Link to another record not populating

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hi, I have the basic ‘project tracker’ base set up to track all my clients, design projects, and tasks. It works great, I love it (mostly).

The projects tab has a nifty ‘tasks’ column that grabs shows linked records from the ‘tasks’ tab. When I add a new task in the tasks column, they show up in the tasks tab as well. Or, vice versa, if I add a new task in the tasks tab, they will show up in the appropriate project on the project tab. My tasks tab is grouped by project, which is helpful for obvious reasons.

What I don’t understand, is why I can’t add a linked record in the ‘tasks’ tab, that pulls the client for a particular task based on its project. I’d like this, so then I can group the view by client (as well as project). So the view would show client as the main grouping, then projects (with their tasks) as sub-groupings within client. Each project has a defined client, and on the clients tab it has no trouble telling me what projects apply to which clients.

But when I’m in the tasks tab, and I add a ‘link to another record’ column, and select ‘clients’, it doesn’t work. It gives me the column, but then I have to manually add the client to each task. I’d like the client to be pulled from the information in the projects tab, where I’ve already defined which projects apply to which clients.

I did figure out how to use the ‘lookup’ column type in order to achieve what I want, but I wanted to reach out to the community for two reasons:

  • I don’t have a firm grasp as to why the linked record approach isn’t working, and I feel like in order for me to use Airtable effectively, I should understand that reason

  • When I group my tasks tab by client and then project, it won’t let me add new records, because “You cannot create a new grouped record when grouping by a computed field”. Being able to add new records without ungrouping and then grouping again is important to me. And I don’t really feel this is a ‘computed’ field.

Anyway, if I could get some of your wisdom, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in advance for your time!

As a side note, the linked records ‘tasks’ in the clients tab never worked for me either, I ended up having to go with a ‘lookup’ column type there as well.

2 Replies 2
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hey there,

I’m an enthusiastic AirTable user. I regularly use the service for myself and I set it up for others to use as well across a variety of application purposes.

I am having exactly the same issue as described in this post. I cannot find a way to give users an intuitive way to create new records that are guaranteed to be at the bottom of the table AND have them grouped. I am instead sorting on my lookup field. If I could group based upon a lookup, it would be the Autonumber field that I’ve looked up. It may not be clear, but users create a record that links to and possibly creates a new entry in a remote table. If it is new, I don’t want the new record to jump around in the table when the user submits it. I want it to be “sorted” to the bottom if it created a new record in the remote table. This requires me to group by that remote table’s record’s AutoNumber - hence the problem.

Does anyone have a suggested workaround? Sorting on lookup seems like a really useful feature when combined with input.


5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hey @James_Jensen @Andrew_Leker1 I know I’m a little late to the party. I just had the same issue and it looks like link to another record is supposed to not automatically pull the matching records, but let you link them manually. What you’re looking for can be done with the “Lookup” feature.