Airtable is an impactful tool for fuelling collaboration efforts in organizations of all sizes. Its ability to combine the best aspects of spreadsheets and databases in one package is impressive, and yet it’s also easy to be intimidated by what it has to offer.
Furthermore, unless you learn the ropes thoroughly, you could be missing out on a feature or function that will make your life much easier.
Here is an overview of tips and tricks every Airtable user needs to know about, and some advice on pushing its effectiveness to the next level.
Adjust the view according to your needs
While you might be happy with the standard grid view, it’s wise to mix things up and create your own customized ways of seeing data contained within Airtable.
This is easily done from the dedicated Views menu, and you can switch between everything from a calendar that organizes information by deadlines, a Gantt chart that follows the principles of this popular approach to project scheduling, and many more besides.
Also remember that view configurations can be copied over, so you don’t have to rebuild from scratch when launching a new one. You can even duplicate views, and collaborate on creating a view with multiple editors.
Assign views to folders
Views are great, but if too many are created then a cluttered sidebar is inevitable. Thankfully it’s a breeze to set up specific sections within which different categories of views are organized, giving you a cleaner and more efficient experience.
Jump from view to view using a shortcut
There are lots of keyboard shortcuts for Airtable, and arguably the most useful is Ctrl+Shift+K. This lets you then enter part or all of the name of a view you want to leap to, before you hit enter to seal the deal. The view search function works in much the same way, and can even be resized.
Tinker with the scripting
You don’t need to be comfortable with APIs and coding to alter scripts in Airtable. It’s a low-code ecosystem, and you can achieve more if you check out what other community members have made before pushing forward with your own efforts.
Create your own Airtable app as a front end for your data
With the help of a no-code Airtable app builder, it’s possible to put together your very own, entirely bespoke front end so that you can represent data stored on this platform in whatever format you please.
One reason to do this is that it means you don’t have to give every user unmitigated access to the data you’re using. Thus establishing a front end app lets you handle access control more securely, and even spearhead entirely personalized projects, whether that’s the launching of a CRM or even a customer-facing portal for order tracking.
Train your team and make changes as needed
It’s important to note that with the flexibility and versatility of Airtable, you also have to be willing to embrace and adapt thorough training throughout the teams that will be using it, or else even the basic benefits might fall by the wayside.
Likewise just because one approach is working, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. In fact you could find that small adjustments to how you use views, or how you integrate separate apps to act as the front end, will make a major difference to productivity.
The bottom line
Airtable is simple by design, but don’t be fooled by what it has to offer, as you will need to work to master everything.