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Re: Workspace organization - creating an index or directory using Google Drive

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Irene_Pak1
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

The lack of folders in workspaces has driven me a bit mad, as I have dozens of bases in my Pro workspace and clever naming conventions don't always meet my needs. I haven't come across a better solution, so wanted to share my (simple) approach.

Note: You'll need to have a Google Drive account integrated with the Airtable account in question. I'm not an Enterprise user, so perhaps this isn't so relevant to Enterprise admins. 

  • In  Account Settings, under Google Drive Integration, check the box for "Automatically sync your bases to Google Drive"
    • A new folder named "Airtable" will be created at the root level of the target Google Drive. The default behavior is to generate links to each base in your Airtable account into this folder. There will be no indication of which workspace it came from and will also include "Bases shared with Me".

      Note: Attempting to organize these links into subfolders in G-Drive will not result in future syncs mapping to those subfolders. Each sync event will just recreate any missing base links back into the root Airtable folder, leaving the duplicate links in your subfolders. So just leave this folder alone once you check this setting. 

  • Create a new base (I called mine "Base Directory")

  • Create a new sync table that connects to the "Airtable" folder in Google Drive. You won't need to sync all fields, as most of are limited use. Here are a few notes on various synced fields: 
    • File Path and Name will have the same value. Either works as the Primary field (hide or don't sync the other)
    • Any date fields (Created, Last Viewed, Modified) refer to the base link and not to the actual base. I didn't find them useful, so opted not to sync these.
    • File Size and Thumbnail fields return empty. File Type is a random string of numbers. 
    • The Open in Google Drive button (and Link field) open the base, they don't take you to Google Drive. Saves you one extra click.

  • Add your own custom fields and group/sort as desired! I added fields for Workspace, Owner, Category and Reference Notes. 

If you have dozens of bases, the most time consuming part is to manually tag the workspace that the base lives in, and to keep that updated manually if for whatever reason a base moves around from workspace to workspace. Otherwise, the whole process was very quick and easy.

 

 

 

4 Replies 4
Irene_Pak1
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Here are some screenshots of the process. 

These two should be toggled on in your Account Overview page

Setting in Account OverviewSetting in Account Overview

The resulting base links in your new Airtable folder:

The resulting folder in G-DriveThe resulting folder in G-Drive

Sync table (I later removed some of these fields)

Synced table (with unnecessary fields)Synced table (with unnecessary fields)

After adding custom fields and grouping by workspace/category. The "Open in Google Drive" takes you straight to the base.

Grouped and sorted to my needsGrouped and sorted to my needs

Irene_Pak1
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Update: For this to work with more than one Airtable user, remember to make the "Airtable" folder in your Drive "viewable to anyone with the link."  This is the folder that holds links to each Airtable base. 

Screen Shot 2023-04-17 at 12.06.47 PM.png

Don't worry! This doesn't give anyone access to a base or workspace they don't have permissions for. That is still managed in Airtable. 

For the person who sets this up in their own drive, clicking on the "Open Base" button in the directory will bring them straight to the base.  

For all other users, they must be signed into their own Airtable account and Drive account. They will see an intermediate page that looks like this: 

Screen Shot 2023-04-17 at 12.36.35 PM (2).png

 Then they click on "Open with" and choose Airtable, which brings them to the base (or a warning page if they don't have access to that base.)

Screen Shot 2023-04-17 at 12.37.10 PM.png



Hope this helps!

 

Screen Shot 2023-04-17 at 12.37.10 PM.png

roula
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Lovely! Thanks for sharing

Irene_Pak1
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Update: I have noticed that when bases are deleted, there is quite a delay for the Google Drive folder to be updated. This is a workaround that works for mostly static base libraries, perhaps not the best solution for very dynamic ones.