How to use lists and batch actions

Lists are a relatively static way to organize people within your database intended for one-time use. A lot of their functionality overlaps with other aspects of the People section. We recommend using single-person view to log phone calls and data entry. Email blasts can be sent to people using tags and filters.

We recommend using a list to batch update people, create walk lists, or scanned surveys.

This HOWTO assumes you know how to create a list and add people to the list.

Map view

Map view allows you to view people on a map. This can help you determine a convenient location for an in-person meeting. It also allows you to turf cut, creating smaller lists of people for in-person communication. In a list, from XX people, select Map view. The entire People section can also be viewed in map view, as can filter results.

Learn more about map view and turf cutting


In the list settings, you can rename your list, determine who can view or change your list, and create a list description. 

You can share a list with every control panel user granted a specific permission level or with an individual. Admins of your nation will be able to see and edit all lists created in your nation.

It is also possible to share a list with another nation, but only specific fields will be shared. 

How the list is sorted is determined by the theme used to print sheets. When you create a custom theme, you can determine the sort order. 

Batch update

There are seven different categories of updates that can be performed as a batch action: people, tags, log contacts, memberships, relationships, clear field, and paths. The memberships category will only display if you enable memberships. 

By default, batch updates bypass webhooks. This means that webhooks wont fire when people are updated. By unchecking the box next to "bypass webhooks" before starting an update, any webhooks connected to your nation will fire when people are batch updated.

Be careful when batch updating a list, as these updates will override previous information in people's profiles. There is no "undo" option for batch actions.

Batch update people

The "batch update" feature allows you to update the core data about the people in your nation en masse. Here is what the Batch update > People area looks like: 

fields that can be changed with batch update people in NationBuilder

The table below outline which fields on an individual's profile can be edited via Batch update > People.

Field name Yes/No Multiple choice Enable feature?
Allow search engines to index public profile    
Do not call    
Do not contact    
Don't publish profile on website    
Don't publish survey question answers on website    
Fundraiser   Donations
Include in leaderboards    
Inferred support level    
Inferred party   Voters
Is mobile number bad?    
Party   Voters
Party member   Voters
Previous party   Voters
Point person    
Primary address    
Priority level    
Receive emails    
Receive text messages    
Recruited by    
Support level    
Volunteer   Volunteers

Some of these update options will only appear if you have a particular feature enabled. You can enable features from Settings > Defaults > Basics if your permission set allows you access to that portion of your nation's control panel.

Batch update tags


Add or remove an existing tag from people in the list via a drop-down menu.

Batch update log contacts

In the Log contacts section you can log a contact on the profiles of all of the people on the list.

batch update log contact form

Note that since this is a batch update, you will be logging the exact same contact details for everyone on the list. Alternatively, you can log a separate contact on each person's profile.

Note: Add information about the interaction made with this group of people.

Method:* How the people were contacted; e.g. email blast, phone call, door knock.  (required)

Contact status: The result of the contact; e.g. answered, not interested, etc.

Broadcaster: If the people were logged on behalf of an official voice of your nation, include the broadcaster. The contact will also be recorded within the broadcaster's activity stream. 

Support level: If every person contacted now has the same support level, include that.

Path:* The path that relates to the reason everyone was contacted. (required)

Step:* Select a path before choosing a step. This is the step the contact will be recorded on. (required)

Click the “Log contact on all XX people” button to log the contact. 

Since contacts are always logged as occurring on a path step, batch updating contacts has an affect on the active paths for people in the list. Each person's profile will be affected in one of the following ways: 

  • If the person is on the step specified, the contact will be logged without changing the path.
  • If the person is not on the path, he will be added to the path on the step where the contact is being recorded.
  • If the person is on an earlier step on the path, she will be moved to the step where the contact is being recorded.
  • If the person is on a later step on the path, he will remain on that step while the contact is recorded on the previous step.

Contacts are logged as occurring on the say the batch update is created.

Batch update memberships

batch update memberships form

If you have enabled memberships at Settings > Defaults > Basics and have created membership types, you can:

  • Add a membership to everyone on the list. Adding a membership to a list won't change existing memberships.
    • Example: John is on a list and has an expired annual membership. You go to Batch update > Memberships and add an active annual membership to everyone on the list. John's annual membership will still be expired. 
  • Update information about an existing membership. This update will only affect people on the list who already have that membership.
    • Example: John and Susi are on a list. John has an expired annual membership and Susi does not have an annual membership. You go to Batch update > Membership and update annual memberships to active status. John will now have an active annual membership and Susi won't have an annual membership. 
  • Remove a membership from everyone on the list. This deletes the membership, leaving only an activity stream note that it once existed.
    • Example: John and Susi are on a list. John has an expired annual membership and Susi does not have an annual membership. You go to Batch update > Membership and remove annual memberships. Now the activity stream on John's profile will show that you batch removed his annual membership. The membership itself will not appear in Edit > Membership types

Batch update relationships

batch update relationships form

You can both add and remove relationships to an entire list. To add a relationship, specify the relationship type, the person or organization to which the relationship is being created, and (optionally) a title for the relationship.

To remove a relationship, specify the relationship type. If the records on your list have multiple relationships of that type, all will be removed.

Clear field

batch clear field form

From Batch update > Clear field, you can remove all data that currently exists in a particular field. This means that the field will be empty for every person on the list.

Currently, you can remove point person and home phone number using the clear field button. If you need to clear a different field from a list, please email Our services team may be able to help you. 

Batch update paths

Paths can be updated, abandoned, or completed using batch update. This means that the same action will be taken for everyone on a particular list.


When you household a list, NationBuilder will look for anyone else in your nation who shares an address with someone on your list. 

For example, if Jane and Sally Jones live together and Jane is on my list, but Sally is not, householding will add Sally to my list. 


You can split a list into parts by either specifying a percentage or the number of new lists you want (for example, a list of 10,000 can be split into 4 lists of 25,000 or by 60%, 20%, 15%, 5%). Note that the split tool doesn't distinguish between households so that people who share an address or phone number may end up on two separate lists.

Splitting a list creates new lists with similar names to the original list.


You can generate a .csv export of your list from here. 

You can choose to export a list by households, which will create one record for everyone on the list within a particular location. The way people in the household will be addressed is determined by the number of people within a household.

Keep in mind that while many fields will be exported, activities and conversations will not. You can capture those in a snapshot.

Customizing fields for export is not supported when exporting from a list. Instead, filter for people on the list and export the filter.

Print sheets

You can print out call sheets for people to record interactions on paper. Those contacts can be entered later using single-person view. To facilitate door-to-door canvassing, you can print walk sheets or scannable sheets

Call sheets and walk sheets can be customized - which means you can choose which information about people to include in the printed sheets. Customizing sheets requires creating a custom theme, which includes understanding HTML and Liquid. A certified NationBuilder designer can help design custom sheets. 

How to create a list

How to edit primary address

How to log a contact

How to set up memberships

Tracking relationships between people and organizations

How to batch update paths

How to use householding

How to print call sheets, scannable sheets, and walk lists

How to use scannable sheets

How to use map view and turf cut

How to target people

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.