Using the Now() Variable with Scheduled Automations

Hi Everyone,

I have a scenario I want to try and do without too many external services (Zapier/Integromat)

I want an Automated Schedule to run, search for all records that have a Value in the “Prefered Hour” field that matches the hour the Automation is run, and then updates that record.

i.e Schedule runs at 11:00, finds a record that has a value of 11:00 in the “Prefered Hour” filed and updates it.

I have tried to use a Formula filed with Now() to extract the time so I can compare but, with mixed success.

Any ideas?

As of a few days ago, you can now schedule automations and your automations can search for records (up to a maximum of 100 records). So I would play with those new options to see if those easily solve your dilemma! :slight_smile:

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the answer. I am using both of those but in order to do what I want, I need to determine the time of the run and compare it against the records “Prefered Hour” field.

The only way I can think of determining the time the Schedule runs is to have a Now() formula in a field that compares. I’m just unsure if the filed with Now() in updates regular and so I’m not sure it’s reliable.

So I’m looking for a better method or clarification on how a field with a now() formula updates, seems irregular.

Cheers

If you’re logged into Airtable, NOW() updates every 15 minutes or so.

If you’re not logged into Airtable, it updates every hour or so.

It’s imprecise & approximate.

If you need precise scheduling that takes place at the very second that you automate it to be scheduled, then you would be best served by Integromat, which is a professional automation tool with professional scheduling capabilities.

(Note that I am a professional Airtable consultant and a Registered Integromat Partner, and the Integromat link contains my personal referral code.).

Thanks again, Scott.

I am using Integromat to do this at the minute and it works, but it uses a lot of operations. I was hoping the new Airtable Automation Schedule and Search would allow me to use Airtable instead and save some credits.

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What have been your issues with using NOW? Since you have a field for {Prefered Hour}, a trigger of “when record meets conditions” should
work, unless you need something more accurate than NOW.

The way that the search action is currently implemented, it looks like it might not yet be difficult to perform individual updates to the found records (versus a triggering record).

Also keep in mind that you will probably have to deal with timezone issues.

Hi @kuovonne,

It is just the irregularity on the now() function. It makes sense to me after Scott’s explanation of how this works depending on being logged in or out.

I think I will stick to the Integromat solution, for now, I was just trying to be more efficient with the usage.

thanks

Jason

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