Field Type for Names

Good afternoon (UK). I’ve just signed up for a year of Pro.

I am surveyor dealing with commercial property and much of work overlaps with that of a lawyer.
I’m not new to database design, having been using Filemaker for years (but only in flat form, not relational). Currently I use Clio (law practice but I’m finding it slows me up) and a combination of Devonthink Pro 3 and Scrivener for my law library.

I am planning on using AirTable for my law library and for task management (client contacts, etc, property info, etc. I have added a couple of templates to get a rough idea.

I have 2 questions.

  1. Would it be better to have a separate base for my law library or does it matter if one base contains dozens of tables?

  2. Where a field is for a person’s name, is it better to have two fields, one for first name, the other for surname, or one field only.



Welcome to the community!

As a rule, I’d say that unless your law library will be in some way used as part of your task management, then keep them separate. If however, you will be using the library to populate your tasks, then I’d say yes - Keep them in the same base, and use “link to” wherever necessary

For your second question…Honestly, this is going to come down to personal preference. I would say it really depends on how much it matters to you (Will you need to group by first-name or surname a lot, for example? If so - Keep them separate), if not keep them together. This is really up to you though. I find that generally keeping them separate allows me to use the first name in greetings and automations more easily (without having to split them up each time). Keeping them separate also fosters consistency, and ensures that nobody can decide to change the format at any point

Hope that helps, and best of luck!

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Thank you. Having the law library within makes it easier to link property issues to case law, etc. The way I am organising currently does mean a lot of darting around and switching between different apps.

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