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Sending email automation: Update Record

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Hello everyone - and Merry Christmas! 

So I am playing around with a table that contains several Records with dates in the future (new Records are being added from time to time). The Records will be made by colleagues in one department and then taken care of in another department. 

Right now I've made an Automation that sends an email to people from the other department with all the info they need from the specific Record so that they can complete the task straight from their inbox. However: I want to be sure that they actually do it; or in other words: I want to be sure that Records aren't forgotten. 

Is there a nice way to accomplish this? I thought of adding a Button to the email so that when my colleague in the other department finished the task, they could click on that Button and it will be registred in Airtable on the specific Record; however I don't see that's an option. 

I hope to find a solution in here! 

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It sounds like you want a way for the recipient of the email to record when the task is done. You cannot have a button in the email that will mark the task is done by itself. However, you can have a link in the email that opens a form for the user to fill out when the task is done.

Here is one way of creating such a form using only Airtable features. Note that Airtable forms always create new records.
1. Create a new linked table for [Task Completion Submissions] to hold responses to the form. You may want to include a field where people can put in their names as the person who completes the task.
2. In the new [Task Completion Submissions] table, create a form that includes the linked record field and any additional fields.

3. In the original table, create a formula field that calculates the url for a prefilled form. You can use my Prefilled Forms extension to build the formula. I recommend prefilling the linked record field by RECORD_ID().
4. In the email, include a link based on the formula field. I recommend using markdown syntax. 

Expected workflow:
People receive the email, do the task, and click the link in the email. A new browser window opens up with the form prefilled for the specific task. The user fills out the form and clicks submit. A new linked record is created for the task. You now know that the task has been done because a record exists in the linked record field.

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8 Replies 8

It sounds like you want a way for the recipient of the email to record when the task is done. You cannot have a button in the email that will mark the task is done by itself. However, you can have a link in the email that opens a form for the user to fill out when the task is done.

Here is one way of creating such a form using only Airtable features. Note that Airtable forms always create new records.
1. Create a new linked table for [Task Completion Submissions] to hold responses to the form. You may want to include a field where people can put in their names as the person who completes the task.
2. In the new [Task Completion Submissions] table, create a form that includes the linked record field and any additional fields.

3. In the original table, create a formula field that calculates the url for a prefilled form. You can use my Prefilled Forms extension to build the formula. I recommend prefilling the linked record field by RECORD_ID().
4. In the email, include a link based on the formula field. I recommend using markdown syntax. 

Expected workflow:
People receive the email, do the task, and click the link in the email. A new browser window opens up with the form prefilled for the specific task. The user fills out the form and clicks submit. A new linked record is created for the task. You now know that the task has been done because a record exists in the linked record field.

Theoretically, you could have a link that, on click, would update a record in your base for you I think

You'd need to create a formula field with a dynamic URL that included the record ID in question, a Make webhook that will take in the record ID in the query string, and then get Make to update the record as needed

Pretty overengineered though, and would at best save your users one click heh

Yes, Adam’s method would also work. It does require a bit more configuring, especially if you want users to see a pretty web page when they click the link (versus a confusing, mostly blank web page with a single word). It also does not require an additional table. But it also does not have a good way of handling accidental link clicks without a really complex system. 

Hi @kuovonne 

Thanks so much for your detailed explanation! 

So I have started the work following your steps. 

Here are some pictures: 

Skærmbillede 2022-12-29 kl. 14.38.09.png

This is from the form - I have linked this to the original table, so that I can pick and choose specific Records. Is that correct? 

Skærmbillede 2022-12-29 kl. 14.38.43.png

In the original table, I have installed your extension. Is that filled out correctly? I am unsure about the link field and the last field - can you help me? 

Also: can you elaborate on the formula field; I am not quite sure what you mean with that. 

Thanks in advance!

I actually think I figured it out! Very cool. Thanks again! 

I'll return if something pops up 🙂 

Oof yeah, you're right, the blank page would be pretty confusing and bad UX, and the accidental link clicks would definitely be an issue too since there's no confirmation system..

Hi @kuovonne 

I want to ask whether or not it's possible to edit in an already prefilled formula? The thing is that I have some new fields I want to include in the formula - how is that possible? 

I have the formula here:

Skærmbillede 2023-01-10 kl. 13.20.39.png

and from what I can see it is possible to manually insert field names, but how do I know the prefill text (&prefill_fldHjik2MF7Tff9It)?

I would like to add that I've linked the tables like you mentioned, but for some reason these fields aren't visible in the form since they are 'Read-only'. How come? 

Skærmbillede 2023-01-10 kl. 16.14.38.png