File Attachment For Notes Which Can Be Updated

I have a legacy way of recording notes from all my meetings and conversations with clients. Effectively, it’s one long formatted text document with the heading for each interaction being the date and subject in bold followed by the notes taken for that interaction.

I originally thought about using an Interactions table in Airtable but to get all my previous notes into this table would be a gigantic task that I’m not sure I’m prepared to move forward with at this stage. In addition, the Page Designer lacks the ability of dynamically altering the record size depending on how much space the note will take.

So with that long preamble, is there a way to attach a document to a field in Airtable where when I click on it, the document is opened, I’m able to add any new notes to it and click a button to resave it? When I tried attached a file in a field in Airtable, it seems it’s a static document where it cannot be edited and resaved right in the same location. I would have to re-attach the file.

Any work arounds or solutions to this?

Your interactions table could actually work if you set up the Page Designer layout based not on that table, but on your [Clients] table (assuming you have one). Here’s a rough setup I created. I’ve got a [Clients] table:

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With the {Interactions} field pulling from an [Interactions] table:

On the [Clients] table, I make a new Page Designer block, dropping in that {Interactions} field below the client’s name, and stretching it so that it fills the full page width. Leaving it in Table mode, I choose the fields that I want to display, and adjust their order. I also set the sort based on the primary (autonumber) field, and invert the sort order so that the records appear in the proper order (because they’re reversed in the links). Airtable gives each note the proper vertical space it needs automatically.

My only quibble is that there’s no way to manually adjust the width allotted to each displayed field from the linked table. It’s automatically calculated based on the field contents.

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Hi @Marco - for a non-Airtable (or part-Airtable) solution you could have a link to a document in, say, Google Drive instead of attaching the doc to the AT record:

Clicking on the doc URL will open it in another tab and any changes you make will be there the next time, of course.

JB

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This would work but to your point, I can’t seem to adjust the column widths at all and right now my version of what you’ve done above has the date field spreading out over 2 rows because there isn’t enough width in the column to allow the date to fit on one row.

Has the Airtable team ever commented on whether this is something they will fix in the future? There seems to be a heck of a lot of people wishing they would enhance the Page Designer to be more dynamic both in terms of column widths but also row heights where appropriate.

Are there any other options other than the Page Designer?

@Marco - for a non-Airtable (or part-Airtable) solution you could have a link to a document in, say, Google Drive instead of attaching the doc to the AT record

Unfortunately, I no longer use Google Docs for my work related documents. I’ve setup my own NAS drive and use OwnCloud for all my document storage needs. I can share links using OwnCloud but it doesn’t allow me to edit the document right in the browser window. It would require I download the document, then update it with my new notes and re-save. Not ideal, but thanks for the suggestion.

@Justin_Barrett This may actually be workable if I just omit the Subject field. I really only ever use this type of report for my own needs. It’s not ideal not to have it but something I can live with until they fix it. Although now this means I need to go back through every single interaction I’ve had with my clients and enter them into Airtable one by one. My concern in doing this is what will happen if I one day decide to leave Airtable and use something else.

A follow-up question if you don’t mind, is there a way I can choose to print records for just one of my contacts? For example, I want Page Designer to print ALL activities for one specific contact. In this way, the report will print out every single interaction I’ve had with them instead of printing all records for all contacts. If I choose to print only one specific record in the page designer using the approach you’ve outlined, will it print all interactions for the 1 contact or will it just print 1 interaction?

Thanks

It will print all interactions for the one contact. As you can see from the screenshot I included above, it lists all three interactions that I linked to Client A. If I add a new one also tagged to Client A, that will automatically get picked up the next time I print the Client A record.

The downside, though, is that once the interaction list gets too large to fit the space allotted for that client record, any new interactions will be chopped off. I just ran a test of this scenario, so that’s going to be a problem if you have more interactions than can fit onto a single page.

@Justin_Barrett I was able to find a great solution to this issue. I simply created a new grid view in the Interactions table, grouped all the activities by Household, hid all the fields except for Subject, Date, Notes, and then chose to print the grid view as is. Airtable properly expands where needed and the printed report is perfect.

Thanks again for all your help the past few days, appreciate it!

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To be honest, I’ve never directly printed a grid view, or else I would’ve suggested it sooner. Good to know that it gets the job done!