When setting up a custom module for a client in Zoho CRM, I always advise using an Auto Number rather than the default Name as the indexed field. The reason for this is that records don’t always have a name. Even if they do, you can then add a custom field for the name, but don’t make it mandatory.

There are clear advantages to using an Auto-Number field in your Custom Modules :

  • It doesn’t appear when creating a new record – it is automatically generated on Create.
  • Improved user experience. It’s one less field to thing about and none of the others need to be mandatory as a result of having Auto-Number as the indexed field.
  • They’re completely unique (unlike names) and can be pre-fixed and suffixed to provide more meaning if required.
  • A useful reference point for client facing documentation. “Can you provide me with a reference number?”

To use and Auto-Number instead of the default name field, you have to follow these steps.

  • Set up your Custom Module as normal i.e. Setup>Modules>Create New Module. You’ll be presented with the following layout :



  • Give the Custom Module an appropriate name. Don’t forget that you can have singular and plural forms, so for instance “Claim” and “Claims”.
  • Head to the “Untitled Name” field. It’s the only mandatory one in the default setup. Hover to the right of the field, click the cog settings and choose “Edit Properties”
  • Change the Type to “Auto-Number” and set the Prefix and Suffix as required. You can also choose the start of your numbering system  (see the image on the right)

Setting up Custom Modules allows you to bring other parts of your business into Zoho CRM.

My clients often look at old databases that they still need but would like to incorporate them into their CRM. A secure cloud platform like Zoho CRM is going to take away the fear of the on-premise kit failing and allows them to integrate into core business functions like sales and service.

  • You may then want to remove the unnecessary standard fields in a new Custom Module i.e. Secondary Email. Move the system fields such as Created By, Modified By and Owner to a new section called “System Information” to keep things tidy.

You’re then good to add your new custom fields to match your dataset and go for the import.

Zoho CRM

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