Revision history without "difference" between versions

I’m working on creating functionality for an Airtable CRM that mimics functionality found in Hubspot or other CRMs, where you can bcc an email address and it will record the message in the database under your communications with that person.

I’m user Zapier with an Email > Airtable Lookup (and optionally Create) > Airtable Update flow. It’s working well enough - when I bcc a “wizard” email address, Zapier looks up the recipient in my CRM (and creates one if it doesn’t exist) and then updates a Date Last Contacted and Last Message field in that user’s record.

Here’s where I’m running into trouble. This system will only give me the most recent message. I would like to use the revision history feature within Airtable to view past messages to that user. But, I found when Zapier updated the cell, Airtable did this “version history” thing where some words that were shared between message (like “the”) were maintained in green, and other words were crossed out (see image).

Screenshot 2020-05-29 17.10.02

Anyone have bright ideas on how to solve this? I doubt it’s possible to shut down the “version history” feature, but maybe some other clever solution?

Hi Tom!

I think the issue here is that you’re overriding the previous information in that field – Airtable assumes you’re going in and editing the information and that’s what the change dialogue reflects.

So how do we solve this? Well what strikes me is why not just add the new information to the cell instead of overriding what is there? In Zapier you can first input the existing conversation in the cell and then add the new conversation (you can even add some markers like “-----” and dates to differentiate the conversation).

Otherwise, you can create an interaction table where each new conversation is a record and then you rollup the conversations into the other tables. If you only want to rollup the latest conversation, I show how to do that here.

Hope that helps!

Best
Aron

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Thanks Aron!

That’s exactly the issue.

For your first proposed solution, I’m not sure how to add content to a cell instead of replacing the cell. Do you have any guidance on where to start?

I guess the second option would work too, but it’s probably not my first choice.

The other thing I recently thought of was a multi-step Zap that adds the new content of the email to a Google Doc, and then link that Google Doc to each cell - so that there is an external record, which may be slightly easier to manipulate and read than one long-running cell in a table.

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