Fields are one of the reasons why FreeAgent CRM is so customizable. They are simple fields that you can create and edit to gather all the information you need in the system. Whether you want to save the birthday of your Contacts or if you want to add a specific ID to a Deal you can do so through Custom.
In this tutorial, we will cover the following topics related to Fields:
- Custom Field types
- Navigate to Fields
- Create New Fields
- Edit Fields
- Manage Fields
- Rearrange Fields
- Delete Fields
- Reference - Multi Select
- Choice List
- Choice List - Multi Select
- Reference Join
Custom Fields Types
There are several types of custom fields, depending on the type of data you want to save.
- Choice List. Recommended for information where you need to select a single element from a list of options. This field type is available on the filters.
- Choice List - Multi Select. Especially useful for data where you want to select 2 or more options from those available on the list. This field type is available on the filters.
- Currency. This is a numeric field type that separates groups of thousands with commas and adds the dollar sign '$' to the amount.
- Date. Creates an input field that allows the user to enter a date through a date picker. The resulting value includes the year, month, and day. When importing data to this field the format should be yyyy/mm/dd (2019/01/31).
- Date Time. Similar to the date field, it allows the user to enter a date through a date picker as well as the time. When importing data through a CSV file, the format should be yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss (2019-04-29T01:30:46.954Z). It is important to mention that the time should be expressed in UTC.
- Date Ago. It calculates a value from a given date. If the birthday is added as 'date', 'date ago' will calculate the age starting from the date of birth.
- Email. When this type is selected the field will expect a valid email address. The Email address added in this field type will be used as contact information, which means that when you click on the Email icon you will be able to select the desired Email from those available.
- Location. This field type suggests different options when typing in a location, based on existing addresses. It also becomes a Google maps URL for the address entered in the field.
- Number. This is a numeric-only value, which means that it won't accept letters nor special symbols.
- Percent. This field adds the % symbol to a given amount. It accepts decimal values.
- Phone. This type should be used when an additional phone field is required and it will be available once the phone call icon is clicked.
- Stage. You can add it to any App in the system, including your custom apps. Stage represents a process you expect a record in an App to follow. Within this field, you can create dependencies with other existing fields so that they default to other values based on stage changes.
- Text. This field type is alphanumeric. It is mostly used when adding both letters and numbers on the same field or for larger pieces of information. This field can be used as a 'Primary'.
- URL. As the name implies, this field accepts URLs. Using this field type to input URL will make the URLs clickable.
- Reference. This field type creates a link to existing information on FreeAgent CRM. It is mostly used when referencing to a Contact, Account, Deal, or other Apps.
- Reference Join. References the value of an existing field from another tab, and keeps it updated. Great to use when some fields have the same information on all the apps.
- Reference - Multi Select. Similar to the Reference field above. However, it allows you to select multiple values.
Some fields have additional characteristics that are important to mention so let's review them.
Navigate to Fields
To get started, click on your portrait and then click 'Settings' (1). Click 'Fields' (2) on the left-hand side menu to display the available options, and click on the 'App' for which you want to create the Field (3).
Create New Fields
You can create additional Fields for your contacts, accounts, deals or any of your Apps within FreeAgent CRM or edit the existing ones.
You will notice that the system already has existing Fields, however, it is completely possible to edit, rearrange, and even deactivate them.
Add a Field
To add your own Fields, click the 'Add Custom Field' button.
A small modal window will appear where you can give your Field a name and also select its type. There are five different Field types: Choice List, Currency, Date, Email, Location, Number, Percent, Phone, Text, and URL.
This Field type will allow you to create different options from which to select from and the best of all the information of this field becomes filterable. The creation of this Field type involves a two-step process. First, you create the field, and then you edit it to add the different choices.
To create the Field, type in the name, select 'Choice List' in the Data Type and click the 'Save' button. If you click on the 'Allow Ad-hoc Creation' box, you are going to be able to add Choices to this field either through a CSV import or directly in the formularies. If you only want to have a predefined set of choices, we recommend that you don't enable this option.
This will create the Field. All new fields are located at the bottom of the list.
Now we need to define the choices, so select the circle next to your Field to enable the 'Edit' button and click on it.
Here is where you add your choices by clicking on the 'Add Choice' button.
Give the Choice a name and click 'Save.' Note that the 'Order' field indicates the order in which the 'choice' will appear on the drop-down menu. Add as many choices as you need.
Once you are done adding the Choices, click the 'Save' Button.
Edit Custom Fields
It is possible to edit your Custom Fields to give them a different name or in the case of the 'Choice List' to change the available choices.
Click on the circle to the left of the Custom Filed to enable the 'Edit' button and click on it.
You can give your Custom Field a different name. Once you are done click the 'Save' button.
You can also edit the existing choices of those custom fields with 'Choice List' type if you need to make changes. Select the Custom field and click the 'Edit' button.
Then select the 'Choice' and click the 'Edit' button.
Here you can change the 'Choice' name and once you are done, click Save.
Once you have all your Choices ready, click Save and your Custom field will be updated.
FreeAgent CRM gives you the option to manage your Fields so that you can activate or deactivate them as you need. You can also rearrange them at will.
Click on the circle to the left of the Field to select it. This will enable the 'deactivate' button so that you can click it.
You will need to confirm the decision before proceeding, by clicking on the 'Deactivate' button.
The status of the Field will change after you confirm the deactivation and will be visible under the 'Active' column.
In order to Active a field, repeat the steps described above, just click the 'Activate' buttons instead.
It is possible to change the order of your fields. Just click on the circle on the left side of the field and click the 'Move Up' or 'Move Down' button. You will notice that the order number will change accordingly.
You can delete the choices that are no longer useful for the fields type Choice List. Doing so is very simple. First, select the field by clicking on the circle to the left of its name and then click on the 'Edit' button.
Here you will see the details of the field, including all the choices. Select the one you want to delete by clicking on the circle to the left of the choice and click the 'Delete' button.
It will be necessary for you to select one of the other choices to update the existing information. Once you have selected the right choice, click on 'Delete'.
You will be prompted to confirm that you wish to continue deleting the Choice.
Once you click on 'Delete' you will notice that the choice has been removed from the list. Once you are done deleting the choices you need, click on 'Save' to finish the process.
To delete them, simply click on the circle right next to the field name and click on the Delete button.
Then confirm that you wish to proceed with the process by clicking the 'Delete' button on the confirmation box. Once a field is deleted, all the information associated with the field will be deleted as well, take this into consideration as this can not be reverted.
Now that we know all the basics about adding, editing, managing and deleting fields, let's talk about some of those fields for which we have a little bit more to say.
You can create reference fields for your all Apps. They are meant to create an additional relationship between them and other existing Contacts, Accounts, Deals or any other Apps you have.
Here is an example. Let's say that in your line of business it is important that you know your Contact as well as the person they report to within their company. Out of the Box, there isn't a field called 'Boss' or 'Manager' that would allow you to choose from existing contacts within FreeAgent CRM to create such a relationship. However, you can always create your own Custom Fields.
To review the complete process to create them, jump to Create Fields.
For the scenario described above, it is necessary that the data type is set to 'Reference' (1) and the Reference object is set to 'Contacts' (2).
This will allow you to choose from your existing contacts (1) to define the manager of the selected contacts once you edit it.
Once you 'Save' the changes the contact selected as manager will become a link, which will allow you to move between contacts by clicking on the Contact name.
That was easy! With the Reference custom field, you can also create new relationships between Contacts and Deals, Accounts and other Accounts, Contacts and Accounts, Accounts and Deals, Deals and other Deals, and many other different combinations among your Apps. The sky is the limit.
Multi-Select Reference field
Custom Fields are here to help you get the most out of FreeAgent CRM. There are different types that cover a wide range of options like date, currency, text, etc... But if you want to create a relationship between existing data, especially that belonging to contacts, Accounts, and Deals, and on top, select multiple elements, what do you do? You create a Multi-Select Reference field for any of your Apps.
They are meant to create an additional relationship between them and other Apps. This is a 'many-to-many' relationship that as its name implies will allow you to relate different elements. This type of field will also let you choose multiple elements.
Here is an example. Let's say that within your data you have contacts that are supervised by the same manager, and you want to be able to know exactly who they are. Out of the Box, there isn't a field called 'Team' that would allow you to choose from existing contacts within FreeAgent CRM all the contacts that have the same manager to create that relationship. However, you can always create your own Custom Fields.
For the scenario described above, it is necessary that the data type is set to 'Reference - Multi-select' (1) and the Reference object is set to 'Contacts' (2).
This will allow us to choose from our existing contacts to define those that belong to the same manager once you edit them. To assign the manager to a group of contacts, we can use the bulk edit feature.
When editing contacts, you will be able to select one or more elements on the Reference - Multi-Select field. Once you are done editing click the 'Save' button.
Once you 'Save' the changes, all the contacts you selected will be displayed on the contacts's information card on the 'Manager' field (2). You will notice that your selections for this field type will be treated as 'tags', which mean that you can filter using this data, but they are not links.
But since the relationship is 'many-to-many' it doesn’t stop there. You can take a look at all the manager’s for a single contact by clicking on the dropdown menu right below the green ‘Things you Can Do’ button and then select the desired field. For this example, we will click on ‘Manager’ (2).
You can click on the contacts on that list to go to their page. There is also another way in which you can manage the data for this type of custom field. Click on the 'Things you Can Do' button and you will discover that there is a new option 'Manage X'. X represents the name you gave to the field. For our example, it is called 'Manage Manager' If you click on it, you can do just that manage them.
When you click on 'Manage Manager' it will display a window where you can search (1) within your existing contacts to add them as 'managers' for your contact or simply remove an existing one (2).
That was easy! With the Reference custom field Multi-Select, you can also create new relationships between Contacts and multiple Deals, Accounts and multiple other Accounts, Contacts and multiple Accounts, Accounts and multiple Deals, Deals and multiple other Deals, and many other different combinations within your Apps. The sky is the limit.
Choice List field
You can create Choice List fields for your Apps. They are meant to provide additional information for them. Here is an example.
Let's say that in your line of business it is important that you know your Contact's zodiac sign. Out of the Box, there isn't such an option. However, you can always create your own Custom Fields.
For the scenario described above, it is necessary that the data type is set to 'Choice List'.
If you want to add in more choice as you create elements, then it will be necessary that you mark the 'Allow Ad-hoc Creation' checkbox. If you don't then you will be restricted to the choices you add for the field.
Once you save your custom field, you will need to add the actual choices, in this case, the Zodiac signs, by editing your Custom Field.
Once you 'Save' the changes to your Custom Field, the next time you add or edit a Contact, you will see the Zodiac Sign field. It will show you all the available choices for you to choose from. If you checked the 'Allow Ad-hoc Creation' box, in addition to the choices you added anyone in your team will be able to add their own choices on that field. For this particular example of the Zodiac Sign, since they are only 12 and we have added them all to the choices, we won't check the 'Allow Ad-hoc Creation' box.
One additional advantage of the Choice List custom fields is that it will be available on the filters. So if you would like to see those Contacts that are 'Leo', just apply the filter and the system will do the rest.
And there you have it! With the Choice List, you can add additional relevant information to your Contacts, Accounts, Deals or your other Apps, you can also filter this data and create as many custom fields as you need.
Choice List - Multi-Select field
You can create Multi-select Choice List fields for you Contacts, Accounts, Deals and other Apps. They are meant to provide additional information for them. Here is an example.
Let's say that in your line of business it is important that you know your Contact's favorite colors and you want to be able to select them from an existing list instead of typing each individual color. Out of the Box, there isn't such an option. However, you can always create your own Custom Fields.
For the scenario described above, it is necessary that the data type is set to 'Choice List - Multi Select'.
Once you save your custom field, you will need to add the actual choices, in this case, the colors, by editing your Custom Field.
Once you 'Save' the changes to your Custom Field, the next time you add or edit a Contact, you will see the 'Favorite Colors' field. It will show you all the available choices for you to choose from. You can select multiple elements.
One additional advantage of the Choice List custom fields is that they will be available on the filters. So if you would like to see the Contacts that like 'Green', just apply the filter and the system will do the rest.
And there you have it! With the Choice List Multi Select, you can add additional relevant information to your Apps, you can also filter this data and create as many custom fields as you need.
Reference Join field
You can create Reference join fields for all your Apps. They are great to help you prevent having to update the same field in different tabs as we know that there are some fields that are relevant in many areas, as they can be used for filtering, sorting and reporting. Here is an example.
The Industry field, a common data point used for Segmenting... Industry is useful in your Contact, Account, Opportunity, and possibly other apps. If you were to create individual regular fields in each app, you could end up with 3 or more Industry fields and what is worse, someone could edit that field for the Contact, but forget to do so for the rest of the Apps. What a mess!
Here is where the Reference Join field comes in handy. Now, when adding a field to a Form, you are empowered to reference a field value from a related record on a separate Tab. Yes, that means having the same data in two places.
So if we go back to the Industry field, it is directly tied to the Account or Company and should be the master record that other Tabs can reference. In other words, the actual industry field (a Choice List field in FreeAgent) would exist on the Account tab and other Tabs would reference that the value on that field using the new Reference Join field type. This is ONE of MANY use cases. Think about Headquarter location fields (Address, City, State, Zip). So how about we just enter this data once and refer to it everywhere else...? Yes, please!
Creating a Reference Join field is really simple as it is creating any custom field.
We want to create a Industry field witing the Deals tab that will reference to the Industry field that already exists within the Account information. This will help us keep the information updated. If someone updates the Industry field in the Accounts, it will also update that of the Deals once we are done creating the Reference Join. When creating your new custom field, make sure to select 'Reference Join' as the field type.
For the scenario described above, we will be referencing to the 'Industry' field from the 'Accounts' tab so we need to first select 'Account' as the Reference Field. This will get us all the existing fields in the Accounts for us to select as the 'field' we will be referencing, in this case, 'Industry'.
Once you are done setting up your field click the 'Save' button.
At that is all! Whenever the Industry of an Account is updated, the Reference join field you just created under the deal will take the new value, as demonstrated in the animated GIF below.