Creating Tasks by Frequency with Dependencies

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I am working with a Marketing Agency that is using Airtable to manage task work. Currently, we have a table with tasks, grouped by frequency (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly). For each task, if the task is applicable to a client - that client is linked to the task with a linked record. We currently have automations, per client, to create tasks by frequency (using time as the trigger and finding the client record and checking for the applicable tasks that match the frequency). This means that for each client, we have to have a separate automation for each frequency to ensure tasks are generated for the client ONLY IF they have that task included in their applicable tasks. 

We are running into our automation limit (50 per base) so I need to find a solution and I'm wondering if there is a better way to automate the task creation while retaining the functionality of only generating tasks that are applicable to the client. I'm open to suggestions for restructuring the base / my fields and links to achieve this as well, in the case that I went about building this base the wrong way. 

Ideal Scenario: Have an automation that is triggered by frequency that finds tasks by frequency (ex: daily) and create tasks for each client and the tasks created are created only if that client has the task as an "applicable task". Some clients will have all tasks related to the frequency created, and some clients will only get some of the tasks related to the frequency - depending on the level of service the client is receiving. 

Tasks per Client.png

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Daily Task Automation.png


6 Replies 6
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Your current automations seem to be split up by client, but you should be able to merge many of your automations together by doing a repeating loop for each client, and then dynamically choosing the client's tasks for the client that is currently being looped through.

@AlliAlosa explains how to do this sort of technique on this episode of the BuiltOnAir podcast:

However, if you still find yourself hitting the 50 automation limit, I always highly recommend to all Airtable customers & to all of my Airtable consulting clients to turn to Make’s Airtable automations, which have almost no limits at all.

Hey Scott, 

Yes - my automations are split out by client, as I was not able to create an automation that would create X, Y, & Z task for one client, but only X & Z task for another client (that does not have Y as an applicable task). Applicable tasks are noted within a linked record field in the clients table. My automations are also set up to query the client list first, then the tasks within the repeating loop. 

I have tried to do multiple repeating loops in a single automation, but that does not seem to be an option within Airtable currently. I watched the podcast and found where @AlliAlosa reviewed repeating loops - and I have my automations set up in the same format, but that leaves me with the issue of tasks being created that aren't relevant to a client. 

I'll check out Make - but I'm hoping to find a solution within the available fields and automations to avoid adding additional costs. Any ideas?

Sorry, I actually didn't mean to say 2 repeating loops... I changed my post above to reflect what I meant to say, which is that within each loop, you can dynamically choose the client that you're currently looping through. It's a very hidden feature that most people miss... you have to scroll to the right to get to the gear icon. Alli shows how to do this in the podcast, but the key thing to look for is that you need to scroll further to the right in the automation action.

Oh okay! Thank you for clarifying. 

I went back and rewatched the section that you're referring to, and the issue would then become I would not be able to use the "at a scheduled time" as a trigger (finding records does not allow you to use linked records as the input list for the repeating group - and these tasks need to be created by frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

Ultimately - I would need to repeat by the list of clients, and repeat the task (record) creation based on the number of applicable tasks in the linked record. 

Do you know of any scripts would be able to do that - or if I could achieve that through a Make scenario?

I would need something like (ex: for Daily Tasks):

EVERY DAY (Trigger = frequency) - reference the Client List to identify applicable daily tasks, and create daily tasks in the Client Work table, based on the task template relevant to the task (via linked record or the template table). 

- Client A (who has Check Pacing, Check Reviews, and Organic Social Posting as applicable daily tasks) - would have 3 tasks created because they have three tasks that match the frequency (daily)

- Client B (who has Check Reviews and Organic Social posting as applicable daily tasks) - would have 2 tasks created because they have two tasks that match the frequency (daily)

I’m not at my computer this week because of the holidays, so I can’t give you specific step-by-step directions, but I feel like you should be able to do that with Airtable’s native automations. You’ll probably need to lookup the Task’s Record ID in the other table and then dynamically search on that Record ID. 

However, if it isn’t possible — or if you’d just like to see how much greater control you can have over your automations — I would probably recommend going down the Make path. (I don’t know JavaScript, so Make is a no-code option.)

With Make, you can combine multiple searches, multiple repeating loops, multiple conditional paths, etc. And you also get very advanced scheduling options as well. 

The only problem is that it will likely take you at least a few hours to learn Make, because there is quite a bit of a learning curve. 

Because of this learning curve, I have assembled a bunch of Make training resources in this thread.

And since you’ll likely be working with arrays,  you may want to check out my presentation on arrays in this episode of the BuiltOnAir podcast.