Categories provide the basis for the organizing scheme that will apply to every asset and inventory item in the tracing system you are setting up. Here is where planning will pay off in the long run. You can always add new categories as you go, but it is a good idea to step back and create categories that are sure to provide the appropriate level of detail that serves your organization's needs.
As you get started with defining asset models, categories are the first step.
Preview: The ideal sequence to building an asset model follows. The relevance of this article is highlighted in red:
- Create or import Categories. (You can also enter categories one at a time as you go, but importing sets the foundation quickly.)
- Create or import Manufacturers. (For importing manufacturers, the relevant categories must already be created.)
- Create or import Model Numbers. (In this step you associate a specific manufacturer and category to a Model Number.)
This article describes everything you need to know about categories:
- Considerations for deciding on categories
- Creating one category one at a time
- Importing a list of categories
- Creating a filtered category list using search
- Archiving categories
- Deleting categories
- Exporting the category list
- Editing categories
- Creating Custom Fields
- Related articles
Note: Options for creating and editing categories are accessed through the side menu. If the side menu is not visible, click on the square to the left of Global Search at the top of the screen. Clicking this icon allows you to show and hide the side menu.
Considerations for deciding on categories
While you can add categories one at a time as needed, it can also be a good idea to import a list of categories all at once. One advantage to importing a list of categories is that it gives you a chance to work out your organizational structure and preferred naming conventions in one fell swoop - or close to it. Use the spreadsheet as a tool to set up an organizing scheme that will best serve your business needs. To get you started, consider these:
- Categories that an office manager might choose to track office equipment include: desk, chair, file cabinet, lamp, computer, monitor, vehicle, etc.
- Categories that an IT professional might choose for tracking computer components include: monitor, video card, power supply , motherboard, cable, etc. Notice that the level of detail in these category choices match what is being tracked.
- Categories can be further defined by adding custom fields
Both options for creating one category at a time or importing a list are accessed by clicking on Category on the side menu.
Creating one category one at a time
When you click on Category, which is about half way down the side menu, two sub-menus are available. This section describes the options when you click on Create Category.
In the Create Category dialogue box enter the new Category Name and optional Category Description. As you type, any categories with similar spelling will appear below the text box to let you know that a category with that name is already available.
Click on Save. A message will verify that the category has been added, and an updated categories list will appear, as described in the next section.
Another way to add one category at a time is “on the fly” anytime you see this option - just click on the plus icon to get to the same dialogue box above.
Importing a list of categories
Whether you arrived at the view shown below by having just added a category or by clicking on Category>Categories, this overview provides many options.
The two options for adding categories are in the upper right hand corner, circled in red.
Note: Options under Category Search can be made visible by clicking on the menu arrow below the Start Tour button. For this screenshot, search options were hidden.
Clicking on the plus icon (blue) opens the same dialogue box described in the previous section.
Clicking on the (green) down arrow icon begins the process of importing a list of categories.
Having clicked on the down arrow icon, you can download a standard file to import categories by clicking on the download icon (tan). If you created any custom fields for categories, they will be included in the downloaded file.
Note: The list icon (blue, imported file list) list the files already imported.
Open the downloaded file, preferably in MS Excel. Note that the column headings match the fields in the Create Category dialogue box (and will include any custom fields).
List one Category Name for each row, and do not skip any rows. Category descriptions are optional.
Save the file with a descriptive name.
Click on Choose File to navigate to the saved file and then click on Upload File.
Once the file is imported, you will receive a status report via the Imported File List showing which categories were not successfully imported; they are indicated as “Skipped.”
To determine the error, download the file by clicking on the link in the skipped column. In the example below, the link is the number 1.
Note: Clicking Undo removes the imported values. This option is only available for the most recent import.
Downloaded file with error message. In this instance the error was that the category name had already been taken, as shown below.
Creating a filtered category list using search
Note: Categories are not searchable through the global search function at the top of the application window.
To search for categories, navigate to Category>Categories (from the side menu). From this view you can search by Category Name, Available or Archive status, and under the advance search option shown by the red arrow, you can search by the date (created or modified), as shown below. Once you click on Apply Filter, the sorted list appears below the search values.
Applying the filter in the search function (described in the previous section) is a quick way of creating a list of items you may want to archive or un-archive. Once you have created a filtered list as described above, you can select items by clicking in the check box next to each item.
Note: Clicking on the box at the top of the column selects all items in the list.
To archive (or unarchive) the selected items, click on the yellow icon in the upper right hand corner.
Archived information is still searchable and can be made available again (by unarchiving it).
As shown below, you can delete one category at a time while editing. You can also mass delete categories by clicking the check box next to selected Category Names from the Category List and then clicking on the (red) trash icon.
Applying the filter using the search function (as described above) is a quick way of creating a list of Categories you may want to delete. Once you have created the filtered list, you can select items by clicking the check box next to each item.
Note: Clicking the check box at the top of the column selects all items in the list.
Exporting the category list
If you need a record of your Categories, you can export them by clicking on the export icon in the upper right hand corner. The list downloads as an MS Excel spreadsheet and includes all categories.
Note: The spreadsheet is password protected and cannot be edited without the password that Tracmor sent to your account admin.
You can edit a category from the Category List view, which is displayed by clicking on Category>Categories. From here, you can search for the desired category as described above. Once the category is located, click on the link as indicated by the arrow:
When you click on the link your options are to Edit, Delete, or Cancel:
If you click on Edit, you can change the category name and description. Be sure to click on Save to save changes.
Creating Custom Fields
Your tracking system can be expanded to include the information important to your organization; simply add custom fields, as needed. Navigate to Settings>Module Field List Settings (located near the bottom of the side menu).
Of the 10 modules that you can add custom fields to, click on Add Custom Field for Category. See the link at the end of this section for an article on creating custom fields.