Thursday, April 29, 2010

ACT: Outlook Rule to Attach Emails

It is cumbersome to manually attach incoming emails to ACT contacts. Is there a way to automate this process?

Yes, when ACT! was installed, a custom action was added to Outlook that allows you to create a rule that automatically attaches incoming emails to Contacts in your ACT! database.

To create an Outlook rule to automatically attach messages:

* In Outlook, click Tools, Rules and Alerts
* Click New Rule
* From a blank rule, select Check messages when they arrive
* Click Next.
* Select conditions you want to use in checking messages.
* Put a check by sender is in specified Address Book

Note: If you don’t start with this condition, then Outlook will attempt to create a history for all incoming emails.
* In the Step 2 panel, click the word specified
* Select your ACT! Address Book and click Add.
* Click Next.

If more than one address book is defined, you will need to set up another rule to attach to the secondary address book.

Have Outlook flag it to let us know that this is an email from someone in the ACT!database we just specified.
* Put a check by flag message with a colored flag.

Now automatically attach the message in the History tab of the Contact in the specified ACT database:
* In Step 1, check to perform a custom action.
* In Step 2, click the phrase "a custom action".
* Select ACT! – Auto Attach Email to ACT! Contact History.

While still in the Select Custom Action dialog, click Change to select your options.
* The default database should already be selected.
* Uncheck Make history private if necessary.

Choose the History format option that you want ACT! to use in automatically attaching the messages.
* Click OK > Click Next.

Define any exceptions, like except if it is an Out of Office message. Click Next. (No reason to attach these to a Contact).
* Finish the rules setup. Use the default rule name or change it if you like. Click Finish.

Outlook will run this rule automatically every time a message arrives. If you decide to use this method, then you would only need to click the Quick Attach or Attach to Contact icons every now and then (if something didn’t automatically attach).

How can you tell if it didn’t attach? There will be no flag and you can also check the System tray for the flashing red X over the Attach to ACT! image.


Andrea R. said...

AWESOME instructions, thanks!

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Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the best written instructions I have ever used. Maybe you could have reused the actual options Outlook offers but you could figure it out so you were clear enough.
Thanks again.