- 05 May 2023
- 8 Minutes to read
Airtable base collaboration overview
- Updated on 05 May 2023
- 8 Minutes to read
Airtable is more fun with friends! Luckily, Airtable was designed to support a variety of options for collaboration that will suit teams of all different sizes and needs.
|Plan availability||All plan types|
|Permissions||Each workspace or base collaborator has a permission level that determines what kinds of actions they can or cannot take in the workspaces or bases to which they have access. The permission level is initially set when the user is invited but can be changed later.|
For more specific details, please consult this support article.
|Platform(s)||Web/Browser, Mac app, Windows app, and mobile apps|
Base collaboration at a glance
You can invite someone as either:
- Workspace collaborator
- Base collaborator
- A workspace collaborator has access to all of the bases in a workspace, whereas a base collaborator has access to only the bases shared with them within a particular workspace.
- Workspace and base collaborators can be added at different permission levels, which determines what kinds of actions they can or cannot take in the workspaces or bases to which they have access.
- The number of users that have access to a workspace and the workspace's billing plan determines how much the owner of a workspace pays per month. More information on how collaboration might affect billing here.
The user field type allows you to select one or more names from an automatically generated dropdown list of all the users that have access to a base. You can configure the user field to notify a user when they've been assigned to a record
You can use base share links and view share links to grant external collaborators access to read-only versions of bases or views.
If it doesn't make sense to give certain people full access to your workspace or base—like if you are working with contractors, clients, or volunteers—you can let those people add new records with forms.
Airtable Automations can allow your team to create highly customizable notifications. Your team’s individual workflows will ultimately inform which automation actions to use, but three actions are worth mentioning specifically for collaboration:
You can find a more in-depth guide to custom notifications using automations here.
Workspace and base collaborators
As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, there are two general types of collaborators in Airtable bases:
A workspace is a collection of bases shared among a group of users. A workspace collaborator has access to all of the bases in a workspace. If you've been invited to a workspace as a workspace collaborator, that workspace will show up on your Airtable homepage.
To invite a workspace collaborator, return to the homepage and click on the Share button above the workspace to which you want to add the new collaborator. This will open the workspace share dialog.
From within the workspace share dialog, you can type in the email address of the person you wish to invite to collaborate on your workspace, set their permission level, then click the blue Send Invite button. Alternatively, if you need to invite many people to a workspace, you can create an invite link that will grant access (at the specified permission level) to anyone who opens the link.
Unlike a workspace collaborator, a base collaborator just has access to the particular base(s) that has been shared with them. They are unable to see or interact with any of the other bases in the workspace in which the shared base lives. If you've been invited to a base as a base collaborator, that base will show up in the "Bases shared with me" section of your homepage.
To invite a base collaborator, go into the base you want to share, then click the "Share" button on the top right of the base to bring up the base share dialog.
From within the base share dialog, you can see all of the users who have access to this base—both workspace collaborators and base collaborators. To invite a base collaborator, you can type in the email address of the person you wish to invite to collaborate on the base, set their permission level, then click the blue Send Invite button. Alternatively, if you need to invite many people to this base, you can create an invite link that will grant access (at the specified permission level) to anyone who opens the link.
Each workspace in Airtable has its own billing plan—free, Plus, Pro, or Enterprise. Which billing plan your workspace is on determines some important things, like whether you can use premium features (like Airtable Extensions or the advanced calendar feature) on the bases in those workspaces. Importantly, the billing plan also determines how much the owner of a workspace pays per month for each user with access to the workspace (including both workspace and base collaborators).
Please be aware that inviting a workspace or base collaborator may incur an additional monthly charge. Additionally, because collaborators can invite other users, it's important that everyone on your team understands how billing works. A workspace always has at least one owner who's responsible for billing and other workspace settings, so if you have any questions about your billing plan, talk to your workspace owner. You can find out who the owner of your workspace is by going to the workspace share dialog and looking through the list of collaborators.
Please refer to our articles about billing and workspace administration if you have any further questions.
Sending a record from a base
- To email an individual record, select the record you want to send and right-click to bring up a dropdown menu. Then, click the Send record option.
- You can also send multiple records at once by selecting multiple records, right-clicking, and selecting the Send all selected records option.
- Sending a single record or multiple records will bring up a setup box in which you can:
- Insert the email addresses of the people to whom you would like to send the records
- Set a subject line for the email
- Write a custom message in the body of the email
- Toggle between using the grid layout
- Toggle between sending a copy of the email to yourself
- Emails sent this way will come from the email address email@example.com. It's a good idea to ensure that those emails aren't flagged as spam by your mail server. At this time, there isn't a way to change the sending email address. Workarounds are listed under "advanced record sharing" in the dependencies section below.
- Users working in a free plan workspace are not able to send emails to email addresses outside of the Airtable accounts listed as collaborators within that workspace.
- Users will also need to have verified their account email to receive those communications.
- For more advanced record sharing functionality consider using:
When you are watching comments on a record, you will be notified whenever someone comments on the record. In order to receive notifications from Airtable, you will need to ensure your general notifications are turned on and that you have verified your email address associated with your Airtable account.
There are four general ways to start watching comments:
- By manually setting yourself to watch a record's comments in an expanded record.
- By commenting on a record.
- By being mentioned in a record or a comment.
- Finally, you'll be set to watch comments on any records when another user (or automation) adds you to a user field type with the option to "Notify users when they’re added" turned on before adding new collaborators to records.
To configure your watch settings, expand a record. The right side of the dialog is the record's activity feed. At the top right, click the "Watch comments" bell icon. Clicking this will allow you to change your watch settings between "Not watching" and "Watching comments."
If you don't want to watch comments, you can just set your status to "Not watching" again. At this time, it isn't possible to enable or disable watching multiple records at a time using this method.
If you comment on a record, or if another collaborator @mentions you in a record's comments, then you will automatically be set to watch the record's comments in question. If you are not watching a record's comments, then you can also be notified if someone @mentions you in a long text field. For more on commenting and @mentioning, see the article titled "Comment on Records and @Mention Collaborators."
When a user field type is set up to "Notify users when they’re added", it will automatically cause future collaborators to also be added to watching any comments that they are assigned to.
Additionally, this makes it possible to watch multiple records' comments at one time, by copying and pasting a collaborator's information to multiple cells at the same time. You can also use the fill handle, but note that both options will overwrite rather than append any existing collaborators added previously.
Finally, it's worth pointing out, that users will still only be able to disable watching comments one record at a time by clicking the expanded view of a record as mentioned in the "Expanded record watch settings" section above.