Managing Contacts and Activities

Business is all about relationships. The most important part of business is connecting, communicating and following up with all of your company’s contacts. Even the best rolodex doesn’t cut it anymore. Relationships need to be nurtured and Solve will bring your interactions to a whole new level.

To follow along open Solve menu > Manage Contacts

Adding a new contact

Add contacts and link them to companies, projects, other contacts and more on the same screen.

Click the Create a Contact button at the top left corner of the window, the contact’s details will be shown on the right side of the page in two sections:

The top section contains the need-to-know snippets of information about your contact such as Name, Phone Number, Email Address, Website, etc.

The bottom section is a journal or log of all information relating to your interactions with that contact. This may include notes from prior conversations, email messages, meetings, files, etc. This is where Solve goes beyond the competition. Great relationships are not about remembering phone numbers. Solve provides a record of every interaction plus scheduled reminders and even automated emails to make sure you keep your connections close.

Fill in the blank fields in the top section with as much or as little information as you need e.g. First Name, Last Name, Job Title, Company, Business Email, Website, etc. As you type values into the fields, Solve automatically saves your data when you click away from the field. If you need to answer a call or you just get side-tracked, you can pick up where you left off without a single hiccup.

Create a few contacts in your account now so you can try out the features we’re going to introduce next.

The administrator can add additional custom fields to the opportunity to track information specific to your business process.

Finding a contact

Not everyone is great with names. Solve’s search options make it fast and easy to locate your contacts, even with limited information.

You will see a search box in the toolbar near the top of the contact window, start typing the name of a contact and as you press each key the list on the left side of the screen will automatically be filtered showing only contacts that match the search text. Normally you only need to enter a few characters to find the contact you are looking for. When you see the contact you need in the list, click on the name in the list to open the record on the right side of the screen.

When you look at the words to the left of the search box you’ll notice that there are more options available to customize your search. Essentially Solve is using a simple sentence to describe what you want it to show you. Just read the phrase to understand what contacts are currently being shown in the list and click on the words paired with a drop-down arrow to reveal even more options.

Modifying a contact

Revise contact information or add new, need-to-know or nice-to-know information as it presents itself.

  • Open the Contact you wish to modify by clicking once on its record in the list on the left side of the window
  • Click the “Show form” button placed above the contact’s information

All your contact’s information becomes instantly editable, and all the available fields appear so you can add, edit or change information. When you’re satisfied with your contact’s updated information:

  • Click the “Hide form” button to return to the contact’s original view

Notice something missing? There was no save button. Changes are saved as soon as you leave the field e.g. click somewhere else on the screen, press tab, etc. This is a small example of how we’ve made Solve easy to use. In fact, we think you can enter information faster in Solve than you can on paper.

Wait! Click “Show form” again so we can check out the special powers this form has.

Appointing an Account Manager

The “Assigned to” field is used to designate someone from your team as the primary go-to person for this contact. Setting this value does not limit who can access the contact page, it does however make it easy to recognize who is responsible for it. There is also a simple way to search on this value, in the toolbar click on the words “All Contacts” and choose “Assigned to > {user’s name}” which will show a list of contacts the selected person is responsible for.

Building your contact community

Many of your contacts are related to each other in some way – they may share an employer, company, personal relationship or could even know one of your own team members on a personal level. Plotting out these relationships and connections helps you to seize opportunities and see how each contact fits into the scope of your business. There are two ways to use Solve to note these connections when modifying a contact:

Company Communities

The “Company” field in the contact form allows you to specify how the contact is associated with a company.

  • As you begin to type the company name, existing companies in your system appear and can be selected, if an existing company is not found a new company will automatically be created in the system when you click off the field
  • After linking a company, a new option asking you to state the relationship between the two records appears. Here you can choose to set how contact and company relate to each other. For example, Resi Inc. is the Employer and Debbie Moran is the Employee.

One contact can be associated with several companies – you are not just limited to one.

Contact Relationships

The “Related to” field in the contact form allows you to recognize social and/or professional networks among your contacts.

  • As you begin to type the name of the person whom is in some way related to the contact in the “Related to” field, existing contacts in your system pop up and can be selected
  • After linking a contact, a new option asking you to state the relationship between the two records appears. Here is where you can choose to set how the two contacts relate to each other. For example, John Doe is the Husband and Jane Doe is the Wife.

The relationship automatically appears on both contacts’ records, and you can easily navigate back-and-forth among all your relationships by clicking on their name on the page.

Solve in Action

In business, it’s all about who you know. You have more connections than you think, which you will discover with Solve.

For example, Susan has qualified a great prospect, BigCo. However, she doesn’t have an “in” and is worried the prospect may slip out of her hands. If only she knew that her associate Tom’s second cousin, Cory Smith, is an executive at BigCo… Alas! when she pulls up BigCo’s company record, she sees in the “How do they relate” field: “Cory Smith, Tom’s second cousin.” With excitement, Susan clicks on Cory Smith’s name and has instant access to his contact information. A quick note to Tom and a couple of emails later, Susan, Tom and Cory have gotten their companies to work together. Even those second-cousins-twice-removed can make all the difference, but only if you are aware of them.

Organizing contacts

You may be familiar with organizing contacts into “folders” e.g. a folder for each type of contact: prospects, clients, vendors. This creates dilemmas when you need to track additional information about the contact. For example, what type of client are they, what technology do they use, are they interested in attending your next conference, etc. You wind up with copies of contacts, folders nested in folders nested in folders and by the time you find the information you need, you’ve missed lunch.

While folders limit you to placing a contact in just ONE folder, Category Tags enable information like contacts to be in many places at once, often called “lists”. You can read more about Solve’s Category tags here. It’s as if you copied and pasted your contacts into each folder that it relates to for easy access.

To assign a Category Tag(s) to a Contact:

  • Open the Contact
  • Click the “Category Tags” button on the lower right side of your Contact’s information form
  • Select all the relevant category tags for that contact e.g. Cold lead, Client to nurture, Need to follow up, Retailer, B2B, etc.

Category tags are neatly displayed on the contact’s page where the team can quickly see how this contact relates to your business. This is helpful, but the real value is found when you need to search for contacts matching certain tags i.e. organize contacts into digital “lists” for quick, easy reference.

Searching by category tags

Return to the toolbar’s search statement, click on the phrase “All contacts” and notice there is an option called “Category Tags” which allows you to list contacts that are tagged in a certain way. This is a simple way to manage all kinds of lists e.g. prospects to follow-up on etc.

Category tags are one of the simplest and most useful features in Solve. If after using the system for a few weeks you notice you’re not using them, ask yourself why not.

Creating and modifying category tags is limited to the administrator account. Why? Category Tags often relate to a work-process and when they change we think it’s best that you compare notes with your team before making the change so everyone knows how they are to be used.

Introducing how to work with Activities

Activities record and manage everything worth knowing about a contact, company or project. They are the powerful bits of information that track what has happened and what is planned.

Adding Activities to a Record

Add Activities related to contacts, companies or projects such as events, call logs, notes, task lists, revenue tracking, follow-ups and file uploads.

  • Open the record you wish to add an Activity to
  • Hover over the Add an activity button
  • Choose the Activity you would like to add
  • Provide the necessary information
  • Click outside of the blue box to save the new activity

Your activity will automatically appear above all previous recorded Activities. Activities and their specific items (such as an individual task in a task list) may be deleted, rearranged, commented on or edited in just one click. Keep reading to learn how.

To place a new activity in a specific location on the page, right-click where you want the activity to appear, then choose the activity type from the list of options shown.

Icon Activity Description Report and Update Activities Can track time
Log a call Record that a conversation happened for future reference Activity changes for Yes
Schedule an event

Create an event for a call or meeting that will occur on a specific day and time

Send out a meeting notice so the attendees can add the event to their own calendars, automatically send reminders.

Next actions


Activity changes for

Queue a follow-up

Keep tabs on specific situations so you can keep checking in to push it forward towards a desirable outcome.

Sets of follow-ups are typically worked on as a batch of work at the same time.


Activity changes for

Add a simple note A quick note or documentation which is fast to open and has consistent text formatting. Activity changes for  
Add a formatted note A simple word processor to add quick notes or documentation to a page Activity changes for  
Track a revenue opportunity For sales tracking, a simple way to manage your qualified deals so you don't lose track of them

Opportunities report

Activity changes for

Add a scheduled email An email message that is sent at a future date & time, great for special reminders, follow-ups, and lead nurturing campaigns    
Add a task list A container to manage a group of related tasks

Next actions (if milestone date is specified)

Calendar (if milestone date is specified)

Task (After a tasklist is added, a "Add a task" link is shown to the right of tasklist's title) A way to track lists of things that need to get done, they have many options to help you organize people and work Next actions report

Calendar (if due date is specified)

Activity changes for

Upload files from your computer Any file format is acceptable, such as Microsoft Office docs, PDFs, media files, etc.    
Add a container for photos A container to manage a group of photos, shows a thumbnail of each photo    
Add a link to an external website A bookmarked web address that helps organize web resources related to that contact or project blog    
Add a link to a Google Doc Links directly to a Google Doc so your team has all related information on the same page    
Add a section header to group items As you add many activities to a record you'll find it helpful to group related activities into different sections that can be opened and closed.    
Add a view for linked emails A container that shows all email messages related to the particular record.  This is a very useful feature that is further explained in the Linking Emails tutorial.

Only one of these activities is needed on a page. If the option in the "Add an activity" dropdown is disabled it's because there is already a linked-emails activity on the page.

Solve in Action

Most contact management systems or CRMs only store basic, standard contact information. This can create issues when multiple team members are working with one contact, because the important real-time information doesn’t always get relayed.

For instance, your co-worker gives their client a quote for a project. The client just needs to get the final OK from his associates before finalizing the terms.

The phone rings, and you answer. It’s the client, in a hurry but ready to get his project going (he got the OK from his team). But, he was quoted by your co-worker 30 minutes ago, and you don’t have that information. You scramble to obtain the notes from your co-worker, who is on lunch break, inevitably repeat information he’s already heard, and then hope that after all the chaos he is still waiting on the other end of the line.

With Solve, the client’s Contact Record appears as soon as you can type even part of his name. On that record, you will quickly see that your co-worker quoted him – even if it was a mere 30 minutes ago (or 30 seconds ago, for that matter). Your co-worker’s note that says, “He’s good to go, just need to fax him the contract!” which accompanies the nitty-gritty contract stuff lets you know he’s in the clear. You can thank your new client, tell him you’ll fax that over right away, and get off the phone quickly – without a single bead of sweat on your forehead. You are happy. Your co-worker is happy. Most importantly, your client is happy.

Integrate a VoIP application like RingCentral to automatically open a contact’s record when your phone rings.

Deleting Activities

  • Hover over the Activity or item you wish to delete
  • Click the “Delete Item” icon that appears (trash can)

The Activity instantly vanishes from the page.

You can undelete any deleted item under top right Solve menu > Deleted Items.

Arranging/rearranging Activities

When designing your website, or writing an important email, you arrange the content in a way that makes your story easy to follow. Contact, Company and Project Blog records are not confined to the structure of a traditional “system” and by simply arranging items on the page in a logical order you can convey important concepts or sequences more effectively.

  • Hover over the Activity or item you wish to move
  • Click and hold the “Move Item” icon that appears (overlapping arrows)
  • Drag and drop Activity into desired location to easily organize information in the order you desire

Commenting on Activities

Relay information to and collaborate with your team members through Solve’s Comments function.

Comments can accompany Activities so your team members stay on the same page. Comments such as “Please read this” and “This needs to be revised” are more effective in your workspace where team members will see your comments in context rather than in email messages that are often forgotten and buried.

  • Hover over the Activity or item you wish to comment on
  • Click the “Post comment” icon that appears (speech bubble)

A text box automatically appears under the Activity. The formatting toolbar allows you to change font color, style, highlighting, etc.

  • Type and format your comment
  • Click anywhere outside of the comment box to submit comment and return to normal view

Your comment will now appear in a blue box below the Activity or item it corresponds to. You can delete or revise your comment by hovering over it and selecting the “Delete” or “Edit” icon.

Editing Activities

  • Hover over the Activity or item you wish to edit
  • Click the “Edit” icon that appears (outlined box)
  • Click anywhere outside of the editing box to disable editing capabilities and return to normal view

You can also edit an activity by double-clicking on it.

Introduction to Activities that super-charge Contacts

Schedule a call or meeting

Add an event to your calendar, automatically send notices and reminder emails, right from your contact’s record.

  • Select the Contact you are meeting with
  • Hover over the “Add an activity” button
  • Select “Schedule an event”
  • Enter key data in the appropriate fields
  • Click anywhere outside of the form to add the call or meeting

An event can also be scheduled from the calendar screen which helps determine the ideal time to meet, but you need to remember to link that event back to the contact you’re meeting with.

Log a call

Record the details of a conversation so you look smart the next time you follow-up with the contact and keep other team members in the know.

  • Open the Contact you talked to
  • Hover over the “Add an activity” button
  • Select “Log a call”
  • Enter key data in the appropriate fields:
  • Date, time and duration of call
  • Any details such as topics discussed
  • Click anywhere outside the form to log the call

Track a revenue opportunity

Monitor the progress of your leads and prospects so you don’t lose track of the deals you’ve invested in and track patterns that will help you improve overall performance and profitability.

  • Open the Contact you foresee a revenue opportunity with
  • Hover over the “Add an activity” button
  • Select “Track a revenue opportunity”
  • Enter key data in the appropriate fields
  • Click anywhere outside the form to add the revenue opportunity

Add a view for linked emails

Automatically attach email messages to their correlating Contact, Company and Project Blogs. This means that all prior email correspondence is in one place and can be shared with other users. This is one of the most life-changing features of Solve. To utilize all its benefits, read the featured tutorial about Linking Emails. This activity is so useful that when you create a contact Solve automatically adds this activity to the page for you. However, if it’s been deleted or to add one to a company and project blog page do the following:

  • Select the record you would like to link email messages to
  • Hover over the “Add an activity” button
  • Select “Add a view for linked emails”

A placeholder for linked emails is placed on the page where all email messages in the workgroup’s email folder that relate to the page will be shown. If the option is disabled it’s because there is already a linked-emails activity on the page.

What about Companies?

We believe people work with people so we naturally place an emphasis on Contacts. However, in certain situations your business may need to manage activity at a company level - no problem. In the previous section we showed you how to create a contact and link it to a new, or existing company. You can also manage those company records directly and they have all the same features and functionality as the contacts records we reviewed above.

Adding a new company

Add companies and link them to projects and contacts.

  • Click the Create a Company button at the top left corner of the window

Finding a list of companies instead of contacts

  • In the toolbar at the top of the contact window, click on the phrase “All contacts” then click on the option called “All companies” which will now show you companies instead of contacts.

Moving onto organizing projects or any type of business transactions …