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Home > Getting Started > Categories, Tags, or Custom Fields?
Categories, Tags, or Custom Fields?
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Should you use a tag, a custom field or a category? Here are some guidelines, but you may find that you need to deviate at times.

 

Tags

  • If the information is intended to be for “internal use” only and is used to segment records into groups. For example: Minority owned, Hot Prospect, Ice-cream lovers
  • If you wish to track information "temporarily". For example: You may have a tag called "Hot Prospect", but would remove this tag if the contact became a member.

 

Custom Fields

  • If the information is unique to a particular record. For example: number of employees, organization license number, established date, birthdate.
  • If you wish to merge the fields into documents, emails etc.
  • If you wish to create membership types with pricing based on formula. For example: Number of employees, annual revenue heads of cattle
  • If you wish to display the information publicly, in the Info Hub, and/or allow members to edit this information
  • If you wish to allow for advanced filtering on your directories

 

Categories

  • Is intended for public or internal use and is used to segment records into groups
  • If you wish to allow visitors to your directory, web content, events, etc. ability to filter to specific categories
  • If you wish to display the information publicly, in the Info Hub, and/or editable in the Info Hub use a custom field.

 

See the table below for further comparison of tags, custom fields and categories

 

  Tags

Custom Fields
(Individual & Organization)

Categories
Membership      
Collect on Membership Application   Individual & Organization custom fields can be collected on the Membership Application Category can be collected on the Membership Application
Membership Types   Can be used to calculate formula based pricing  
Membership Invoices   Can be included on membership invoices  
Reporting      
Contact/Member All contact member reports can pull tags All contact/member reports can pull custom fields All contact/member reports can pull categories
Billing Some Billing Reports can pull tags All Billing reports can pull custom fields All Billing reports can pull categories
Event   Some Event reports can pull Individual and Organization custom fields  
Directory      

Public Display on website

  Can be used as a filtering option in the Directory If Directory Listing is using Advanced Search Options May display for filtering purposes on public website
Member Only Directory   Can be viewed on Info Hub Directory Can be viewed on Info Hub Directory
Visibility      
Visible to Staff Can be viewed in the back office Can be viewed in the back office Can be viewed in the back office
Visible to Public   Can be viewed in the Info Hub, if configured as Member Viewable Can be used as a filtering option if the directory is using the Advanced Search Options
Ease of Access Can be viewed and created on the top of profile tab On a separate tab (More Info) On the profile tab, but lower on the screen
Creation/Deletion Control Any staff member can create tags Staff are able to control restrictions on who of their staff can create/delete custom fields Staff are able to control restrictions on who of their staff can create/delete categories
Events      
Event Registration   Visible on Event registration pages or can be staff only fields (i.e. table numbers  
Forms/Surveys      
Visibility   Can be included in forms, and responses can automatically update a contacts record  
Continuing Education      
Available for Certificates   As a merge field can be included on certificates  
Available for Roster   As a merge field can be included on the roster  

 

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