consultant recently suggested the following feature:
Since a History typically begins as an Activity, why not just display Cleared Activities in the History tab, rather than having to Remove Cleared Activities with the Tools > Database Maintenance?
And you would also be able to see manually created Histories as Cleared Activities on the Calendar. Print the calendar, and you've got a graphic Weekly Progress Report!
What do you think?
Please make a preference to disable (as default) the "Use details from previous activity" (checkbox) in the activity detail tab !!!
It's really annoyaing to uncheck it every single time.
This would be quite usefull when talking to recurring clients, you don't want to see all your activies from the last 3 years...
I make 1 activity per call and follow the entire history in the history tab.
See post below
We need a report that shows Activities completed for each Opportunity.
I was surprised that this is not a standard report, but even more frustrated after I searched online and could find no instructions on how to build this report.
Tracking communications and promotions is always a challenge. What would be neat is if I could create a Group for all the contacts who responded to a specific email blast or newsletter.
You an create a history record for say "090607-Email Sent" or "090607-Email Responded". What I would like to do is to create a Dynamic Group for all the people in say London who responed to the 090607 mailshot.
If we could include History and Activity Items in Advanced Queries we would be able to do this sort of thing more easily.
It's a common request to add the ability to modify the template used for the Email to participents when scheduling an activity.
One extra thing that would be useful to to add a URL to Google Maps to show the location.
Note: if you do this, it would also need to be able to select between the User location, one of the Contacts or a separatelocation based on the Location field.
GL Computing, Australia
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I have started to use ACT after 37signals for the ability to added more customizations. However, one feature that I really miss, is the ability to see a running feed of all activity. Act kind of has this feature in the activity and histories of each contact, company, opportunity and even my record, but there is no centralized way to see all of the most recent activity. Currently, the Task List has a filter that you can show cleared activities, but that is not inclusive of all histories. The history tabs are only for the record you are on/viewing, and if you use the "record history" button, no activity is created and therefore, it don't show up in the cleared activity. This provides a great way to see what you and others in your company have done without having to run a report.
I think they should add a another navigation view for "Latest Activity" (contacts, groups, opportunities, calendar, task list, latest activity).
I would like to see a safe guard in place so that you cannot lose an opportunity by simply forgetting to reschedule an activity. We all know that an opportunity without a scheduled activity is a lost opportunity. Even a pop up reminder that there needs to be an activity scheduled when closing out of the task would be great however, I beleive there should never be an opportunity with out a follow up activity and there should be someway of identifying these opportunities that are sitting dormant.
If anyone knows an efficient way of doing this I will look forward to your comments.