Breaking the Mold: Custom Objects and the Modern CRM

Break free from the constraints of standardized CRM data

Custom objects play a crucial role in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, offering a range of benefits that contribute to the system’s effectiveness and adaptability. Beyond the confines of standard CRM modules, custom objects allow businesses to tailor their CRM systems to their unique needs. 

What are Custom Objects?

In CRM systems, custom objects are containers for data that organizations can create to represent unique entities or business processes. Unlike standard objects (such as leads, contacts, and opportunities), custom objects allow users to define and structure information according to their specific needs. 

  • Standard Objects are objects that are included with Insightly. Contact, Organization, Projects, Leads, and Opportunities are all standard objects with Insightly. 
  • Custom Objects are objects you create to store data that is unique to your business. Custom Objects can also be used to extend the functionality of your Standard Objects, like attaching invoices to Organizations or progress reports to Projects.  

In the case of Insightly, custom objects empower users to go beyond the standard CRM modules, providing a canvas to design data structures that align precisely with their business requirements. 

Some common use cases for custom objects include:

  • When your data doesn’t exactly fit neatly into one of Insightly’s Standard Objects
  • Linking multiple records to one record
  • If you’re creating multiples of the same field on an object’s Details tab
  • If you need to roll up summary data to your standard objects

The Importance of Customization in CRM

Choosing a customizable CRM system is essential for organizations looking to optimize their processes and adapt to industry-specific requirements. The ability to customize an entire CRM system to unique needs ensures that it evolves and scales with your organization. 

Every industry has its nuances and specialized data points. Custom objects are one customization option that enables businesses to seamlessly adapt their CRM to industry-specific needs. For example, a Solar company using Insightly can create custom objects for managing projects, tracking timelines, and associating relevant documents, ensuring that the CRM truly reflects their operational reality.

Another important aspect of having a customizable CRM is that all custom configurations, like custom objects, contribute significantly to the depth and granularity of reporting and analytics available. The more data inputted within the system, the better the decisions can be made.

Setting Up and Using Custom Objects in Insightly

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set up custom objects as an admin in Insightly:

  1. Navigate to System Settings in Insightly and access the Objects and Fields section.
  2. Select the option to create a New Custom Object.
  3. Complete the required information, including labels and a description. The Object Name will automatically populate based on the Singular Label, but you can modify it if needed.
  4. Choose the appropriate Field Type for your custom object. If Auto Number is selected, input the display format. It’s important to note that once the custom object is saved, the field type becomes read-only and cannot be changed after the initial creation.
  5. Check the Deployed checkbox to activate the custom object.
  6. Display the custom object in the sidebar by selecting the Show in Sidebar checkbox.
  7. Customize the appearance of your custom object by clicking Change Icon and choosing an icon.
  8. Save the newly created custom object by clicking Save Custom Object.


Custom Objects can trigger Workflow Automation just like Standard Objects. This capability addresses various challenges, such as monitoring team task completion, delivering timely updates and progress reports, and alleviating bottlenecks arising from handoffs or approval processes.

Insightly offers robust cross-object reporting features for both Custom and Standard Objects. You can locate Custom Object report templates within the Other Reports folder. Simply drag and drop fields from your custom object, along with any linked standard objects, directly into the report’s body.

Insightly the Customizable CRM

Regarding business investments, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is an essential tool that requires careful consideration. Making the most out of this investment is critical. When thinking through options, the wise choice is to opt for a customizable CRM with the capabilities of custom objects. This strategic decision empowers organizations to break free from the constraints of standardized data structures, enabling a more fluid and adaptive approach to data management.

Custom object capabilities within the system also enhance reporting and analytics, providing organizations with a comprehensive view of their data. This depth of insight is invaluable for informed decision-making. Insightly’s commitment to flexibility and scalability enables businesses to leverage custom objects for tailored data management and adapt to industry-specific needs.


Interested in learning more about Insightly, the customizable CRM? Watch a demo on demand, or get a personalized Insightly demo today.