The current Companies part of ACT! looks and feels like an afterthought. Many users also find it both confusing, not knowing where to enter their data, and awkward in having to potentially flip between two screens to fill out a record. I believe this could be better implemented.
The good points about Company View I see as:
- It allows you to quickly see contacts who are in that company.
- It allows you to see the relationships between parent companies and divisions.
- It allows you to see all the notes and history created in any contact record who is in that company.
The problems / limitations are:
- Users are confused whether they need to fill in the company level information or not.
- Companies don't get created automatically.
- You can't mailmerge company information, therefore to do this you have to link required fields to the contact record and remember to update the link, which is messy.
- Updating the linked records frequently causes problems by erroneously over-writing the contact level data.
I would propose that ACT!is restructured as follows:
- Company level information gets entered on the "Contact level" view only. In practice, this would not necessarily take up additional screen space. Perhaps an additional pane would be required, and we already have the SDK Middle Pane app which potentially could be adapted for this purpose.
- The Companies Detail View would be retained in all it's functionality except that it now becomes read only. All the information at company level is pulled from the contact level records.
- I would then also be inclined to have Opportunities linked directly to the Company name rather than a contact record ( when creating a new Opp you just select which of the contacts are to be associated with it.
The benefits would be:
- Entering data is now intuitive; it all goes on the "main screen" .
- You don't have to manually put contacts into Companies with all the confusion that entails.
- Contacts are also automatically linked, so that chore goes away.
- You can mail-merge any field on the screen, including Company level information.
- Company view would automatically show combined Notes, Histories, Activities, and Opportunities
I think this would make ACT! more intuitive, easier to operate, less prone to errors and omissions, and increases the funcionality and clarity of the software.
In many instances, customers will import data from another ACT! database that includes data in their My Record that they want as part of their My Record in the new database.
The best way to replace a My Record is to add the imported contact record as a user and then delete the old user while reassigning to the new user.
Single User licensees cannot add a user and login to the databsae as that new user because their license only allows one user to login to the database. Also, you cannot delete a user when it is the only user in the database. This is a huge pain for some ACT! users.
ACT! should include a feature in Manage Users that would allow for the deletion of the logged in user but only if another user has been added. Reasign would be the default on these since all records would have to be reassigned to the added user.
This would solve the problem for single user databases where the sole user wants to use his original My Record.
Allied Financial Software, Inc.
I was thinkng about this question on Record Manager: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/49896-6009444032835506177
One of the issues is the ability of the RM to make the record Private.
It might be a good idea to have an Admin Record Creation Options (like the one in Prefs | Startup) that sets new records to a specific RM ... Better yet if this was in the Define Users area so it could make new records for a Team of Users to have the RM of the Team leader.
Just a thought
What is the point in having the webite tab on the bottom right of the contacts if none of them link or sync to anything? It's just easier to go to the website your self and look for contacts. I would love it to sync with Plaxo b/c then anything one of your contacts changes their email address, mailing address, adds a birthday etc. you have it all right there and it's up to date. It's a huge time saver and cut the time in updating and maintaning your database in half, if not more. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE look into making this be able to sync with plaxo, it really is a great idea. Thanks!
I don't see a forum for reporting bugs. Hope this will do. It's minor.
When entering/editing a note on the note tab (under contacts but I imagine this is true in other free form fields) I have discovered after some analysis prompted by a client complaint that the font format settings do not necessarily reflect the settings at the location of the cursor. I believe it is Microsoft standard that those settings reflect the change immediately on moving the cursor if the format where you move the cursor to is different than its prior location. For example, I open a note and type some text. Then I change font formatting and type more text. So far, normal. I've got text in two formats. But if I now click to place the cursor back in the initial text with the initial formatting, the settings at the top do not change to reflect the format at the new cursor location. If I save and close the note thinking that the displayed format settings (for the latter text) will remain the default for that note interface, I would be wrong. When I go back in to the note, the default settings have changed to those of the text where the cursor was when I exited, even though those were not displayed.
Have a button in Outlook so when somebody sends you an email you can go straight to their contact page in ACT! with one click. This would save having to manually look a contact up everytime someone sends you an email.
When adding a link to the ACT! Links it automatically goes to the bottom. There is no sort option that I can see, so it has to be moved up the list to the proper position.
There are other similar lists that use the move up and move down keys, but one only has to repeat click the key. With ACT! Links one has to highlight the item then click on the appropriate move key. This is repeated until the item is placed where desired.
Can changes be made so this function is not so click intensive?
For many years the ACT! Calendar & Task List has linked color selection with priority. This inhibits the ability to assign color independent of of priority to satisfy a need for associating color to a particular user and activity. In working with users, I find that intutively people would like to quickly and visually identify their own or their workgroup's activity in the clutter of a calendar. While you can filter by user in a calendar to mask other users entries it is not as helpful as the natural visual filter that the eye can make to discern colors amongst clutter.
A frustrating side effect of the current color/priority association is the pre-loading of the Activity Schedule form with the color of the prior selected activities priority. For example if I have assigned a priority and hence a color to a Meeting activity for myself and another combination for a Call activity, the last color scheduled wins in the creation of the next activity, irrespective of the desired color association for the newly selected Activity type... So then there is the need to select the correct color for the activity. This in turn preloads the Activity Schedule form for the next time it is used. A continuous sequence of unnecessary re-assigning of color to the desired user choice is set off.
An extension of that finer control over these attributes would be the ability to sort by color in a Task List view. This would effectively provide the ability in a single column header click, sort by two attributes, User and Activity Type....a productive, low-click count feature.
On a monthly bases I need to send invoices to about 50 different customers but these invoices don't go to a contact they go to different address then is listed on the company record. It would be great if I could do a mail merge for fields on the company screen then I could do have the mailing address on a tab under company and.
I want to email a survey to our clients that will be completed as a form - only checking boxes or commenting in a box. This document must first be populated with ACT fields (as a mail merge). I have the document created through ACT as a Word template, then I restricted the document to form filling only & saved it. Now I have the problem that when selecting the document to email, it cannot fill in the fields (as it is restricted, duh!). Is there a solution?
I've just added an "Order Notes" field to the Opportunities Layout on my own database. On the one hand, it's great that ACT! gives me the ability to customise the layout as I want it, on the other hand I'm kicking myself for making what I believe is a retrograde step in adding a field when I have a perfectly good Notes section already there.
The reason I found myself doing this is that when I open an opportunity I want to be able to see immediately any notes associated with that order. By default I have the Products/Services Tab selected, which means that I wouldn't see any notes in the Notes Tab unless I clicked on it to have a look. And here lies the problem. I have ten tabs on my Opportunity screen layout. Am I going to check all ten tabs for updates every time I open an Opportunity? No. (The same issue also applies to the tabs in any view, not just Opportunities).
The problem is that without clicking to open a tab I don't know:
a) is there any data in there at all.
b) has it been changed recently.
What we need is some way of being able to see these things without actually having to open the tab.
Enter "Tab Lights". The tabs change colour depending on if or when they were last edited, so...
No colour = there's no data in that Tab
Green Tab = the Tab contains data but has not been edited in the last 12 months.
Amber Tab = the Tab contains data but has not been edited in the last 3 months.
Red Tab = the Tab contains data which has been edited in the last 3 months.
Naturally, the colours and conditions could be edited globally by an administrator.
All helps to make ACT! the most user friendly contact management system available.
In our testing we have seen a significant decrease in the ZIP file size if we zip the contents using 7z format. It would be nice to see this format used in the next version of ACT! so everyone could see smaller RDBS, Smaller ACT! backups and the use of alot less disk when backing up the ACT! database.
Thanks for the consideration.
Just wondering if Sage has considered offering in their product line a scaled down version of ACT without all the feature sets available in the latest versions? For many having all the CRM functionality and keeping the information and database updated does not yield an effective return on the time investment required to maintain it. This is not to say the value proposition of CRM systems is not valid as an enterprise solution. But for some small business uses it is overkill and not justifiable. Simple sometimes is good and just having a good and customizable contact management application is all that is required. For instance, I notice there are still quite a few inquiries on this forum from Act! 6.0 users trying to migrate to the Win 7 OS. The assumption is if they are investing time to reach out and get help they are doing so because it is working well for their needs and they are willing to invest the time seeking help to insure they can continue to utilize it. I wonder if others have similar feelings and requirements?
We often use the Read Receipt functionality of Outlook to ensure an email was read by a client. However, ACT does not allow attaching these from Outlook to the contact.
When you go to do this the Attacht to Contact and QUick Attached are grayed out becvause Act does not see the Read Receipt as a valid email. A work around is to forward to youselef and then attach to the correct client(s). Would seem that this would be a great feature to have.
I am using Act! Pro Version 22.214.171.124, Hot Fix 3 and Outlook Version 14 (32 bit)
How come there's no option to show the description of the stages on the Sales Stage drop-down list? There's not much point in having a description if no-one can see it.
There NEEDS TO BE a way to copy certain blocks into new email templates. There are some blocks that I'd like to use in ALL of my eblasts (the bottom portion of most of my emails, contact info, disclaimer, logo, etc). Why isn't there a way to save certain blocks and use them when creating new emails? It is EXTREMELY cumbersome to have to re-create these blocks every time I start a new email.
I have tried to just use an old template and "Save As" a new one, but the formatting of the rest of the email ALWAYS gets screwed up and I end up doing double the work because I always just have to scrap it and start all over from scratch.
There's got to be a better way...