Best Setup for My Project Management

Hi AirTablers! (do we have an official name?!?)

I’m finally diving into Airtable after hearing sooooo many good things about it. I’m a huge automation nerd, so I’m excited to dive in.

I run a podcast network with 8 active shows and many more in the works. I have a team of about 8 people actively working on the podcasts with me.

I have a Base set up as a Podcast Master Sheet with 4 tables in it right now:

  1. Episodes - to see every episode published on in the works. One field is linked to the Podcasts table
  2. Tasks - I think I want to aggregate info here such as show notes, transcriptions, images, etc. Not sure how to get this populated so everything is viewable (I’m thinking the tasks will actually be better viewed under the Team Members table??)
  3. Podcasts - list of my podcasts, each episode is listed in the episodes field. I’d like, if possible to see episodes already published vs not published to get a count. I can seem to only see every episode right now.
  4. Team Members - list of my team members

What I’m trying to figure out is how to automate (if possible) the process tasks:

  1. When I record something, I can use Zapier to check a box or enter a date when it’s done.
  2. I’d like to have Airtable/Zapier “tag” the next person to let him/her know their job is ready and give it a due date
  3. rinse a repeat with tasks getting completed and moved to the next person until the episode is published.

Let me know if you’d like more clarification or need more examples.

Thanks!

Ryan

I’ll answer a few questions you didn’t raise. :wink:

To me, a podcast is like any other publication: Each one has a production schedule leading up to a publication date – or, rather, a publication date that backwards-defines a production schedule. In addition, each podcast schedule implies a core group of repeatable events: Pre-production meetings; content creation (recordings, interviews, whatever); editing and post-production; [possibly] acquisition of clearances for performance rights; and so on. What you need to be able to do is say, “Podcast XYZ.12.19 is slated for December 15, 2019” and have your system back-propagate all the pertinent tasks, in sequence, with individual task due dates.

Here is the basic framework for such a system.

There’s a 22-page user’s guide included in the [Documentation] table as a PDF attachment, along with an animated GIF showing some of the framework’s features. The Show and Tell announcement of the framework is here. As published, the framework integrates with Airtable’s calendar view and Org Chart Block [as a hierarchical viewer, not as an org chart]; it also can be run standalone or with the assistance of such a third-party SaaS integration tool as Zapier; the user’s guide contains instructions for defining the Zaps needed to integrate.

As far as using the base to assign and track individual tasks, @Justin_Barrett has a task manager base he plans shortly to publish. I’ve not seen it, so I can’t speak to its scope or to its compatibility with the scheduling framework, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds as if our schema could be combined into a superclass supporting both functions with relatively little conflict.

In addition, take time to look through the published bases in Airtable Templates and Airtable Universe. I think you’ll find none of them will manage your exact workflow — because, for one thing, if they did, then where’s your value-add? But I also think you’ll find ideas and approaches you can emulate, imitate, modify, or just plain steal — and not have to re-invent. :wink:

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I’m sorry if I created the wrong impression, but I’m not planning on sharing my full task manager base at this time. There’s a piece of its design that I plan on sharing based on a discussion in another thread (related to driving task visibility via other tasks in a hierarchy of sorts), but the full base is nowhere near the point where I feel comfortable sharing it. It’s still an evolving work in progress.

Ah, good to know. Still, the task hierarchy/visibility part sounds like an excellent hack, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. (And I belatedly got around to checking out your website today – fascinating! What the heck are you doing hanging out around here? :wink: )