Re: Repeatable Checklist

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi Yall!

I have a potentially confusing one…

We have a team of people who are continuously onboarding and training on new items/products etc… Today, we utilize a checklist that is effectively in a document, and our teams have to copy their own instance of the checklist, and then work from that.

The first problem is: things change. Things like, links to resources & documentation, training modules, etc… are always changing, and when these change in the, let’s call it Source Checklist, these changes are NOT propagated to everyone else’s individual checklist.

The second problem is: new items/tasks are added. Every day we think of new things and improvements to help our teams learn, but much like our first problem, when we add new items to the Source Checklist, these of course are NOT reflected in the trainee’s individual checklist.

Effectively, what I’m looking to do is utilize Air Table to create a scalable checklist where I can update one system of record/table, and add to it, and it propagates the adds & updates to everyone else’s checklist.

For example, let’s say Lisa is starting her training in Coding. Somehow (This is one of the first TBDs), we create a checklist for Lisa based off of an Airtable base we’ll call “Coding Checklist Base”, which has a list of things like, “Learn Do While Loops” and “Read Coding for Success” etc… Presumeably, I need a new Table somewhere that somehow links LISA to a question, but then it has to add a checkbox specifically for Lisa’s instance of that task (I mean, I guess I could add a checkbox column “Lisa_complete” per person but I feel like thre may be a better way to do this, because there could be upwards of 200-300 people on my team). I’m sure I could do this with automations, but would like to keep that to a minimum if possible. But I’m not sure how to set this up structurally.

Now lets say Bob starts a month after Lisa, and only then do you realize that the Link to “Read Coding for Success” is broken and no longer works, and you realize there is no line Item for “Learn For Loops”.

The desired functionality here would be…

  1. Updating the link in the “Coding Checklist Base” for “Read Coding for Success” updates the link in Lisa’s checklist.
  2. Adding “Learn For Loops” to the base Table, adds this as a checklist line item on Lisa’s checklist that she will need to complete as well.

Let me know what yall think here b/c this will save us all a lot of headaches!!

6 Replies 6

Yeah…I mean, purely from a data logging perspective, each user will have to be able to mark their own tasks as done, which means we either have 200-300 checkboxes in a single table, or 200-300 bases, one for each person, right?

In which case, having it all in a single table seems like the simpler option, and then we’d make specific views per person.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you’re not paying for 200 - 300 Pro accounts, which means you can’t set field permissions either, and so you end up risking people changing the view and messing with other people’s checklists too. If this is a worry, then we could look into using forms + automations to update the main table data, I guess

I was also toying with the idea of using the Sync feature, then you’d create a base per person, but you’d have to get your users to sync the bases manually too (unless you’re paying for 200-300 Plus accounts), which might be a no go as well

In short: Sorry I couldn’t really help man, looks like you’ve already really listed the best way to do it.

This feels like one of those things that should be really simple to do too and so I keep feeling like I’m missing something obvious. Hopefully someone else has an idea about it

The approach I would take is create a “config” table, in which you list all your different checklists and checkboxes.

Then there are two tables: Checklists and checklist items. Checklists has one record for one person. Checklist items has all records for that checklist (specified in config table) and person (therefore you only need one checkbox). Views on that list show the different checklists to team members. If you don’t want to create Airtable accounts for every one, you will need to use a separate tool to display data (Softr, Retool, Glide, … there are many and I’m happy to go more into detail if you’re interested).

But the question is… where does the logic live for creating / changing those items? That needs to be in a script or at least that’s how I would handle that. Happy to help further if you’re interested!

I think this could work, similarly to the many columns of checkboxes for each person, but instead we could create a Sync’d Table per person, that then appends a checkbox column that is NOT sync’d. Problem still then lies in some manual work to create the individual sync’d checklists and or columns.

I was able to try the column method and it was ok, but I think then the next issue is how these checklists are presented (its not great to read), nor is there anything really great using Interfaces. I haven’t yet checked out plugins so may go that route as well.

Ty for your ideas!

Not sure I understand this part here: “Checklist items has all records for that checklist (specified in config table) and person (therefore you only need one checkbox)” would you be able to clarify in terms of the structure of this table as it would be seen in Airtable?

Basically the idea is to systematically create checklist “line items” for every checklist.

So Table 1 “Checklists” has one record called “Checklist for Susan”. That record is linked to Table 2 “Checklist line items”, in which all individual checklist items are created and linked to Table 1. These can be hundreds of checklist items… You then create one checkbox field for that table, which gets checked for every checkbox line item.

Does that make it clearer?

Yes, I think so, let me play around here and will get back to you - ty for the help!!