Month: July 2012

Apples latest Kitty released to the wild!

In the animal kingdom cats all share the same family, Felidae. All cats are characterized similarly  and are recognizable as felines. It may be for this reason that Apple has taken to applying code names from the Felidae family to different versions of their popular operating system OS X. Regardless of the name, the latest version is here with some interesting new features.

OS X 10.8, or Mountain Lion as it’s commonly known, was released into the wild on July 25, 2012 and will come standard on all new Macs purchased thereafter, or can be bought and downloaded from the Apple store for USD$19.99. Six features of Mountain Lion that you and your employees will definitely find really useful are:.

•              AirPlay Mirroring. Want to project your Mac’s screen onto a TV or larger screen? If you have an Apple TV you can mirror your display and audio to a TV or projector screen in HD. If your office uses Apple computers this could be a great way to give presentations, by simply setting up an HD projector to an Apple TV. Employees can then give presentations from their Macs at the press of a button, no wires required.

•              Power Nap. This is a great feature that allows newer Macs (models released after mid 2011) to receive emails, download and install updates while the computer is ‘asleep’. This should help IT install updates during non-business hours. It will also allow employees to start their day right away, with no waiting for the computer and programs to start up.

•              Gatekeeper. Gatekeeper gives the administrators of the new OS the chance to set which apps can be downloaded and installed. This should make management of systems easier, as IT departments can control what’s installed, and it should minimize malware and viruses.

•              Notification Center. Taking a page from iOS – Apple’s mobile OS – Mountain Lion now includes notifications. Available updates, upcoming calendar events, and messages, etc., will show up as a notice in the top right of the desktop and slide away in five seconds. They can be viewed again by hitting the Notification button on the top right of the screen.

•              iCloud. iCloud was introduced a few months before the release of Mountain Lion and is Apple’s answer to integrating all their different devices. With the update, documents stored on iCloud can now be accessed and modified by all devices, with changes showing up in the docs. stored on your Mac.

•              Reminders. If your employees are involved in one or more projects, or need a way to manage their tasks, Reminders can help. Essentially a to-do list that is integrated across all Apple devices that will pop up when a scheduled task needs to be done, or provide a reminder about meetings or whatever.

There are a number of other features that users may find useful, and we encourage you to explore the new OS.


Manage Activities and History – ACT! Tips

Here are some quick tips for using activities, history, and follow-up properly in ACT!  to ensure you don’t miss a beat when managing your tasks and taking care of your customers.


Activities are items that you schedule in advance that show up in a few places: on your Task List, your calendar, and on the record for the contact that you’ve scheduled an activity with.  To schedule an activity, first look up the contact that you want to schedule with, then choose the “Schedule” menu and choose the type of activity that you want to schedule or use the toolbar icons.

Pretty straight forward, right?  If you’re an ACT! user you’re likely already using activities.  But – are you clearing your activities and creating history records?


History items are the details of e-mails sent, meetings held, calls completed and other interactions between you and your staff and your contacts.

To create a history record when you’ve completed an activity, simply right-click the activity and choose “Clear Activity…” and you’ll get a window that allows you to fill in the results of the activity.  It’s important that you fill in the details so that later, when you or other ACT! users need a reminder, the information is there.

If you want to record history, but didn’t schedule an activity first – for example: the phone rings and a customer calls, you skip the activity creation and just record a history.  You’ll find this option on the Contact menu as well as on the History tab in the contact detail view.  Again, make sure you fill out the details otherwise this information would not be useful.


More often than not, when you’ve finished one thing and are clearing the activity, you’ll want to schedule the next thing to be done.  E.g. you clear a meeting but now need to schedule a call to follow up.  The “Follow-up” button will help you do this and saves time by pre-filling the contact and regarding line for you from the previous activity.