Quickly get data from anyone, anywhere into Airtable 

So, you’ve built a base, invited your team, hosted trainings, and had a couple of one-on-ones. Now what? It’s time to start working from your base. But first, we’ve got a few tips to ensure the information moving into your base stays accurate and up to date.

There are lots of ways to accomplish the same result: You can import spreadsheets, use external sync with Salesforce or Jira Cloud or simply copy and paste data. But one of the most popular—and easiest—ways to add new data is to use a form. Airtable forms are a deceptively simple and powerful way to get the right information into your workflows.

Forms: What they do and how to use them

Forms allow you to collect that information from your team and pipe it directly into a base where you can organize and analyze it. A few common use cases include collecting requests, surveying your colleagues, and really any type of data you might need to add to Airtable.

You can create a form in just a few clicks, which can be tied to any table in your base. Every field in that table—like contact name, company, etc—is automatically included in your form for recipients to fill out. And you can quickly customize available fields (so you don’t collect data you don’t need), add any new questions, and adjust the text of any field, including adding help text for any field. Whenever someone fills out the form, their response is automatically added to your table as a new record.

Additionally, field types from your table carry over to your form so you don’t need to make manual adjustments. For example, if you use Airtable to visualize upcoming deliverables, the “due date” field will show up on your form as a date-picker. This helps prevent people from entering different formats for the date that wouldn’t render in your calendar view. 

And if you’re on a Pro plan or trial, you can customize your form with branding, required responses, and conditional logic. Beyond that, you’ll also get unlimited apps, personal & locked views, custom colors, and 1 year of revision history.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of forms:

Quickly collect information from anyone

Once your form is ready, you can quickly share it with anyone you’re working with, even if they’re outside of your company, by generating a link or embedding it on your website. Forms are a great way to collect information from external partners like customers, clients, or contractors—without giving them access to your base. 

⚡Airtable tip

Try to keep your form as short as possible to reduce barriers for people entering their information. You can always add additional notes or context as needed once form responses are in your table (more on that below). 

Add context to make decisions 

As you start receiving data from your form, you can always add additional context by adding fields and notes (you can even have discussions alongside a record; your submitter won’t get these updates), alongside original responses so you have everything you need to make decisions in one place. 

For example, let’s say you’re using forms to collect applications for an open role on your team. When people fill out the form, you’ll see the information they provided like name, contact information, and their resume. You can then add additional fields alongside this information to keep track of their application status, interview dates, or notes from interviewers.

Streamline intake process

Many customers use forms to streamline requests. The structured nature of forms makes it easy for stakeholders to provide all the information you need all at once without going back and forth with your team.

Additionally, using forms can help you stay on top of new requests so nothing falls through the cracks:

  • Turn on email notifications whenever a new form is submitted

  • Add a “Status” field in your table and set up a view to group by “Status” so “Requested” entries show up at the top of your list

Supercharge information with apps 

We’ve talked about ways you can get data into Airtable above and we’re excited to see how you use forms to collect data. Because once that data is in Airtable, you’ll be able to see it in different views, report on that data, leverage it to make decisions, and ultimately, move work forward faster. 

Perhaps the best way to leverage the data in your base is by utilizing our vast app marketplace. Apps help you pull in rich information and allow you to analyze, enrich, and take action on that data. With apps, you’ll be able to create powerful, custom visualizations that let you move your work forward faster—all in Airtable.

Here are a few popular apps that help you get more from information that’s now in Airtable: 

  • Summary: Draw attention to specific values—e.g. See how many requests are in a queue, the number of applicants, total revenue, or anything, really. 

  • Chart: Easily create bar, line, pie, or donut charts to identify patterns or further analyze your data. For example, view the percentage of requests open vs. in progress vs. completed over time to report on team output. 

  • Pivot: Further summarize your data by grouping information together in meaningful ways. Pivot tables allow you to further slice and dice your data to view it in different perspectives. 

  • Clearbit: If leads are filling out a form on your website, you can use Clearbit to enrich existing information with additional details like company size, role, and more.  

Learn more about apps in Airtable here

Ready to create your first form?

Now that you know how forms can help your team, you’re ready to try it on your own. Here’s what you need to do to get started:

Create and customize your form

Share your form with stakeholders

Collect data; add additional context as needed 

Analyze or enrich information with appsTake action and make decisions 

If you need additional help, you can view step-by-step directions in our support center.

About the author

AirtableOur mission is to democratize software creation by giving everyone the power to create—and not just use—the tools they work with every day. Learn more at https://www.airtable.com/product.

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