The ACT! Knowledgebase

O.K., so it’s 11:45 at night and you need to run this report to send to your boss for the 8:00 a.m. staff meeting, you run the report and get an error message. Now what? During normal business hours you can always reach out to support@TrilogyCRM.com, but that email may or may not be read at 11:45 at night. And, in this economy, why not take advantage of the free option? Anytime, 24/7, and always free, you can use the ACT! Knowledge Base.

Go to http://kb.sagesoftwareonline.com and click on the Search option. Then, pick your Product (choose “ACT! by Sage Family of Products”), and choose your ACT! version. In the “Search by Keyword” field, type in your error message or question.

The results can be all over the place, but if you have a specific error message your odds are good to get a direct hit. When searching based on general questions and how-to’s, like “how do I mail merge”, can be more difficult. With resourceful wording, and once you get the hang of searching, you can definitely find answers.

The ACT! Knowledge Base is the tool that we use when find ourselves with an error message that we haven’t seen before. The directions are well written and usually include pictures to help you along. So, next time you find yourself in an ACT! bind, remember you always have a free resource – the ACT! Knowledge Base.

Relate

Relationships

It’s always fun to point out features in ACT! that we know a customer hasn’t noticed.   There is a little tab in ACT! that a lot of users overlook – the Relationships tab.  The obvious use is to track the basic Org Chart type information.  It’s a great place to relate managers to team members, sales reps to sales managers and the obvious assistants to the person in charge.   When working with our customers, we may have an IT Contractor, a Sales Consultant, or an ACT! Certified Consultant related to the customer.  Those are all relationships we’d like to keep tabs on, or should we say, keep on this tab.  Read more

Copy a Contact

Have you ever needed to send the contact details of a record in ACT! via e-mail, but really don’t want to send a full vCard?  We may get a lead, for example, and want to keep our Inside Sales rep in the loop.  Rather than risk a finger strain and typing all of that information into an e-mail, you can just copy it from the record.  Read more

An Easy way to Lookup

There are so many little gems in ACT! that even we think they are amazing when we find them.  This is one a customer showed me a few years back.  I use this constantly, and it’s one of the tidbits users love when we share. 

Did you know you can right click in any field and do a Lookup? So let’s say I want to find all of my Prospects. 

  1.  Right click in ID/Status (or any ol’ field)
  2. Click Lookup ID/Status

If you need to do a Lookup quickly, it’s a great trick.

How we ACT! – Don’t just jot it down

Sometimes, things that you do become so engrained in your work habit you don’t even think about them.  There are a few we thought might be helpful to our users.  We figured we’d share some of those from time to time in “How we ACT!”. 

I admit that, for a while, some of the automation built into the latest version of Sage ACT! 2011 was lost on me.  I’ve been an ACT! user since version 2.0, way back when it was still on floppy disks, and in a bright yellow box.  Since I’ve been using ACT! basically since dinosaurs roamed earth, I have certain ways I’m used to doing things.  Only in the latest versions has ACT! tied into Outlook so well.  I’ve grown to love, and actually use, some of the new features.  I’m one to give credit where and when due, and this one is something you may want to start using.  I feel like it’s increased my productivity, not quite as much as my dual monitors, but that is a whole other topic.  Still, this one is pretty good. Read more

Is your anti-virus the culprit?

As an ACT! Certified Consultant, you become thick skinned to the comment, “ACT! has really slowed down my machine.”  Or, “Since I loaded ACT!. . . “.  In most cases, it’s someone else in the sandbox, like your anti-virus software, picking on ACT!, poor little thing!  Read more

Who have I touched?

A lot of my day is spent on the phone, talking to new people.  What a perfect fit for me, since I’m so good at talking and I generally love people, especially new ones!  Anyway, I do know my ACT! “stuff”, but as many professionals, it’s easy to let slip the practice of which I preach.  When I talk to someone new, I enter them in my ACT! database.  I fill in all my custom fields and important data.  Then, I record the History of my call, and schedule my Follow up.  Well, most of the time I schedule my follow up.  Sometimes the phone rings.  Yay, someone new to talk to!  I may have meant to schedule that follow up, but the moment is gone, and I’ve moved on.  Read more

Is your database really backed up?

If you need a backup of your ACT! database, how confident are you that the backup file would be usable?  Of course, if you are a TrilogyCRM Hosting customer, we’ve got you covered and then some.  But, if you aren’t one of our Hosting customers, and you are doing the self-hosted thing, do you have a good backup plan?  If you use ACT!, really use it use it, it’s likely the crux of your business.  It’s where you keep everything you need to keep on top of your business.  So, you better be sure.

Recently we received a call from a new Hosting prospect.  They would like to move their database to an outsourced hosting model.  Ok, we like that.  No problem, we say, all we need is your database backup and we can get you up and running.  It’s usually that simple.  They sent us their file, which we diligently set to move to one of our ACT! 2011 servers.  What we found was only a portion of what we needed.  Come to find out, they had a server failure.  Through a little more conversation and digging, we figure out that their database wasn’t actually being backed up, just a few select files.  We don’t give up easily.  With the intensity of those doctors on Grey’s Anatomy, we worked on that little database file with all we had.  Even with our bag of tricks, we weren’t able to get that little file up and running as a full-fledged database. 

Then the fun part; we went back to explain that the file isn’t usable.  Luckily in this case, we were able to get a full database folder structure from an older server snapshot, and we have the customer happily moving forward. 

This can easily be avoided.  ACT! has a great little tool built right in.  ACT! Database Admins, we’d like to introduce you to the ACT! Scheduler. 

It’s actually been there for several versions.  Frankly, until recent versions, we didn’t recommend relying on it.  Now, take full advantage of it.  You and your IT team will be all the happier for it.  Basically, it’s a little app that’s installed along with ACT!.   You can select how many iterations of the backup to keep.  Schedule the times for the backup to run. 

We typically recommend ACT! Scheduler be setup on the server, backup to a designated folder, then have your server backup utility backup that folder.  You might want to check the log every once in a while, just like you would check the server backup logs, to make sure all is copacetic.  The nice thing about the ACT! Scheduler created backups – they are in a format that ACT! can extract right in the program itself.  File, then Restore.  Ah, nice and easy.  Bases covered, automatically.

I just got my new Mac and I need to install ACT!

You opened the matte-finished, white apple box to see that beautiful aluminum laptop with the glassy glowing apple logo.  Congratulations, you have your first Mac.  Isn’t it pretty?  If you are coming from the world of Windows there is a quick learning curve, but it’s well worth the effort.  We get a lot of calls asking, “Now that I have my Mac setup, how do I get ACT! on it?”  Short answer is you can’t, well… sort of. Read more