Having trouble identifying a single record to update based on the "Find Record" action

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Our company collects availability forms in Airtable from an external source. When these forms are collected, they create a new record in a “forms” table.

We have a separate table called “availability” that brings in select data from the forms table to compare availability across types of submissions.

I am trying to set up an automation that will bring in this data into the availability table automatically (e.g. by adding another linked record) rather than having to do so manually.

Help forum 2
The highlighted cell shows the records I want to add to the “school forms records” field using the update records action.

Airtable forum 3
This image shows my trigger: when a record is created in the School Forms table, do x, y, z.

Airtable forum 4
This image shows the find records action, as currently set up. The find records action has been tested and works perfectly.

Airtable Forum 5
This image shows the update record action. My goal is to update the record that has been found by the find records action in the previous step. However, every time I test this step, it fails.

Airtable forum 6
I think the issue is with the record ID field in the Update Record action. As stated above, I would like to use the record ID of the record found in the previous step. There will only ever be one record with the way I have the tables set up. However, Airtable isn’t giving me an option to do this. It is forcing me to choose a list, grid, length, etc. rather than just the record ID found in the previous step. What is going on here? Why can’t I use the Record ID from the previous step?

2 Replies 2

Hey @Partnerships_Team!
Welcome to the forums!

In your automation configuration, scroll down to the Make a new list of… section.
From there, select the Airtable record ID.

This will use the record ID of the record that was found.


There is something you should be aware of.
If for some reason, your Find Records action returns more than one record, your Update Record action will fail since it does not support iterating through multiple found records.

This is separate, but I’m curious about your automation setup.
I haven’t seen anyone hit (or knock on the door of) the twenty-five automation action limit before.
Since you have a massive number of Find Records actions followed by Update Record actions, I think you might be able to refactor your automation to be infinitely more efficient and easy to read and refactor.

If you’re willing, I’d be curious to know more about your automation workflow.

Hi Ben! Thanks so much for the help! That seems to have worked!

Thank you for offering your expertise! Of course I would love to hear recommendations to simplify my automations :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: I’ve got 30 different automations with about 24 actions each.

What other information can I provide?

Here’s what we’re looking at: We’ve got one record per half hour time block (from 8 AM to 6PM), five days of the week across 3 different submission types (Staff, School, and Student). So this amounts to a total of 100 records per week for each submission type, or 300 total records. We want to update these records based on the submission type of the form we receive. If it’s a staff form, then it should update all 100 time records labeled as a “staff” type.

If there is a simpler way to link these new form submissions with each of the 100 time blocks they belong to, I would love to hear it! Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate you sharing your expertise!