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Advice for building report tool

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Chriso
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi all, 

Been experimenting if airtable can speed up my workflow for inspection reporting by using some forms and drop down fields. 

Right now I take photos on my phone and create a google doc report from a template then pdf and send to customer. 

Kind of stuck how to set-up the relationships across the tables and how to build the form or interface. 

Any resources or guidance y'all can offer?

7 Replies 7
ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Yes, you can very easily create Microsoft Word documents or Google Docs documents from templates — and merge your Airtable data into those documents — by using Make. There can be a bit of a learning curve with Make, which is why I created this basic navigation video for Make, along with providing the link to Make’s free training course. (There are also many Make experts hanging out there who can answer other Make questions.)

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated Airtable document creation tool like DocuMint, which can be used with or without Make.

As for setting up your base & your forms, you may benefit from my Airtable training course, which you can take for free by signing up for a trial membership with LinkedIn Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-airtable/ 

My course was created before interfaces were a part of the product, so my new course coming next year will cover interfaces.

p.s. If you have a budget for your project and you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant to help you create this, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consulting — ScottWorld

 

 

Chriso
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thanks Scott, I watched your course and while it was a good basic introduction, I think me needs are more advanced than your course covered.

Seems Make is the same as Zapier? I already have a subscription to Zapier, what would Make provide that Zapier doesn't?

What time of fee would I be looking at for some coaching if I can do the heavy lifting?


Hey Christo! Zapier is a great starting point for automations. Make is a little more complex to learn but great if you have multiple conditions and apps to connect. The interface makes it much easier to follow. Of course, you can also use Airtable for some basic automations. What is it that you need automating specifically? I might be able to help

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

@Chriso 

Make is essentially a massive upgrade above & beyond Zapier. And yet it is less expensive than Zapier. Make is significantly more powerful, more customizable, and more user-friendly than Zapier. (And yet it is much cheaper!) 

I’ve written an entire post here about Make vs. Zapier.

Chriso
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

So I hit up some limitations. I was hoping to streamline my field inspection from mobile phone and automate the creation of reports from airtable DB rather than working from a Google doc template.

first challenge (lookup fields from linked records) With regards to automating reports, I have some tables:

Contacts(list of contacts)

  • Inspections
    • client lookup
    • inspection lookup
  • Inspection_defects
    • defects lookup(has many)
    • Inspections lookup(has_one)

Defects(common defects and meta)

When I use lookup fields of the linked records, I can create some great views, but that seems useless for Documint, as for Documint to see the linked data, I need to explicitly provide the {table_name}Table Id. So is it best practice to remove the lookup fields to clearn up the table views?


2nd problem - Airtable has pretty bad mobile experience, so creating a report (adding defect_items) in the field isn't really going to work, so I might need to build a front end. Is Glide the best choice here or is there another option? I suppose Bubble would be overkill, but I could build the whole thing there also I guess...

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

A few of the most popular options for mobile-friendly Airtable portals are NolocoSoftr, JetAdmin, and Glide.

Documint should work with lookup fields. If not, formula fields would work. There are some DocuMint users hanging out here who can likely help.

IbrahimAlfaraj
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

As Scott mentioned - Glide and Softr could be great if you fancy a mobile friendly app. Through it documents via Documint can be generated directly from the UI. I was a previously a PM at Softr. Feel free to reach out if you need help getting started