Storing data using the fields (columns) instead of the rows?

Lets say I wanted to store a bunch of information, like bookmark URLs. I might have URLs that relate to News, Apps, Development, and these would all be in their own folder in a browser (for example).

I know I could store these simply in Airtable using 3 different tables (News/Apps/Development) and each table would have just 1 column (URL).

Another way to store them, using 1 table, is to have the column names be the folders where the bookmarks were stored (News/Apps/Development) and paste in the relevant URLs into the correct column.

What do you think of this method of storing data? I’m sure it breaks every rule in the book about how data should be stored, where records should contain related data (in this approach that would not be true). But if I wasn’t going to do any processing of the records, would this not be a simple/efficient way to store a bunch of URLs? For one they’d all be viewable at the same time, rather than clicking between tables. Any thoughts on this ridiculous approach!? Thx.

Try having one table, two columns: one for the URL and one single-select for the “folder” or category. You could group your view by the single select so you can expand/collapse the categories individually, or use filtered views to see one category at a time.


I see…I get it…thank you!

There actually aren’t as many “rules” about how data should be stored as you might think. There are guidelines, recommended practices, and software limitations. However, as long as you understand the risks and limitations of a data schema, it is more important to have a system that works for you (both now and in the future) than to follow any particular “rule”.

You haven’t said how you plan to use the data, or if there are relationships among the apps (e.g. some News bookmarks are related to certain Apps bookmarks), so it is hard to recommend a specific schema. That said, Kamille’s design is a really good one.

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