Going Beyond Standard CRM Setup with Custom Fields

Custom fields as unique as your business

If you’ve ever felt confined by standard CRM setups, know you’re not alone. Out-of-the-box solutions don’t work for every business. To get the most value from your software, having the power to customize your CRM is crucial. Custom fields are a great starting place for those looking to go beyond standard setups and unlock the full potential of your CRM experience.

Understanding Custom Fields: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

At its core, custom fields in CRM refer to user-defined data fields that allow businesses to capture, organize, and analyze information beyond the standard data points provided by the CRM system. The importance of custom fields lies in their ability to empower businesses to go beyond the limitations of default settings and capture data specific to their industry, processes, or unique requirements.

Insightly allows users to create custom fields to meet their unique data requirements. Users can choose from various field types, including text, date, numeric, and more. In the context of managing contacts, custom fields can be a game-changer. Insightly, users can add custom fields to contacts for information such as preferred communication channels, customer preferences, or specific notes for personalized engagement.

Custom fields are particularly powerful in the context of sales pipelines. Insightly, users can create custom fields to track deal-specific information, such as the probability of closure, deal stage, or special terms negotiated. This allows sales teams to have a more nuanced understanding of their pipeline and make data-driven decisions.

Distinguishing Standard and Custom Fields

Standard fields in CRM are pre-defined and often include essential information like names, addresses, and contact details. On the other hand, custom fields are meant to capture information unique to individual companies. The fundamental difference lies in the flexibility and adaptability that custom fields offer. While standard fields provide a baseline of necessary data, custom fields allow businesses to delve deeper and gather information specific to their use case.

Insightly CRM standard fields include name, phone number, and email address. Some examples include billing ID numbers, contract renewal dates, project types, and referral information. 

Custom fields can be created for the following objects within Insightly CRM:

  • Contacts 
  • Events 
  • Leads 
  • Opportunities 
  • Opportunity Projects 
  • Organizations 
  • Price Book Entries 
  • Products 
  • Projects 
  • Quotes 
  • Quote Products 
  • Tasks 
  • Custom Objects

When using Insightly CRM, custom fields can be cloned for other objects. Additionally, when creating custom fields, there are 16 field types available for customization. These types include: 

  • Auto Number
  • Lookup Relationship
  • Calculated Field
  • Checkbox
  • Date/Time
  • Number
  • Percent
  • Dropdown
  • Multi-Select Dropdown
  • Text
  • Multi-Line Text
  • Website
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address

Setting Up Custom Fields

Setting up custom fields in Insightly CRM is extremely user-friendly. To set up custom fields, admins can: 

  1. Go to System Settings > Objects and Fields.
  2. Select the object for which you’ll be creating fields.
  3. Click Object Fields from the Object Management menu.
  4. Click New Field.
  5. Choose a field type (explained in the list above) and click Next.
  6. Complete the required fields:
    1. Field Label – Enter the name of your new field
    2. Field Name – The name will automatically fill after you’ve added your Field Label, but you can alter it if needed.
  7. When creating a numerical field, enabling the Apply Formatting checkbox will allow for commas to display numerical values when applicable. 
  8. Click Save Custom Field.
  9. Finally, add the new field to a Page Layout.

Keep in mind that each Insightly subscription plan limits the number of custom fields you can create per object. Below is a breakdown of the custom field limits per object based on plan level. 

  • Free: 2 custom fields per object
  • Plus: 50 custom fields per object
  • Professional: 100 custom fields per object
  • Enterprise: 200 custom fields per object

Choosing Between Custom Fields, Tags, and Categories

Custom Fields: Custom fields can be used to capture specific details that go beyond the standard information provided by the CRM. For example, a healthcare business using Insightly might create custom fields to track patient details such as last appointment date.

Some benefits of using custom fields in Insightly CRM:

  • Provides uniformity for data entry
  • Easy-to-find data included right in the data-entry form
  • Insightly administrators create and control fields
  • Data restricted to a chosen data-entry format (number, dropdown list, date, text, checkbox, or URL)

Tags: Tags are an easy way to add labels or descriptors to records. In Insightly, you can use tags to categorize contacts, opportunities, or projects without editing the record. Tags are great for record labels that can change frequently and don’t require standardization.

Some benefits of using tags in Insightly CRM:

  • Can be added and/or removed without needing to edit the record
  • Flexible and can be changed quickly
  • Multiple dimensions can be added to one record
  • Easy access and updating ability in an index list
  • Used to filter a list with one click in the index quickly

Categories: Categories provide a high-level overview and aid in efficient navigation. This included dropdown field has even more customization options available. Values and colors of each selection can be added to, changed, and/or customized by an administrator.

Some benefits of using categories in Insightly CRM:

  • Easy to find and included right in the form
  • Controlled by Insightly administrators

The Power of a Customizable CRM

The real power of a CRM lies in its ability to scale as your business grows. Having the ability to customize your data entry can help you maximize your CRM investment and set your team up for success. Custom fields are crucial because they empower businesses to surpass the limitations of default settings, allowing the capture of data tailored to their industry, processes, or unique needs.

From personalized contact management to optimized sales pipelines, custom fields are the bridge between standard and customized. So, whether you’re navigating project complexities or fine-tuning your sales strategies, the key takeaway is clear: customization is not just a feature; it’s a strategic advantage.


Say goodbye to cookie-cutter CRM experiences and see how you can implement custom fields for your business. Watch a demo on demand, or get a personalized Insightly demo today.