Airtable Automations allow you to quickly and intuitively define the “logic” that compels Airtable to do something in the background.
This could be something big, like sending an email to the entire company—or something small yet pivotal, like updating a record every time you take an action. But first, you have to define your automation’s logic. In this step, we’ll show you how.
With automations, you streamline tasks by building custom trigger-and-action sequences. In other words, you define a “trigger” that starts your process, then choose which “action” should automatically take place as a result. This creates “logic” in your Airtable base.
Here’s a simple way to think about it: If something happens, then something else happens—“if” is your trigger and “then” is your action. For example, “If a prospective customer fills out my Contact form, then I can notify the assigned sales person (so they follow up right away).”
You can use events that take place in Airtable as your triggers or actions, or you can use integrations to incorporate third-party apps.
When your team can automatically centralize and share information between tools as needed, they can work more efficiently. Airtable has pre-built integrations for popular apps including Asana, Jira, Slack, Google Workspace, and Outlook, as well as a robust API for further customization. Here are a few examples of events you can use when building automations in Airtable:
A new record is added
Create a record
A record matches specific criteria
Send a Slack or Teams message
A record matches specific criteria
Send an email
A new event is created in Google Calendar
Create an issue in Jira
A new email is received in Outlook
Post on Twitter, Facebook, and more
Like most things in Airtable, automations are flexible, so you can tailor them to your workflow.
You can start with a single action, or build an automation with up to 25 different steps. Best of all, they take just a few clicks (and no code) to set up.
Pro tip: Conditional automations
Once you’re comfortable with basic automations, you can take them to the next level using conditional logic for more advanced scripting—combining multiple triggers and possible outcomes into a single process.
Here are just a few examples of how automations can help you streamline common workflows:
Whether you manage a blog, handle social media, or are in charge of making changes on the website when a new product is ready, organization and timing are key to publishing assets.
Airtable can streamline your production process from start to finish by serving as your single source of truth for what’s going live and when. If you use Airtable to manage your production, you don’t have to worry about things slipping through the cracks.
Using Airtable’s automations, you can build a workflow that automatically publishes social content when it’s approved. To do so, you would set an “approved” status as your automation’s trigger, and “post tweet” (via Airtable’s integration with Twitter) as your action.
Managing reviews and approvals is a common task—whether you’re reviewing content before it goes live, or getting approval for your big launch strategy. Airtable can help speed up approval workflows.
Let’s say you’re a design team waiting for sign off from your partners ahead of a marketing campaign. You can use Airtable to keep all assets for the campaign organized—with fields for different types of assets, current status, and even full-size image previews.
Streamline your review process by building an Automation that automatically notifies stakeholders when their request is approved. Once again, you would use the record’s status (“approved”) as your trigger, but select “Send an email” as your action.
Last but not least, Airtable can simplify how your team runs cross-functional projects. Say you’re on a product team. You’re building a new feature, working closely with marketing and customer-facing teams ahead of the launch. It’s critical that everyone knows what’s going on behind the scenes: most importantly, what you’re building and when it will be available.
Unfortunately, cross-functional projects have a way of veering from the plan, no matter how solid that plan was.
Set up an automation to ensure team members are kept up to date with any status changes the moment they happen. This way, cross-functional partners have the latest information and don’t need to wait for a product meeting, or go searching for information in your product team base.
Now it’s your turn to automate a process for your team, either by modifying an existing automation, or by building one from scratch.
If you’re making your own, start by choosing the trigger type, and selecting the table you want your automation to pull from. Test your trigger to ensure it’s correctly configured, and then establish what action you want it to perform.
Run a few tests to make sure the automation is behaving properly, and then give it a name and description.
If you need any additional help getting started, check out this support article.