Best Practices for Custom Objects

Insightly can be customized to fit a wide range of business needs thanks to the ability to create Custom Objects. Custom Objects are objects you create to store information that is unique to your business. 

Who would benefit from using Custom Objects?

  • Companies that struggle to track data that doesn’t fit into one of Insightly’s standard objects (tasks, leads, opportunities, projects)
  • Companies that are frustrated by still managing some of their data outside of their CRM on spreadsheets or other databases 

What is the difference between a Standard Object and a Custom Object? 

Standard Objects are objects that are included with Insightly. Contact, Organization, Projects, Leads and Opportunities are all standard objects that come standard with Insightly. 

Custom Objects are objects that you create to store data that is unique to your business. For a property management company, it might be an object for storing data related to the properties they manage. 

Custom Objects can also be used to extend the functionality of your Standard Objects, like attaching invoices to Organizations or progress reports to Projects. 

Examples of when to use a Custom Object

When your data doesn’t exactly fit neatly into one of Insightly’s Standard Objects. Example: We are a university that wants to track our course catalog in Insightly. 

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When you want to link multiple records to one record. Example: We are a property management company and we want to track our monthly property inspections in Insightly.  

If you’re creating five of the same field on an object’s Details tab, create a custom object that links to the standard object. Example: I’m a real estate agent and I want to link buyers to the properties they might be interested in seeing. 

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If you need to roll-up summary data to your standard objects. Example: I am a consultant and I need to track the hours logged against projects I’m managing in Insightly. 

Common examples of Custom Objects

  • Expense or time tracking 
  • Field service or maintenance visits 
  • Properties, listings, or rentals 
  • Programs or memberships
  • Classes or registration 
  • Students, alumni, investors, or donors 
  • Invoices or subscription updates
  • Feedback or surveys

Using Automation with Custom Objects

Custom Objects can trigger Workflow Automation just like Standard Objects. This solves challenges like knowing when your team completes work, providing timely updates or progress reports, or bottlenecks caused by handoffs or approval processes. 

For the more advanced users out there, you can also use Lambda (Enterprise only) to integrate another system with Insightly that would create/update custom object records automatically. For example, if you struggle to locate the most up-to-date information between your invoicing system and Insightly, you may use Lambda to create invoices or subscription updates linked to your Organization records.

Here at Insightly, we struggled to track customer health within our CRM which made it challenging to forecast renewal rates. To solve this, we created in-app satisfaction and feedback surveys using a third-party tool and connected it to Insightly using Lambda. When someone submits a survey response, Lambda creates a custom object record to capture it and links it to the organization record making it easy to look at an Organization and understand their account health.

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Reporting on Custom Objects

Insightly provides strong cross-object reporting capabilities for Custom and Standard Objects. Custom Object report templates are found in the Other Reports folder, and to build your report you simply drag and drop fields from your custom object as well as any linked standard objects into the body of the report. 

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Other Best Practice Articles that include Custom Objects

Configuring Insightly for Recruiting & Staffing

Configuring Insightly for Education

Configuring Insightly for Asset Management

Configuring Insightly for Property Management

Configuring Insightly for Real Estate

Not seeing resources for your industry or use case? Let us know at support@insightly.com!

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