When building an Automation, we offer a couple of actions that can be used with Outlook including “Send email” and “Create event”. This article covers how to use both actions in your Airtable Automation.
We also have Automation triggers for Outlook which you can read more about in this article.
After you have configured your base in the manner you choose, you can then begin configuring your automation. To start, click on “Automations” in the upper right corner of your base. Then, click “Create an automation” to begin the setup process. For this example, we will be setting up an automation that sends an email from Outlook and creates an Outlook calendar event whenever a new record is added to a view in our Project Tracker Template.
First, we will set up a trigger to fire when a project enters our "Incomplete projects by leader" view. To do this, choose the corresponding table and view within the base and test the trigger.
Send email action
The first action we’ll add to this automation is an Outlook send email action. This allows us to send an email directly from an Outlook email account. To add an action, click “+ Add Action” and then click “Send email” under “Outlook Email”:
The first step is to select your Outlook Email account (if you have already connected it to Airtable), or connect a new Outlook account.
Once you’ve done that, you can populate the recipients, subject line, message body, and attachments. The total size of the email message (including attachments) is limited to 35MB. Your automation can send out a custom message that combines information from Airtable records, emojis, rich text, and plain text. You can click the blue and white plus-sign to add values in from the triggering record. In this example, we’re sending an email to the Project Lead with details about the new project:
By clicking on the "Show more options" drop-down arrow, you will have the ability to customize four additional parts of the automatic email you send out, which includes "CC", "BCC", "From name", and "Reply to". It's a good idea to BCC your own email address. You can remove your email address after the automation is confirmed to be sending the email correctly.
After your message looks the way you want it to you must click "Run test" to ensure the action is working properly. If the test runs successfully, then at this point it's a good idea to check that the test email sent successfully. Note that it might take a few minutes for the message to appear in your inbox, after the test runs successfully.
Create event action
We’ll add another action to this automation to create an Outlook Calendar event for this new project’s kickoff meeting. To do this, click “+ Add another action”, and then find “Create event” under “Outlook Calendar”:
Again, you will need to connect your Outlook Calendar account. Even if you already connected your Outlook account for the Email action, you will need to connect your account again for the Calendar action. These two actions require different permissions, and you will need to add your Outlook account for both actions separately.
After connecting your Outlook Calendar account, you can specify the details of your event. You can configure both the start and end times of the event, or create an all day event. Just as in the email action, you can use values from the triggering record to populate the event details.
When configuring the event, you must select a start time and end time. The input format of the date and time is flexible, and many formats should work. A few examples of formats that will work are:
- August 18, 2020 at 6pm PST
- 08/18/2020 at 6pm (if the time zone is excluded, it defaults to your calendar time zone)
- 2020-08-18T12:05:05.217Z (ISO format)
You can also set location, attendees, and configure video conferencing for the event. All attendees added will receive an email invitation to the event.
Once again, you will need to click “Run test” to ensure that this step is configured properly.
After the trigger and both actions have been tested successfully, you are ready to turn on your automation! Click the toggle in the upper right corner to turn on your automation — now, when a new record enters the “Incomplete projects by leader” view in our table, an email will be sent from our Outlook address and a new event will be created in our Outlook calendar.