I thought I would spend this week examining the various column types and the options within. Microsoft has provided a nice guide of each of the column types, and I will provide some examples of where and how we use them. Here is a basic overview from their site:
Columns help you create meaningful views of the items in a list or library. By using columns, you can sort, group, and filter items, and you can also calculate data about items automatically and display the results of those calculations. Columns also enable you to specify what information should be entered about an item when someone adds an item to a list or library. When an item is added, a form appears and provides fields and options for entering information. When you create a list or library, certain columns, such as Title and Modified By, are created automatically. You can create additional columns to suit your needs. The columns that you create determine which fields and options appear in that form, and the columns that can be added to views of the list or library.
You specify the type of column that you want when you create a column. In some cases, you can also choose a different column type for an existing column, but this depends on what kind and how much data is currently stored in the column. Changing the column type of an existing column can corrupt the data already stored in the column. For these reasons, it’s important to decide what kind of data you want to store before you create a column.