Occasionally I will get a call from an Act user that uses more than one database.
They might have more than one business or they prefer to keep their personal stuff separate. The first question I ask them is why aren’t they using just one database? If they have more than one business managing one act database can be challenging, but is quite doable.
Should you use more than one act database? In my opinion, the answer is no.
If you use the Act calendar for scheduling you will only see popup reminders in the currently open database. To me, that is a huge reason not to use two databases. With a little bit of planning and a lot of imagination it is easy to set up act to manage two businesses.
The level of organization it takes to manage two businesses in two databases is greater than the level of organization it will take to keep track of things in a single database.
There is even software that will flip the layout in act to accommodate certain criteria. For example, you could have layout for business number 1, ABC Incorporated, be orange and the background for XYZ Incorporated, be green. The act layout adjusts to the business. Just to be clear, I don’t necessarily recommend this but it is just an idea.
My experience has been that the most challenging part of running two businesses out of Act is how you manage email from two different email addresses. How do you manage how email comes from you and to others? Which email address doesn’t it come from? This is what I find my clients have the most difficulty. Suffice to say, you can manage this in Microsoft Outlook.
Here are a few of my ideas for working with two businesses within one database:
- You could create a field called Business and the options would be ABC Incorporated, XYZ Incorporated or Both. These would be in a drop-down list
- You can make a field required. When you enter a new contact act won’t let you move on until you fill the business field in.
When it comes to managing two businesses in act many the most pressing issues often have nothing to do with act. There are many options and solutions for this issue and I’d be more than happy to discuss some ideas with you. If you have questions please feel free to reach out to me. Thank you.