Difficulty with automatically updating a field


#1

I am creating a content management base, and struggling with how to get a field to automatically update, and I hope someone can help.

I have different phases of publishing (eg brainstorm - > outline - > draft - > create visuals) that I want to manage using the kanban view.

At each phase I have different online tools I use.

What I would like to happen is when I change a record’s phase field I would like another field (“Tools”) to automatically update to reflect the tools appropriate for that phase, and even better if this list is clickable links that takes me straight to that tool. The idea is to get a quick visual idea of where all my articles are at

I have tried a couple of different other tables for tools and phases (one organising the tools by the phase, and one organising the phase by tools) and experimented with advanced field types (logic like IF, lookup) but I’m not at the point with bases where I can work it out.

Thanks in advance for any help :slight_smile:


#2

This is actually quite a difficult one - the obvious answer would be to have a lookup table for phases which then linked to tools - and you could show the list of tools on the main table. However, this won’t work as a) Kanban views can’t be based on linked fields and b) you wouldn’t be able to show links to the tools you refer to.

To achieve this, then, you need to be able to populate fields automatically (or create child records) when the phase changes - there is no way to do this within Airtable itself but it can be done through Zapier. This would be the principle:

  1. Create Zaps (one for each phase probably) based on New Record in View - you would need a View in Airtable for each Phase as well.

  2. In a table called, say, phases, the zap would look up the phase and find the linked Tools records from a tools table.

  3. For each tool found, it would create a record in a table say called Project Tools - linking the project and the tool. If one of the fields in the tool record were the link to the tool then which could be shown in the list of tools available in the Expanded view of the project record.

The Zap required would require some code to loop through the tools and I have shown some similar examples in my blog:

http://software.kirknessassociates.com/blog.html

This isn’t a perfect solution for a number of reasons including that tools from earlier phases could not be automatically deleted from the Project Tools table - and also you need to remember that each Zap would only run once for each Phase of a project.


#3

Thanks Julian. In some ways I am glad it wasn’t straight forward and I just wasn’t seeing it! Not sure if the solution is worth me messing with code, just for the sake of convenience of having all my links right there in the record. Just that since I’m using this to streamline my work flow having this would have been nice to have.
I really appreciate you taking the time and your thought out reply.

  • Kevin