Copy2Contact gets contact information into Outlook and CRM

I discovered a really handy utility a while ago called Copy2Contact but have only just got around to writing this article about how I use it to take unformatted information and create CRM Contact data from it. Copy2Contact sits in the system tray and allows you to select a chunk of text in pretty much any application, hit a shortcut key and it will create a new Outlook contact using that information (I use Ctrl+C, C, so this is just a “double tap” on a normal Ctrl+C for copy). Typically this might be text in an e-mail but it does not have to be – it could be from a web page, Word document, pdf file or anywhere else really.

Better still, it uses some pretty clever algorithms to figure out which bit of the text is the name, job title, company, address, telephone, mobile, email and so on. Any data it can’t interpret it adds to the notes section so you can a) see what it was and b) copy and paste it somewhere else if needed.

It’s not perfect, and sometimes gets bits of the information in the wrong places but it is a heck of a lot quicker than creating a new contact by hand then copy and pasting information across by hand, which is usually very painful. While the new contact is still open you can use the program’s “Utils” menu to swap some things round which may be commonly mistaken, such as name<>company or job title<>company, which is easier than copy / pasting these via notes to get them in the right places.

A very common use for this is with someone’s email signature as the source text. Select, hit your shortcut and you have a new contact record pretty much ready and waiting to be saved.

Copy2Contact is not free, but I have easily earned back the $40 cost of the personal edition through the time I have saved by using this. There is a Pro version as well which has additional features to help do things like consistent (US style) formatting of phone numbers, capitalizing city names and so on which I don’t really feel the need for.

To be absolutely clear: I have no affiliation with Copy2Contact and have my own paid-for copy of their software, I have not received any freebies or review copy or anything else in order to write this article.

You can try the software for free for 14 days from the trial download page to see if it suits you. There are versions for Outlook, salesforce.com, Google apps and more PC-based tools, as well as Blackberry  and iPhone/iPod/iPad.

Read on to find to more about using Copy2Contact for capturing data for CRM»

Usual CRM Update – Rollup 11

Roll-up, roll-up, read all about it. Yes, the usual updates for Dynamics CRM 4 have been released and you can download the components and versions you need from this page. The knowledgebase article kb981328 has the detailed information about Update Rollup 11 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, including the prerequisites:

You must have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 installed to apply this update rollup. Update Rollup 7 is a prerequisite for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Data Migration Manager.

Update Rollup 1, Update Rollup 2, Update Rollup 3, Update Rollup 4, Update Rollup 5, Update Rollup 6, Update Rollup 7, Update Rollup 8, Update Rollup 9 and Update Rollup 10 are not prerequisites for the server section of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Additionally, you must have Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 installed to apply Update Rollup 11. To obtain Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, visit the following Microsoft website: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ab99342f-5d1a-413d-8319-81da479ab0d7&DisplayLang=en)

Note that for the server component there is no prerequisite, this rollup can be installed on a base installation (plus MUI if you have multiple languages installed). For the Outlook client you need rollup 7 (same goes for the data migration manager), and for new client installations you can just install the Outlook CRM client with rollup 7 already slipstreamed in. I must admit I find it annoying that the client install is not set up with a proper manifest to trigger UAC elevation – you have to remember to do “run as administrator” (if you are not using the deployment management tools, as many small businesses may not bother to do). The fact that programs prompt me rather than having to remember to do this is one of the reasons I like UAC (since I never run my client machine with local admin rights).
Read about UR11 highlights and the (old) new help files»