Just like apps for smart phones or iPads, ACT! Software lets you set a “profile” of personal preferences so you have a better user experience.
Some preferences are for your computer or laptop. Some are global database settings and will change the preferences for every user on your shared contact management system. Here are 5 custom settings to set up “just for you.” Almost all of them work on any version of Sage ACT! Software:
- Grid Lines. Any feature that says “List” (Contact List, Task List, Group List) can show grid lines for easier readability. Info in the History and Notes tabs can also show grid lines. To add them, go to Tools > Preferences. Then go to Colors & Fonts. Pick the view you want and check the box at the bottom that says Show Grid Lines. This change only affects your ACT! database use. (The grid lines do not print out on ACT! reports, but any list can be exported with 1 button push to Excel.)
- 4-Hour Work Week. Let’s say you want to schedule yourself for the perfect business lifestyle, a la Timothy Ferris. In ACT! you can set up your work week to work only Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am – 10am…then take the rest of the day (week) off! Go to Tools > Preferences > Calendar & Scheduling Tab > Calendar Preferences. Choose the day you want to start your week and the hours you want to work. Your calendar reflects your changes. Again, you are only adjusting your own calendar; everyone else is free to work a full 60-hour week, if they so desire. The actual calendar view will always default to the daily, weekly, work week or monthly view you looked at last.
- Changing Default Activity Settings. Each item in Calendar & Scheduling has a default setting which can be adjusted. For example, if you want your scheduled calls to ring an alarm 15 minutes beforehand, modify the default setting. You can always override that, but each call will automatically alert you 15 Minutes in advance. You can also set your activities to Automatically Roll Over to the next day if you don’t have time to get to them all on the day they are scheduled.
- Colors & Fonts. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I hate Times Roman and Arial fonts. My urge is to change them to anything else—immediately—if I have control over the situation. Fortunately, ACT! gives you that option. You can change the font type, font size and font color. Some people assign different colors to different salespeople, but that can look pretty busy if you have a lot of shared database users.
Set Up Custom Preferences for Everyone on your ACT! Database
Starting with the Sage ACT! 2011 version, there is a new tab under Preferences called Admin. This tab is for ACT! administrators only who change preferences that will affect all ACT! users.
Some options for this tab are preventing users from editing notes, history or creating a history everytime one ACT! user sends an email to another ACT! user.
Prior to Sage ACT! 2011, you didn’t have that last option. If you sent an email to another ACT! user in your office, it got recorded in that person’s history, which meant all inter-office email was being recorded as well. This created many uncomfortable situations in the past because it was possible to transmit sensitive information back and forth.
Note: If you were (or are) an ACT! version 6.0 user, you saw profile changes update immediately. On new versions (ACT! 7.0, or ACT! 2005 – 2012), changes are not automatic. If somebody makes a change to the database and you’re on that record expecting to see that change, it’s not going to happen.
That’s because ACT! now works more like a website. If you’re on a website page and someone makes a change to it, you’re not going to see the update until you refresh it. You must do that in ACT!, too, using the F5 Refresh key. (You can also get to the Refresh command under the View menu).
You’ll enjoy using ACT! a lot more if you set up each tab in your preferences. Why repeat an action when you can set a default for some of them or just make ACT! look more aesthetically pleasing to your eye?