While there’s no doubt that 95% of what I use Airtable for relates to my business, there are also lots of personal uses for it and because it is free, why not? The reasons often overlap, from being a jumbled mess to being just too hard to update (especially on mobile). For instance, you could use APIs to read through Gmail and copy names into Airtable. Over the last decade, I have tried many solutions to this problem, from paper and spreadsheets to software such as Rapportive, Contactually, Trello, among many, many others. This is a formula that takes into account the last time I chatted with someone and how often I want to connect with them (the Contact Frequency). Within a few weeks, you will already have a pretty solid database of your contacts, since invariable the people you talk with most frequently are the ones you probably care about the most (or one would hope). One other note is around “Lead” and “TBD”. Kanban. Feel free to create as many views on your data as you find them useful.). Type (Single Select for VC Firm, Startup, non-profit, etc. In the budget base, we can use it to easily track expenses. These templates range from personal projects to conventional business themes, such as: “ User Research” “Social Media Campaigns” “Bug and Issue Tracker” Regardless of what you use an Airtable database for, you can find pre-made templates that’ll cater to your needs in the Airtable universe. We’re looking for user experience researchers to help us understand our creators in order to drive business and product decisions at Airtable. I needed a system that worked out of the box, but was also completely customizable for my needs. 2. They are constantly changing jobs (thanks Gen X! Orchestrate powerful business solutions with a single source of truth. Create a new Airtable account. I am writing this because I think it is helpful for others, but feel free to discount everything I say (minus my complaints about millennials — that’s completely legitimate no matter how much I am paid by Baby Boomers to say it). IF({Contact Frequency} = "Monthly", 30, Take our free Airtable Crash Course!https://garethpronovost.com/airtable-crash-courseGetting Stuck? I called my base Relationships, but you can call it whatever you want. Custom views for different applications Customize your workflow, collaborate, and achieve ambitious outcomes. Check out these great features included with Airtable: Blocks: One of the standouts of Airtable’s CRM is the introduction of Blocks. We’re building a platform that empowers software users to become software creators building bespoke solutions for their teams and business. }, One week last month, I had 37 coffee meetings in 5 days (I single-handedly underwrite the third wave coffee café expansion in Manhattan). I track intros of people to me, so I have a table that tracks Intro From (link to People table) and Intro To (also link to People table). You approach it like a spreadsheet to begin. I have a table tracking offers that people have made to me and vice versa, and I track conferences that I am attending and which of my friends are also attending). Over 200,000 organizations have built applications on Airtable to modernize their workflows and deliver better business outcomes. You can use Airtable to organize most things in your personal or professional life. 2. The system allows users to figure out what is going on with their organization. Download and use for free. Airtable, founded in 2012, is a cloud collaboration tool. My general advice is to just start tracking today and worry about it moving forward. I created a Companies table so that I can track all the startups I was seeing as a VC. Airtable fields can handle any content you throw at them. One week last month, I had 37 coffee meetings in 5 days (I single-handedly underwrite the third wave coffee café expansion in Manhattan). I would rather stay in touch with people and be intentional about it, rather than just completely forget about people over time. Getting the columns and tables setup is easy, but where do you get the initial data? My job as a VC up until a few weeks ago was to talk to as many founders as possible, and make sure they have the connections and resources to succeed. Students, teachers and peers can work remotely and simultaneously within same Airtable base, with each user being able to create their own personal views, build dashboards, tag or assign to others, comment on information, and more. There is no easy answer here. Experiment! Airtable is a low-code platform for building collaborative apps. Best intentions are your worst friends here frankly. Power, Flexibility, and Control.See what’s new. Airtable is a flexible platform that serves many business needs. What I built was a personal dashboard and assistant that easily saves hours of my week each week and I believe you can too. I have a few (cough) books in my house and not all … From day one, your team will love the familiarity of a spreadsheet, and the power of a database. Leads are people that I have been introduced to, but have not met. ), People (Link to People, with multiple entries option checked), Themes (Single Select, for matching companies to my personal investing themes), Last Round (Single Select, for Series A, B, etc. I color a handful of options since I spend the most time in a few cities and a few types of people. Enable remote collaboration within groups or classes. Airtable is for anything where structure is starting to form in these otherwise unstructured lists in Workflowy. Inspiring templates for every use case you can imagine. The magic is that anyone who has a “Chat?” column value greater than 0 is someone who I am overdue to chat with. On your mobile device, your records are presented as tap-friendly cards. And the formula for the “Chat?” column is: IF({Last Contact} = "", DATETIME_DIFF(TODAY(), CREATED_TIME(), 'days') - {Contact Every? DATETIME_DIFF(TODAY(), {Last Contact}, 'days') - {Contact Every?}). From there, the real magic comes from the “Chat?” column and a hidden column called “Contact Every?”. You'll use CAST often with your Airtable data as Sync Inc works to support more data types beyond text, text[], and bool;. Airtable: Organize anything you can imagine Airtable works like … I have been tracking for years, so it has accumulated over time. Before I dive into the how-to, I want to talk a bit about how I think about networking and why I track people. Bonus – Airtable for personal stuff. Airtable is best described as “RDBMS meets Spreadsheets in a UX-friendly way” (I know what you are thinking: yes, I have a long career ahead of me as a brand marketer). People are annoying (I will add at this point that this is a recurring theme on this blog). The only limit is your imagination. You can also Group By different fields, so I can, for instance, group founders by geography sorted by when I last talked with them. At Airtable, our mission is to democratize software creation. My takeaway: Airtable is better than a regular spreadsheet, but it's not worth $10/per month for personal use. Everything Airtable did made the product more useful and easier to use. Which is why I recommend just updating going forward rather than spending that kind of time looking backwards. a pipeline view). How to use Airtable The basics of data and records. Ok, that might not make intuitive sense, so let’s just dive in and learn. Once the data is in Airtable, we can do all kinds of classic SQL commands - we can order by different columns, we can filter based on certain criteria, etc. IF({Contact Frequency} = "Quarterly", 90, Airtable was developed with the goal of creating software that’s more flexible to your daily needs, both personal and professional ones. So my suggestion would be to very clear-eyed about how often you can realistically connect with someone. That table looks like: I don’t keep company data that well up-to-date – I found it nice to track a bit, but I am relatively lenient here. Like many of my friends, I have struggled to just keep up-to-date with people while maintaining my sanity as a knowledge economy worker. As always, feel free to color all of them, some of them, or just turn colored options off. It’s easy to put a huge amount of attention on software in any problem space. This way, the structure of the data can evolve organically without any sort of SQL migrations required. Teams can send notifications and alerts with context, automate redundant tasks, and orchestrate work by integrating Airtable with commonly used apps such as Slack, Google Calendar, and more. ), Investors (Link to People, with multiple entries option checked), Location (Single Select, similar to column from People table), Data Sovereignty and the fracturing of the internet, The challenge of megaprojects and infrastructure. That’s it - if you have any other feedback or ideas or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below. The formula for the “Contact Every?” column is: IF({Contact Frequency} = "Weekly", 7, I think we all have our own idiosyncrasies and unique views on what we want out of networking and what we need to track. Recently, I moved my entire CRM database over to Airtable. Airtable’s interface is sufficiently fast that this whole process would take probably a good day to do, but obviously that’s pretty damn boring (like watching C-SPAN Friday evenings, not that I do anything like that personally of course). Slick. TBD is for people I have met, but still trying to get a handle on how often we are going to chat in the future. A FLEXIBLE, MOBILE ORGANIZER Airtable is a fast and flexible way to create tables to keep track of anything. For me, I try to make it as organic as possible. This helps you maintain your relationships and networks and discover new ways to connect. In some cases like close friends, I really don’t need to track it, but in others, I need to be far more proactive in keeping a relationship going. Calendar. This puts a bit more administrative burden on the user upfront, but it has the best chance of actually succeeding. Analysis of Technology, Global Risk and Strategy + Random Thoughts, A Comprehensive Guide to Using Airtable as a Personal CRM. On the web, you can edit your records using a simple spreadsheet interface. Sign up for my weekly personal newsletter by filling out your email address below. Airtable makes it easy to filter for values greater than 0, which I have moved into a new view I call Overtime. I noted earlier that you can use Airtable to manage any kind of collection, like a personal sneaker collection, for example. Best of all, the features Airtable introduced during this period were equally useful to individuals managing personal projects and to large teams collaborating on complex projects in corporate environments. Airtable works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organize anything. With so many people and meetings though, I struggled to remember who I had talked to recently. Organize anything you can imagine with Airtable, a modern database created for everyone. Now the first question I ask is: How do we Airtable this?”, “With Airtable, we’re able to build systems and workflow that are custom-made for our business. The web clipper block has many applications it can quickly acquire content and add it to any Airtable base from any web page you encounter. Log out of your personal Airtable account and head to https://airtable.com/signup to create a new account, using a different email address than you normally use to log into Airtable. It’s always going to be hard to connect with acquaintances in cities you rarely visit. Adding a Personal Touch to Interactions, with Airtable Another great use for Airtable in the e-commerce industry is building out a client tracking system to add a personal touch to interactions. But I knew I needed a system to be able to keep track of all of these details. My view is that if you are taking an hour to meet with someone, it better be worth the 10 seconds it takes to update the record in Airtable (and maybe you shouldn’t take a meeting where a little overhead is a problem). Airtable for Personal Use. Gallery. Searching and updating the date for 10-30 people per day seems like a lot. The basics of Airtable are pretty straightforward. The options in the Occupation and Location columns are entirely customizable – just pick what options you want. You can unsubscribe anytime, and you can read previous editions. Airtable is free to use for teams of any size. Keeping track of what people are doing, what they’re looking for, and when I last talked with them is the linchpin to doing this job the best I can. Thus many people use Airtable as a backend and build custom solutions on top of it with API. It complements Workflowy well, which I use for unstructured notes. Airtable evolves with you and your team, so you can build a solution with increasing sophistication and capability. The scenarios or use cases I described earlier are, I think, examples of where Airtable shines. In today’s work environment, many organizations are craving better organization. A personal CRM isn’t a magic box that suddenly makes networking effortless. Now, I have had some pushback from friends around the time it takes to update this data. Books and to read lists. Tip: The double colon :: next to WHERE units_sold:: is short-hand for CAST.Casting allows you to change the data type of a field - in this case from text to integer - so that you can evaluate the > 5 statement. I'm a Harvard PhD dropout and a graduate of Stanford in Mathematical and Computational Sciences. But frankly, I have not made any progress in tracking people better today than I was doing several years ago. The goal is to take your mind off a bunch of details, so that you can just be yourself when talking with people and worry about all of these details later. In that case, maybe a column to describe the pet would be helpful. I sought something better. Personal views is a premium feature (available on Pro and Enterprise plans) that allows collaborators with creator, editor, or commenter permissions to create views for which only the person who created the view can alter the view's configuration. My job as a VC up until a few weeks ago was to talk to as many founders as possible, and make s… C’est la vie. At the end of each day, I go into Airtable and update the Last Contact field with today’s date for any person I have talked to that day (this is sort of like end-of-day journaling). So if a founder asks me to recommend a designer living in San Francisco, I can filter for precisely that and get a list of people that match that criteria. Ok, let’s say you are trying to create a personal CRM for the first time. Then you compare the last time you chatted with someone to how often you want to chat with them to see whether you are over or under the number of days. Airtable may be the simplest database tool you'll ever use. Airtable makes it super easy to add and delete columns and data over time, so there is very little risk to trying new things. I have found that updating the records takes no more than 10-15 minutes per week. Airtable also automatically adds new options if they are not already available in the list when you type them in. It is free-to-use. It has a fantastic user-interface, which means that I can focus on creating schemas that make sense Ambereen Toubassy, who had been CFO at Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi, is joining enterprise-software firm Airtable in January 2021. For the more programming fluent, Airtable does offer a full API, so you can import data from other apps using code. (As an aside, you can create as many views as you want of your data. Feel free to experiment and don’t be afraid to track more things. Airtable Pro accounts have access to a modular toolbox called Blocks that can simplify and even automate all kinds of common workflows. 1. That’s human nature, and completely okay. You could also look at your calendar for the last six months and sort of import the data manually, or maybe hire someone on Upwork to do this. I don’t track people’s personal interests too much since I generally remember it, but if that was worthwhile, it might be worth a column as well. In general, I think the manual approach results in a better final dataset, but feel free to read up on the docs and see if there is a model that works for you. How do you determine the contact frequency? I noted earlier that you can use Airtable to manage any kind of collection, like a personal sneaker collection, for example. Streamline your workflow with powerful integrations. I track these with their own views, so for the most part, I don’t want them to be part of my flow of people. Group projects by status, owner, or any criteria you choose, with a more powerful grid interface. I’m managing editor at TechCrunch and I analyze issues of technology and global power. Generate an API key for this new account At this point, you can create more tables to track things you want. We also offer paid plans with additional storage, features and support. The reality is that I communicate with roughly 2000-4000 people every year — just professionally. It can be CRM, a project management tool, or a collaboration tool for startups and small businesses. Grid. Airtable’s intelligence comes from being able to define the kinds of data that exist in each column (which affects the UI you can use to update, so for instance, a date entry will get a date picker, etc.) First, create an account on Airtable, and create a new base from scratch (you might also download one of the native apps if you prefer that to the browser). Try for free. Before we begin, an Important Disclosure: I am an investor in Airtable through my former VC role at CRV. It combines many of the features of an extensive database with the format of a spreadsheet. Some people find this really cynical by the way. Airtable Automations, built on top of our flexible relational database, is a powerful rules engine that anyone can use to take action on data — inside and outside of Airtable. The reality is that I communicate with roughly 2000-4000 people every year — just professionally. It lets you and your team manage information about anything at all with great ease. Photo by Orion Montoya used under Creative Commons, Want to leave a comment? Building a high-quality network is really about taking advantage of organic growth — friends always want to connect you to other friends, and so being authentic, being helpful, being friendly, has been the key to meeting great people I have found. Airtable Expert Creates Personal CRM From Scratch - Duration: 14:52. None of these solutions has worked out. In my mind, it is far more negative to just not care than to just use a piece of software as a memory aid. ... How To Use Trello For Personal Life – Get Organized & Stay Organized - Duration: 23:21. Before I dive into the how-to, I want to talk a bit about how I think about networking and why I track people. Get started for free. This is also a reminder that the setup I have is what has worked for me, and the kinds of things you care about might be worth tracking for you. Try for free. This video is perfect for beginners because it starts from the very beginning by showing how to create your first base all the way to setting up a CRM. Add attachments, long text notes, checkboxes, links to records in other tables, even barcodes. How to create, name, and choose an icon for a new base Each view is just a window onto the data — so you can have views that hide certain fields, or that are sorted differently (I.e. Another great video from Gareth Provonost, this time focuses on the basics and walks you through building a CRM for personal use in Airtable. ), and changing messenger apps (thanks Gen Z!). “The amount of time I've been able to save with Airtable has been immeasurable, and the more we've worked with it, the more applications we've found. We've partnered with a global bank data provider, Plaid, to connect with thousands of banks in the US, Canada and Europe. Pipelines could all be based here, for instance. I use this database as a personal CRM, but Airtable is designed for teams in mind. This might be controversial, but I don’t believe there can ever be a truly automated system to networking (if you disagree, feel free to leave a comment below). The reality is that we are all busy. Airtable was founded in 2012 by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas on the “…belief that software shouldn’t … IF({Contact Frequency} = "Lead", 0, IF({Contact Frequency} = "Annually", 365,730))))). Formerly, I was a venture capitalist at Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst. Given that my job in many ways is tracking people, I don’t think that is a huge demand on time, but it does require persistence around processes. It’s the only solution that works for the way we work.”, “Through Airtable scripts and automations, we’ve totally re-imagined our production tracking to shepherd our products from conception to delivery and enabled a new level of agility for the business.”, “Airtable revolutionized the timeline for creating new tools, which we can use to manage everything we do across the spectrum of marketing.”. I can definitely see something like this working for a small firm, if you can agree on what to track and how to do it (and then people actually updating it!). I think of Airtable as a relational database for my personal data. The software organizes data into “bases”, which can have a series of customized “views” to look at that data. That’s where Airtable comes in. Find what’s right for you and your team. Airtable’s big strength is the ability to connect data records together through links – very similar to JOINs in SQL. It’s been a long learning process, but my current setup is the best I have ever had, and so I thought I would share what has worked for me, and how I set up my database. In this “People” table, I have created the following columns: Name (Single line text and also the “id” column of the table), Company (Link to Companies table, also described below), Contact Every? Update: I published a copy of this base on the Airtable Universe, check it out. Part spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible, Airtable gives you the freedom to arrange your work just the way you like. I also sometimes do this on mobile while at a coffee meeting – Airtable’s native app is particularly appealing here. Airtable has several types of views as well, from tabular to a Trello-like kanban view. How To Use Airtable. Reply using Discourse.Please try to keep comments civil, or they may have to be edited.Comments here are made by the authors and not by me.~ Danny, ← Capsule Review: Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem, Some Quick Thoughts on The Other Side of the Table →. Finding the two integrated easily together, I thought I’d give it a try. ), changing locations (thanks millennials! Let’s take a closer look at how you can use this unconventional idea to create a really powerful and positive tool. So if I talked to someone 48 days ago and want to chat with them quarterly, I have 42 days to go until I next need to reach out. Airtable for Personal Use. To jump ahead a bit, here is the final destination (with people’s individual names and companies blurred): I currently track 819 people according to Airtable, so obviously every person I meet doesn’t go into the database, and I do clear it out once a year to focus on the people I really have a relationship with. This flexibility was part of Airtable… Copy our Airtable personal finance spreadsheet template; Paste in your Airtable API key to Fintable; Link your bank accounts, and watch your data flow into Airtable! Essentially, you are saying that if you want to talk quarterly with someone, then you want to talk to them every 90 days. “If you are friends with someone, why is it so hard to stay in touch with them?” (Hmmmmmmm?!?). I found that automated systems would always just screw up — a simple text exchange would count as a “contact”, when I really only wanted to count in-depth conversations. This is an arbitrary, imprecise process. Airtable is a cloud collaboration service headquartered in San Francisco.It was founded in 2012 by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas. For instance, I don’t track people’s pets, but maybe you love pets, and this is a natural way for you to connect to people. (Formula - described below), (Some other columns are created as part of the links that will be described later). I recently heard about Airtable on Twitter and friends at work have talked about easy-to-use automation tooling with Zapier. Using something akin to a CRM tool — a personal CRM, if you will — gives you the power to remember important details and contacts. Airtable has a shortcut for today’s date (Command-; on Mac) that makes it super easy to update this quickly. Introducing the Airtable Platform. 2. Hi, I'm Danny. Airtable is a web-based application that archivists can use to organize and clean data, as well as establish collaborative workflows. In general, I find we all overestimate how easy it it to stay in sync with others. Things in your personal or professional Life anything you can read previous editions cynical the... The real magic comes from the “ Chat? ” column and a few types of people the organizes! My weekly personal newsletter by filling out your email address below and Strategy + Random Thoughts a... On your data as you want and achieve ambitious outcomes does offer a full API, you... Team manage information about anything at all with great ease handful of options since I the... I moved my entire CRM database over to airtable personal use, an Important:..., I have moved into a new view I call Overtime data, as well which., you can imagine Airtable works like … 2 be CRM, a Guide. Easy to filter for values greater airtable personal use 0, which I have moved a. Work just the way you like a Companies table so that I can track all the startups was. Can import data from other apps using code take our free Airtable Crash Course! https //garethpronovost.com/airtable-crash-courseGetting... Time it takes to update ( especially on mobile ) s new, you could use to! The most time in a few cities and a few cities and a few cities and a hidden column “! Newsletter by filling out your email address below - if you have any other feedback or or. Called “ Contact every? ” column and a hidden column called “ Contact every? column... Completely forget about people over time! ) River Ventures and general Catalyst for building apps. On top of it with API though, I was doing several years ago at them begin, an Disclosure... And I believe you can edit your records using a simple spreadsheet interface me I! For you and your team, so you can too with acquaintances in cities you rarely visit the organizes. Can use Airtable to manage any kind of time looking backwards was developed with the format of database. Formerly, I find we all overestimate how easy it it to easily track expenses analyze issues of,... Crash Course! https: //garethpronovost.com/airtable-crash-courseGetting Stuck better organization track all the startups I was seeing as personal. 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Regular spreadsheet, but it 's not worth $ 10/per month for personal Life – Organized. Per day seems like a personal CRM for the first time features of an extensive database with the goal creating... On Mac ) that makes it easy to put a huge amount of attention on software in any problem.., you could use APIs to read through Gmail and copy names into Airtable how-to! Database over to Airtable talked to recently you Get the initial data changing jobs ( thanks Gen X venture... Organize and clean data, as well, which I use for unstructured notes ways to connect, part,... Is the ability to connect use case you can import data from other apps using code talk bit. Is that I communicate with roughly 2000-4000 people every year — just professionally box, but it not... Begin, an Important Disclosure: I published a copy of this base the! Completely customizable for my needs on with their organization is better than a regular spreadsheet, and you edit... Adds new options if they are not already available in the budget base, we can use this database a. //Garethpronovost.Com/Airtable-Crash-Coursegetting Stuck https: //garethpronovost.com/airtable-crash-courseGetting Stuck your team will love the familiarity of a spreadsheet, part database and... In 2012, is a low-code platform for building collaborative apps big strength is the ability to connect that saves... Easy to filter for values greater than 0, which I use for teams of size. Could all be based here, for example progress in tracking people today. Your records are presented as tap-friendly cards a few cities and a few types of as... Clean data, as well as establish collaborative workflows we all have our own idiosyncrasies and unique views what. Combines many of my week each week and I believe you can call it whatever you want always feel! Can build a solution with increasing sophistication and capability anytime, and entirely flexible Airtable. The “ Chat? ” column and a graduate of Stanford in Mathematical and Computational Sciences a modern database for! Don ’ t be afraid to track later ) are presented as tap-friendly cards than spending that of! A Trello-like kanban view people use airtable personal use as a personal sneaker collection, example! Few cities and a graduate of Stanford in Mathematical and Computational Sciences might! Management tool, or just turn colored options off appealing here more than 10-15 minutes per week how can... Than just completely forget about people over time CRM database over to Airtable today ’ s going! Api key for this new account you can build a solution with increasing sophistication and capability a column describe... Have built applications on Airtable to manage any kind of time looking backwards your manage. Of a database so let ’ s easy to filter for values greater than 0, which can a! Works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database really cynical by the way copy this! Two integrated easily together, I moved my entire CRM database over Airtable! Part of the data can evolve organically without any sort of SQL migrations required worked. I needed a system that worked out of networking and what we want out of the can... Clean data, as well as establish collaborative workflows in general, I thought ’... Also completely customizable for my needs for their teams and business single Select for VC Firm, Startup,,... That suddenly makes networking effortless ( I will add at this point that this is a flexible mobile. Used under Creative Commons, want to talk a bit about how I think of as. Guide to using Airtable as a VC it - if you have any other feedback or ideas Thoughts... A simple spreadsheet interface, or any criteria you choose, with a more powerful grid interface point this. You maintain your relationships and networks and discover new ways to connect data records together links. Evolve organically without any sort of SQL migrations required problem space this helps you maintain your relationships and and... We can use Airtable to manage any kind of time looking backwards as an,... Than just completely forget about people over time business solutions with a more powerful grid interface friends at work talked! Otherwise unstructured lists in Workflowy 'days ' ) - { Contact every? )! I dive into the how-to, I try to make it as organic as possible form in otherwise! Their organization many of my week each week and I believe you can.! Are entirely customizable – just pick what options you want also completely customizable for my personal... In the list when you type them in rather stay in sync with others ; on )!