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You Really Need to Know About List Views

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Salesforce has lots of ways to get to your data, but one of my favorite is the venerable “List View”.  I often see the usefulness of list views glossed over in trainings and implementations, but it’s worth a few minutes to understand their full power.  First let’s review the difference between a report and a list view.

Reports rock when… 

  • Need to display a lot of data from multiple objects
  • Need to VIEW data
  • Need to perform calculations on data
  • Need charting/graphing capabilities
  • Want to include in a dashboard
  • Want to export to Excel or CSV

List Views rule when…

  • Need to show data on one object
  • Need to EDIT data
  • Need to perform mass data or other operations to records
  • You need to throw one together quick.  They are easy to build.

List View Super Basics

To open a list view, there is an innocuous little “Go” button on each tab to open the selected list view.  Salesforce does a pretty good job of making standard views available to get started with.

Salesforce List View

When you’ve opened a list view, it may not look amazing, but there’s a lot of power in this screen.  Here’s a few nice features:


  • Click a column header to sort on that column
  • Click “Delete” to delete a record
  • Cliclk “Edit” to edit a record
  • Double click a field to change its value
  • Check multiple records and then double click a field to modify multiple records at the same time


Using List Views Effectively

Salesforce List View

List views are a great tool, especially if you use them for the right stuff.  I think many job functions can be managed through a few simple list views.  Here’s a few ideas to get you started:


  • New Leads this week – tear through a list of leads and possibly qualify/disqualify by list view fields
  • Opportunities whose close date is in the past – great for data integrity, creates happy sales managers and administrators
  • Contacts with no activities in 90 days – who needs a good talking to?
  • All My Open Leads – show all the leads you are currently working and quick access to work them!
  • All My Opportunities – imagine updating your “Next Step” fields all from one place instead of banging through dozens of records one at a time


I would also advocate for creation of a daily/weekly list view lap checklist.  Keeping your list views in order means that your data is in order, and list views let you do it faster and more efficiently than any other Salesforce path.  I wrote a blog on checklists here, if you want some ideas for that.  If you want more technical information regarding creating, modifying, and using list views, it is available in your Salesforce help.

I’ll leave with one final thought – If you end up with a few favorite list views, and have Chatter enabled, you can click the Chatter button from a list view and then “Favorite” that list view.  Then, all your daily “faves” show up in your Chatter favorites, making it easy to run your daily list view lap.

Salesforce List View

I hope this is helpful, if you have any good ideas for useful list views, please leave a comment below.  If you cannot create list views but think they will help your daily work, contact your administrator and ask about them.  We’re always happy to answer questions regarding this blog here as well.

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