New Matrix block, create Trello-style project management?


I think in part the new Matrix block allows for “card” based project management, similar in style to Trello? I was just about to get all up in Trello for a bunch of projects, but can I instead create them now here in AirTable? Any thoughts from Trello users?

Are there any templates anyone could point to in Templates or the Universe to help me get started? Most of the project management templates I found are still the older style with no Matrix (given it’s brand new, that makes sense.)

Thanks in advance!


I think the Kanban view is more like Trello:

You could have “lists” based on a Single select, where the cards (Records) are, and expand a them like in Trello. You could also leave comments and so on.


Hmmm - I was kind of thinking that the new Matrix that allows for you to essentially record, like a card, from one status to another was more like Trello progject management. In a Kanban, you can’t actually work with the entries to move them around, thus changing the actual entry, can you? I need to play with it more, but I think the key with Trello project management is essentially having “movable” entries in columns or a project matrix?

Thank for you thoughts - I’ll check more into it. Hopefully there will be some templates or uses in the Universe soon…?


Of course you can move Records (cards)! That’s the key of the Kanban system, this View would not be Kanban if not.

I don’t understand why people say something wrong without doing 30 seconds test :sweat_smile:


Hmmm - the Kanban I’ve had set up for the AirTable in question does not drag. Obviously I did try that first - it was a template I used, so it must have to do with the field that’s selected?


I’ve just used the Digital Content Calendar template and the Kanban view works well. Which one have you used?

Excuse me if I felt rude, I assumed that if you’ve been tested the kanban view you’ll say something like: “Kanban does not allow me to drag&drop”.

If you can’t drag & drop that is the problem, maybe related with permissions? maybe with the template? I don’t know. Try to create a new fresh base and add a Kanban view to test if there is any problem with your user/account.


Kanban view is the most Trello-like, particularly for transitioning cards (records) in one dimension, eg project status as a single select.

At this time, Kanban view columns cannot use rating fields.

Matrix blocks present cards in 2 dimensions so we could use project status as 1, and some other field to plot for the other axis. Though I don’t know how a matrix would be of use for visualisation with project status as 1 axis.

The Matrix block presents cards (records) quite lean in that you only see the primary field and no others. We can use single select and rating fields for the dimensions / axes to move cards along. This allows you to prioritise transparently with stakeholders using various project criteria. For example, one matrix with scales of user value vs effort; and another to plot user value vs business benefit.


I do not use Kaban much, so take my advice lightly. But… you may be trying to group by a formula or calculated field. If that is what you are doing, I would presume that you could NOT move the cards from one group to the other.

Take the example below, which is a hypothetical formula used to calculate the value of the field named “FINE STATUS”. Summarizing the formula for {FINE STATUS}, if the {Return_Date} is after the {Due_Date} then set the status to “Fine Owed”.

IF( {Return_Date} > {Due_Date}, "FINE OWED", "NO FINE" )

Thinking back on the above example, if one were to group records by the field {FINE STATUS}, then it would not be possible to simply change the FINE STATUS as if selecting the status from a drop down menu. Instead one would have to change either the {Return_Date} or the {Due_Date}. And airtable is not going to try to GUESS which field you need changed, therefore, it will not let you drag and drop the card into another status.

I have longed for a way, however, for airtable to have DEFAULT VALUES set by formulas. For example, it would be awesome if Airtable allowed a user to make a field a “Drop down” type field, with the default value set by a formula (and updated anytime a dependent variable of the formula is changed), but that would also allow the user to override the default value (until a dependent variable changed). But, that is not the current state of airtable at this moment.

Set defaults on fields
Functions in field Default Value