Are You Ready to Upgrade to Act! v19?

Are You Ready to Upgrade to Act! v19?

I’ve been personally using Act! Premium v19 for my own production database since it came out earlier this month and feel that Act! v19 is “ready for prime time.” However, there are still many Act! users of prior Act! versions who have not as yet upgraded to Act! v19....
Act! Premium v18.2

Act! Premium v18.2

We’re excited to announce that Act! v18.2 is now available!  If you are an Act! Premium subscriber, you are entitled to receive the latest Act! Premium updates and enhancements as they’re released.  If you are currently on Act! v18 Pro some of the new features...
Don’t Get Marked as a Spammer

Don’t Get Marked as a Spammer

I usually don’t mix politics with my Act! consulting but I read an article over the weekend that just fascinated me mainly because it showed that even the wealthiest folks with ostensibly the best consultants can run amok when it comes to e-marketing.  Unfortunately,...
Benefits of Act! v18

Benefits of Act! v18

Whether your business is large or small you know the amount of time it takes to keep organized, track customers, follow-up with them, and market your products to them.  It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the details and have everyone in your organization on...
Thinking of Changing Your CRM Software?

Thinking of Changing Your CRM Software?

We have to ask…what are some of the Salesforce.com causes for attrition and how may those considerations affect the choice your business makes when it comes to choosing the right CRM solution? “The financial metrics are clear enough — it doesn’t make sense...

Act! vs Salesforce.com

As the author of 13 books on various CRM software applications and the creator of the lynda.com Act! training videos I am often asked to compare the various CRM products.  Potential CRM users aren’t sure which product to choose, and existing CRM users often want...

Act Database Tech Support Webinar

Act Ides of March Seminar Register Now for the Act Tech Support Webinar You probably love a good mystery – but not when it comes to your Act database!  If you’re like most Act users you rely on Act to run your business and when your Act starts...
Act! and the Surface Pro

Act! and the Surface Pro

When I purchased my new all in one tablet last year I thought I was going to purchase the Microsoft Surface Pro. However, I decided on the Lenovo Yoga 900 because the comparable Surface Pro model was much more expensive and there was a wait time of nearly 6 weeks....
Act v18 is Here!

Act v18 is Here!

We’re really excited about this version of Act! because it adds  new features designed to make you more productive in less time.  But don’t just take our word for it – see it yourself!  Go to my You Tube Channel for video demonstrations on all the features. Click Here...
Act! v18

Act! v18

We’re really excited about this version of Act! because it adds  new features designed to make you more productive in less time.  But don’t just take our word for it – see it yourself!  Go to my You Tube Channel for video demonstrations on all the...
Act and Windows 10

Act and Windows 10

I have had numerous calls and emails from Act! users over the course of the last month asking me if Act! will work with Windows 10. I’ve also had a number of calls from users who have updated to Windows 10 with various outcomes. My advice? If you are using Act! v16 or...
Working with Custom Act Tables

Working with Custom Act Tables

Many Act! software users get confused with the distinction between Act! fields and Act! tables. In Act!, a field is a single piece of information such as a zip code, e-mail address or phone number. A table is a set of records. For example, Act!’s Contact table allows...
Act! Premium Moves to Subscription Model

Act! Premium Moves to Subscription Model

As one of the top Act! resellers, I wanted you to be aware of this news: Starting on May 15, 2015 Act! Premium moved to a Subscription platform. Starting then, you will have two options for purchasing Act! Premium software: Pay an Annual Subscription that you will...

Card Scanners with Act

It seems like questions from Act users come in waves.  Last week I received two very similar questions. “Karen, I contacted Card Scan to try and get the updated software so my CardScan would work on Actv16 but I’m told they don’t support it and didn’t look like...
I Need to Convert My Act! 5.0 Database

I Need to Convert My Act! 5.0 Database

I had someone call me last week who was enraged that Act! Support was not able to help them convert their Act! 5 database (circa 1999) to the latest version, Act! v17.    Another customer couldn’t understand why Swiftpage wasn’t willing to convert their...
The Case of the Missing Act! Contacts

The Case of the Missing Act! Contacts

This week brought not one but three clients that called me upset that Act! had “eaten” some of their contacts.  In all cases we were able to solve the mystery of the missing Act! contacts and hopefully prevent it from happening again. When a user feels that contacts...
Act! v17.1 Update Released

Act! v17.1 Update Released

For all of you who are currently using Act! v17 – or thinking of moving to v17 I have great news:  Act! v17.1 is due to be released on Wednesday, February 25th.  This update is free to all users of Act! 17.  New features include: Act! v17.1 Call List Improvements...
The Importance of an Act Consultant

The Importance of an Act Consultant

Now that you have purchased Act! v17 for your business you may think that hiring an Act! consultant is a waste of time and money. The software does it all already doesn’t it? Wrong! Act! is only beneficial to your business if you utilize it properly, and that is...

Act! v17 Commonly Overlooked Features

I had a great conversation with a new prospect the other day.  He was using a fairly old version of Act! (Act! 2008) and knew he needed a change. “Karen,” he lamented, “we might as well be using a Rolodex and a wall calendar.  I know there is so much more that we...
Act! Software for Mac

Act! Software for Mac

No, Virginia, there is not a version of Act! for “the Mac.”  In fact, there has not been a version of Act! that was Apple compatible since Version 4.  And yes, I agree, it would be nice to have one.  So please, don’t call me looking for a Mac compatible version of...

Why Your CRM Implementation Fails

Having written over a dozen books on CRM software, it’s not unusual for me to receive calls from CRM users who want to “jump ship” and move from one product to another.  The reasons may vary but the bottom-line is that the user feels that the current...
Using Act! CRM to Boost Your Sales

Using Act! CRM to Boost Your Sales

A recent survey conducted by the American Research Group, Inc. showed that Americans were planning on spending an average of $861 on gifts for the 2014 holiday season. This number has increased by 8% compared to the 2013 holiday season and experts agree on the fact...
The Act Dialer

The Act Dialer

The number of businesses that are moving over to VOIP phone systems is on the rise.  VOIP phones offer many advantages, including lower monthly phone bills and nifty ways to connect your remote employees.  For me, the biggest benefit of VOIP is that it allows you to...
ANY Dog Can Learn New Tricks On ACT! v17

ANY Dog Can Learn New Tricks On ACT! v17

Whether you’ve been using ACT! for years or are fresh in the game, there is always something new to learn. Now that you’ve upgraded to ACT! v17, you’ll need to make sure everyone on your team receives the proper training. Even a beginner can figure...
Act! v17

Act! v17

We’re really excited about this version of Act! because it adds  new features designed to make you more productive in less time.  But don’t just take our word for it – see it yourself!  Go to my You Tube Channel for video demonstrations on all the...
Act v17 is Here!

Act v17 is Here!

Act v17 was release on October 23, 2014.  E-marketing which means Act! users will have the ability to design and send e-marketing pieces in the newly designed editor and have more options for tracking their effectiveness directly within Act! .  It also means that all...
ACT For Web

ACT For Web

HOST YOUR ACT DATABASE IN THE CLOUDS Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?  Not us!  There are lots of companies who will sell you a “cloud-based” CRM solution – for a hefty monthly fee.  And just try to wrestle your database away...
ACT Business Care from Swift Page

ACT Business Care from Swift Page

When you purchase ACT, you  have 24/7 access to the ACT Knowledge Base. Tech Benders is always available to help you when you need help, and we support all versions of ACT from ACT 2 through the latest release. There’s no better way to protect and extend your Act!...
Act! Software Verticals

Act! Software Verticals

  Act! can be used by virtually any industry.  The out of the box contains over 70 contact fields as well as additional Company, Group and Opportunity fields.  You can change these fields to make them your own, or add additional fields to make Act! more closely...
Act! E-marketing and an SPF Record

Act! E-marketing and an SPF Record

Back in 2008 I wrote a blog article recommending that you switch to an Act! E-Marketing account if you were sending out marketing blasts of over 50 emails/send.   Here it is 2014 (gasp!) and I’m still passing out that same exact advice.  However, as the world of...
Act! and Windows XP Sunset

Act! and Windows XP Sunset

Windows XP, the operating system of choice for most PC users for the past ten years, is being officially phased out as Microsoft “sunsets” support for the product in all respects.  I loved XP but I’ve had no problem adjusting to my newer machines that have Windows 7...

Link Act! to QuickBooks or Sage 50

The Best Way to Link Act! to QuickBooks or Sage 50 Small businesses require two solutions to effectively manage their front and back office operations: A CRM solution to manage front office processes such as sales and service An accounting solution to manage the back...

Act! Outlook Synchronization

Act! Outlook  Synchronization Clients often ask me to “setup their Act! Outlook integration” and are dumfounded when I respond that there is no such thing. “But Karen,” they insist, “you told me that my version of Act! is compatible with my version of Office.  How can...

Act! Software is Magical

The Contact field can prove to be surprisingly confusing for both new and old Act! users alike.  Although the field seems very straightforward at first glance, it contains a bit of “magical Act! functionality” that can prove to be either a help or a hindrance. Let’s...

Confusing Act! Software Fields and Layouts

One of my favorite Christmas carols is a parody called “The Bathroom Door Said Gentleman”  (sung to the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.”  During the course of the song we find out what happens when an unsuspecting male accidentally wonders into the Ladies Room...

So Why Exactly Should My Company Invest in CRM?

Implementing a CRM solution can be a daunting – and expensive – proposition.  Many organizations are already using tools including Outlook and Excel spreadsheets and can’t justify the expense involved in transitioning to a true CRM solution.  As a CRM consultant...
Act! v16 (aka Act! 2014)

Act! v16 (aka Act! 2014)

This version of Act! represents the first version of Act! released under Swiftpage.  And, because versions are now going to reference the version number and not the year it is called V16.  If you want to think of it as Act! 2014 that’s fine! We’re really...
Filling the holes of your Act! Database

Filling the holes of your Act! Database

As most of you know the “C” in CRM stands for Contacts and that’s the focus of these clean-up tips. I see a lot of databases in a variety of formats (Act!, SugarCRM, Salesforce, Zoho) and I’ve made one assumption:  the typical database consists of 25% “dead wood.”  I...

Silly Answers to your ACT! Questions, Part 2

Last week I shared a story about an ACT! user who thought he had a major problem which turned out to have a rather easy, if not silly, answer. My second story involves an ACT! user who could not open his ACT! database; he kept receiving an error  asking him to verify...

Silly Answers to your ACT! Questions

As an ACT! consultant I am often called on to answer ACT! questions.  And yes, there is a charge for my services. Generally, ACT! users reach out to me after they’ve gone through a variety of attempts to solve their issue.  Sometimes the solutions to the ACT!...

Back Your ACT Database in the Clouds

Any Administrator or Manager user can create an automatic schedule for creating backups using the ACT! Scheduler. Combine this power with your free Drop Box account to save your database “in the clouds.” Download and install Drop Box. In ACT, click the...

Adding Holidays to ACT Calendars

Every year many of my clients ask me if there is a way to get holidays loaded into their ACT! database.  Unfortunately, holidays do not come pre-loaded in the ACT! calendar.  Obviously, some holidays such as the Fourth of July and Christmas are easy to add manually. ...

Get a Free ACT E-Book

Last year I switched to a new publisher, PackT, after many years of writing the ACT for Dummies books.  My new titles are called “Cookbooks.”  Although you won’t find a great recipe for lasagne inside you will find dozens of easy-to-follow recipes...
ACT 2013

ACT 2013

Act 2013 will become obsolete on 9/30/15 If you are using Act 2013 there are a few important pieces of information you need to know. If you’re using Act 2013 you’ll want to upgrade to the latest version of Act by the end of the month.  After September 30, 2015 you...
ACT Software History

ACT Software History

A few weeks ago I wrote about some of the changes that ACT! has experienced during its 25 year history.  I received a call this week from one of the original ACT! co-founders , Mike Muhney,  prompting me to take you on another trip down Memory Lane in Mike’s own...

Zen and the Art of ACT! Database Maintenance

Back in the days of ACT! 6 (was that really ten years ago?) my telephone message asked callers if they had recently “Compressed and Re-Indexed” their database.  Back then, there was no way to automate this process although a reminder could be set to prompt a user to...
Sage ACT’s New Upgrade Policy

Sage ACT’s New Upgrade Policy

When you order software from Tech Benders we make sure that all of your pre-sale questions are answered honestly, and that you get the best possible price for your ACT! software.  I also make sure you purchase the ACT! version which is the most suitable to your...
ACT! Software Naming Conventions

ACT! Software Naming Conventions

I have a page on my website that offers free software for the old ACT! 6 product.  Unfortunately,  ACT! 2006 users frequently try to download and install those freebies and find that they don’t work.  Let me make this abundantly clear – ACT! 6 and ACT! 2006 are not...
Happy 25th Birthday ACT!

Happy 25th Birthday ACT!

Wow!  As hard as it is to believe the ACT! software program turned 25 this month.  If you’re into numbers that translates into 14 versions, five named owners and millions of users. I received an e-mail this week from a long ACT! user who was complaining about...

So Write a Book Already

Hard as it is to believe, I’ve written over a dozen books on technology and created training videos on ACT! and Outlook.  Trust me, writing is a labor of love.  My “day job” is to help my clients utilize CRM software to make themselves – and their businesses – more...

ACT Dynamic Groups

The other day I was working with a client when his ACT! alarms window opened; I must say that the number of alarms he had was, well, alarming.  He quickly clicked the Select All button, selected Snooze and put all the alarms to rest for the remainder of the day. ...
Creating an ACT Zip Code Query

Creating an ACT Zip Code Query

Several years ago a marketing company offered to do a mailing for me to all businesses within a  50 mile radius of my office.  This sounded like a great idea until I realized that areas to the east and south of me contained nothing but the deep blue sea, and a large...

I’ve Lost My ACT! Password!

Several times a month I receive a call from an organization that has lost their ACT! password.  Sometimes this happens when the ACT! Administrator leaves the company – and takes his password with him.  Fortunately we are able to recover those passwords and send the...
America’s Apple Obsession

America’s Apple Obsession

OK, I’ll admit that as a 30 year user of, and consultant for, Windows products I might be a bit prejudiced but can anyone explain to me the current obsession with Apple products?  My local Apple store had a line wrapped around the mall before the holidays, and I...

ACT 2012 Book

Many of you have been asking me when my next “ACT for Dummies” book is coming out.  I’m pleased to announce that it’s here – although maybe not in the same format as you might expect. Anyone familiar with the publishing industry –...
ACT 2012 is Here!

ACT 2012 is Here!

There’s a reason why ACT has been around for over 20 years and has over 6 million users world wide.  It’s a great product! In addition to all the great functionality found in ACT 2011, here are some of the brand new features: The ACT Scratchpad Kiss your pen and paper...
My CRM Software Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up

My CRM Software Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up

Having written numerous books on ACT! software I frequently receive phone calls from strangers that go something like this: “We purchased ACT! a few years ago and it’s just not working for us.  No one is using it.  We’d like to switch to ABC_CRM.  They gave us a...

Need Help with ACT! Reports and Dashboards?

Sage ACT! is the top selling CRM software application, and helps businesses to centralize contact information, organize their calendars and notes, and ultimately maximize contact relationships to optimize business efficiency and profitability. ACT! includes a variety...

Creating an ACT Link to a Client Folder

As most of you know, I’m probably one of the biggest ACT! cheerleaders around.  However, sometimes I run across an ACT! feature that makes me slap my head and wonder “what were they thinking??”  A case in point is the Documents tab.  I love the ability to create...
Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday

‘Twas the holiday season and all through the house, Not a creature was clicking, not even your mouse. The stocking were hung by the “Windows” with care, Glad that Win 7 was finally there! My clients were sleeping, all snug in their beds, While...

Procrastinators of the World Unite!

I’m fairly good about getting ready for the holiday season.  In fact, I have a pretty set schedule:  decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and come down the weekend after New Years.  Most gifts are purchased via the Internet on Black Friday.  I even stock...

Ding Dong – Your ACT! Database is Calling

There are virtually hundreds of add-on products that work with ACT!.  Need calculations between two fields?  Got it.  Need to link ACT! to QuickBooks?  Done.  One of my favorite add-ons is the Call On CRM solutions that allows you to dial your phone directly from...

ACT! Goes R.A.W.

The publishing industry, like so many other industries these days, has undergone radical changes.  I’ve written for a traditional publisher since 2002; I recently made the switch to a newer, less traditional one. In traditional publishing, it takes at least 9 months...
Latest ACT Books

Latest ACT Books

I am pleased to announce that two new ACT 2011 books have arrived on the scene! Sage ACT 2012 Book This book covers the new, more advanced features that have been added in ACT 2009, 2010 and 2011 including the Web Info tab, Related Contacts, ACT E-Marketing and Smart...
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Gary and I attended the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally on Saturday.  Frankly, we were motivated more by the incentive of a $19 airfare than any political leanings.  Gary jumped on the cheap fare the night the Rally was announced; we really didn’t know what we were...
ACT Labels Package

ACT Labels Package

Never underestimate the power of an ACT label!  We’ve expanded the functionality of the basic ACT labels to include: Several sizes of post cards and announcements. Additional label sizes Index and Rolodex cards Click Here to Order In addition, we’ve added the ability...
ACT Reports Package

ACT Reports Package

The Reports Package includes over forty reports that ACT! users ask for but that are missing from the basic set of ACT! reports.  Using the Opportunity module?  We’ve added over 20 Opportunity reports.  Frustrated by the Address Book limitations?  We’ve...
ACT QuickBooks Link

ACT QuickBooks Link

Are you using both ACT and QuickBooks?  Tired of doing double-entry? We’ve got the answer! Link Records between ACT! and Quickbooks Synchronize Contact Data between ACT! and Quickbooks Create Quickbooks Customers from Records in ACT! Create Quickbooks Invoices,...
ACT E-Marketing

ACT E-Marketing

Swiftpage E-Marketing is an e-mail, sales automation and nurture marketing company that has created an integrated solution for the most popular business and contact management applications.  Swiftpage provides the ability to create e-mail campaigns using our simple...
ACT Importing Software

ACT Importing Software

CLICK HERE TO ORDER It’s important to fully understand ACT’s  importing process “before it’s too late.”  The import process is designed for two situations: The initial importing of contact information into a brand new database The importing of additional new contacts...
Purge ACT Notes and Histories

Purge ACT Notes and Histories

Click Here to Purchase Purge ACT  Histories With Purge Notes & History, you can remove all unwanted notes or history records from your database. Purge Notes & History allows you to purge contact, company, group or opportunity history items based on their type,...
Automatic Field Calculations for ACT

Automatic Field Calculations for ACT

PURCHASE HERE Automatic Field Calculations is the add-on you need if you want to make calculations involving ACT! fields. Calculations may be triggered automatically when you change the value a field. This way, your calculated fields are always up-to-date. Automatic...
ACT Peachtree/Sage50 Link

ACT Peachtree/Sage50 Link

Are you using both ACT and Sage 50?  Tired of doing double-entry? We’ve got the answer! Link Records between ACT! and Sage 50 Synchronize Contact Data between ACT! and Sage 50 Create Sage 50 Customers from Records in ACT! Create Sage 50 Invoices, Estimates,...
Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to ACT 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to ACT 2011

I know what you’re thinking.  Another year, another upgrade.  And with new versions of ACT rolling out on a yearly basis you might not feel the need to upgrade.  After all as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you’ve been sitting in the Stone Age and...
Link ACT to Your Mobile Phone

Link ACT to Your Mobile Phone

You use ACT.  You’ve got a smart phone.  And you want to link the two together!  Companion Link is the product you need.  CompanionLink will synchronize your ACT! data with your phone or with other supported applications and web-based services (like Microsoft...
ACT For Dummies books

ACT For Dummies books

Wow!  Over a Dozen Books on CRM Software! People often ask if Karen really wrote the Dummies book.  The answer is YES! In fact, she’s written five ACT For Dummies books (ACT! 6, ACT! 2005, 2006, 2007and ACT! 2008). Roy has served as the technical editor on the...
The Act Dialer

The Act Dialer

Now you can combine your two most powerful customer contact business tools – your phone system and your ACT! Customer Relationship Management software . How the ACT Dialer Works Click to Dial:  When you install Call Monitor an icon is placed next to every phone...
Testimonials

Testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it – listen to what Bruce had to say! Karen Fredricks and Tech Benders has hosted my ACT database and I could not be happier. Karen is a true professional and her knowledge, accessibility and willingness to resolve issues is...
Outlook Training

Outlook Training

Outlook is the most popular email client on the market.  However, as good as it is it’s no match for a more robust CRM solution like ACT.  Fortunately, ACT provides total integration to Outlook.  So who better to help you than Karen who has written 2 For Dummies...
QuoteWerks – ACT Quoting Software

QuoteWerks – ACT Quoting Software

Click here to access a demo QuoteWerk enables companies in every industry to create detailed quotes and proposals with speed and efficiency. If you want to save time and money when quoting, selling, ordering, and purchasing products and services you need QuoteWerks....

Help! Someone Hacked My Yahoo Account

I received a rather bizarre e-mail last Saturday night just as I was getting ready to enjoy a lovely evening at a Marlins game.  It came in to my business account from my Yahoo account and was asking me to send money to myself.  According to the e-mail I was attending...
Other CRM Books by Karen Fredricks

Other CRM Books by Karen Fredricks

If there’s any doubt as to Karen’s knowledge of any and all things related to CRM software, check out the impressive list of titles that she has written.  In addition to 5 titles on ACT and 2 titles on Outlook, Karen was asked to write books on several...
FREE ACT History Fix

FREE ACT History Fix

In ACT! 2011, the New History window (CTRL + H)  defaults to Appointment instead of Call as in all previous versions. Find it annoying? Download the free History Window Fix for Sage ACT! 2011 to resolve this issue. NOTE: There is no interface, simply install and...

ACT Training Courses on lynda.com

As many of you know I spent two lovely weeks in Central California last May recording training videos on Outlook 2010.  I want to let you know that they are now available on the lynda.com website– and that you can watch yours truly on You Tube  talking about the...
Closing Up Those Database Cracks

Closing Up Those Database Cracks

I see it all the time. The typical CRM user fires up his software and is greeted by numerous alarms.  At that point he deftly hits the “Select All” and “Snooze” button.  Drip.  Drip.  I can almost hear important information dripping through the cracks of the database!...

E-Faxing and ACT

Sometimes the things that seem so obvious to me aren’t quite as obvious to the typical ACT user.  A case in point is sending a fax directly from within ACT. Ten years ago one of the first things I showed new ACT users was how to modify the existing ACT fax...
Knowing the In-N-Out of Marketing

Knowing the In-N-Out of Marketing

I just returned from two weeks in beautiful Ventura, California, where I was recording new training videos for lynda.com on Outlook 2010.  In addition to beautiful weather, California is the home to the In-N-Out hamburger chain. For those of you unfamiliar with the...

Should I Switch from ACT to Sales Force

Boy, do I hear that question a lot!  Sometimes I get a variation (feel free to substitute the name of the current CRM product du jour for Sales Force). Here’s the deal.  I know folks like you – I call them ACT fanactics.  I had 500 of them wait in line to get into a...

Synching ACT to Your Smart Phone

I ran a webinar this week on synching smart phones to your ACT database.  Presenting with me was my old friend Rushang Shah of Companion Link software.  Rushang looks like the guy selling replica watches out of the trunk of his car; the last time I saw him he must...
Think Before You Send

Think Before You Send

I was doing some research the other day for my lynda.com Outlook 2010 training videos and came across a pretty interesting story.  In 2007 employees of the United States Department of Homeland Security used large CC: lists in place of a distribution list to broadcast...
Qualifying Opportunity and Potential in Sales

Qualifying Opportunity and Potential in Sales

Today’s post is by guest blogger, Deborah Shane of Train with Shane.  Deborah is an empowerment expert who specializes in career transitioning for women and provides sales, marketing and branding consulting.  She can be heard on her weekly on Blog Talk Radio....

Is Your Business the Underdog?

I love sports and I’m a sucker for Cinderella stories so I was pretty excited to see that Butler made it all the way to the NCAA Basketball Championship final this week.  After all, if my beloved Gators couldn’t be there I was glad to see that my dad’s alma mater was...

Being Penny Wise and CRM Foolish

I got a call from a potential client the other day who wanted help in converting his existing databases into the latest version of ACT; he was a long-time ACT user and had accumulated over 20 databases.  He then went on to explain that unless I could match the...

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Many years ago my husband and I attempted to wallpaper our dining room.  Of course it didn’t help that we began work on this DIY project two weeks before Thanksgiving and were under a time crunch.  I carefully set up a table in the garage where we applied the paste...

It’s A Smaller World Than We Think

I recently ran across a wonderful story in the Washington Post about two high school kids who stumbled across an abandoned baby on their way home from school 20 years ago.  The baby, only hours old when the kids found her, were ultimately turned over to authorities....

Let Me Sell You Some Swamp Land in Florida

I love my tennis buddies even if they are a bit technically challenged.  Take away their AOL accounts and they’d never be able to access e-mail; to them a browser is someone who’s not yet ready to make a purchase.  I found it quite interesting that lately many of them...
Singing the Customer Service Blues

Singing the Customer Service Blues

Once upon a time life was much simpler – at least if you believe everything you see in “Leave It To Beaver” re-runs.  Dad marched off to the office every day while Mom stayed home and dusted.  Not once did you hear Dad cursing because he couldn’t find his software...
Fathers Don’t always Know Best

Fathers Don’t always Know Best

My twenty-three year old daughter was home for the holidays.  Hard as it is to believe, my “baby” is now a college graduate.  Of course the start of a new decade left me thinking about the technological changes that have occurred over the span of a decade – and how...
My Love/Hate Relationship with Amazon

My Love/Hate Relationship with Amazon

Hi.  My name is Karen, and I am addicted to online shopping.  There, I’ve said it so I’m now on my road to recovery.  I love the fact that I can go online and, in a matter of minutes, send a last minute gift to my cousin in Des Moines complete with card and gift...
ACT 2010 Will Soon be Here!

ACT 2010 Will Soon be Here!

I know, I know.  Another year, another upgrade.  Upgrades can be expensive both in terms of money and time, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil of the computer world. Some companies force you to upgrade every year or so.  For example, Intuit’s tax tables...
Protecting Ourselves from Ourselves

Protecting Ourselves from Ourselves

My dad taught me that when I pointed my finger at someone (or something) I was in fact pointing two fingers back at myself. Think about it the next time something goes wrong with your computer. I recently corresponded with a very irate ACT user. He had tried in vain...
Why Can’t I Just Use Outlook?

Why Can’t I Just Use Outlook?

I’ve been using ACT for over 20 years and, like most of you, my database needed a bit of Spring Cleaning. Although I routinely rely on Swift Page to help me update contact information, I wanted to get a better understanding of the needs of my contacts. I sent out a...

How Do You Rate as a CRM User?

Having written 10 books on CRM and contact management I’m often asked to compare the various products. These questions often come from new or prospective CRM users. For me, this is like asking which car is better: the Lexus or the Infiniti. No doubt Lexus owners...

Saying Good-Bye to the E-mail Blues

People very rarely call me when everything is going well. As much as I’d like to hear from one of my clients that all systems are go, I’m more likely to hear from the frazzled person who took a wrong turn in the maze of technology – and is looking for my help to bail...
This Isn’t Your Granddaddy’s ACT!

This Isn’t Your Granddaddy’s ACT!

ACT! has been around for over 20 years. That may not seem like a big deal to you but in the fast-paced volatile world of computing that’s an incredible accomplishment. It’s not uncommon for an ACT! user to tell me that he or she has been using ACT! for 10, 15 or even...
Should I upgrade to ACT 2009/11?

Should I upgrade to ACT 2009/11?

It’s here – ACT! 2009 – right on schedule. So, do you need to race out and upgrade? Here are my thoughts: ACT! Classic Users: By “classic” I mean versions 6 (2004), 5 (2000), 4 or even 3. Your version of ACT! won’t work with a new computer that has Vista, or...
Virtual ACT Users Group

Virtual ACT Users Group

For 5 years I ran an ACT Users Group in my hometown of Boca Raton, FL. It was a fun – although time intensive – endeavor. The meetings were typically attended by 25-50 “ACT Fanatics” who welcomed the chance to learn more about ACT as they...
How are you measuring Success?

How are you measuring Success?

So, just how do you measure success in your business? Obviously, if the dollars are rolling in then you must be doing something right! ACT’s Opportunity feature is a great way to measure your sales success. Using ACT correctly will help your business reach an...

Help with ACT Installation

So, you’ve purchased ACT and you’re ready to install it. Sounds easy, right? Sure it is – if you’ve got your ACT together! Here’s a few hints that will help speed you on your way: Uninstall your current version of ACT if you’re...

Are you ready for CRM?

So, do you think you want to start using ACT!, Microsoft Office Live or Outlook Business Contact Manager to help manage – and grow – your business? You’ll want do a bit of homework first to see if you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of CRM . 1. How...
Top Database Complaints

Top Database Complaints

I ran across an interesting article in Info Week. IT Managers/Database Administrators were polled to find out what the biggest problems were that they were seeing in their databases. Here are the results: 42% felt they were bombarded by “too much...
Don’t Believe What You Read in Amazon

Don’t Believe What You Read in Amazon

As the author of four “For Dummies” books on ACT I am often asked to comment on the negative reviews that a potential user might find on the Internet. Please realize two things about these comments: People tend to voice opinions when things go wrong, not...
10 ACT Myths

10 ACT Myths

Being the person who literally “wrote the book on ACT” (or at least five For Dummies books on ACT) I hear from many ACT users. Although most ACT users are “ACT FanACTics” they are sometimes a bit technically challenged. Here are a few...