Airtable is an incredibly flexible and powerful database tool. That means it’s easy to just create a new base every time you need to keep track of new data. But with that temptation comes a potential risk; having so many bases it’s tough to keep track of crucial information. Was the information you need for that report in “email marketing campaigns 1” or “outreach campaign?” Oh, and which one is most up-to-date again? When you have too many Airtable bases, you can spend hours just figuring these things out. There’s a way you can bring some order to the Airtable chaos: learn to link records in Airtable.
Here are two ways you can do that, one without leaving Airtable, and one with a little help from Unito.
First method: link records in Airtable natively
Did you know that it’s possible to link Airtable records across multiple tables without any extra tools? All you need to do is add a Linked Record field and pick the records you want to link. Here’s how it’s done.
Start by picking the Airtable base you need to link records in. It’s best to pick a base that has more than one table.
Pick the table where you want your linked records to show up, and add the Link to another record field by clicking on the plus sign.
Next, pick the table you want your new link to represent. In this example, we’re picking Table 2. Note that you can also create a new table while adding this field, in case you haven’t created it already.
Hit Create field.
Next, you’ll see this screen, asking you if you want to add lookup fields.
This means you can display more than just the name of the field you’re linking to. You could choose every single field in your other table if you wanted. For this example, we’ll just pick the How bad is it? field.
When you’re done creating your linked fields, you’ll see that they’re empty. Don’t worry, that’s normal! Just click on the field and pick the record you want to link.
As soon as you do, the fields will be automatically populated with the name of the record you’ve linked to, as well as any data you’ve chosen for lookup fields.
And just like that, you’ve linked your first Airtable records! Any changes you make in the linked table will automatically carry over to the other, so you’ve always got the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.
Limitations of this method
While setting this up only takes a few clicks, there are situations where linking Airtable records natively might not really suit your needs. Here are just a few reasons why:
- You have to link within the same base: Linking records natively can’t be done across multiple Airtable bases. To do something like that, you have to use a completely different Airtable feature: Airtable Sync.
- It only works in one direction: When you link Airtable records, you’re just creating a window into the data from a different table. You don’t have the ability to change anything without actually switching to the table you’re linking to.
- You’re stuck in Airtable: Sure, that might not seem like a big issue at first. But what if you wanted to get data from other project management tools, CRMs, or messaging apps into your single source of truth?
Airtable’s native linking feature is super simple to use, and that simplicity is a great strength. But there are workflows that can benefit from a different approach. Something a little more robust.
Second method: link records in Airtable with Unito
Unito is a no-code workflow management solution with the deepest two-way integrations for some of the most popular tools on the market, like Airtable, Asana, Trello, and more. With a Unito flow, you can automatically sync Airtable records between tables and keep everything updated without any extra work.
Here’s why Unito is the best method for linking Airtable records:
- It’s more flexible: With Unito, you can link records from any Airtable tables in your workspace. Doesn’t matter if they’re within the same base or not.
- It’s two-way by default: Unito’s Airtable integration sync data in both directions by default. That means you stay in the loop no matter which tool you’re in.
- It supports more tools: If you don’t want to stay stuck in Airtable, you need Unito’s full portfolio of integrations. Period.
Here’s how easy it is to set up your first Airtable flow with Unito.
Building a flow between Airtable bases
Anyone can link Airtable records with a Unito flow in just a few clicks.
- Start by connecting your tools and picking the Airtable tables you want to connect.
- After that, you can set up rules to filter out records you don’t want synced over. For example, you might decide that any records with a specific option in a single-select field shouldn’t sync over.
- The last step before launching your flow is mapping fields across your Airtable tables. This lets Unito know where information should be going, even if each table has completely different fields. Note that Unito will automatically map similar fields, but you may have to customize the ones that don’t already match up.
And that’s it! Once you’ve mapped your fields, you can launch your Unito flow and watch as it automatically links your Airtable records.
Want to try this for yourself?
Try Unito for 14 days, absolutely free.