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7 ways to automate Airtable

By Krystina Martinez · July 28, 2022
Hero image for automation inspiration with the Airtable logo connected by dots to the logos of Google Sheets, Wordpress, and Google Contacts

Most people have a love-hate relationship with spreadsheets. To be honest, I'm a hater because I tend to break every spreadsheet I touch. 

But Airtable is different—it promises users an easier user experience, combining the functionality of spreadsheets and databases to make record-keeping less of a chore. If you love Airtable like me, but hate entering data, Zapier can help you track information from other apps automatically. Here are a few Zaps—the automated workflows you create with Zapier—to help get you started.

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Table of contents

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

Add or update records from your browser

Web clipper tools allow you to save information from your web browser to specific apps. Airtable has a web clipper app, but it requires a paid plan to use because you need their block feature. 

If you just need to save some simple URLs to an Airtable base, you can skip copying and pasting with the Zapier Chrome Extension. Once you download the extension and pin it to your Google Chrome toolbar, you can create your own web clipper with this Zap:

Log new Airtable records using a Google Chrome extension

Log new Airtable records using a Google Chrome extension
  • Zapier Chrome extension logo
  • Airtable logo
Zapier Chrome extension + Airtable

Update data in multiple places

If you're referencing the same data in multiple areas of your business, you want to make sure that those changes are updated accordingly. But if you're already maintaining several Airtable bases—and yes, even spreadsheets—there's a chance you may forget to update information. 

Give yourself a little peace of mind with these Zaps: 

Customize Airtable notifications

Airtable enables entire teams to collaborate within a database. But you likely don't need a notification for every change. 

Instead, you can use Zapier to send notifications for Airtable changes that matter, such as getting alerts for any new records in the Airtable bases you care about.

You can also use the Updated Record trigger—the event that starts a Zap—if you need to track or communicate updates to specific records instead. 

First, make sure that you have a Last modified time field in your Airtable base. This field allows you to track the last time certain fields are updated. 

The "last modified time" field options in Airtable. The field option settings are highlighted.

Once you've configured this field in Airtable, you can now set up your customized update notifications—for yourself, your team, or a client. You can create your own custom chat notifications quickly with these Zaps:

Prefer to receive a digest of notifications instead? Learn more about using Digest—available on our paid plans. 

Or you can send email alerts instead:

Sync your calendar with Airtable

If you manage events, calls, or meetings with Airtable but also use Google Calendar for meeting invites, it can be a hassle to make sure you're adding the right info to both tools.

Use this Zap to automatically create new calendar events in Google Calendar from new Airtable records. That way, you'll never forget to add a meeting to your calendar again.

If you want to keep a record of your calendar events in one place or you want a clearer view of multiple calendars, use this Zap to automatically add new calendar events to your Airtable base. That way, you can easily view all of your events at the same time and keep an easier record of event details.

Automatically create tasks

While Airtable isn't a de facto project management tool, it has enough customization features to serve as one. Airtable has a field type that allows you to assign rows to users in your workspace, perfect for delegating tasks. 

If you keep track of your personal to-do list in a task management app, you can use a Zap to create tasks from new Airtable records in a specific view. 

Click on the Zaps below to get started: 

Once you've picked your to-do list app, make the most of it with automation, so you can easily add tasks that come in by email, team chat apps, project management tools, or notes. Read more about automating your to-do list.

Keep track of leads and forms

Airtable has a built-in form function, but if you're using another form tool or tracking leads, Zapier can help you automatically add new submissions into Airtable. You'll get the best of both worlds: using the right form tool for the job and keeping your Airtable base up-to-date.  

Learn more ways you can use automation to spend less time managing your leads.

Use a webhook with Airtable

If you use an app that doesn't have a Zapier integration, there's another option: webhooks. If your app has webhook functionality, you can use Webhooks by Zapier to connect it to Airtable. 

More of a beginner webhooks user? Learn more about getting started with webhooks.

Power up your Airtable bases with automation

Automation can help you take advantage of Airtable's full potential—and make data entry less painful. With a few Zaps in your pocket, you're on your way to becoming an Airtable power user. 

This article was originally written by Nick Moore in August 2020. It was updated in January 2022 by Krystina Martinez and most recently updated in July 2022.

Zapier is the leader in no-code automation—integrating with 5,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'