Work with Many Records Using List Views

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Find, create, and edit list views.
  • Edit records and fields from list views.
  • Describe the benefits of Kanban and Split Views.
  • Update records in Kanban and Split Views.

Work with a Subset of Records with List Views

Sofia, a Development Associate at No More Homelessness (NMH), is busy—we learned that from her calendar in the last unit. She’s always looking for tricks to help her get her daily tasks done more efficiently, and one of the first places she turns when she wants to get certain information quickly is list views. 

List views are a great way to sort and segment records that are important to you. You access list views from object homepages (the page you see when you click on Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, and so on in the navigation bar).

List views are available for most objects in Salesforce, but in this unit we'll focus on the Contact object.

Sofia decides that she’d like to create a list view of NMH’s board members. Kim Friedman, NMH’s Executive Director, often asks Sofia to call board members, and rather than searching for one board member at a time, Sofia would like to have a full list of their names and contact information readily available. Let’s follow her as she creates this list view.

  1. First, click the Contacts tab to go to the Contacts list view page. Unless you pin a different list view, you’ll see a summary of your recently viewed records on the page.

    The Recently Viewed contacts list view

  2. Click on the list view dropdown arrow to see all of the standard and custom list views for contacts.

Sofia doesn’t see a Board Members list view, so she has a feeling she’ll have to create one. But first she examines the list view tools at the top of the page. Let’s take a look.

Tools to change your list view, including List View Controls (1), Layouts (2), Refresh (3), Edit (4), Charts (5), and Filter (6)

List View Controls (1) contains list view actions, including creating, renaming, cloning, and sharing. You can also choose which fields to show in a list and edit filters that you’ve applied.

Layouts (2) toggle between displaying lists in the standard Table View, Split View, or the Kanban view. The icon changes to match the selected view. (We'll talk more about Split View and Kanban in a bit.)

Refresh (3) gives you a fresh view of a list and is quicker than a full page reload in your browser.

Edit (4) allows you to update fields right from the list view. After you change fields, they are highlighted yellow to remind you to save your changes.

Charts (5) transform list data into easy-to-understand visualizations of percentages, trends, and other useful information.

Filter (6) narrows or expands the records that appear in a list view by adding, modifying, or removing filters.

Let’s follow along as Sofia uses these tools to create her list view. 

Create a List View

  1. From the List View Controls menu, select New.

    “New” highlighted on the List View Controls menu

  2. Name the list. For example, Sofia names her list “Board Member Contact Info.”
  3. If this list view might be useful for other people in the organization, too, select All users can see this list view. Alternatively, choose Only I can see this list view if you want your list view to be private only to you, or Share this list view with groups of users if you want to select a small group of colleagues who may see the list.
  4. Click Save.

    The New List View interface with a list name of Board Member Contact Info set to “All users can see this list view”

After Sofia clicks save, the list view looks pretty much the same as it did before—but that's because she hasn't created any filters! Follow along as she filters the list down to see just what she needs.

  1. Click the filter icon to open the filter pane. In the filter pane you can click Add Filter to choose what to show based on any field on standard or custom objects. So, if Sofia wanted to see donors who lived in a particular zip code or have given in the last three months, she could choose to filter on those attributes. Sofia sees that there is one filter already in place by default: Filter by Owner. That’s set to My contacts, so she’ll have to change this.

    The Filters panel open with the Add Filter button highlighted

  2. Click Filter by Owner and select All contacts to reveal a filter option called Filter by Campaign Name (optional). NMH uses campaigns to track their board members. In fact, Sofia set up the “Board Members 2020” campaign herself.
  3. Search for and select the desired campaign. For example, Sofia searches for and selects the “Board Members 2020” campaign.

    Filter By Owner open with “All contacts” selected and “board” in the Filter by Campaign Name search

  4. Click Done and then Save. When Sofia does this, her list of active board members appears!

    The Board Member Contact Info list with board members appearing

Sofia’s list has been pared down to active NMH board members. The new view appears in the list view dropdown for access later. Now Sofia and the staff at NMH can quickly get a view of the board whenever they need it.



For more information about how to use campaigns, check out the Campaign Management with Nonprofit Success Pack module included in the Resources links below.

Customize a List View

There’s even more Sofia can do with her new list view. For example, she realizes the board member list view would be even more useful if it showed their addresses. And there might be too much information here. She can remove their titles, too. And maybe move their email addresses to the far right. 

Let's follow along as she customizes what fields she sees where.

  1. From List View Controls, select Select Fields to Display.

    List View Controls open with the Select Fields to Display button highlighted

  2. You can add and remove fields in the Visible Fields area using the left and right arrows between columns. To change the position of the fields, use the up and down arrows. For example, Sofia moves Title and Contact Owner Alias out, adds Household Mailing Address, and moves Email to the bottom of her list.

    The Select Fields to Display interface

  3. Click Save.

The Mailing Addresses in Sofia’s list are awfully squished! She needs to adjust the column widths and wrap text.  

  • You can expand a field’s column width by using the little black arrow that appears when you hover over the line between field headers.
  • Click the little down arrow next to a column to change the text wrap setting. For example, Sofia adjusts the Household Mailing Address to make sure that Wrap Text is selected.
  • Click on a column name to change how the list is sorted. Sofia clicks the little down arrow to the right of the Name field to sort the names alphabetically. 

When Sofia is done, the list view looks exactly like she wants it to.

The Board Member Contact Info list view with Sofia’s changes applied

Inline Editing using List Views

As Sofia’s looking at her new list view she notices some of the fields on the board members’ records are missing values! In order to update these fields quickly she edits directly from the list view.

  1. Hover over the empty fields until a small pencil icon appears (The edit pencil icon). Clicking on the icon allows you to edit right from the list view!
  2. Click on the fields you want to change and make the updates. The changed fields are highlighted yellow until you save your changes by clicking Save at the bottom of the screen. So simple!

A list view with several unsaved changes highlighted yellow

Some list views even allow you to edit multiple records at once. Say you have a list of the donations pledged this year and you want to change multiple records from “Pledged” to “Posted” status. You can change them all at once by clicking the checkbox to the left of each record and then using the pencil icon over the field you want edited. This is called mass inline editing. But, heads up, inline editing and mass inline editing are available only if a list view is limited to a single record type, and some fields aren’t editable on list views.

Sofia doesn’t have to mass inline edit here, though, so she sits back and admires her handiwork. It’s amazing how just a little bit of work can go such a long way in terms of saving everyone time!



Want to make your list views really pop? Check out the charts functionality. You can learn more about that in the Lightning Experience modules in the Resources section below.

Making Moves in Kanban View

We call the standard list view the Table view. But there are two other views that can help optimize your work: Kanban and Split View

The Display As menu open, with the options of Table, Kanban, or Split View

Let’s follow Sofia as she tackles her next assignment, which is to update some of the grants her team applied for this year.

  1. Go to the opportunity homepage and create a new list view. Sofia creates a list view for “Grants This Fiscal Year.” 
  2. Select the desired filters and click Save. Sofia selects the filters so that Filter by Owner is set to All opportunities, Opportunity Record Type equals Grant, and Close Date equals This Year.

    A list view filters menu where Filter by Owner is set to “All opportunities,” Opportunity Record Type equals “Grant,” and Close Date equals “This Year”

  3. Open the Display As menu and select a view. In Sofia’s example, grants are a type of opportunity and opportunities contain picklists of stages, so this is a perfect case to use Kanban, which displays records grouped by any picklist value. Each column in the Kanban represents a single stage, making it easier to visually track and update work.

    A Kanban view of grants for this fiscal year

  4. Drag a record’s card from one column to another to update the stage. The record is updated and the totals in each stage automatically update as well. Sofia needs to update one of the records and move it from Application Submitted to Onsite Visit Requested, so she drags that record’s card to the next stage. Simple!


For more on using Kanban for fundraising moves management, check out the Moves Management with Nonprofit Success Pack module linked in the Resources section below. If you’d like to change your opportunity stages—what Salesforce calls your “sales path”—check out the Customize a Sales Path for Your Team module, too.

Using Split Views to Get Work Done

If you have more than a few fields to update from a list view, you can switch to Split View. This gives you a view of all the records in the list view on the left, and when you click a record it shows the record details on the right.

Split View

You can quickly work on a record, update the fields you need, and then move on to the next.

So now you have a whole batch of pro tips to practice when you’re working within a record. Ready for more tips for getting your work done from anywhere in Salesforce? In the next unit we’ll explore global actions, the utility bar, and keyboard shortcuts.


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