Sharing ACT! 2005 and Outlook Address Books - dummies

Sharing ACT! 2005 and Outlook Address Books

By Karen S. Fredricks

A common misconception among potential ACT! users is that they don’t need ACT! because they’re using Outlook. You might snicker at that suggestion if you realize that Outlook is a PIM (personal information manager) whereas ACT! is a true contact manager. Think of ACT! as Outlook on steroids; try doing a mail merge, customize fields, or log in notes in Outlook and you’ll understand.

Still, some ACT! users find themselves needing to use Outlook for a variety of reasons:

  • His company is currently using Outlook to maintain the company calendar.
  • She might use Outlook to keep track of personal addresses and information that doesn’t belong in ACT!

Fortunately, you can teach ACT! and Outlook to share both their address books and calendars with one another.

When using both ACT! and Outlook address books, you need to be aware of how the integration works:

  • You can import all your Outlook contact information — including appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries — into ACT!.
  • You can view all ACT!’s e-mail addresses in Outlook.
  • You can view all Outlook’s e-mail addresses in ACT!.
  • You don’t see new Outlook contact information, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries unless you reimport your Outlook data.

Importing Outlook into ACT!

ACT! very nicely includes Outlook as one of its import options. After all, more people switch from Outlook to ACT! than from ACT! to Outlook. Here’s all you need to do to import the Outlook data:

1. From any ACT! screen, choose File –> Import.

Backing up your database is a good idea before attempting to try something as tricky as a data import.

The Import Wizard opens with a nice welcoming screen that you can skip over by clicking Next.

2. Select Outlook as the type of data you want to import and click Next.

3. Specify that you want to import contact records and click Next.

Your contact records include the good stuff, such as the person’s name, company, address, phone number, and shoe size.

4. Specify your import options and click Next.

The Specify Import Options screen opens.

• Outlook Contacts: Imports your Outlook contacts into ACT!.

• Exchange Contacts: Imports your Exchange contacts into ACT!. Use this option only if you work for a large company that shares your Outlook information on a network.

• Appointments and Tasks as ACT! Activities: Converts your Outlook appointments and tasks into ACT! activities.

• Notes as ACT! Notes: Converts your Outlook notes into an ACT! note.

• Journal Entries as ACT! Notes: Imports your Outlook journal entries as ACT! notes.

5. Map your Outlook fields to ACT! fields and click Next.

ACT! has already “translated” the existing Outlook fields into ACT! fields. For example, Outlook’s Business Address Postal Code becomes ACT!’s Zip Code field.

6. Click Finish.

Configuring Outlook’s address book to include ACT!

Using Outlook for your personal e-mail? You can view e-mail addresses stored in Outlook from ACT! and vice versa. Although ACT! automatically detects your default Outlook address book(s), Outlook isn’t quite that bright; you have to tell Outlook where to find your ACT! data. Follow these steps to do so:

1. In Outlook, choose Tools –> E-mail Accounts.

The E-mail Accounts Wizard opens.

2. Select the Add a New Directory or Address Book option and click Next.

3. In the Directory or Address Book Type window, select the Additional Address Books option and then click Next.

4. Select the ACT! 2005 Address Book option, and click Next.

The ACT! 2005 Address Book dialog box opens. You can specify three ACT! databases if you like.

5. Click Browse to locate and select your ACT! database in the First Address Book section.

6. Enter your ACT! user name and password and click OK.

You receive a message telling you to exit Outlook and then reopen it again for your changes to take effect. So. . .

7. Exit Outlook and reopen it again so your changes take effect.

Using ACT! with Outlook’s e-mail

After you configure Outlook to play nicely with ACT!, you can create history that appears on the contact’s History tab in ACT!. You can do this for either received messages or for messages that you are creating.

Creating ACT! history from an e-mail received in Outlook

If you want to attach an Outlook e-mail message to a contact’s History tab, follow these steps:

1. In Outlook, open the message to which you want to attach history.

2. Choose an option from the ACT! History drop-down list.

Don’t see the ACT! History option? Right-click the Outlook toolbar and select ACT! History.

3. Click the Attach to ACT! 2005 Contact(s) button on the Outlook toolbar.

Not sure what the button looks like? There should be a vaguely familiar button on the right end of the toolbar — it’s the graphic associated with ACT!. If you have added more than one ACT! address book to Outlook, you’re prompted to select the database in which the contact is stored.

4. Select a contact in the Attach E-mail to Contact window and click OK.

A link to the e-mail message appears on the contact’s History tab.

Creating ACT! e-mails in Outlook

If you’re in Outlook and feel the overwhelming desire to send e-mail to your ACT! contacts, you can do so by following these steps:

1. Create a new message in Outlook.

2. Choose an option from the ACT! History drop-down list.

Don’t see the ACT! History option? Right-click the Outlook toolbar and select ACT! History.

3. Click the To button on the new mail message.

The Select Names dialog box opens.

4. Select the name of your ACT! database from the Show Names from The area.

5. Select a contact in the Type Name or Select from List drop-down list.

To speed up the process, type the first couple of letters of your intended recipient’s first name.

6. Click OK.

Click the Send button and you’re ready to go. Once again, you get to sit around twiddling your thumbs while ACT! slaves away, creating a history of the sent e-mail on the contact’s History tab.

E-mailing to Outlook contacts in ACT!

Sending an ACT! e-mail to one of your Outlook contacts is almost too easy. All you need to do is follow these steps:

1. Generate a new ACT! e-mail message by clicking the E-Mail icon on ACT!’s Navigation bar and then clicking New.

The new message window appears.

2. Click the To button.

The Select Recipients dialog box opens, which looks a lot like the Select Names dialog box.

3. Select Microsoft Outlook from the Address Book drop-down list.

You now see a list of all your Outlook contacts. To speed up the process, you might consider typing in the first couple of letters of the person’s first name in the Type In/Choose Name drop-down area.

4. Select the desired name from the list and click OK.