There are a few reasons to experiment with Views in SmartSuite. View Types allow you to display data in new ways. Understandably, each aspect of your business has different priorities. It makes sense that the marketing department is more interested in campaign performance than accounting, who wants budget data at a glance, or sales, who wants to know where each customer is in the sales cycle. Creating a variety of Views keeps your information in one place without creating different Solutions or Apps for every team.
In today’s video, ProcessDriven CEO Layla Pomper explains the hows and whys of using Views in SmartSuite and offers some top tips for organizing and displaying your information best.
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Now, let’s dive into SmartSuite Views!
What are View Types in SmartSuite?
View Types are part of SmartSuite Saved Views. Saved Views determine what data should be displayed, and View types determine how. You always have the option to switch between Views as desired.
Note: It’s important to understand that Views are just a different way of looking at the same data. So, if you edit a Record while in one View, the data changes for all Views since they pull information from the same Record.
When creating a new Solution or adding an App, it starts with a default View. This default is typically a Grid View unless you’re using a Template. Templates may have different default Views based on their intended purpose and the data types they’re meant to capture and display. You can create a new View any time you want.
Here are some examples of Views you could create:
If you’re tracking to-dos and tasks, you could create separate Views for each team member that display only assigned tasks.
If you have an App with many Fields, you might create a View that displays only specific Fields to make finding essential data easier.
If you have an App for meetings, a Calendar View could display them on an easy-to-read weekly or monthly calendar.
SmartSuite View Types:
In the video, Layla breaks these types into categories.
These Views allow you to view your Records in different layouts (timestamp 04:30). This changes the look of your data but not the data itself.
You can open Records in each layout, and they look the same. Whether you’re looking at a Grid View or a Card View, the Fields and internal Record format never change.
Record Views include:
Reporting Views allow you to view your data as a report (timestamp 05:15). They include Chart and Dashboard View Types.
While a Chart View displays your data in different chart styles, Dashboards can be customized with Widgets to display many different charts and data in one panel, creating easy access to the high-priority information and important metrics you need most.
Widgets can easily be customized, organized, and reconfigured.
There are several types of Widgets to choose from, like metrics, charts, collaboration, and ones containing embedded information from external links.
Pro tip: You can delete, change color, add descriptions, rename, or collapse a Widget by default from the Widget’s 3-dot menu.
Forms are a View that allows you to input data and create new Records within SmartSuite and are perfect for gathering information from clients or colleagues (timestamp 06:15). You might use Forms View to create a contact form, a fillable project brief, a customer survey, or other data gathering tool.
Once the Form is submitted, it creates a new Record that includes all your Form Fields.
Folders help you to stay organized by grouping Views together. You might use Folders to separate public and private Views or internal and external Views. Like your computer’s folders, SmartSuite Folders are containers to keep related things together (timestamp 06:50).
Pro tip: If your App has a lot of Views, it may be helpful for you to use the View search bar.
When you click on the dropdown arrow, enter a search term where it says “Find a View.”
How to Create a New View
To create a new Saved View, access the View dropdown menu and select Create New View (timestamp 08:10).
Select one of the available View Types.
Adjust how information is sorted by clicking on Column, and then choose which Record Fields you want to see by selecting Fields to Display.
You can use Filters to pull out specific Records in your chosen View based on criteria you define. For example, you might add a Filter that displays only Records with past-due deadlines or new accounts (timestamp 10:15).
Note: when a Record is excluded based on a set condition, that Record isn’t deleted; it’s just hidden from that specific View.
3 Expert Tips for Using SmartSuite Views
Tip 1: Name your Views clearly (timestamp 11:55).
Be clear about the purpose of each View. Rather than naming a View something vague like “tasks,” you might call it “urgent tasks” or “new tasks.”
You can set up a Spotlight to highlight specific information (timestamp 12:40).
Spotlight emphasizes data using colors and conditions, like using a highlighter pen to mark up specific passages in a book.
Spotlight is available in Grid, Card, Kanban, Calendar, Timeline, and Map views.
Pro tip: add your favorite Views to your starred items so you can jump to them any time you need them (timestamp 14:05).
Tip 2: Use color sparingly (timestamp 14:40).
Spotlight is just one fun feature in SmartSuite that uses color. You can add colors, icons, and even emojis to Solutions and Apps. However, remember that while using colors like green and red can make data pop, the more colors you add, the harder it is to see the most crucial information.
Tip 3: Use private views (timestamp 16:15).
You can designate each View as a public (shared) view or private.
Public Views are available to anyone who has access to your SmartSuite Solutions.
A Private View is only visible to the user who created it. It is not accessible or viewable to others. You might make a Private View to focus on your own tasks without being overwhelmed by everyone else’s work.
If you have a useful view for others, share it! But, if you need something just for yourself, keep it private.
Pro tip: you can also use the Share feature to send your Views to outside parties without compromising your data or requiring them to sign in to SmartSuite.
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Until next time, enjoy the process!