Monday, 4 July 2011

Custom filters for the Contact List

This week's feature is a new way to slice and dice your contact list using custom filters. Custom filters allow you to filter your contact list by different criteria of your choosing - including country, state, post code, job title, organization, email address or telephone number. You can combine multiple criteria together into one filter, and save the filters you create for easy recall later.

The best way to show this feature off is with an example. Say you wanted to create a list of all the contacts with an address in New York City for an upcoming marketing campaign in that area. First choose to create a new custom filter from the 'View' menu, as shown below in red.

Then in the 'Filter by' drop down you can choose one of the contacts fields to filter by - in this case we're going to choose the 'Contact Address City' field. This field relates to any address on file for a contact, and allows you to find matches to the city part of that address.

You can choose to find exact matches by using the equals sign in the drop down, or just find matches that contain your criteria somewhere in the field by choosing the 'contains' option in the drop down. Searching in filters is not case sensitive, so it does not matter if you type in 'New York' or 'new york' as your value. See the screenshot below for our first filter criteria.

Click the 'Add' button to the right to add this first filter criteria. Results that match will be shown below the filter box immediately.

We'll also add another filter to match those addresses that have the abbreviation for New York City - 'NYC'. You can choose to add the second filter with an 'AND' or an 'OR' - meaning that it's going to find only those contact records that match both filter criteria for an 'AND', or those records that match either one of the two filter criteria for an 'OR' - we want either criteria so we're going to choose 'OR' option in the screenshot below.

To delete a filter criteria you have just added, click the trash can icon to the right of that filter line. After you add filter criteria, Insightly will show you the resulting matches in the list below immediately, so you can build up or delete criteria and experiment until you are satisfied with the results. When you're happy with the filter, you can save it for easy access later by typing in a name and clicking the 'Save Filter' button.

We've saved our filter as 'Contacts in NYC' in the screenshot below, and it can be accessed at any time by choosing that filter from the View list. The filter will rerun itself every time so it's always up to date with the correct matching contacts.

Click on the 'Close' hyperlink to exit the filter and return to showing all your contacts. To delete a filter you have previously saved, click on the trash can icon to the right of the filter name.

Handy hints for Filters

When you run a filter, the results will be shown in lots of up to 50 results per page, but to see all matches on a single page - choose the 'All' hyperlink to the left of the alphabet letters just under the search box in the header.

Using the Contact Tags sidebar lets you choose to show contacts that match multiple tags - but each contact has to have ALL the tags you choose in the sidebar. But you can use the new Contact Filter feature to see all contacts that match either one tag OR another tag. First choose the 'Contact Tag' field in a new filter, and add a filter criteria for each tag you want, but remember to choose the 'OR' option in the drop down.

To export all contacts returned for a filter: first select or create your filter, then click on the 'All' hyperlink in the header to show all the results on one page, then click on the checkbox in the header to highlight the entire list, then finally click the 'Export' link in the blue selected items box that pops up to export your entire filtered list.

Custom filters can be a powerful way to create and save smaller contact lists within your full contact list, and we know you'll find them a powerful addition to Insightly. We'll be rolling out custom filters for the other tabs in the next few weeks too.


  1. It`s great. All of us are waiting for recurring taks anyway... please!!!

  2. It would be great to be able to Export such custom lists direct to Gmail rather than just CSV.

  3. This is awesome. Any chance it's coming for Opportunities and Organizations as well? Opportunities are particularly weak in their filtering capabilities - drives my sales team/manager nuts.

  4. I second Luke Freiler's request - custom filters on Organizations are more useful to us as all our Contacts belong to an Organization and we tend to list address details for the Organization only.

  5. I second Luke Freiler's request that Phil Maher didn't second - custom filters for Opportunities.

  6. It looks like filters for Organizations just got launched - which is awesome (OK so it's not something I'll use, nor I understand really, but it sounds like other people want it - so very cool anyway). I'm hoping this means that filters on Opportunities aren't far behind.

  7. IS there a way to search within a filter and only receive results from within the filter?

  8. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to filter by organization's create date. I imported most of mine and perhaps it's not reading the create date. I see the date format is supposed to be:


    Which is odd: I expect dd-mm-yyyy, so I tried:

    01-Dec-2011 to pull all organizations created since that date: pulls ALL organizations

    Then I flipped the < and > to pull the reverse, same thing, all organizations show up in the report again

    Figure I must have something wrong in the date so I try the following:

    01-012-2011 (012 means Dec but in a 3 digit format)
    01-dec-2011 (all lower case)

    Nothing works - I cannot figure out how to pull a report of all organizations added after X date. Help!

  9. Good morning,

    I was trying to modify job title for a contact and I realized that the field does not appear and I can't change it. Even in the contacts I've already defined it, it doesn't appear as a field that I can modify.

    Please, could you check it?

    Thank you very much

    1. As a new user, I face the same problem.

      If adding a new user, it is possible to enter a "title", but it seems as if this is not possible to edit.

      Please look into this problem.


    2. I have the same problem and its most annoying. You often find the title of someone after the initial contact and you cannot add it.

      How do you log this as a bug to be fixed?

    3. You can edit a contacts title from the Links sidebar on the right hand side of the contact details page.

    4. Thanks Anthony, this is true. Insightly got back to me and said:

      The Title/Role field is actually associated with the Organization record, although we give you the option to add that information when you initially add a contact record. Once the contact is added, you can add the title/role when you link a contact with an organization using the Add Link function in the right sidebar. A pop-up box will appear that lets you choose the link, add a role and enter details.

      - If you display the contact record, the role will appear in the organization record that is linked in the right sidebar.
      - If you display the organization record, the role will appear in the contact record that is linked in the right sidebar.

      You could add role to contact link to when to link contact to a task or opportunity. It then updates the contact title in the organisation. If the contact is linked to two organisations or more, you cannot update the role from a link for contact on a task or opportunity. But if you go to the contact that has several links to organisations, you can add the title there.

      I understand now why you do this. Contacts are people that can work for many organisations and their role in each organisation will generally differ.

  10. I like to filter option
    is there any way to increase the number of contacts shown to more than 50
    i want to do a mass edit and seem to be limited to 50 at a time - kind of a PITA when you've got 3000 contacts to bulk edit (delete)

    1. There is - just click the "All" link in the header at the top of the list to see all filtered records on one page.

  11. need filter for includes this tag, but not this tag. So I can filter tags against each other. Please

  12. I agree with Penco. The 'filter' isn't really a filter, it's a list of inclusion. I would like to make a list of exclusion (so instead of include everyone with tag 'client', exclude anyone with tag 'client').

  13. Hi, How do I edit filters? I have created a few but I need to add additional tags but the only way right now seems to be to delete them

  14. +1 to edit the filters.
    + your screen captures above are broken

  15. Contact filters give the options:
    1. Contains
    2. =
    3. Is not empty
    4. Is empty

    Organization Filters give the options:
    1. Contains
    2. =

    Both Contacts and Organizations should offer the same options. Please add # 3 & 4 to Organizations.

    In addition < and > would be very helpful under both tabs.

  16. Is there a way to filter on the contents of a note attached to a contact?