1st Base - Very simple, but very lost


I am working on an annual event as a volunteer - everyone working on the free event is a volunteer. I am trying to organize three years of information into something that actually makes sense. Airtable seems to be perfect, but I can’t quite wrap my head around it enough to get going. What I am trying to do seems simple enough -

Organization - includes contact info, etc and tracks years/roles (pulls from Year tables)
Year 2015 - lists organizations that participated, and their role. Pulls name from Organizations to keep everything consistent.
Year 2016 - same as 2015
Year 2017 - again, same thing

I have started a handful of times and stop when I find the structure doesn’t work. I have looked at a lot of the templates, but I can’t figure out how to make one work. Anyone able to help me out?


Hi Joan,

From your explanation it seems like you just need a single table with your organisation info in it and another table for ‘Years’ (Or maybe ‘Events’ would be a better table name). The Events table will hold the information which is specific to one of your annual events such as dates, location etc, then you can either add a lookup field in the ‘Events’’ table which looks up records in the Organization table, or a lookup field in the Organization table which allows you to select a year. Doesn’t matter which table you add the lookup to because once added it will automatically be available from both. Guessing when you add the lookup field you would need to check the option which allows multiple records to be linked for Organization which attend multiple annual events.


Thanks Mike. I get the Organization table. It is when I get to the Events table, and connecting them that I have problems. Since it sounds like you are thinking the same thing I am for starting it out, let me be more specific as to where I am stuck.

What I want:
Organization ABC - has field CDE which is filled with data from Event CDE Roles field
Event CDE - Fields specific to this event: Organization, etc, including one field (Roles) with up to 3 possible roles.
I would also make Event FGH and copy it for each subsequent year, adding a new Event FGH field (etc) to Organization

How do I get there?

End Goal - list of Organizations with roles from each event so we can see who did what over the years.


If I’m following you correctly then it looks like you’ll also need a ‘Roles’ table which will consists of at least two fields, one lookup to events and the other to ‘Organizations’ - Then in that table add another column to the ‘Roles’ table of type Single Select perhaps titled ‘Role Title’ and add your three role options in the field options section.

Just to add clarification after re-reading your last message; databases are about linking records together rather than repeating data like you would in a spreadsheet. Your data appears to logically split into Organisations, Events and roles. Each one of those ‘things’ can have information which is specific to it, but also ‘relates’ (this is where the linkining comes in) to other things. An event would have dates, a venue, maybe a budget etc. Organisations have names addresses (could also have people which would require a further table of ‘Contacts’ which then link to the organisation). Databases are about establishing what your individual ‘things’ are which then need to ‘relate’. Without wanting to get too much into database jargon, relationships can be one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one or many-to-many. You need to kind of think about the things and their possible relationships which is not always obvious. Hope that helps.


Thanks Mike. It has been a while since I worked with relational databases (Filemaker) - and the interface is certainly different. But you bring up a good reminder - I need to plot this out on paper before I do anything else. It may take me a bit - but I will report back when I get it more sorted out.


Just woke up thinking about this and on reflection the jobs table may be an over complication and that job should be a column in the events table, assuming that there is no additional information you need to record relating to the job itself.

There’s a template in Airtable for conference planning which is worth looking at for ideas.