Welcome to the Airtable power user's guide! Airtable is friendly enough that anyone can dive right in with one of our templates or Airtable Universe bases—but it's also a complex tool with many powerful features that you might not be aware of at first glance. Learning more about these features can help you build an Airtable base that does, well, pretty much whatever you need it to do.
The following tips and tricks will teach you how to make bases that are more powerful (and better looking!) and how to more efficiently access the relevant information within those bases. Read on to learn how to leverage linked records, blocks, formulas, and so much more.
Your base is only as good as the information inside it—but entering in new records one at a time can be a pain. Here are a few techniques which'll save you time as you build out your bases, including the easiest way to get your existing spreadsheet up and running in Airtable.
To get the most out of Airtable, we highly recommend that you take the time to convert fields from single line text fields to other field types, where appropriate. Read on for some of the most common conversions you should know—and some of our favorite tips for maximizing your Airtable fields.
- Cleaning up imported files and converting field types
- Converting text fields to checkbox fields
- Converting text fields into select fields
- Converting text fields into linked record fields
- Converting text fields containing commas
One of the unique aspects of managing your information in a database is the power of linking records together across tables. Linked records can eliminate redundancy, enforce data integrity, and enable new methods of automation—turning your list of records into a fully fledged custom app. Learn how you can put Airtable's linked records to work for you.
- Should my field be a linked record field?
- Linking to existing records in another table with a linked record field
- Creating a new table from a linked record field
- Avoiding manual or duplicative data entry with linked records (count and lookup fields)
- Calculating based on linked records (rollup fields)
When your information is collected together in one powerful database, organizing your tables, fields, and views effectively is key—and adding a few well-placed blocks can make a big impact. Here are some best practices to keep in mind as you're architecting new Airtable bases, and powering up existing ones.
- Should I combine or split tables? What about bases?
- Using blocks and blocks dashboards to bring in more information
- Filtered linked record fields can help limit what you see
When creating a base, linked record fields can unlock all sorts of clever ways to work with the information you put in it. While linked record fields typically link two tables together, you can also use the linked record field type to link records within the same table, allowing you to do even more with that table’s records. Learn how you can set up this type of linked record and how different approaches can add new functionality to your base.
- Linking records within the same table
- Why would I want to link records within the same table?
- Choosing the right direction for your linked record field
- Building a Gantt chart using dependencies
Once you've put together a collection of rich and interesting bases, each with many tables, views, and records, it becomes even more important to know how to navigate the Airtable interface efficiently. These tips can help save you some time when you need to get the relevant information ASAP.
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Navigating through expanded records
- Navigating through expanded cells
- View search bar
- Quick base switcher
- Flagging records with record coloring
- Coloring based on conditions
Formulas allow you to compute values based on values in other fields. With the judicious use of lookup and/or rollup fields, you can also compute values based on values from other tables. Formulas are incredibly powerful, and when in doubt, there's probably a way to do what you need to do using formulas. Read on to learn the best ways to get started with formulas.
- Using a formula as the primary field
- The many uses of IF
- Nested IF formulas
- Conditional emoji formula
- Using IF to combine and/or filters
- Formula output types
- Using formulas in rollup fields
- Using IF for conditional rollups