Adding New Contacts in Act! 2005
On the very simplest level, the main purpose of ACT! is to serve as a place to store all the contacts that you interact with on a daily basis. You can add and edit all your contacts from the Contact Detail window because it contains all the information that pertains to one particular record and allows you to see all your contact fields.
You probably have lots of contacts that you're dying to enter into your database, so jump right in and follow these steps:
1. If you aren't already in the Contact Detail window, go there by clicking the Contacts icon on the ACT! Nav bar.
2. In the Contact Detail window, choose from one of three ways to add a new contact to your database:
• Choose Contact --> New Contact.
• Click the New Contact icon on the toolbar.
• Press the Insert key on the keyboard.
Initiating any of the preceding commands results in a blank contact record. You're now ready to enter the new contact's information.
3. Begin entering information by clicking in the Company field and typing the contact's company name.
ACT! doesn't distinguish between actual contacts and blank contacts. Failure to enter information or repeatedly pressing the Insert key results in numerous blank contact records, which are of no use and only serve to clog up the database. So, although you are free to leave any of the ACT! fields blank, you do have to enter something, so begin with the company's name.
You can always go back to a record later and add, change, or delete any information in any field.
4. Click in the next field where you want to enter information and start typing.
You can also use the Tab key to advance to the next field. If you inadvertently press the Tab key once too often, you may find that you advanced one too many fields and ended up in the wrong field. But don't fret: Press and hold down the Shift key and then press Tab to move your cursor in the reverse direction.
5. Continue filling in fields.
ACT! comes with approximately 50 pre-programmed fields that reflect the needs of most users. Many of the fields are fairly self-explanatory (and reflect the type of information that you probably expect to find in any address book): contact name, company name, phone, city, state, and zip code. These are conveniently located in the top half of the Contact Detail window. A few of the fields are a little less obvious:
• Address: If you assume that the three fields ACT! provides for the address is meant to store three alternative addresses, you're wrong! The second and third address fields are meant for really long addresses. This field is a good place to include a building name if it is an integral part of the address.
• 5160-style labels, popularly used for mass mailings, generally print four lines of information: company, contact, street address, and city/state/zip code (all on the fourth line). If you need to use the second and third address fields, you need larger labels.
• ID/Status: The ID/Status field is essentially the category field, and it files each of your contacts into categories. By using the ID/Status field, you don't have to manually set up a variety of databases: one for your friends, one for your clients, one for your vendors, and so on. The ID/Status field comes preset with a couple dozen of the most commonly used categories, including friends, customers, vendors, and competitors, which makes searching for each of these categories in a flash easy.
• Salutation: This field refers to the name that comes after the word Dear in a letter, which is used in your letter templates. By default, ACT!, being the friendly type, uses the first name. Feel free to change the salutation to a more formal one.