Slack, Teamgrid, Trello, Google Docs, Basecamp, Evernote; sifting through a dozen apps designed for efficiency can make things incredibly inefficient in no time at all. We’ve been on the hunt for an app that eliminates two or more of the apps that we currently use for project management, client communication and planning/scheduling. On this trek, we’ve come to the realization that there is no single app that does everything that we’ve ever wanted, at least not yet. For now though, we’ve stumbled onto a promising tool to help us streamline our work; enter Airtable. Planning & strategy, task assignment, calendar views, and outside app integrations are just a few of the reasons why we’re stoked to use this tool, not to mention that there are mobile and desktop apps. Check out how we’ve started using Airtable for a lot of our internal processes.
“The more you customize your cells, the more you can filter your content to make searching easy.”
Views for Days
Organization and clear communication is how we roll, which is one of the main reasons why we love this tool. From broad bases, to tables, to views, breaking down projects and processes is quick and efficient. Once clicked into a project, you can see all of your ‘tables’, which is a great way to segment a project. For example, one of our bases is for our social content, which houses different tables (pretty much a spreadsheet view) for our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Behance, and Dribbble content. From each table you can dive a little further by changing the “view”, which is probably one of our favorite features. From our Facebook table (again think of a spread sheet in terms of looks) we can click into a different view, a calendar view for example, which auto populates all of the days with all of our content based on the table. Enter in your content and any other information that goes along with it, like copy, a date to post, post type, or any notes and boom, all of that info is translated over to your calendar. Super easy.
This feature is one of the aspects that sets Airtable apart from Excel or Google Sheets. Each cell in the table view is customizable, which sounds weird, but it’s incredibly helpful. Instead of just adding text to a cell, you can change the function of each column of cells to a date, long or short form text, a checkbox, attachments (yeah you can add jpegs to a cell) or even link one cell to another for a reference, among others. Again, going off of our social calendar example, we’ve got cells for a post date (which is where the calendar view pulls from) text cells for copy and notes, check boxes to see if it’s been shot or posted, attachment cells for the images, and a few others. Looking for all of the images that go up on a specific date? Add a filter to the view and pull up all of the cells with the date you’re looking for. The more you customize your cells, the more you can filter your content to make searching easy.
Sharing is Caring
Sharing with Airtable makes it easy to send exactly what you want someone else to see. If we’re working on table for to-do tasks and deadlines that needed to be shared with the team, we can send over that specific view. Think a calendar would be easier for the team to check out when things are due? Switch over to the calendar view and send that instead. The actual sending part is where things get pretty cool. You can send a stand alone link to just the view that you’re looking at, or your can send the entire base for someone else to look through. So we could send you just our Facebook calendar, or we could send you the entire base for all of our social calendars. Airtable also allows you to modify the permissions that you give each collaborator from read only, to edit only, and finally to creator.
Although we think Airtable is just the organizational tool we’ve been looking for, your processes probably look different from ours, so try it out and see if you like it. We also understand that there are shortcomings of this particular tool, so we’ll have to supplement with other tools for things like agency communication (slack) and time tracking (teamgrid). But still check out their free plan to see how it fits with you. Thanks for reading and keeping up with us. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Dribbble, and now Behance for some of our best practices, free wallpapers, resources and spec work.