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HomeGetting startedSet up > Customize your contact records
Home > Set up  >  Customize your contact records
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Customize your contact records
You get to decide how every bit of data in your system is displayed. In this video, you’ll learn how to customize your contact records using tabs, sections and fields.
You'll learn:
  • How to use the field editor
  • Ways to categorize data using tabs and sections 
  • How to set permissions for certain data 
  • How to store data in fields
  • Tips for organizing data
Instructor
Sam Flegal
Customize your contact records
You get to decide how every bit of data in your system is displayed. In this video, you’ll learn how to customize your contact records using tabs, sections and fields.
You'll learn:
  • How to use the field editor
  • Ways to categorize data using tabs and sections 
  • How to set permissions for certain data 
  • How to store data in fields
  • Tips for organizing data
Course Instructor
Sam Flegal
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Transcript
Ontraport makes it easy to store and organize all your important information just the way you like it. In this video, I’ll show you how to customize your contact records. 
 
Every bit of data in Ontraport needs a field to live in. For example, if you want to create a form to collect data about which Hogwarts Houses people belong to, you’d create a “Hogwarts House” field so your data has somewhere to go.
 
In Ontraport, you can add new fields by going to Contacts, opening Settings, and clicking “Field Editor.”
 
Remember the Contact Detail Screen? The Field Editor should look familiar. It's organized the same way. In the Field Editor, there are Tabs. Those Tabs have Sections, and those Sections have Fields. I’ll break each of these down.
 
Tabs are listed on the left side of your Contact Record. You’ll see some default tabs such as Contact Information to help you get started. Each tab has its own Sections, which are collections of fields that fit into a particular category.
 
For example, the Contact Information tab contains sections related to — surprise! — contact information. This can include name, email, phone number, stuff like that. The Purchases tab stores data about your contacts’ purchases — like card details, invoice amounts, and order history.
 
You can add new tabs by clicking the “Add Tab” button at the bottom of the list. By default, there are no fields or sections inside of a new tab. I’ll talk about customizing these later.
 
If you hover over or click on a tab, you’ll see vertical arrows on the right side of the tab name. You can rearrange your tabs by clicking and dragging these arrows around. If you want to delete a tab, you need to empty it first by deleting or moving the fields and sections inside of it.
 
Splendid! Let’s move to sections, which are the first element of organization within your tabs. Basically, sections are collections of fields that have some sort of general theme.
 
Let's go back to the Contact Information tab example. In this tab, you’ll see a section called “lead information” that contains data about a lead contact. Things like lead score and UTM variable tracking all fit the lead contact theme. 
 
When you've got a bunch of sections within a tab, things can start looking cluttered. Try playing with the headers and spacing to keep your data organized.
 
If you’re storing any sensitive information in here, you can also set user permissions for each section to make a group of fields invisible or uneditable to certain users. Click on the “Permissions” button, and take a look at the list of roles. There are a few defaults which you can edit. Or you can create your own. When you assign new users to a role, they’ll inherit that role’s permissions. This is the best way to avoid awkward mishaps within your team. Plus, you’ll ensure that your contacts’ private data doesn’t end up floating around on the Dark Web somewhere. Everybody wins.
 
Alright, now that I’ve covered what’s in a section, I’ll show you how to create one. Click on the tab you want a new section to appear in and hit “Add New Section” in the upper right corner. Then, you’ll have a new blank section at the bottom of the current tab. Now name your section — since I’m trying to collect data about my contacts’ Hogwarts houses, I’ll call my section “Hogwarts Information” — and you’re done!
 
Just like with tabs, move sections around by dragging the arrows in the upper left corner. You can reorder sections within a tab or move them into a different tab.
 
Alright, let’s take a little breather and recap. So far, we’ve covered tabs and sections within tabs. Now I’ll talk about fields — this is where all the magic happens.
 
Everything I’ve talked about so far is just for organization, but fields are where you actually store the data itself.
 
For example, someone’s first name would get stored in the First Name field and their last name in the Last Name field. We put together a bunch of default fields like these, because nobody has time to sit down and add them all manually. But they’re not a one-size-fits-all for every business — especially if you need to store unique information, like ice cream preferences or Hogwarts houses.
 
That’s where custom fields come in handy. Adding a new field is as easy as finding the tab or section you want to add to. Then, simply click the “Add Field” button.
 
You can format your new field in lots of different ways — over 15, in fact — depending on the information you’re working with. I’ll touch on each one while you’re here:
 
Checkbox fields are for data that have a positive or negative condition such as yes or no. Say you’re a vet, and you might have checkboxes for various pet vaccines. Rabies — yes or no? Let’s hope that’s a yes.
 
The Country field is a dropdown of countries — and that’s it! This one’s extra-simple.
 
The Date field shows a calendar box so you can select a specific date. For example, you can create a field based on the actual date of an animal’s rabies vaccination.
 
Then you’ve got Date and Time. This field is like the Date field we just talked about, but there’s also a clock dial to set a time. A customer’s vet appointment would be the perfect entry here.
 
List Selection works well for any field where you can choose more than one item from a list. For example, if you’re a fitness coach, you could use List Selection to organize your client’s goals. Maybe they are interested in weight loss, greater strength, and increasing their energy levels. Inspiring stuff.
 
Next up is Long Text. This is a text field type that pops up as a large box for longer entries. So if you want to include a free-response question on a form — maybe something like, “What made you choose to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?” — use this field type.
 
Numeric is simply a field for whole numbers.
 
Then there’s Price, which is a numeric field type specifically for tracking money. You might use this if you want to gather additional pricing data, or you want statistical information about spending trends.  Let’s say you want to know how much you spend on handwritten notes for new customers. You can set up a campaign that figures your cost every time you send a note then tracks it all with Price fields like this.
 
Another numeric field type is the Phone option. This one's for phone numbers — big surprise, right?
 
You can also take it up a notch with the SMS field type if you have contact numbers that can receive SMS messages.
 
Now we’re moving on to the State field type. It’s another dropdown field to select states and regions in the US, Australia, Canada, and South Africa.
 
Then there’s Color, which is a dropdown list where you can choose colors to represent certain information about your contacts. For example, you might set a “yellow” field for contacts in Hufflepuff or “green” for Slytherin. This field type is primarily used in Card View. I won’t go into depth about this here — but it’s a pretty sweet feature, so you should check out the Card View Video to learn more about it.
 
Just a few more field types to go! A couple of fields include dropdown options, but the actual Dropdown type is a bit different. A Dropdown lists multiple values, but you can only select one. Back to the vet example: If you’re asking your customers to select the type of pet they have from a list, they can only choose one animal. If you want them to be able to select multiple pet types, you’d be better off using a list selection field instead. A Dropdown field would be perfect for something like our Hogwarts Houses example — nobody can be in Hufflepuff and Gryffindor at once, so you’d only want people to select one house from the list.
 
Next up is the Text field type. I’m talking about your standard, old-fashioned alpha-numeric text field. You can use this for names, serial numbers, celebrity crushes or any other information you want to collect.
 
Email is what it sounds like — a field for email addresses. Ontraport stores an email address by default for every contact, so it’s already in there for you. But you may want to add additional email fields for work, school, or a spouse or partner.
 
The Address field is another simple one. This is for a typical street or mailing address — I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept.
 
Last but not least we’ve got the Related Object Data field type. This field is for custom objects, which are absolutely fabulous — but we cover those in another video, so I won’t get into specifics on this just yet. All you need to know right now is that this field type is here, and it’s awesome. 
 
Before we wrap up, let me impart a few words of organizational wisdom: Always try to create sections based on a general theme of fields.
 
For example, let’s say you’re a fitness coach, and you have a series of fields dedicated to a particular client’s goals. The fields might be lifestyle goals, physical goals (like strength or body fat percentage), and psychological goals (like increased confidence). Move these fields into a “client goals” section to keep your contact records organized and quickly find what you need. 
 
As long as you follow that advice, you’ll be able to store and track down the data you need, whenever you need it — without wanting to hurl your computer off a cliff in exasperation.
 
I know we just went through a ton of different field types — good job for sticking it out! I’ll cover just a few more details before you run off to create your new fields. 
 
Many of these field types include an option to select “this field is required.” Checking this box means that every record in your account must contain something in this field when it's created, and you can’t create a record without it. Generally, we don’t recommend marking fields as required unless you have a good reason to do so — contacts are like gold, and you don’t want to miss out on potential leads just because you don’t know if they’re in Slytherin or Ravenclaw. 
 
Remember, there’s a difference between “this field is required” and actually marking a field as required on a form. The latter is a separate process that works even with non-required contact fields.
 
One more thing. Just like tabs and sections, you can also move fields around. Hover over the left side of the field, click on the arrows, and drag to move it around until your records look exactly the way you want.
 
Alright, that does it for customizing your contact records! In this video, you’ve learned all about the three categories of record customization: tabs, sections, and fields.
 
Now that you’ve mastered this, you can tweak and organize the data in your records to your heart’s content. Then you can easily find information about your contacts when you need it — whether it’s their workout goals, Hogwarts house, or anything else you dream up.
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