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Time Converts to UTC in Email Automations

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Whenever I include Date & Time fields in email automations, the time gets converted to UTC. Is there a way to prevent this?

Thanks!

10 Replies 10

Hi Joel,

Date fields are always shown in UTC yes, if you need a certain format / timezone you can use a formula field with DATETIME_FORMAT() and SET_TIMEZONE()

Thanks Mohamed! I guess that’s a solution. I have a lot of time fields in this table and I’d rather not have to make and reference helper fields for all of them.

My time zone base & training video might help you with the conversions that you’ll need to make:

Thanks Scott! I do love your template! The trouble is that the fields I’m using are just supposed to reflect dates and times that were entered into forms on our healthcare record system by users, and all that matters is that the date shown in the field is exactly the same as what others using the system will see on that record. There’s no need for time zone conversions or anything, and they actually screw things up. I want it to just act as raw data reflecting the dates and times entered by the staff when they filled out the form. I wish there was a setting for the Date/Time fields that would allow for this without having to jump through a bunch of hoops with formulas, etc. It works when users are actually in Airtable–it just shows whatever date and time was entered in the field. But in my use case, most users won’t be going into Airtable. They’ll be getting email messages with the content of form submissions, and I just want the dates/times in those emails to look the same way they do in Airtable–not converted to UTC.

Did you already turn on the GMT option for your time fields, so the times are always consistent? Then, what you see in your base is what Airtable will also see behind the scenes. No conversion necessary.

Otherwise, just create a formula field that results in a text string of you want to see, and reference that formula in your automations.

Yeah, I have the GMT option turned on, but it still changes the times in the automated emails. I wish I didn’t have to create helper fields, as we use a lot of date/time fields. How would I write the formula to make the automation show exactly what the GMT field shows?

Oh, that’s very interesting! So it’s still adjusting the time in automations beyond what you see onscreen as GMT? It sounds like you probably need to play around with this by creating some formulas that use the SET_TIMEZONE function. You can play around with some of the formulas in my sample base above.

p.s. Alternatively, I talk about Make.com a lot because I use it with many of my clients, but Make.com makes it much easier to work with timezones than Airtable. You can use their built-in time zone function, and it also offers advanced scheduling of automations in the time zone that you specify.

I am having this same issue and it is annoying! Definitely not going to mess around with formulas - I just want the automated email to reflect the exact same data that was input as it appears on the table. Has there been any further resolution for this? Thanks!

@Elizabeth_Ignasher_C

Unfortunately, Airtable’s Automations always display GMT time, which is a real bummer.

Your only 3 options to workaround this are to

(1) Run your own custom Javascript code within the automation,
(2) Create formula fields that you reference in your automation, or
(3) Turn to an external automation tool like Make.com which gives you the ability to specify your own time zones.

You may also want to send an email to support@airtable.com to request that they support time zones in automation actions in the future.

Hi Scott, 

I tried your 2nd suggestion to "create formula fields that you reference in your automation" and the automation is still translating in weird ways. 

Here's the formula in the reference field: 

DATETIME_FORMAT(SET_LOCALE({Event start time}), "dddd, MMMM DD, YYYY - h:mm:ss")
 
The reference field ends up looking like this, which is great: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 - 11:30:00
 
But is then translated to this in the automated email: 
2023-02-22T16:30:00.000Z
 

Any help is much appreciated!

Lauren