Meeting Notes

Meeting: April 12, 1994

Tips and Techniques from Open Forum

During our monthly open forum some topics we discussed included upgrading to ACT! 2.0, scheduling events in ACT!'s calendar, and transferring documents back and forth between ACT!'s word processor and Microsoft Word.

Installing ACT! 2.0. Some users have noticed that after upgrading older versions of ACT! to the new 2.0 version (for Windows), ACT! still reverts to the older version when one first opens a database.

What's going on here, you might ask? Well, there have been some difficulties with the Install program. Apparently the ACT! "ini" files are not being updated properly by the new Install program. The solution is to modify the path defaults (under preferences).

Scheduling Activities in the Calendar Not Associated With A Contact. Suppose you wanted to schedule a PTA meeting in your ACT! calendar.  How would you do it? As you know, you just can't simply enter the event date and time directly to the calendar screen. Activities need to be linked to a contact record. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first option is to tag the event to "my record". Or, you might choose to create a special record for the event. If you enter the organization name (in this case, "PTA") under the contact name field, you can use ACT! to schedule your PTA meetings. Note that this trick also works well for scheduling projects. Just create a record with the project name ("1994 Sales Plan", for example) as the contact name and pick a time to review those sales figures.

While we're on the topic of scheduling, it's worth noting that ACT! permits you to schedule regularly occurring events (such as monthly meetings) by simply specifying "how often" and "how long". In Windows versions of ACT!, these parameters appear (and can be specified) within the Schedule An Activity dialog box.Compatibility With Other Word Processing Software. As you know, ACT! features a full-functioned word processor. But what if the greatest form letter you have ever written happens to be a Microsoft Word document? Fortunately there is a way of transferring a document from Word to the ACT! word processor and vice versa. The key is to import the Word document to ACT! as a "rich text format" (RTF) document. Rich text preserves text attributes such as boldface type and underlining. Using the rich text format, documents can be transferred back and forth between ACT! and Word 6.0.


Meeting Topic: Using ACT! 2.0's E-Mail Capability.

Historically, electronic mail - or E-Mail - evolved from the telex machines of the 60's and 70's. While E-Mail is used to convey a message - like a conventional letter or a fax - there is no hard copy; no piece of paper. An E-Mail message typically only consists of basic ASCII text. Only one font size and type is used. However, other files (documents, spreadsheets, etc.) can be attached to an E-Mail message. One powerful feature of E-Mail is the ability to easily send a message to a group of people (perhaps a group of ACT! contacts!).

As with conventional mail, the recipient of E-Mail has to look in his mailbox (an electronic one which is leased from an on-line service like Compuserv) for mail. Otherwise, the recipient may never get the message. The ACT! E-Mail function has three major commands: create a message, transmit a message, and receive (read) a message. These commands are represented by icons and can be also accessed via Windows pull-down menus and dialog boxes. In addition, ACT! provides the user with several options when sending a message. They include priority level (urgent or not), return receipt requested (yes or no), send time (now or at a specified later time), and the ability to attach a file such as a Lotus file or an ACT! contact record to the message.

Don't start sending messages just yet, though. You'll first want to purchase a modem, if you don't have one yet, and you'll have to set up an account with Compuserv (the only on-line service that is compatible with ACT! 2.0). For communication within an organization, an in-house E-Mail system such as CC:Mail or Microsoft Mail is another option for ACT! users.

(c) Copyright 1994 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other nonprofit computer user's groups may reprint this material providing credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec Corporation.