Featured image displaying the logos of Airtable and Google Sheets in Unito's guide to setting up a simple Two-Way Sync

How to Easily Export and Sync Airtable to Google Sheets With 2-Way Updates

Here we’ll show you how to easily export and sync Airtable to Google Sheets (or vice versa) automatically through Unito’s 2-way no-code integration for spreadsheets. By exporting Airtable records to Google Sheets, you will guarantee that every database you connect will become an always-up-to-date source of truth.

Once you get this flow up and running with Unito, you’ll be able to say goodbye to manual updates and copy-pasting forever.

This guide demonstrates the value of syncing Airtable to Google Sheets, but the exact same steps outlined below can be used to export from Google Sheets to Airtable. That’s the power of Unito’s flexible, automated, two-way sync between tables.

In other words, your rows will become items in sync and your columns are the mappable fields.

Here’s what our synced table looks like after syncing Airtable and Google Sheets:

Airtable synced to Google Sheets with Unito
Top: Airtable Bottom: Google Sheets; the first row, or table header, of the synced spreadsheet tells Unito where to put the details, or fields, of each Airtable record.

Since both of these tools use custom fields, you’ll need to label them properly so that you can easily identify them in Unito. Just remember that your header row in Airtable and Google Sheets will become the fields that Unito maps.

2-minute explainer: Unito’s Airtable – Google Sheets Integration

Why export Airtable to Google Sheets with Unito?

Airtable is fantastic at tracking all kinds of details and data points. But two-way syncing is another story and there’s where Unito really shines. You can set a flow direction for how rows are synced as well as individual flow directions for each field. That means in addition to automating row creation, you can also keep individual rows updated in real-time -or not- based on how you like to work.

So what type of records should you sync from Airtable to Google Sheets? Here are some templates to give you some inspiration. Any of these Airtable templates can be synced with Unito to match your use case:

Before you connect Google Sheets and Airtable to Unito

  • Install the Unito add-on for Google Sheets. This walkthrough will show you how, or you can follow that link. 
  • Identify your fields through the header row in Airtable and Google Sheets with clear labels. Unito will turn your header row into mappable fields, so that’s what you’ll be working with.
  • Add a Last Modified Time field as your last column in Airtable (we’ll show you how further down).

Create a header row in Google Sheets

Go to docs.google.com and open up your spreadsheet. Make sure each column in the first row is clearly labelled with whatever titles you want to map to or from Airtable. If you don’t know how to categorize the data you want synced, you can start with this Google Sheets template.

Here is an example of a header row. You’ll need to label the first and last columns of your sheet: “UnitoID” and “Last Modified”. The Unito extension does this automatically, or you can create the titles manually.

Install the Unito add-on to your Google Workspace

Now, click Extensions, then Add-ons, and select Get add-ons. Search for “Unito for Google Sheets” and add it to your workspace by following the on-screen instructions.

Unito Google Sheets Add-On
You can find more detailed steps on this process here.

Add a Last Modified Time field as your last column in Airtable

Last Modified Time field in Airtable

From your Airtable base, click + to add a column, scroll down the list and look for Last Modified Time. Not to be confused with Last Modified By.

They’re different fields with similar sounding names, so don’t mix them up. You can give it a name, or not, but this field won’t be mapped by Unito. It is required, however, for your flow to function as intended.

Step 1: Connect Airtable and Google Sheets to Unito

Navigate to the Unito app and select + Create Flow. Then, select Start Here to connect Airtable and Google Sheets with Unito. Let’s connect Airtable first.

Select +Add a tool to this flow and look for Airtable. Now, +Connect a new Airtable account. At the next screen, you’ll have to complete the OAuth process. When you get to the following screen, simply paste the API code into the appropriate area as you see below:

The numbers will revert to asterisks as soon as you paste in the API code. Be sure to include the email address associated with your Airtable account.

Next up, follow the same process for Google Sheets. Your final tool selection page should look like this:

Connect Airtable and Google Sheets to Unito

When you’re ready, select Confirm.

Step 2: Set a flow direction to export from Airtable to Google Sheets

Flow direction determines how new Airtable records or Google Sheets rows are created by Unito. For this demo, we’ll choose a one-way flow from Airtable to Google Sheets.

Set flow direction between Airtable and Google Sheets

Note: Later, you’ll be able to add field mappings to determine which fields will be kept updated in regardless of the flow direction you set here.

Select Confirm when you’ve chosen a flow direction.

Step 3: Filter data to export from Airtable to Google Sheets

This is where you can set up triggers to determine which actions taken in Airtable or Google Sheets will create new records or rows in the other. Since our demo is demonstrating a one-way flow, we only need to set rules from Airtable to Google Sheets.

Select Add a new trigger to begin setting up your rules. There can be some variability here, depending on your particular setup.

Set rules to filter data between Airtable and Google Sheets

Rules can filter data using almost any field, from dropdowns to text and duration. We’ll choose priority, assuming we’re syncing tasks, and choose tasks of all priority levels for demo purposes.

Filtering Airtable records by priority to Google Sheets

Here’s an example of a completed set of rules used by our data and development teams at Unito:

You can learn more about setting up rules here.

Step 4: Choose which fields (columns) to sync between Airtable and Google Sheets

Fields represent the details of your spreadsheet rows. Text, dropdowns, dates, and emails are all examples of fields you can map using Unito.

First, you’ll be asked whether you want to set up your field mappings from scratch or let Unito do this automatically. If you select the auto-map option, you can still change any mappings afterwards. If you prefer a DIY approach, start from scratch.

When working with data tools that are entirely composed of custom fields such as Airtable and Google Sheets, you should choose Start from scratch since Unito won’t be able to guess what your custom fields should sync to.

A screenshot of the first step of Unito's field mapping process: picking auto-map or start from scratch.

Each field will be automatically mapped for two-way updates, but you can modify each individually if you prefer one-way updates in some cases. With two-way updates, changes made in either tool will automatically update in the other. A one-way update restricts to changes to a single direction.

Select +Add mapping, then Select a field in both bases to pair the fields together.

You can choose any field with a gear icon to map them further. Usually, this will apply to fields like dropdowns, which have multiple options.

Here is an example of our demo’s custom field mappings. Not very original, I know, but hopefully you get the idea. Anything you have labelled in either tool’s table header can be mapped here as a field.

Here’s another example of completed field mappings used by our data and development teams at Unito:

Note: If you change a column name in a synced spreadsheet, be sure to update your flow’s field mappings in Unito or else your data will stop syncing.

Click Confirm when you’re satisfied with your field mappings.

Step 5: Save, launch, and export your Airtable records to Google Sheets!

And that’s it! You’ve just built a flow between Airtable and Google Sheets. Congratulations!

If you followed the steps above, your flow ill now:

  • Automatically create new Google Sheets rows based on specific Airtable records
  • Keep those rows and records updated in real-time.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

What’s next after exporting data from Airtable to Google Sheets?

If you want to know what else you can do with Unito, here’s some inspiration to help you power up your workflows:

You can also try out these Airtable templates and sync them with Unito to match your use case:

Best practices and troubleshooting for Unito’s Google Sheets integration

Common error messages

If you see either of the error messages below, it likely indicates that one or both of the columns: “UnitoID” and “Last Modified” have been deleted or modified from your sheet. You’ll need to re-insert them (either manually or with the add-on) before your data will sync again.

“We’ve detected that mandatory columns have been removed from your Google Sheet. Let’s get you back up and running.”

“The container configuration does not allow us to sync.”

Getting around with Google Sheets and Unito

You can find more information on the following topics in Unito’s knowledge base: