SmartSuite workflows start with your data. You'll have the ability to organize that data, assign things to teammates, automate steps in the workflow, and use a variety of powerful views to see the status of all your work.
Data can be text, dates and numbers - or can be images, tags, ratings, information about data relationships, embedded rich text documents and much more. SmartSuite offers more than 40 field types that have been designed to store and organize all of your information.
Let's walk through the process of creating the data storage foundation of your new workflow.
1. Create a Solution
Solutions are the containers for apps, which are where your information is stored. Each solution can have up to 15 apps, which are displayed as tabs directly under the top header bar.
There are two types of solutions: solutions created from a template, and solutions created from scratch. Selecting “Start from a Template” will allow you to browse SmartSuite’s library of solution templates, which include more than 200 pre-built solutions that support a variety of project types and business processes. If you start from scratch, you can build your own solution structure from the ground up to meet your specific needs.
2. Create an App
Apps are containers for your data, similar to a table in a database. They let you segment and organize your data into logical groupings, like “customers” or “projects.” Apps characterize your information and give it a type and structure.
You can have up to 15 apps in each solution, giving you plenty of flexibility to sort, segment and manage your data. Apps are also relational, and can be linked together with what we call Linked Record fields, which we’ll dive into later.
This feature is very powerful, allowing you to tie together data of different types and establish relationships. You could link customers to orders, projects to tasks, or leads to sales opportunities - any relationship configuration is possible.
3. Add Fields to an App
Fields are the building blocks that give structure to your app, defining the types of data that will be stored in each record. There are more than 40 types of fields in SmartSuite, each designed to hold specific kinds of information. From text, numbers, and dates through fields that store rich-text documents, lists, and status information, there is a field type that is specifically made to store almost any kind of data.
Through the dropdown arrow, select "Modify Field Settings" to view all the ways to modify or customize your field. You will notice our field types offer unique customizations such as display and colors along with the ability to set default values.
4. Add your Data with Records
Records contain your actual data, with each record representing a unique item. Like a row in a spreadsheet, they represent a single unit of information of the type of their containing app: a single project, an inventory item, one real estate listing, etc.
Records contain fields, which hold the bits of information that compose the record as a whole. We’ll talk more about fields next.
Adding New or Additional Records
+ Add Newin the upper-right corner of the Application. A modal for a new Record will appear and data can be entered in the Fields, or you can add or modify Fields.
Below the Column Menu, click the
+icon in the first open row. If Records exist, it will be below the last Record. A new Record will appear in a new row and data can be entered in the Fields, or you can add or modify Fields.
Here are both ways demonstrated:
5. Link Your Apps with Linked Records
The Linked Record field (mentioned previously when we were discussing how apps are “relational”) ties your apps together, allowing records to reference other records in the same or different apps.
Doing this avoids duplication of data, allows you to control who can see and update different types of records (only HR can update personnel records, IT controls a list of laptops that other users can refer to, etc.), and makes sharing information between teams, departments or entire organizations easy.
How to Link Apps
Here, the client is being linked to the specific project that pertains to them. Clicking the linked record takes you to that same client's information included in the Clients App.
You can now group the Projects by the Clients linked record field to create a Saved View displaying which projects relate to each client.
Next Up > Guide to View Types
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