100% Newbie Linking Data Please Help

Hey all, I am a completely newbie to Airtable as of today and so far I’m hooked! This has been a great way for me to organize my info in relation to my blog! The thing I can’t quite seem to get the hang of, however, is linking. I’ve read all the articles and watched some videos, but I can’t seem to figure out how to make it do what I want it.

I have a tab for all my current blog topics with categories and notes on each. Then I have a second sheet for blog post ideas. On each idea, I have some notes and tasks I’d like to do.

So when I’m getting ready to add a new blog post into my blog posts lists, I’d like to be able to choose a topic from my ideas list and have it populate the information that was on that topic in the other sheet into my blog list without manually typing out all the info again. (did that make any sense?)

I am very lost and getting a little frustrated so any help would be appreciated. (I have attached some screenshots for reference)

Hi @Amber_Johnson!

Airtable is pretty strictly a database, which means there are some constraints. It’s not quite as free-flowing as spreadsheets you may be used to.

If your Blog Posts will always be flowing out of a Blog Post Idea, then what you’ll want to do is create your Blog Post Idea first, and flesh it out with all the detail about the post that you want to be unique to the “Idea” phase of a post (sounds like this is what you are doing – so far so good).

Then, when it comes time to actually post it, you’ll create a new Blog Post record. Instead of the Blog Post record having all its own fields that you have to manually type info into, those fields will be “Lookup” fields. You’ll link this new Blog Post record to its corresponding Idea record in a Linked Record field. When you do that, all of your “Lookup” fields will pull data from that Idea record you just linked to.

So, for example, instead of your Blog Post > Post Title field being a text input field, change it to be a Lookup field. Tell it to look up its value from the linked Blog Post Ideas record, and the Name field of that record. The same with any other fields that you input data at “Idea” phase, and don’t want to manually duplicate into the Blog Post table.

There will be fields, however, that are unique to the Blog Post itself, and not part of the “Idea” phase – such as Publish date. So those fields will remain input fields that you manually fill in when the Blog Post record is created.

Ha! @Jeremy_Oglesby beat me to the punch here!

To further expand upon what Jeremy was saying: in general, you probably DON’T want to link your blog posts to your blog ideas, because then EACH BLOG POST would need to be linked to a blog idea if you want your columns to be consistent across your records.

What you probably want to do is just copy & paste a record from your blog ideas table into your blog post table. In your blog ideas table, you can click the checkbox of a record in the left column, then hit command-c on your keyboard to copy. In your blog post table, you can create a new record, then check the checkbox of that empty row, then hit command-v on your keyboard to paste.

NOTE: Make sure that your fields are identical field types from left to right — in order for the paste to work as expected!

In fact, because your blog posts and your blog ideas are so similar in construct, you might be better off with all of them combined together in ONE TABLE.

Then, you could add a category field where you choose between “blog post” or “blog idea”.

Then, you could filter out blog ideas or blog posts so you don’t see them, you could sort by blog post or blog idea, you could even group by blog post or blog idea. Then, when something gets upgraded from idea to post, you can just change its category.

1 Like

Okay those are good ideas for sure! I am overwhelmed with information right now and advice on how to get this set up. What I want to do is be able to click in my new blog post field record and have it search the blog ideas database, select the idea I want to write about, and have it port over all the info that was on the card in the idea database into the blog post database.

I guess I’m just at a loss on how to make that happen.

Yeah, just do the copy & paste, like I suggested above. That’s the easiest.

Yeah I tried doing that, and my columns are different on each tab so it didn’t paste over correctly.

If you like the copy/paste method, you can either:

  1. Reorder the columns on your current blog post view to match the columns from your current blog idea view.

or

  1. Create a new view in your blog post table — a view that is solely for pasting — that will have the exact same columns in the exact same order as your current blog idea view. Then, you can switch back to your original view after pasting.