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Fast Tip Friday: Notes & History Report in Sage ACT!. Are You Working Too Hard? By @pregren #ACTCRM #CRM

by on ‎05-24-2013 01:35 PM (15,565 Views)


Thrilled to have one of our wonderful Act! Certified Consultants sharing her knowledge in today's Fast Tip - thanks Patricia!


Guest blog by Patricia Egen, Patricia Egen Consulting


The most loved/feared report in Sage ACT! is the Notes/History report.  This shows what you have been (or – this is the feared part – haven’t been doing) over the last several weeks.  I can always tell when someone is having an issue with their database when we get the Friday or Monday calls.  We can’t sync.   I can’t open my database.   I can’t see my updates.  Usually all of them are really simple (slap forehead simple) answers but all of them are driven by the fact they want their data in the home office so the reports on Monday look good.


It really doesn’t matter which CRM tool you are using.  The trick I use to make this report run smoother and quicker can be applied to a variety of CRM tools.  My trick is this – narrow down the records you search.  Why search all records?  Just search the ones with changes. Sounds simple, right? You think?  Sometimes it’s the obvious that eludes us the most.


All applications have to run their reports against the information you have told them to use. Define a smaller subset of data and the reports will run faster.  It is just common sense.  But we get all hung up in minutia and trivia that we forget to see the forest for the trees.


This blog article is going to show you how to run nice, quick, tight notes and history reports in Sage ACT!.  But whatever your CRM tool of choice is, the message will be the same.  Narrow down your choices so the

report runs quicker.


Ok, step one.  In Sage ACT!, click on Lookup – Contact Activity.



Now choose “Changed” and choose a Since Date that is recent – say like the last two weeks. Done.  You just narrowed down your search.  Every CRM has a way to search specific dates.  Why would you want to run a report against all contacts when you are only looking for a specific date range? Doesn’t that just make sense.  I know – the slap the forehead moment.  After you do this, all the reports will run faster.


Now, in Sage ACT!, there are some other facts you should know. First off, the records you are reporting against for a specific user may “belong” to another user.  In many cases this is true – think National Account.  So, on the general tab, you want to ensure you say “All Users.”  If you limit it to a specific user and they have entered history information for a record they don’t “officially” own, you won’t see the history.


And that will make them grumpy because they are, after all, trying to show what they have been doing for the past 1 or 2 weeks to earn their  pay/commissions.




Once you have flagged that detail, you can then select the specific user on the Notes or History tab in the report criteria.  Now you are looking up a report that goes against a lot less contacts and will run faster.




It’s the little things that make a difference.  Always.  Hope you found this helpful.  As always, happy CRM’ing.


on ‎05-24-2013 02:18 PM

This is a great tool.  It apparently does not work via the web client though.  No option "Contact Activity" under the Lookup menu.  It is available though on the server where the full version of Act 2012 (access via web) is installed.

by Rusty Mangum
on ‎10-20-2014 09:43 AM

My history Reporting is not recognizing date range...If I go back and enter beginning and ending range all I get is current month

Act 2010.

by Gary Brei
on ‎07-01-2015 06:13 AM

I have the Act Pro 2011 and can't get the reports options to prit out all my contacts, I'm getting about 32 out of 118.


by Moderator
on ‎07-06-2015 03:40 AM

Hi Gary.


We would suggest to try following the steps in the article below:


Contacts Missing from the Contact Report


If this does not resolve the issue, please confirm the following:


  1. What version of Windows is on your machine?
  2. Does this happen with all contact reports or just specific reports?
  3. When running a report, on the define filters window, are you selecting "All Contacts?"




by Gary Brei
on ‎07-06-2015 07:29 AM

Hey Andrew


Thanks. That didn't work either. I have Windows 7 and I'm getting the same 32 records every time time I try this. A real head scrathcer. Do you know if I can do another install with the DVD I have and copy the database to that machine?

on ‎07-06-2015 09:20 AM

Gary, which report?


Unlikely a reinstall will change it.


Mike Lazarus
ACT! Evangelist
GL Computing, Australia

by Moderator
on ‎07-07-2015 02:52 AM

Hi Gary.


Yes, it is fine to install Act on a new machine, (providing it meets the system requirements.)  The article below confirms how to move your database:


How to Move an Act! Database From One Machine or Directory to Another


However, we can’t guarantee that this will resolve the issue with the reports.  If this is occurring when running all contact reports & you are definitely selecting “All Contacts” when running them, we would suggest to try running a Check & Repair in your database.  Please follow the steps below to do this:


  1. Take a backup of the database, (File > Backup > Database.)
  2. Go to Tools > Database Maintenance > Check & Repair.
  3. Ensure both options are ticked & click OK.
  4. Once complete, test running a report again.



by Gary Brei
on ‎07-07-2015 06:39 AM



Thanks so much for all your help. I installed the program and database to another machine and got the same results. I have a work around so I'm finished with this issue.


Thanks again