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.

Think about it.  What is the first thing you open when you sit down at your computer, aside from the sugar packet you pour in your coffee?  If you are like most computer users, you open Outlook to check your e-mail.  If you are like me, or the old me, you read an e-mail, realize you have to do something about that e-mail, you jot down that something on your note pad, then mean to schedule the next step.  Yes, even us professionals jot it down, and then forget from time-to-time.  Now, I read the e-mail and schedule the action item – an ACT! Activity – right from the e-mail. 

If you’re on the latest version of ACT!, which is Sage ACT! 2011, and an Outlook user, you should have an ACT! toolbar right in Outlook. If you receive an e-mail that prompts you to do something else, you can click the Schedule Activity button, the button that looks like a hand shake. 

This will launch a schedule dialog box.  Enter what you need to do, and it will be scheduled in your ACT! database right from the toolbar in Outlook.  Schedule and alarm, and ACT! will remind me of my Activity.  Now, that is much more reliable than my notepad.