Structure and linking/lookups


I’m new to databases and to airtable. Long-time power-use of spreadsheets.

We make pancakes (we don’t, but it’s more fun). When we get a new order, we give it an order number (00001,00002,00003…) and print out the order. The order contains the type of pancake (Strawberry, Blueberry, etc…), quantity, size, customer name, etc… Then we mix the batter. Cook the batter. Package the pancakes. We track the order as it moves through the kitchen. The mixer operator types the order number and the bowl number into his phone’s web-form (the time is automatically captured). The griddle operator types the order number and the griddle temperature into his phone’s web-form (the time is automatically captured). The packager simply enters the order number into his phone’s web-form (the time is automatically captured). How do I show the status of my pancakes on the order? I made a table for my order (which is getting a little wide with 20+ fields). Then I made another table for my mixer, and another for my cook, and another for my packager.

How do I link the status to the order table? I’d like a field in my order table for each status (mix, cook, package) that simply shows the time that it was completed (if it’s already completed) and it can stay blank if it doesn’t find a matching order number. In google sheets I use MATCH and INDEX.

I’ve made a sample workspace and base about these pancakes. Should I share it on the forum as a View Only link? Are there any concerns about me posting the sample as a “creator - invite by link”?

Thanks for any structure or linking advice,


My only success has been just linking it from the beginning. If the Mixer links the order number instead of typing the order number, lookup can be used. The only down side is if the mixer gets started before the order has been entered. I can use a pre-made dummy order “999999” for the mixer when he starts before the order is entered, and then manually correct it later. Outside of this edge-case (ambitious mixer starting before the order is created), linking plus lookup works very well.


To answer your dull administrative question first (mainly because my stomach is rumbling so loudly at the thought of pancakes, I can’t concentrate on anything more complex), the best way to share a base here for consideration is through a shared, read-only link with copying allowed. If you share the link without copying, it makes it impossible for anyone to examine your formulas.

Back after breakfast…


I didn’t see an option to allow or disallow copy, but here’s the read-only link:


In general, I’m still struggling with the structure for tracking my operations status. I’ll have a list of orders (probably in sequential order), and in the tracking (mix, cook, package) I’ll have a list definitely not in order. How do I populate the order with the tracking info?



As long as I link to the status tables from the order table the lookup works as hoped. The link fields seem unnecessary in the order table (because the are showing redundant information), but I can live with the extra fields.