7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Database Application

Changes to database

 

When considering the ease of use of database applications, it all comes down to design. Sometimes, quick little changes can make a huge improvement in your workflow and therefore increase your efficiency and productivity tremendously. Here are 7 of those little changes that will make a big difference in your database applications.

 

1. Archive

If there are any unused fields in your applications, archive them to lighten your workflow. Make sure you archive the fields and don’t delete them. Remember that deleting a field also deletes the data it contained. You don’t want that. Also, you never know, that field may become handy again down the road.

 

2. Reorganize

Even if you are using all the fields in your applications, some of them are more important then others. Reorganize the order of the fields to have the most used and mandatory ones on top. That way, if you ever create and save items quickly while you are over the phone, you will make sure not to get an annoying incomplete message slowing you down.

 

3. Standardize

We work more efficiently when fields are pleasantly organized. It is best when the width and height of your fields are standardized and create parallel columns. I like to have two columns with the information grouped by subject. For example, I will usually put first and last name side by side. The same goes for landline and cellphone numbers. A simple trick to make sure you end up with two columns of the same width is to expand both fields that are on the same line.

 

4. Shorten

This one can sound counterintuitive but shortening the field names will also help your efficiency. Shorter field name labels leave more space for the actual data and it lightens the overall feel of your application. In addition, less information to read means less time expended in understanding what you need to do and more time doing it.

 

5. Clean

This is basic data architecture but I think it is worth repeating. If you have repeated actions related to an item (contracts to a client, comments to a task, etc.), please do not create a field for each of them. How many times do I see customers create a new field each year for contracts! Make sure the repeating fields are in a section or consider creating a new app and linking it to the main one if there are too many occurrences in your section. The parent-child linking feature is particularly helpful if you want to create searches and reports directly related to this specific data.

 

6. Date

Here is another simple but amazingly helpful change you can make to your application. Make sure to use date and date-time fields for date and date-time data. If you use single line text fields for date-related data, you are loosing the ability to use many of the researching and reporting features. Using the proper date and time fields also opens the door to using the calendar views, custom calendars and multi-projects calendars.

 

7. Shortcut

Last but not least, I’m suggesting you add all the shortcuts possible to your applications. For example, with the simple check of a checkbox, you can render some fields editable on the go. The inline editing feature invites you to add values to a dropdowns or trees without leaving the item you are currently creating. So instead of having to go back to the app editing tab, you can do it while you are working. This is a very simple trick for a better workflow.   It is your turn to share your simple tricks to improve your database application. Leave a comment to help other users develop better apps.

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