Re: Primary field of Email vs. Full Name

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast


thank you both for your answers. I guess my question here is pros and cons of email vs. Full name as Primary fields. At first i had emails, which is very useful as i tend to link my calendar instances using "attendees" field which then links with contact email address. But the cons was whenever i searched i want to search for a contact, i can't do so using their name. (in forms etc, linking manually in other tables etc). Now i switched the primary field to full name, but then i am unable to auto link my calendar instance using Attendees field. So my question here is: what is best practice? is there a way of keeping email, but being able to find contacts using their name rather when searching? alternatively, is there a way of linking record to table using a defined field than automatic? thanks 

6 Replies 6

I usually use a formula field for my primary field. You can have separate fields for email, first name, and last name. Then concatenate them together in the formula for the primary field. That way you can search on any of the three values.

When autolinking, are you using an automation? If so, do a Find Actions first, which lets you search on any field, and then link to the result of the Find Action (or create a new record if no record was found)

If your last question is asking if there is a way to change the label that appears on a linked record from the linked table's primary field, then unfortunately not.

Instead, you can utilize lookup fields to bring email over so that you can quickly search multiple fields within the same table using the search button at the top right corner (also opened with ctrl/cmd+f).

One instance I would not recommend making your primary field a formula field is when you're working with base editors in a large company who perhaps seldom use Airtable and may be confused as to why they "don't have edit permissions yet" (hehe). On the flip side, it's always a great idea for junction tables.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

thank you Stephen: is there a way of using "join array" or similar, in my primary field, yet, keep the optionality of linking records from other tables using email  

in context, if i have as my primary field, concatenated with a name as "Selim" , is there a way of linking other tables using only the email to this table? if i use a look up, it will look for the email, but obv given it also has a name, it won't find the desired record. hope i am clear 


@kuovonne @Stephen_Orr1 

is there a way of adding a joint array, concatenate to my primary field (containing Email and Full Name), but still be able to link to that table using email only. 

in other words, my contacts have different emails, and currently primary field is their email. but when i want to link them in other tables, it becomes difficult to find, as you dont always remember their email, so wanted to change primary field to also include full name, but then if i do that, my other automations that use the primary field to sync between tables won't work, as these were based off the email address only, and adding a name to it, changes the value obv. 

How are you creating the link? If you want to manually copy/paste into a linked record field, the text must match the full value of the primary field in the linked table. If you are creating the link in an automation, you can do a "find records" action based on any field.

Hi @Selimafifi,

I replied over here sorry 🙂

I suggest employing lookup fields if you need to bring email address over for purposes other than being in the label of your primary field (such as filtering/automations/etc.)