When I first came across this app 4 years ago I really didn’t get it. I played on it for a while then ditched it. Fast forward a couple of years and I ‘re-discovered’ it and this time fell head over heels in love!
I’m not a natural neat freak. Marie Kondo I am not BUT I know that I am less stressed and more productive if I have things organized and systems in place. It has taken me a while to get to this point. It all started by making good use of the apps available (my old school way involved lots of bits of paper, post-it notes, and notebooks!) very messy.
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What does Airtable Do?
For the organizer types out there, you are going to love this.
For those who struggle with keeping everything in order, the creatives and fellow mess makers, you will love it too!
It’s cloud-based and also has a mobile app which makes it extremely powerful and very, very handy!
*The free version is itself really powerful but if you want to supercharge it, you can upgrade. Although I have the paid version I have to admit, I don’t really take advantage of all the bells and whistles. There are some features I adore, more on that later.
Who Is Airtable for?
Airtable for startups, Airtable for teachers, Airtable for moms, Airtable for researchers, Airtable for students… Airtable for everyone!
I love how you can just organize life with Airtable, no matter what you do or who you are, there is a handy use for it. Everything from keeping tabs on your record collection, planning out your bucket list, researching the latest hot trends or just keeping your social media posts in order. It pretty much does it all.
Like a regular database, you can add records but also extra sheets within the database. I love this, it means I can keep all relevant information together without having to start a new base or have the base I’m working in over-cluttered.
What Can You Organize In Airtable?
I’m not a somebody-else-template type of gal. I like to create my own templates to fit my needs rather than trying to get my needs to fit someone else’s template. You know what I mean?
So one of the things I love about Airtable is the flexibility and options available. I can set up a new base and just have exactly what I need and with the type of fields that make sense to that project. Which brings us to the massive array of types of fields…
The types of field
There are 20 different field types which include:
- Single line text
- Long text
- Rich text format
- Link to field
- Phone number
- Single select
- Multiple select
- Auto number
I’m pretty sure there is nothing you can think of that wouldn’t fit into one of those field types!
I haven’t used all of them but some of my favourites are
Rich Text In Airtable
With this, I can write out my social media posts, in full, with emojis and bullet points etc. Then it just needs to be copied and pasted by my VA into the scheduler.
Single and Multiple Select On Airtable
It might be only a microsecond each time but this saves me a lot of time overall. Select a topic and that’s it, saves typing each time. I love that the selections can be colour-coded too. I find these functions really handy for records that need classifying and then can be sorted.
Single select works by having a list of options and only one can be chosen…
Multiple select allows you to choose a few options from the list. This example is for the hashtag bundles used for an Instagram post
Attachments On Airtable
If you are a fellow visual learner then you will LOVE this. The attachments are shown as thumbnails which makes it so much easier to see what you are looking for quickly. Add this to the fact that you can toggle views and it brings a whole new level of awesomeness to the app!
If you upload gifs they play in the Airtable which always makes me feel like I’m at Hogwarts. But without the butterbeer and dementors, I digress…
This is the grid view vs gallery view, the same table but different layouts.
It’s also amazingly quick at uploading, literally drag and drop the file and the job is done.
Link To Field Within Airtable
I use this a lot in Google sheets and I wish it was as easy to do as it is in Airtable. This is if you want a link from one thing to another. Maybe you have a client name in the main client’s sheet but they have more information on a different sheet. Or if you have photos of receipts and transaction details you can link them together.
I tend to use Link To Field it in the calendar view, linking what I want scheduling and when I can simply link the video or image to the date. When I click on any of the coloured blocks shown it opens the linked record from another sheet.
Checkboxes On Airtable
Because who doesn’t like checkboxes?
I *may* add these into my bases just because I love checking things off!
Come on, admit it, I bet you do that too, even on your to-do list?
- Write blog post
- Send invoice
- Pick kids up from school
- Feed kids (like you were not going to do it lol!)
Again, this is actually really handy, especially when working with a VA. It’s easy to see where they have gotten up to or what needs working on next.
It cuts down on mistakes and boosts productivity, because… yup, everyone loves checking off checkboxes!
Just to note, the paid version gives you a great variety of checkbox symbols and colours. You can also use stars and hearts! This is probably my favourite paid feature, because, I’m sad like that and ❤️ and ⭐️ checkboxes make me happy!
There is probably an Airtable programmer who has created amazing features, crying in her cubicle after reading the best feature is having heart checkboxes!
Changing Views On Airtable
Before we dig into what you can use Airtable for, I have to share the coolest thing… Changing views, OMG I love this so hard! My only gripe is that currently we are stuck with the grid view only when using the mobile app. Come on Airtable, you can fix this!
But back on the desktop, you can see the different views in all their glory.
Grid view is the regular set up, it looks and functions like a spreadsheet.
Gallery View – this is probably my favourite. The thumbnail feature turns the records so they look like files. My visual brain dances the happy dance when in this view.
Calendar view to see where you are date wise.
Kanban puts everything in columns specific to a category of your choice. This is great for seeing where you are up to in a project. What is moving along and what needs more focus.
It is super versatile and easy to switch from one view to another.
How can biz moms use Airtable?
I’m pretty sure whatever you need organizing could be organized here.
Recipes On Airtable
Here are a few examples of the bases I have and use on a regular basis;
Recipe Bank – this has my all-time favourite go-to recipes, I talk a bit about how I use this here. I have a sheet with my top 30 dinner recipes. The recipes I use every Christmas. I finally put them all in one place so I don’t have to hunt each one down every year. And Ebi-Kun has his own tab too for his tried and tested recipes.
Testimonial Database On Airtable
Testimonials – This base has all my clients testimonials and they are tagged so I can easily pull up a testimonial for The Wonder Mom Success Club or Beautifully Branded templates or whatever. As you get a new testimonial or some love shared on social media, take a screenshot and copy the text. Also, add a link to wherever you found it!
Organize Social Media Posts On Airtable
Social Media – I have my posts organized into categories, each one has the copy and artwork. Where and when it was scheduled and a rank system. Great posts get highlighted (so I know to create similar content)
Collect Hashtag Bundles in Airtable
Hashtag bank – Fining decent hashtags for Instagram is a job I do not enjoy! So we created a bank, I have 5 hashtags in each record and the records are categorized by keyword. That way I can just grab and post. At the same time I am mixing up the hashtags used and keeping The Algorithm happy by not using the same set over and over again.
Guest Post Submissions Tracked On Airtable
Guest Posts – When I have submitted to, where I have been published, links and dates, making it easy to find in the future and easy to see what needs following up.
Affiliate links Organized On Airtable
Affiliates – As I am a big fan of affiliate marketing. I need a way to keep all my affiliate information organized and Airtable is it. The beauty of this is that because there is a phone app too. I can easily grab a link when I”m on the go and share it with a friend or in a comment on social media.
Gift Lists For Friends and Family On Airtable
Gift List – Because we live in Japan, friends and family often send my son books as gifts. Of course, no-one wants to buy a duplicate book so we have a system set up so we know which books he has requested and if anyone has bought it. This makes it easier for the giver too, they don’t have to think too much about what to buy!
I have loads more bases set up but these are the ones I tend to use the most.
See, you really can organize life with Airtable!
But don”t feel restricted by my list. Airtable has a stack of templates available for free that you simply copy over to your account. You can also use a great feature called Universe. This is where various people have shared their Airtable templates for anyone to make a copy of.
You are limited only by your imagination.
I still use Google Drive and Asana but I have basically ditched everything else. Those two and Airtable keep my life in order. You can check out the other apps I use to run my business here.
We’ve just scratched the surface here with what you can do with Airtable, there is so much more! I’ll maybe do a follow-up post sharing more of the bells and whistles. But if you have just found out about Airtable, I think this post will keep you busy for a while!
To wrap up, a few tips
- Don’t be afraid to just create your own base if you can’t find anything that works for you, or take someone else’s and adapt it. Delete fields, change fields, make it your own.
- Play around with it. There are a lot more features than I have covered here. I’m pretty sure Airtable can do some things I haven’t discovered yet. Take some time to get to know the app, it is worth investing ‘playtime’ so that you can reap the most rewards from it.
- Setting up a system or process takes time initially but it will save you time in the long run. Especially if you are taking on a VA or if you are a VA working with clients. Introduce them to the power of Airtable and gain yourself some brownie points.
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