It can be difficult to remember how to Import a spreadsheet from Excel into Act! when it is not an everyday activity. Print this 1 page Cheat Sheet if you wish, and have this handy reference...
Finished a database move last week for a client where corporate had her new laptop securities so tight that it was "complicated".
Today she noticed Addresses missing!
Troubleshooting discovery was that the Address field never populated during the move to the new computer. Back to the source data, another long, complicated attempt, and then isolating and importing changes since the first move.
Then she called and said her notes we missing! Initial Panic. But then I remembered to check something, and BINGO! Easy fix.
She asked if she was my biggest problem client.
2. That is NOT a competition.
I usually try to post something instructional, but I just really need to take a moment and explain why do what I do: My Clients are AMAZING! I meet small business owners and self employed folks, and I help them make their work easier. The rewards are more than monetary. For example, this is how my week went this week...
Monday: Pretty normal day with great, long-term client with fun staff.
Tuesday: A nice 40+ mile drive to meet a new client. 3 ACT Users with good questions and I knew the answers (that IS always a good start!) The bonus here was the "business philosophies" that the owner shared...
A: Never be the first to upgrade immediately when new software is available, and here is how he described it: "The pioneers got all the best land, but they also got the bullets." Brilliant analogy!
B: He always pays his vendors timely, and I believe his exact words were: "NEVER p!$$ off the IT folks."
C: He likes an annual "maintenance" visit even if nothing is wrong, and asked if the same time next year was good for me. I am officially now booking into next year ;-)
Drove back, returned calls, handled some administrative work... Then picked up an old (ACT! version 6) database to begin conversion to 2012. Worked well into the night, but from the comfy chair in my living room (occasionally know as, "my office").
Wednesday: Conversion to go live at the same time the old server was being replaced. Lots of waiting for data to migrate and a long, complicated, drawn out process... but the people were fun.
Thursday: Long, complicated, drawn out process continued, while I juggled in other things including the above mentioned "great, long-term client with fun staff". The day ended back with fine-tuning from the long, complicated drawn out upgrade. At the end of it all, the owner (who was a man of few words during the process... I think he was terrified) walked me out and thanked me. He explained that "It was much less painful than he anticipated." Sometimes the greatest compliments are the least expected!
Friday: Casual meeting with a potential client at her home office. She has 2 Schnauzers and one became "my best friend" while I was there! And oddly, the dog's name is Lexie. When I was a teenager my older brother had a silver Schnauzer named Lexie! When I left, I had to stop and call my brother. Oh, and before I left she committed to purchase her ACT! license during the upcoming 3 day promotion, and scheduled me to assist with set-up and importing her clients. She also told me about a great iPhone app that will take a picture of a biz card, save it to Contacts, and export it to Excel. Once exported to Excel, it can be imported into ACT! This morning I am catching up entry on a few business cards that have been laying around.
In between and on-going, I am working on a website for a ministry. This project involves "a friend of a friend", and it has really been a neat learning opportunity (scripture, new friend, etc.) If you want to read smart, logical interpretation of scripture, see HGWT.co (not .com).
How can I top that? And yet, each day and each week has hidden surprises and great blessings. And for now, I have a different website to update and business cards to photograph.
I hope you're having a GREAT day too!
As I promised last month, I want to provide you with ways that you can use ACT! by Sage in a smarter, more efficient manner. Since "trade show season" is traditionally spring and fall in my experience, it's time to focus on importing conference attendee lists. I am seeing that more and more often conferences and trade shows will supply exhibitors with Excel files listing attendees, and there is a "garbage in = garbage out" factor with data imported into ACT! by Sage. I want to demonstrate a few Excel tips that prevent "garbage out"...
* Did the conference planners send the list with names and/or companies in ALL CAPS? If so and if you import it that way, your future correspondence will show "Dear (NAME)". I hate it when that happens, but here's how to prevent it: The “Proper Function” changes the case to initial caps, then lower case in each word:
Select the column with the Zip Code information.
Juggling more responsibility. Finding ways to meet deadlines. Making the customer happy. Making the boss happy. Making more sales and more money. Spending more time with family and friends. Whatever the reason, getting more done in less time is what it's all about.
Conference organizers, business associates, friends, and many other sources may provide a list of potential customers via Excel, and what a time saver it would be if only we could directly import the list into ACT!... Well, you can! Let's walk through the Import process.
First, make sure all your Excel Column Names are consistent with your ACT! contact record Fields. Assuming your ACT! fields have not been customized to something different, the Excel column containing "Name" should be titled "Contact", or "First Name" and "Last Name". (If you have "Contact" with both the first and last names in one column, ACT! will apply them correctly, or if you have the first and last names in separate columns in Excel, ACT! will apply them correctly then too!) In the latest versions, you can import directly from Excel. In earlier versions you will need to Save the Excel spreadsheet file as a "CSV Comma Delimited" (Comma Separated Value) file. ("Save As" is done under the top, left file menu.)
Now from within ACT!, go to your contact screen and in the top, left, select "File", and "Import". This will open a Wizard, and you can select "Next". If you're importing from a CSV file, select "Text Delimited" as the type of file, and then browse for the file. Once you find your Excel or CSV spreadsheet and select it, the Wizard will ask what type of records you wish to import. We are working with Contact Records in this specific instance, so select Contact records and Next. The Wizard will ask how the fields are separated: Select "Comma" since we're using a Comma Separated Value file. It will also ask if you wish to import the first record. Since that's our title row, we don't want it as an ACT! record so take no action and it will not import by default. Now you can use a predefined map, or you can choose not to. Choose NOT to. Now you will see a "side-by-side comparison" of you column names and ACT!'s contact record fields. If your fields are named the same in your spread sheet as they are in ACT!, they will map correctly. (If there are slight variances, you can "tell" ACT! where you want certain data to end up.) Now you have certain options: Stop and look at them, select any specific choices, then Finish... and like magic, those records from the spreadsheet will be ACT! contact records: you are done!
Different versions of ACT! and different versions of Excel will offer slight variances in the procedure noted. If you have any trouble, call me.
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Helping Small Businesses
and the Self Employed
reach their goals
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and e-mail marketing.