Custom fields aren't a new feature in VueMinder Ultimate, but they're massively improved in version 11.3. Rather than showing the custom fields on a separate "Custom" tab in the Event, Task, Note, and Contact Editors, the custom fields will now be nicely integrated with the other input fields near the top of the editor windows. A new "Custom Fields" window allows for much easier creation, deletion, or modification of custom fields. Also, there are additional custom field types - including a field type that allows selection of predefined values from a drop-down list.
If you have the need to define your own custom fields and integrate this data into your schedule, the latest version of VueMinder Ultimate makes this easier than ever. Custom data could include things like invoice numbers, billing codes, shipment dates, patient diagnoses, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Note: Custom fields are exclusive to VueMinder Ultimate. This feature is not provided in the Lite and Pro versions. However, if you've previously purchased a Pro license, you qualify for a discount on VueMinder Ultimate. You can receive the discount by clicking the "Buy VueMinder Ultimate" command on the Help menu.
Goodbye Custom Tab, Hello Integrated Fields
In version 11.2 and earlier, custom data was defined on a "Custom" tab in the Event, Task, Note, and Contact Editor windows. While this was functional, it wasn't very streamlined or conducive to data entry.
See below for a screenshot of how this used to look, in this case on the Contact Editor. Notice how the Custom tab makes it more difficult to see the other information about the contact. Also, the creation and deletion of the custom fields was done on the Custom tab, which gave the tab dual purposes and was a bit confusing.
See the screenshot below for an example of how these same custom fields look in version 11.3. The custom fields are nicely integrated with the rest of the input fields on the Contact Info tab. Without knowing which fields were included by default and which are custom, it would be difficult to tell by looking at the window that some of the fields were user-defined. Also, a "Manage custom fields" link is provided below the custom fields. Clicking this link will open a separate window where additional custom fields can be defined or existing custom fields deleted/modified (more on this later).
Custom Field Manager
In the previous version, there was no mechanism to rename a previously defined custom field or change its data type (text, date, number, etc.). Version 11.3.0 improves this by adding a Custom Field Manager window, accessed via the Tools menu or by clicking the "Manage custom fields" link in any of the editor windows.
The Custom Field Manager consists of tabs for each of the data types where custom fields can be defined - Events, Tasks, Notes, and Contacts. Buttons are provided at the top of the Custom Field Manager to create, delete, or re-arrange fields.
The custom field list includes columns for the field name, data type, and format. The cells in these columns can be edited. For example, to change a custom field's name, simply type the desired name in the Field Name cell. The Format column will show an example of how the field value will be formatted, and can be changed via a drop-down selection depending on the field type. Some fields have no associated format, so the Format cell for those fields will be grayed out.
Creating Custom Fields
To create a new field, click the "New Field" button. A "New Custom Field" window will appear. This window is similar to the previous version, except additional field types have been added to the "Field type" drop-down list. The new field types are Currency, Percent, and Value List.
Depending on the selected field type, a "Format" drop-down will allow the display format of the field values to be modified. For example, a number field can be formatted to always show 3 digits after the decimal point.
When the field type is set to "Value List", the Format field is used for entering the predefined values which will appear in a drop-down list when entering data for the custom field. The values should be separated with semi-colons.
After clicking OK, the new field will be added to the custom field list on whichever tab is currently activate in the Custom Fields window. If changes need to be made to the field, the field cells can be edited.
After clicking the OK button, the changes will be committed and any open editor windows will be automatically refreshed to show the current custom fields. In the example below, the new "Favorite Color" field has been added to the Contact Editor. Clicking the drop-down arrow in the field editor will show the predefined values that were entered in the Format column.
Deleting Custom Fields
Custom fields can be deleted by selecting one or more rows and then clicking the "Delete Field" button. The changes won't be committed until the OK button is clicked. Note, if values have been previously entered for the fields that are deleted, those values will be removed as well.
Reordering Custom Fields
The "Move Up" and "Move Down" buttons can be used to control the order the fields are shown in the associated editor window. The Event, Task, and Note editors can be configured to arrange the custom fields using between 1 and 8 columns. The fields will be listed by row and then column, based on the order specified in the Custom Field Manager.
For example, if there are 3 columns configured and 5 custom fields, the fields will be shown in 2 rows. The first row will contain the first 3 fields, in order from left to right. The second row will contain the last 2 fields, again in order from left to right.
Sharing Custom Fields and Data
As in the previous version, custom fields and data can be shared with other VueMinder Ultimate installations by using MySQL Server. However, there were several bugs in the previous version which sometimes result in custom fields defined on one computer not appearing on another computer. Those bugs have been fixed in version 11.3. Also, the "Sync Now" button in the Sharing Options can be used to force custom fields to sync.
Note, when sharing custom fields with other computers, all data except the field order will sync. The field order is a user-preference and can be customized by each user without affecting the field order on other computers.
VueMinder's support for custom fields means you can tailor VueMinder to your work environment, integrating your schedule with the additional data that makes your business run. This data can be synced with other computers so everyone is on the same page. Version 11.3 provides a massive improvement to how custom fields are created, shared, managed, and integrated with the various data editors. If you've been using the custom field feature in a previous version of VueMinder, or if you're looking for scheduling software that can be customized with additional input fields, version 11.3 of VueMinder Ultimate is definitely worth a look.