Act 5.0.4

The Good Easy to use; free CD bundles nine popular Act add-ons, including one for Palm OS; handy link to QuickBooks lets accounting and sales departments share data.

The Bad No real upgrade or major improvements in several years; lacks some sales and marketing tools, such as an e-commerce site builder.

The Bottom Line Although Act lacks the breadth of features found in GoldMine and Maximizer, it remains a solid choice for small operations. Still, you might want to reserve judgment until Interact launches its significant upgrade later this year.

Editors' Rating
6.0 Overall

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Review

Act 5.0.4

Although Interact hasn't upgraded Act in several years, this app remains the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) software on the market. And for good reason: it's an excellent introductory program. True, it doesn't include fancy scheduling abilities as GoldMine or e-commerce site builders like Maximizer do. But for small businesses, Act's quick installation and modest learning curve help make up for its shortcomings. Act's long-awaited upgrade, due out later this year, may help Act compete with its more advanced rivals. In the meantime, GoldMine is our top pick. Although Interact hasn't upgraded Act in several years, this app remains the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) software on the market. And for good reason: it's an excellent introductory program. True, it doesn't include fancy scheduling abilities as GoldMine or e-commerce site builders like Maximizer do. But for small businesses, Act's quick installation and modest learning curve help make up for its shortcomings. Act's long-awaited upgrade, due out later this year, may help Act compete with its more advanced rivals. In the meantime, GoldMine is our top pick.

Speedy setup
Thanks to the user guide and bug-free software, Act's installation breezes by. We were ready to enter contacts and manipulate customer data within a few minutes. The first time you start the product, Act asks you which e-mail, fax, and word-processing applications you use. If you select apps such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus CC:Mail, Lotus Notes, Eudora Pro, or WinFax Pro (to name a few), Act can keep records of your communications with customers whenever and however you contact them.

Effortless data entry
As you might expect, one of Act's primary functions is to help you store and categorize your contacts. Fortunately, Act's import wizard makes it easy to bring in existing contact data from other sources, including text-delimited files, Microsoft Outlook 97 through 2002, dBase III-V, and Symantec Q&A 4.0 through 5.0. And whether you import data or add contacts from scratch, the resulting records contain all the contact information you'd expect, such as fields for calls, meetings, and to-do items. It's a cinch to modify or create new fields or attach any type of file, including spreadsheets and Word documents, to those records.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $199
  • Brand Best Software, Inc.
  • Category office applications
  • Compatibility PC
  • OS Family Windows
  • Version 5.0.4
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