Build a ClickUp CRM | Relationships & Rollups Use Case Tutorial

One of the most common use cases for the new Relationships and Rollups custom fields in ClickUp is building a CRM in ClickUp.

In this tutorial, I’ll walk through how you can construct a basic client management database from scratch within one ClickUp Folder. I’ll also give you a crash course on how you can use the relational database features that were recently released in 2021 to improve your sales or onboarding workflows in ClickUp.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

0:00 CRM in ClickUp Sneak Peek

0:36 Who’s the talking head?

1:10 How to Build a CRM in a ClickUp Folder

2:39 Add Custom Fields in ClickUp for a Client Database

4:28 How to setup ClickUp Relationship Custom Field

6:19 How to setup Rollup in ClickUp

10:02 Build services/orders log in ClickUp

11:11 Edit this CRM for an Online Course/Membership

12:57 Add Custom Views for Lists and Folders

13:33 Can Clickup replace a CRM? My two cents.

Related Resources

What are Custom Fields? | ClickUp Tutorial for Beginners

ClickUp Views EXPLAINED | ClickUp tutorial for beginners on Filters, Group by, Sort by, & Me Mode

Video Blog Post

What follows is an AI-generated transcript from this video. Please be mindful that this transcript may not be 100% accurate.

Today, we’re going to build out a basic CRM or really more of a client database inside ClickUp. So by the end of this build out, we are going to have something that looks kind of like this that uses the relationship, Custom Field and the Roll-Up Custom Field to relate projects, customers and services. So you don’t have to manually type this information or create a bunch of really, really long drop downs for your clients. Instead, you can make things be dynamic, allow you to select your clients, your services and all this kinds of information from a dropdown rather than having to type them all from scratch.

But of course, it’s going to be a little bit more effective if I show you how we got here versus just showing you the end result. So let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.

Relationships and Roll Ups are quite new in ClickUp. So as we’re going through here, if you have any questions, do leave them in the comments below. And while you’re down there, give this video a thumbs up hit subscribe if you’d like more videos like this and check out the description for timestamps for different portions of this video. And before we get started, I have to remember to introduce myself. I always seem to forget on these videos. My name is Layla I’m a Vetted, ClickUp consultant.

I am also the host of ClickingUp Community, where I help people build their processes inside ClickUp. So if you’re interested in using ClickUp, building your processes and also figuring out how to do all the stuff I’m talking about today without having to reinvent the wheel or guests for your team, check out ClickingUp community. I’ll have the link in the description below.

So to get started, we want to go to our Space and we want to create a new folder called CRM. And I’m going to call it CRM because I have a little bit attitude. It’s going to default to having one list called list inside and we might as well customize that while we’re here.

So rather than a list called list, let’s go ahead and just make three different lists for projects, customers and services.

Each of these lists is going to become kind of a database for us to map together to build our quasi CRM, click done.

Below lists it’s going to ask us who do we want to share this folder with? Do we want to share it with the default people who have access to the space or just to a certain group? You can probably leave this as default unless you want to make it private. Next it’s going to ask us what tasks statuses we want. Now I’m partial to keeping statuses simple, so if you have a default set of statuses that you use in your Workspace feel free to stick with them, otherwise I might go to something like CRM, have my own kind of default just for the CRM area, and it might be something like active and closed, save template.

So that may have it for later. This is the one I want, click save. So now my folder CRM has three lists that that’ll be in it. It’s private to just me just because that’s why I felt like it has two statuses, active and closed.

Now I’m going to create the folder now once I’m inside the folder here I have a bit of a blank slate and I think it’ll help me a little bit to have a few example projects, customers and services, just so we can have a better example.

All right. So we’ve gone ahead and we’ve created two projects, three customers and two services.

Now, I could choose to start off and start making some views at the folder level, but at this point, that feels a little bit premature. So I’m actually going to dive into one of the lists and create some Custom Fields here to help me stay organized. I’m going to hide the priority Custom Field, and I’m going to add a few other ones that are going to help me organize this project.

You’ll notice I’m using a text Custom Field for the contract, even though it’ll be a link because using a text Custom Field, you’re able to use both URLs and text in the same link. If we did the same thing with just a website Custom Field, we would only be able to click the link and we would not be able to add these kinds of annotations or maybe even add more words like we could if we used a text field. So I like to stick to the text one just because this is a little bit too restrictive for me.

All right. So far, so good. Let’s go to customers and do the same thing.

So you’ve created all these Custom Fields, we’ve got projects which has due date, time estimate, budget, contract, heck, maybe we want to even have started showing up here. We’ve got that good stuff going on. Next, we’ve got customers which have the assignee, which is probably gonna be your account manager for that person, if applicable. Your logo for the person, phone number, email, industry, red flags, green flags, that kind of stuff, things that are maybe good about them, things that are maybe not so good about them or warning signs.

And then we have the services Custom Field where we have each of our services. We have the assignee, which should be the person in charge of keeping these services up to date and changing the prices on them. The due date, which should probably be the next time we want to change the price on these services. A short description, maybe like an explainer blurb, a sales page link, and then the price of the services. So now it’s time to start relating these areas together using ClickUp new relationship Custom Field.

So to do this, I’m going to start in the customers list. I’m going to create a new Custom Field that is a relationship type Custom Field that links this customer list with the project list. And what I want this Custom Field to tell me, is what projects has this customer started with us? What projects do we currently have open? So I’m actually going to call this contracts. Now, I could choose to let me choose any task in my Workspace for this, but I’m going to choose the projects list because that’s where all of our projects are located.

While I’m at it, I’m going to create a few Roll Up fields from this list. Now, it’s easier to show you than tell you what this is. So let me set this up first and then we’ll dig into it. I’m going to pull in the start date with no calculation, the end date, the end date of the project with no calculation and then might also pull in something like maybe the budget and the contract link.

I’m going to add the column. And once I do that, we have this kind of funky looking column created from here, for Norman Inc., for example, I could click into this field and by the line add a relationship between Norman Inc. and one of our projects that’s available.

Now, remember, we created two projects so we can just choose from the dropdown, which project is related to Norman Inc.

In this case, it’ll be the Unsliced Toast Campaign National. When I do that, it creates this kind of mini window where it shows me all of the projects assigned to Norman.

Now I can go in here and click add, maybe he has both of the projects. Maybe he’s our biggest client and he’s the only person coming in here. You can see how now when I go to this main view, Norman Inc, has two contracts related to him.

And if I click on this area and go into the details, I can see the total budget for the projects. And let’s just get a little interesting here. I’m going to pop into project, so let’s add some numbers in there. So it looks a little more interesting going back in here, clicking on contracts, we can now see the total budget of all the projects.

And you might think, well, that’s nice to be able to see the total contracts here, but I’d rather see something more, you know, at this level, I don’t have to click in to see the details of the overall contract. Well, luckily, that brings us to the other type of Custom Field that we can create here, which is a Roll Up.

Now, just to be clear, this guy here, these are Roll Ups, but we can also put them in their own column by creating a Roll Up custom, feel they do the exact same thing, pretty much. One is just by itself and the other one is nested within that relationships area.

So I’m going to do a Roll Up here. I’m going to call this Custom Field contract value. I’m going to relate it to the contracts relationship because that’s what this column is called. And I’m going to create a Roll Up of the overall budget. Now, by default, it’s just going to show each individual number, which could be good. But I think I’d rather see it as a sum. So, I mean, to go back here, click, calculate and click sum and click done.

There we go. Now, I’m seeing the total number of contract value for Norman Inc., for both of the projects that they have. If I go in here, I’ll see the same exact number. The only difference is this Roll-Up is showing me the summary up at the Custom Field level. This is showing me a Roll Up within the relationship itself. No real functional difference. I could even choose to create another Roll Up field here again, pulling from the contracts relationship.

And we might do something like, date updated. And this could be the last contact of all the contracts of all the projects that we have for Norman Inc., when was the last time one of his projects was updated? So this will say, the last time that this project was touched. So if we have multiple project managers who are trying to keep in touch with, you know, have we been pestering Norman Inc. too much? We can go here and we can go to get a measure of, you know, when was the last time he’s had a change to his account or something like that?

This would be an application of a Roll Up field. This would be where we set up that relationship that we then summarize in the Roll Up field. Now, if I go into Norman Inc, you’ll see how these relationships look inside the task itself. It’s its own section here, much like subtasks. And here I can click directly from the task details, almost like with dependencies or with links like we used to see in ClickUp, I can click on Unsliced Toast here, and it takes me to the Unsliced Toast tasks, inside projects.

So you’ll see where I’m at now. You’ll see if I pop over here, it takes me into here. So it takes me into this area. If I click on Unsliced Toast, I can scroll down and I’ll see the relationship to Norman Inc., rather than having to do a label or dropdown Custom Field to sort out what client you’re working with, because I know folks have done that where they create a dropdown for each client, instead, you can make it be a dynamic dropdown where you’re basically getting to choose of the other tasks that you have available. So customers, you can choose projects. If I want to remove one of these projects from this area, maybe I accidentally clicked on the wrong thing, I could click on the X here and I could remove this project from the relationship.

So now the relationship is over. I should point out at the time of recording this, there’s a little bit of a bug where if I delete the relationship here, it works. But if I delete the relationship from the other side, it does not work. I believe this is a bug and will probably be fixed by the time that you are watching this video here. So if I try to actually delete this from the other direction, you’ll see it here, exit it out.

It pops right back. And I think that’s just a bug that we should see fixed relatively quickly here, but just something to keep in mind.

So that’s how we could relate projects and customers to build a very simple CRM inside ClickUp itself. We just repeat this process for every single one until we associate each project with a contract and each contract with a project, you’ll notice that they’re not mutually exclusive. So both of these customers could be involved in the same project and vice versa. This project could be associate with two customers. ClickUp is not quite smart enough to know the difference or to restrict that.

So just something to keep in mind when you’re building your setup that it may not be as smart as you’d like it to be quite yet.

Now, finally, we do have the services area. This is something you just might want to incorporate if this is something that might potentially be helpful for you, where in your customers area or perhaps even in your projects area, wherever it makes sense for you, you can create a relationship Custom Field called, “services included”.

And here you can create basically a dropdown, a relationship field where you can choose tasks from your services list. I’m not going to create a Roll Up here just to keep it very simple. Instead, this just creates an option for someone to click add, and choose from the services I have in this list, what services this project includes, and maybe Unsliced Toast campaign includes ClickingUp community. So I have that noted there. Now, where this gets interesting is back here in services, I can show existing column “services included” because remember, it goes both ways.

And here I can have rather than showing me the actual packages that are including my service, I can change this to be maybe just a count. And this is now telling me how many projects are selling this service or include this service in it.

That’s just one more example of a relationship. But perhaps your services aren’t related to your projects and proposals. Instead, maybe you have customers per service. Well, same kind of thing, whichever direction you prefer to build it.

We can create a relationship called members for, say, having a membership community like we run.

We could create tasks from a specific list, choose the list, CRM, customers. So now we have a relationship called “members” related to customers. And I’m just going to create a, you know, a due date Roll Up maybe and an assignee role up or something like that just to keep track of it.

Now, here, unlike the services included, where you’re relating it back to the overall projects, this is relating services to customers. All right. What customers have purchased these services? This is kind of a different way of looking at it. So maybe Norman Inc. and Mary Poppins Co. have both purchased ClickingUp community. So now we can see we have two members in ClickingUp and we might choose to view this as a count or we might choose to have this as a name.

You have quite a big number. Count is probably the way to go, but this is a nice way for me to be able to look here and see, oh, ClickingUp community now has two members. Woohoo, we did it. And if I go into customers, similarly, I could choose to maybe hide some of this other stuff. Maybe this isn’t as important if we’re pricing things the way that we’re suggesting here. Maybe I want to show the column called “Members”.

And this is basically saying, what are they a member of? ClickingUp, there it is the same thing showing up in both directions.

And again, if we want to get fancy here, maybe we want to have a Roll Up visible to say, when was their membership created?

And we’re going to relate that to the members, so it’s showing us when was their membership created. And I could have the sum or, you know, show me the earliest date, if there’s multiple memberships happening right now, I’m just going to say the earliest date.

And there you go.

So that’ll help me keep track of this information for each member. This is just another way to organize things in ClickUp, but this is using the new relationship database like features inside ClickUp.

Once we’re feeling confident with the actual contents of our area, we might choose to start creating some more creative views. So, for example, maybe for our customers, we want to have a Map View of all of our addresses. Maybe for projects, we want to have a Board View of grouping things by status or by our Custom Field of workflow stage. Maybe for our services, we want to have these pricing set to recur every nine months. So that way we remember to change our pricing every nine months, so we’re not undercharging. So that’s the basic setup and how you can build a simple CRM style database inside ClickUp using the new Relationship features and the Roll-Up features. And before you ask, I do not view the CRM that we just built as a pure replacement for something like Streak, Copper, HubSpot, whatever. What we built, while it could be loosely called a CRM, and that’s what I called it here in this video, because that’s how many of you refer to it as it’s really more of a client database.

It’s a way to keep track of the orders, accounts, records, but it’s not the best place to manage a really interactive and sales focused organization. If you are a majorly sales focused organization, I’d encourage you to look at a sales focus tool and use ClickUp to fulfill those orders or to manage those accounts once the really high interaction and really human sales process is past. Just my two cents. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Do you think ClickUp can be a CRM? Client database?

Something in between? Do you use a structure similar to this?

Feel free to let us know in the comments with your pro tip as to how you keep things organized. While you’re down there in the comments, feel free to give us video, thumbs up and click subscribe. It costs you nothing and it helps this video reach more people. And after spending so many hours creating this video, I would really appreciate any help you can do to make this video reach more people. I’ll see you guys back here next week with two more videos about how to use ClickUp and process together to make a wonderfully strong and resilient business.

But until the next time we talk, enjoy the process.

Layla is a Vetted ClickUp Consultant who helps growing teams define their business workflows and translate them into a business instruction manual inside ClickUp. She spends most of her days teaching ClickUp, creating content, and providing unlimited feedback within the ProcessDriven Membership. The rest of the time? She's focused on creating value over on her YouTube Channel and free Facebook Group.