Join Karen Fredricks for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Setup Assistant, part of ACT! 2010 Essential Training.
We all have to start somewhere. If you are lucky enough to have inherited an existing ACT! database and had someone set it up for you, you don't need to run the Setup Assistant. However, if you are starting from scratch, or if you want to change some of the basic settings, the Assistant will get you up and running in no time at all. Now, there are two ways that you can access that Setup Assistant. The first is when you initially installed ACT! you were given a prompt that asked you if you would like to run that Setup Assistant, and if you said no, and now you are kicking yourself, because you want to get back to it, the other way you can get to it is to go up to the Help menu and click Setup Assistant, and we get this nice opening Welcome to the Setup Assistant. We click Next.
The first screen of the Setup Assistant Wizard is going to ask us if we want to create a database or convert an existing database. So again, if you already have your database in place, you could just hit Next, or if you want to create a new database, you can click on Create Database. So I am going to click Create Database, and the New Database window opens up. The first thing it asks me for is the name of my database. So I might call this the Lynda Database. And if I wanted to use two words, the only thing that's a little tricky is I can't use spaces, so I might put an underscore and call my database that. Lynda_Com.
By default, ACT! likes to bury your database away in the deep mires of your computer. Let's hit this Browse button. It puts it into the my Documents area, in a sub-folder called ACT, in a sub-folder called ACT for Windows 12, and in a sub-folder called Databases. And yup, that's kind of a long path, but that is the default. And if you would like to put it in a different location, feel free to choose a different folder. It's going to ask you what Currency you are using, because ACT! is multinational, and you can share your database with folks in any other country that have different currencies.
Now, we will want to know your name, so it's a good idea to type one in here. Passwords are optional. In fact, if you are new to ACT!, it's better to leave that Password field blank, then to fill it in and later forget your password. When you are given a login screen, it will prompt you for password, and if you don't have one, again you leave it blank. Now, I am going to the next window of our Setup Assistant. And this is where we can pick our e-mail options. And probably most of you are using Microsoft Outlook, so I am going to show you the Microsoft Outlook option.
So I am giving it a check and clicking Next. And the first thing that ACT! is going to want to do is make sure that my ACT! database is accessible through Outlook. So I am going to click the Add button, and like magic ACT! has already been able to read my current database. It knows I am in ACT2010 database, and that my name is Chris Huffman. How smart is that! So I click OK, and then I click Next. Now, this window asks what e-mail editor I would like to use.
Again, most of us use Outlook. We could also use the ACT! E-mail Editor if we wanted to, but since we are already familiar with Outlook, probably a better choice. This means that when I click on an e-mail address in ACT!, lo and behold, Outlook will open. Now, I am going to click Next. When we create an e-mail that we start in ACT!, even though it's using Outlook, we can create a History, and here are our History options. We can create a History that's going to have the subject and message of our e-mail.
We can opt to do nothing. We can opt to have the e-mail subject only. Or we can opt to actually have a little file mail as an attachment of each e-mail. Now, that's not a great choice to use all the time. And these choices, by the way, are default choices. So as you go in and create your e-mail, you can flip between one and the other. So normally I have mine set to E-mail subject and message, but occasionally I will flip this over to None, so I don't record a history, or just E-mail subject only, if I don't really need to see the whole body of the e-mail.
So I am going to choose the recommended choice, E-mail subject and message, and click Next. Now, there is a lot of cool tricks that ACT! and Outlook perform together. In this case if I have a history of an incoming e-mail, I can have that recorded to ACT! as well. And again, I have those same choices that I had before, to record either the subject only, or the subject as an attachment. So I am going to choose subject and message, which is the recommended choice.
I also have a Quick Attach feature, which means when a new e-mail message comes in and that contact is not in my ACT! database, I can have a new contact formed automatically. I like to base it on the From area of my e-mail massages. We can send e-mail invitations using ACT!. So those folks out there who might not be using ACT! can receive an Outlook invitation that they are used to receiving. We can also create an ACT! activity when you accept an Outlook invitation, so that another activity will be scheduled automatically in your ACT! database.
Now, we could also integrate our Calendar with ACT!. So if you have been using Outlook and have all your activities already scheduled in there, you can bring them automatically over to ACT!. I click the Next button, and our last step in the Setup Wizard is our word processor. Now, we have two choices here. We can either use Microsoft Word or we can use the ACT! word processor. Again, most of us are already familiar with Word, so when we create our templates and our other documents in ACT!, we will probably want to use Microsoft Word, because after all that's the word processor that we are familiar with.
So I click Next, and we are finished with the Setup Wizard, and so I can click Finish. You can return to the Setup Wizard anytime you want. It's a great way to double check your Microsoft Office settings or to create a new database.
- Understanding database basics, including fields, records, and tables
- Adding and grouping contacts
- Developing an email marketing campaign
- Creating a task list and scheduling activities
- Managing sales opportunities
- Integrating ACT! with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Reporting on progress with dashboards