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Using automations to keep "change logs" when records are updated.

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JonathanB
8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

The "revision history" of records is great, but it has its limitations.  If you're using the free version of Airtable for example, you only get 2 weeks' worth of revision history.  It also logs absolutely every change made to a record by anyone, which can become difficult to sift through if your base is complicated and has multiple collabators.

As a workaround for this, I've started using automations to log particular changes I want to monitor, by simply using the NOW() function as a datestamp that's pasted into a long text field each time the actions I want to log are taken.  The automation takes the contents of the {Change log} field and copies it back into itself each time along with the new datestamp and notes of actions taken.  So what you're left with is a running tally of certain actions within each field.

Another advantage of this is that, because the change log is actually a field within a base, which the revision history is not, you can display it in an interface without having to allow users access to the background base.  Very useful, I find, for collaborative projects between dispersed teams.  Here's a short video going into more detail:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK7MulhED2U 

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