Airtable has terrible inbox comment spam and no tools to fix it

This has been driving me crazy for years now. Airtable is incredible, and I use it for so many things, but it’s never been suitable for high-quality collaboration because the email/notification system is really feature poor.

The way @mentions, collaborator fields, and instant notifications work, it’s a total inbox nightmare.

I realise Automations are one way of changing how emails and notificaitons work, but they only add to the inbox pool, as you cannot disable or change notification settings on a base-by-base basis.

What’s even more frustrating is how simple these would be to fix with a few base-wide settings.

  • Disable ALL notifications except @mentions
  • Disable “Watching” on records
  • Disable “Auto-Watching” when a collaborator is assigned to a record

Any variation of those would instantly fix these issues for a lot of threads I’ve seen with similar complaints. Someone called it a “boy who cries wolf” inbox situation.

Another, probably more complicated fix, would be queueing email notifications in batches (like Trello). Instead sending an email anytime anything changes on a record instantly, maybe queue them for a couple minutes, or add the option, so you have some leeway on accidently sending someone an incorrect email on an incorrect record change.

Thanks team, this software is incredible, it just is in dire need of some notification attention.

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Agree 100% and then some.

I believe the Airtable platform suffers from developers paying too much attention to notifications and not enough attention to the principles of awareness and time-to-awareness.

This is a dysfunctional aspect of almost every information platform; flawed assumptions based on other flawed assumptions. Instead of building a notification system, build a framework for building awareness outcomes that are driven by formulas, views and state changes, events and/or script actions, script blocks, and custom apps.

One of the deeper issues is that Airtable has never exposed the conversational aspects of the platform to the API. This makes it difficult to create awareness events based on conditional examinations of text and context.

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