When creating a custom list, you need to provide a list definition in the form of a schema.xml file. Rather than creating a schema.xml file from scratch, a recommended approach is to copy an existing list definition. The out-of-the-box SharePoint custom list is a good starting point as it provides the barest minimum of features required. Armed with a stock list definition, you need to modify it for the list you want to create. If you want to use a specific content type, you can specify it in the <ContentTypes> section. You need to specify the columns of the list in the <Fields> section. Finally, you will want to modify the view definition to specify the columns to be included in the view.
Modifying an existing list definition is a quick way to create a custom list. Often, however, you will want to have more control over the view definition other than what fields are included in it. The view definition is the largest section in the schema.xml and can be rather daunting. Here is where SharePoint Manager comes in. Continue reading Adding a View When Provisioning a Custom List