DATETIME_DIFF sluggish to update

Not sure if this was covered before. I’m trying to use the datetime_diff function in a formula as a trigger to send out an email 5 minutes before the meeting starts.

The problem is that this function is very sluggish to update. In other words it might be 10 or 15 minutes past the moment it should trigger before it refreshes and shows the correct difference in time. But by the time it updates it’s too late to send the email out.

Is this a bug? Or is there a workaround?


That is correct. Unfortunately, Airtable only updates the time every 10-15 minutes.


Hey @Zion_Brock!

So, it isn’t actually a bug.
When it comes to formulas, Airtable does not keep minute-to-minute, up-to-date time/date values.
When the base is active, it updates in fifteen-minute intervals.

I’m actually in the middle of talking to someone at Airtable internally about this since it has historically caused me some issues. If I get more context from the product side, I’ll definitely provide it to everyone here.

The workaround that I have implemented might not be viable for your use case, but it’s worth highlighting.
I have a time interval-based automation that runs every minute during business hours.

From there, I have a script that queries for records that meet a given criterion. Primarily, it looks for records that have hit a minute-sensitive SLA and escalates records that do not satisfy the condition.

To give a sense of the scale of this solution, the automation catches between 40-70 records per run.

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Awesome, thanks so much for your input and suggestion!

@Zion_Brock Just an FYI: I keep trying to wean myself & my clients away from, but it’s just not 100% possible yet. is an external automation platform that is low-code/no-code. It costs extra money per month, but it has advanced scheduling capabilities that you can schedule down to every 60 seconds.

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