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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Get in on the ACT!

After writing about my recent challenges with my electronic time management system, I received an email from Chantale Tardif of Organimax, suggesting that I give ACT! a try. I actually had the opportunity to use ACT! 6.0 in one of my past jobs, and I have to admit that it was one of the most amazing pieces of software I have ever used. It was far superior to Outlook in many ways, and I still remember some of those features now, although it's been over four years since I used it.

It is very easy to customize by creating your own fields, changing the screen layout to best suit the way you work and so on.

It is easy to manage distribution lists (called Groups in ACT!). In Outlook, you can only see who is in your distribution list, or add or remove members, by opening the list itself, but in ACT! you can see which groups someone is in, and add or remove them from groups, right from the contact record.

The mail merge function makes it easy to send individual messages to selected individuals. Although you can use Outlook for mail merge, you can easily make the mistake of sending the message to more contacts than you intended.

It's easy to create templates for messages you send on a regular basis, such as a welcome message to new clients. You can do this with Outlook 2007, but I was never able to figure it out in earlier versions.

I've never used ACT! for my own business, because at that time, it couldn't handle multiple email accounts, or using rules on incoming messages, but Chantale has assured me that the current version of ACT! is fully integrated with Outlook. She also told me that because ACT! is a relational database, it is much easier to keep things organized. For example, you can attach an email right to a contact's file instead of putting it in a folder.

I have to admit that I was very tempted, but once I discovered how to use Outlook more efficiently, I really couldn't justify buying another piece of software. However, I will absolutely keep it in mind for the future, and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a powerful CRM (customer relationship management) solution. You can purchase ACT! 11.0 from  Amazon.com, and if you need some help getting started, be sure to contact . She works with businesses all over the world, speaks both French and English, and really knows her stuff!

posted on: 10/2/2008 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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