Get Organized with Custom User Fields

One of the sessions that I presented at Dreamforce this year was “Don’t Let Managing Users Manage You” where I shared 10 tips to make user management less of a pain.

Because user management is such a time-consuming and high-profile part of most admins jobs I thought I would share my tips here over 10 blog posts where I can go into detail about each one.

Tip #1: Get Organized with Custom User Fields

I like to add custom fields to the user object to help stay organized. Obviously you can tailor these custom fields to your unique needs but here are some ideas of general-purpose custom fields that you may want to use.

  • Admin Notes  – I create a ‘private’ system admin-only field to track notes such as who requested the user be set up or deactivated, why and when.
  • Cost Center – This is useful if you need to create reports to charge back licenses to the correct group.
  • Personal Information – Common fields are personal Email and personal phone. Great for users to connect after hours.
  • Mobile Device – Here I track what type of mobile device they are using such as iPhone, Android or iPad. This is great for finding testers and sending device specific updates. (I’ll cover more about that on a future blog post)
  • Additional App Licenses – If you have add-on apps you may want to track what users have access. This can be redundant information but is very helpful to have every app license in one central place for reporting, terminations, and testing.
  • Signature Block – If you use email templates consider adding a signature block to the users record to prepopulate and format address and company taglines.
  • Photo Url – To include photos on html email templates just place the url of the photo on the users record. An easy way to get a url is to load the photos to a public Document in Salesforce.  Then just include that field in email templates
  • Access Deactivation date – Add a custom date field to track when you deactivated the user or when you should deactivate their license. Sometimes you know in advance when to turn off seats (terms or trial users) just put in a date and use workflow rule to auto-deactivate them.  (look for more tips on user workflow rules in a future post).

This is just scratching the surface for custom user fields.

To add custom fields just go to Setup>>Customize>>User>>Fields>>New.

As with any custom field, you can choose what profiles can View and Edit these new fields. You can also update your page layout so they are displayed in a logical manner. Unfortunately you can not change the layout for the Standard User fields which display at the top of the User page.