Re: Automatically adding a collaborator when adding a record

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8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

I am trying to create an automation that would add a collaborator when adding a record to the airtable.

So each record has a Program Specialist, that is part of a list linked to another table. I want a field where that same program specialist name is also linked to a collaborator for this row. Can automation help this become well automatic?


6 Replies 6

Assuming the name of the specialist exactly matches the name of the collaborator, you should be able to set up an automation using a Update Record step to copy the value from the field with the specialist’s name to the collaborator field.

And to expand upon what Kamille mentioned above, you can also use the email address of a collaborator as well (as long as that’s the email address that they are using with their Airtable account).

Hi can you please give me the steps the trigger, action for the Automation you describe?

This works perfectly since the Program Specialist name matches their email.

So John Smith is a housing specialist, his email is at This is the email he will use for his account to airtable.

Thank you!

Your original post is missing information to give precise instructions, which is why my original reply just gave the broad strokes. The solution below assumes the following:

  1. the Program Specialists table has an email field (i.e.
  2. the Program Specialists table has a collaborator field to match the Specialist with the appropriate Airtable user.
    • If you don’t have one, you should probably make one. Copy the entire {Email} column and paste it into the {Collaborator} field (turn off “notify collaborators when they’re added” for this field when you do this so as not to annoy your team).
  3. Whatever table that is being linked to the Program Specialists table has a Lookup or Rollup field for to display either the {Email} or {Collaborator} field. You didn’t specify what this table is called, so I’m going to call it Table 2.
  4. Table 2’s collaborator field you’re trying to fill in is called {Assignee}. It could be called anything, but to avoid confusion I gave this field a name other than {Collaborator}.
  5. Merely having the Collaborator as a Lookup field value in Table 2 is insufficient for your needs (i.e. you need to notify that collaborator upon their assignment). If that’s not the case then you don’t need an Automation, you just need to associate each Program Specialist with their Airtable User as described in assumption 2.

Automation Setup


You can try either “when record matches conditions” where the condition is "{Lookup of Email or Collaborator} field is not empty", or “when record is updated” focusing on the {Link to Program Specialist} field and {Lookup of Email or Collaborator} field. For either trigger option the target table would be “Table 2”.

Update Record action

Exactly as said above. Table would be “Table 2”, the record ID would be that of the trigger record, and the only affected field would be Table 2’s {Assignee} field. To copy a value from a previous step, click the blue plus icon in the right of the field. In your case, you would be copying the record ID from the trigger into the “record ID” box and the value from the trigger record’s {Lookup of Email or Collaborator} field into the {Assignee} field.

That is definitely a huge help to start.

So let’s say i want to send an email a “report” to the managers every month on their team’s individual progress with their re-examinations and I want the email to have either a report or a table written in of their team’s records.



Client Name | Employee Name | Manager Name | Manager Contact [Collaborator field] | Re-Exam Date | Finalization

Rodriguez, Alberto | Janay Terry | Brian Neeley | Brian Neeley Email | 3/1/2022 | Incomplete

Kelley, Ina | Janay Terry | Brian Neeley | Brian Neeley Email | 3/1/2022 | Complete

Gomez, Carlos | Danielle Simpson | Brian Neeley | Brian Neeley Email | 3/1/2022 | Complete

Dixon, Ralph | Carla Joseph | Natalie Smith | Natalie Smith Email | 3/1/2022 | Incomplete

Roy, Anthony | Carla Joseph | Natalie Smith | Natalie Smith Email | 3/1/2022 | Incomplete

I want on 3/1/2022, that an email will go out to these two managers showing the report of their staff. It would show Brian his two employee’s re-examination completion report, and it will send Natalie her employee’s re-examination completion report.

Does that make sense?


This seems like a very different prompt from “autofill a collaborator field”. Everything I said above still applies but if you’re trying to email the Specialists on some date related to the field values, not the moment when they’re assigned as a “collaborator”, then you need a separate automation. The following will work regardless of whether or not you duplicate the collaborator field into Table 2 since you’re already linking records together.

If Table 2 looks like this (where Manager Name is the link to the Program Specialist table):

And the Program Specialist table looks like this (pretending like the Collaborator field is filled out with the relevant collaborators)

And the {Next Report Date} rollup field is configured like so:

Then your automation would be setup like so:

Step 1 (Trigger)

Type: “when record matches conditions”, Table: Program Specialists, Conditions: when {Next Report Date} is today

Step 2: Find Records

Table: Table 2, Find Records Based On: Condition, Conditions:

Step 3: Send email (or Gmail, or Outlook, whatever)

To: the email from the trigger record either extracted from the collaborator field or from a regular email-type field)
Subject: whatever
Body: the output of the Find Records step rendered as a grid (or list, if you prefer).

That would send two emails on 3/1/2022: one to Brian, and one to Natalie. Each email would contain a grid/list of records from Table 2 which have {Re Exam Date} values on or after 3/1/2022 that only apply to the respective Specialist.