Automatic linked update



I’m new to Airtable and I’m trying to use it to organise and track content development. So in Phase 1 I will create the following columns:
Section ID (number)
Lesson ID (number)
Unit ID (number)
Section Title (text)
Lesson Name (text)
Unit Name (text)
Learning outcome (text)
I want all of these to appear in other tables and automatically update if I change something in the first table. So if I change the name of the Unit it will update in all other tables that it’s linked to.

In the other tables I will add columns for Writer/Editor/Budget/Deadline etc. The Deadline and Budget also has to update. Any suggestions how I can do this please?


Welcome to Airtable!

It’s hard to give specific steps without knowing your application in more detail, but in general you’ll be making use of linked records. If the fields you mentioned are in your main table, and your secondary tables are linked to the main, you’ll use lookup and rollup fields to access those values by reference. You can also use lookup and rollup fields in your primary table to retrieve values from other linked tables.

Values accessed by reference can be used in calculations in the retrieving table — that is, a formula field in a secondary table can incorporate a value looked up from the primary table in one of its formulas — but the results of that calculation cannot be used to change the value of the original field, as that could represent a circular reference.

You can chain linked records. For instance, a [Company] table might contain a linked record field called {Contact} that links to [People] table, which in turn could have fields called {Mailing Address}, {Office Address}, and {Home Address}, all three of which might link to an [Address] table. In that case, one might have in the [Company] table a {Contact Home City} field that would lookup the value of {People::Home City} that in turn would be a lookup of the {Address::City} field in the [Address] record linked by {People::Home Address}.

If you run into specific issues building your base — and there are a couple of potential ‘gotchas’ inherent in working with linked records, primarily resulting from a looked-up value being of an unexpected type — don’t hesitate to ask!


Doesn’t seem like there’s an exact solution, but thanks for the ideas!


Oh, there’s at least one exact solution — probably several, at least! :wink:

Seriously, though, it’s always easier to respond to something than it is to blue-sky an answer without knowing anything about your application or the problems you’re trying to solve. I could spend half a day suggesting different ways to organize your base and still not hit upon a model that feels right to you. My suggestion would be to put together a rough cut based on what seems to make sense to you, and then post it and ask for feedback. Once we have an idea of the direction in which you’re going, it becomes easier to provide concrete recommendations and critiques


The first six columns has to repeat in Table 1 (and other tables) exactly. If I update either one in the first table, it should automatically update in all other tables. I’ve tried linking records and it works for the first 3 columns, but if I want to type in the Section Title it suddenly creates a new record in the linking table instead of adding info to the existing table. If I complete all fields in the record individually it doesn’t show in the other tables.


Thanks! I’ll give this a look and see what I can come up with…