We are experimenting with Airtable as a project management tool for our Graphic Design Firm. Working well so far, until we get to expense tracking. It’s easy enough to create a table to track individual expenses and link them to any open job in our “jobs” table, but when it comes to billing, we need a single document that captures ALL the expenses related to a job and presents them together in a report much like the attached “Cost Sheet”, which we currently produce manually for each job in Excel.
Here’s what we need. I’d like to automate the Cost Sheet data entry process so that, at a push of a button, any member of my team can generate a pdf with this same info, and with data pulled from Airtable records. All the user would have to do is select a “job” and all expense records linked to that job would be gathered up and processed. Each expense record would be listed as a row in the table (like the highlighted rows shown in the example). In addition, header info (like that shown in rows 1-3) would need to be pulled from the records, and simple calculations (like those shown at the bottom of the sheet) would need to be performed.
Is this possible? Is there another tool that already does this?
Bonus Level: I’d love it if the app/script/service performing this feat could ALSO read any attachments contained in these expense records (scanned receipts, etc; probably jpeg and pdf format), and append them as additional pages in the final PDF, so that all expense-related data is now contained in a single document, that we can print (or email) to our accounting dept.
The print designer tool (which is in the “blocks” menu) actually makes it very easy to produce the specific form I was asking about above. Basically, the tool is great for formatting anything that you can compile from a single record (one record per page).
I think where the tool falls short is on printing multiple records. For instance, in my project mgmt base, each project and task is a unique record. I’d like to be able to print a status report of every record in a given “view” as a table (10-20 records per page). While it’s technically POSSIBLE to output multiple records on a page, there are no controls for headers, footers, page numbers, row numbers, etc, so the end result is not terribly user-friendly.
Hi Oli, sorry for the delay. I think it would be ok if you invite me. But before you have all this trouble, you should know that I already have access to page designer. What I actually need is Page Designer to compile data from a table, instead of only one record. Otherwise, it has no use in my office and we will sadly have to stick with Excel. Not even the print page option is being able to handle our needs. Thanks a lot anyway.
@Alexandre_Co, what you’re asking for is currently a big giant hole in Airtable’s feature set. As you said, there’s currently no way to print a NICE LOOKING report containing multiple records (esp large tables with lots of fields and records). I’ve been wanting to find the time to experiment with using the API to pull data from one of my own views into an html page, and create a printable table that way. But haven’t gotten to it yet.
You can see more info here:
Very interesting, Ben! I have a bit of experience in Wordpress and I´m definetly going to take Airpress for a spin. Jquery Data Tables are looking good too. I just found some Wordpress plugins for Data Tables, which could be handy. I´ll let you know if I get to something like we need. Thanks a lot for your reply.
I actually had a little time this weekend to launch a basic wordpress site and install the Airpress and Tablepress (datatables) plugins. But couldn’t figure out the php necessary to dynamically pull a set of records (and their field data) to build a new table in Tablepress. I’ve got a msg in to @Chester_McLaughlin, to see if I can get more info.
I’ve primarily used Airpress in shortcode mode, with reasonable success. (I think my life would have been easier had I not decided to teach myself WordPress, Divi, Airtable, and Airpress all in the same project.) I ended up running a modified version of Airpress (I added code to generate a numeric loop counter, giving me item numbers when an Airpress call returned multiple records) — something I subsequently must have forgotten, as I evidently attempted to upgrade the plugin a while back, and in doing so broke the site. Guess I should fix that…
In any case, last I worked with it, the shortcode-driven version of Airpress was acceptably robust for report generation, but for data entry and update one still needed to program to the Airpress API directly. That doesn’t appear to have changed in subsequent updates.
Tried out the beta from the coworker’s account as well yet didn’t figure out with the customization of the reports. Whatever I was doing, afterwards I got pdf with all the correct data yet with confused places and formatting, so I was editing them manually with this tool https://ds11.pdffiller.com Now I have no access to that account as well as looking for something with the features similar to the ones of Airtable. Can anyone tell me if they have that issue fixed so far?