Using Airtable

  • Your Workflow Called: It Wants an INTERFACE (and Airtable has it)

    This is a transcript of episode 48 of the OMGrowth podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and my favorite book as a little kid was Eloise and I often like to think “where would she be now?”

    Another think I often think about is “where would I be now?” if I didn’t have systems that keep me organized and the work methods to keep me from being distracted.

    On today’s episode, I want to talk about a new tool I’ve been playing with that definitely feels like the type of game-changer I soon will wonder how I ever lived without as well.

    Introducing Interface Designer | Airtable

    When it comes to project management systems, I have mad-love for Airtable. Even if you’re team Trello or Asana, I encourage you to hear me out with this, especially if you have clients or deal with any type of collaborations because I know a number of online business owners who rock the socks out of their Trello and Asana… but still lean on Airtable for these types of projects.


    In the past, I’ve been known to throw confetti at Airtable for its many views – and you know I’m a sucker for a good view! – but last November, Airtable gave a total aerial money-shot to their views by integrating a new feature called INTERFACES.


    Let’s start at the beginning and define: WHAT DOES THIS NEW AIRTABLE INTERFACE FEATURE DO?

    The simplest way to describe Interfaces is that they help you see your projects in a way that makes decision-making easier, results more accessible and your workload simpler to manage.

    There are a handful of layouts that Airtable Interfaces offer you to choose from and while I could describe to you what they do, I prefer examples and case studies to explain how things work so that’s what we’re going to do here.


    The first Interface layout available is the Record Review and this layout works as an advanced form that makes the process of reviewing and approving content for publication a breeze.

    Let’s say you work with clients or even on a team when it comes to your content creation: the Record Review Interface is awesome for this because you can set it up so that your client can see all of the pieces of content you’ve created without being able to edit the actual content itself, but they can leave comments and they can check a little box to approve your creations for publishing.

    I have personally taken to writing my podcast episodes using the Record Review Interface because I’ve been able to set myself up with a distraction-free way of writing my posts on one side of the screen while I have handy little sections on the other side to jot down keywords for Pinterest and SEO while I’m writing, and I can also easily copy-and-paste what I want to caption for Instagram.

    In fact, it’s such an organized method of writing for me that I’m writing my book using the Record Review Interface. Yes, I’m writing a book – which I’m expecting to have ready for April – but writing hundreds of pages in a Google Doc is a nightmare. But by dividing each of the chapters in a simple-to-access sidebar that allows me to focus on writing just one section at a time, I’m better able to find and shift between sections when I think of something I need to add to another area while also being able to hit F11 and just pound a whole chapter out.

    While I’m still a big fan of Airtable’s Views, an Interface allows you to generate a beautiful, uncluttered way of looking at your task at hand and managing your workflow in a focused, intentional way.


    Another Interface layout that comes in hard with the intentionality is the Record Summary layout.

    Any time you’re using a database to share insights or information, the Record Summary interface is what you’re looking for.

    For instance, say you’re launching a product and you’re running a competition among your affiliates. You can use this Interface to keep everyone up-to-date as to how all the affiliates are performing and who the top affiliates are.

    Likewise if you’re launching a product and there are different deliverables and timelines you need to collaborate on seeing through, but you don’t want to have to manually share all of those updates.

    By creating a Record Summary Interface, everyone can stay on top of status deadlines and deliverables without a whole lot of back-and-forth update emails.

    video c/o Airtable


    The last interface layout – and this one feels like Airtable is flirting with me – but who loves a good Dashboard more than yours truly over here? Apparently, Airtable does because they’ve included it among the Interface layout templates they provide and I’m here for it.

    If you’re collecting data or information – for instance, say you’re a content manager who manually collects and stores Instagram Insights: you actually do have to dig for these because your Post Insights and your Stories Insights and your Reels Insights aren’t all located in one place, and they expire so my understanding is that if you want to consult historical data for your Instagram performance, it’s up to you to store that.

    Now, spreadsheets are fine but I live for a chart. Being able to see a visual representation of my performance in a way that I can easily identify trends and patterns, peaks and valleys, is key for me, and a Dashboard will deliver that.

    Plus, if you’re creating reports for your clients with this information – say you provide a monthly performance summary to your clients – you don’t have to do these manually in a Google Docs anymore; you can use the Dashboard Interface to auto-magically generate those reports for both you and your clients, totally hands-off-the-wheel style.

    Same deal for anything you’re having to do a little manual data entry for. We all know Facebook Analytics aren’t necessarily bang-on due to tracking limitations, but nothing is more telling than your bank account to say how much you spent on Facebook ads and how much you made from those ads.

    If you’re doing any manual data entry like this, you’ll love what a Dashboard can do for helping you visualize the performance your ad spend is commenting on.


    Here’s the thing with playing around with features like this: you put one thing in place and find it useful and then your creative brain starts to ask questions, like “I wonder if I could do it this way instead?”.

    And yes, you can use Interfaces with anything your brilliant mind comes up with because there’s also a blank layout – you don’t have to use the templates, even though using them a couple times will help shorten your learning curve.

    Another thing that will shorten your learning curve with Airtable is my signature course on the project management system called Airtable Like A Boss, and I’ve just wrapped up my annual update of its contents to include a review of the new time-based views as well as a walk-through of how you can easily set up your own game-changing Interfaces.

    This is all in addition to the awesome sauce content that is designed for you to be able to hit the ground running in Module 1 where I set you up to learn by accident and get you immediate quick wins for all of the most common projects an online boss like yourself may want to plan, like sabbaticals and product launching and client onboarding, just to name a few.

    Here’s your link to Airtable Like A Boss.

    Something I’m into is hearing about how YOU are using Airtable Interfaces so if you dive into that wonderful world, please slip into my DMs @omgrowth to let me know what your favorite use case is because I would love to hear it.

    Talk soon, baiiieee!


  • Putting Your KPIs and MILESTONES on a Schedule with Timelines and Gantt Charts

    This is a transcript of episode 46 of the OMGrowth podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and fun fact: I know I sound perky and light-hearted, and yet I enjoy very aggressive music.

    I also enjoy planning in a way that aligns me to actually achieving my goals and in my experience, you need two things for this to happen: 1) you need targets – something like a key performance indicators or maybe milestones – however you label it, you need to point at something; and 2) you need a schedule because what’s a goal with a deadline: just a dream!

    So now that I’ve hit my quota for cute quotables in a podcast intro, let’s get into the actual episode, shall we?

    You’ve heard of procrasti-planning, right? It’s the concept of planning for the sake of “doing” something without ever really moving ahead or making progress. How do you avoid becoming a procrasti-planner? Make sure that your planning process always includes milestones and KPIs (or what the cool kids call key performance indicators).


    I’m going to come in hot with this one because the reason you want to set milestones and KPIs is simple: it sets expectations.

    Goals are great. Setting the expectations you have of those goals is even better!

    And just as you typically have just a few goals you’re focused on, you’re going to select just a few milestones or KPIs in order to represent your focus, your progress and yes, your expectations.

    I love examples so let’s use one: let’s say your goal is to sell 10% more of your signature product than you did last quarter. This is an excellent goal because it’s taking what you already have in terms of products and results, and you’re seeking to improve on those.

    So what has to happen for you to sell 10% more? You pick any number of things, such as:

    • Increasing your traffic from social media through ads;
    • Increasing your reach with joint venture webinars that upsell to your course;
    • Implementing an evergreen email sequence that promotes your offer on auto-pilot to new or targeted email subscribers.

    You’ll choose whatever strategy you want to implement and then ask yourself, “what needs to happen for this to be deemed successful?”. This is how you’ll determine your KPIs and milestones.

    Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all, and what you use as your KPIs and milestones will not only depend on the strategy you pick but also what you value. For instance, if you go the paid ads route, you’ll likely want to target a specific number of sign-ups that will get you to that +10% mark, but you’ll also have to determine the cost per lead you’re targeting and the return-on-investment you’re expecting.

    If you need help figuring these types of things out, that what The ROI Calculators I have available are designed to take the guesswork out of doing, but you will need to have those baseline numbers figured out BEFORE you start investing in your ads to determine whether or not your efforts were successful and your goal was achieved.

    Likewise if you’re going the joint venture webinar route: you want to start by establishing exactly how many more sales you’re looking to make, and then figure out how many people you’ll need to collaborate with and what your expectations are for sales with each collaborator in order to hit that number.

    Same deal with establishing an evergreen sequence: how many sales do you need to make to meet your goal, and then how many people does that mean you need to funnel through your evergreen sequence with what conversion rate.

    For any goal you have, you want to set a baseline number you have that would meet your expectations; then, you want to figure out what the breakdown is – in numbers and percentages – that would enable you to meet that expectation you set out.

    Let’s go back to our cross-stitch worthy quote for a moment, though, and remember that a goal without a deadline is just a dream.


    Unless you’re doing a launch or something major like that, your growth and results will typically be incremental. This is why you want to not only create goals and milestones, but to create a schedule for these.

    Let’s stick with the last example of putting an evergreen sales funnel in place: you’ll need to schedule time to write the emails, create the sales pages, set up the automations – these among a whole bunch of other things required by this promotional strategy you’re putting in place – and they’ll all have to be done before a single sale gets made. So is it then realistic for you to put the pressure and expectation of increasing your sales by 10% on this one strategy?

    Your expectations need to account for the learning curve and the resources you’re imposing on them.

    The simplest way to do that is to break down all of the singular tasks that need to be done to get to where you’re going, and then put them on a schedule.


    There are 3 ways you can schedule your expectations, and I recommend you use a project management system like Airtable to do this for you. My preference IS Airtable because I’m a very visual boss – I need to LITERALLY SEE how all of the pieces come together for me to properly process them – and in my humble, project management-driven opinion, their time-based views can’t be beat.


    You can always use a simple CALENDAR VIEW, which is always better than nothing because it’s like, “hard stop, boss: this is due” and that’s always helpful. Of course, it’s best with one-off deliverables like content planning or social media scheduling.

    But when you have more project-based plans – and when we’re talking about goals that have KPIs and milestones, we most certainly are talking about something that will require more advanced scheduling requirements – you’ll want to use either a TIMELINE VIEW or a GANTT CHART. Let’s look at when and why you would use either.


    Picture an Olympic sized pool with swim lanes and all. Everyone on your team is beginning from the starting line – always a good place to start – and we’re all working towards reaching the same goal at that finish line – also a good place to end!

    When you schedule using a timeline view, it’s almost like playing Tetris with those swim lanes; you’re allotting tasks based on the resources available to you and the time you expect to see them through.

    So let’s stick with the example of wanting to increase your sales by 10% next quarter using a shiny new evergreen sequence: your goal here isn’t the evergreen funnel but rather, making SALES from the evergreen funnel. This means your swim lanes need to be front-loaded with implementing all of those deliverables.

    And maybe your team already have things to do or recurring tasks. When you schedule things in timeline views – taking that swim lane approach – you’re able to see the big picture of how your resources are being allocated, whether you’re over-loading certain people and making the best use of your team.

    Even if you’re the only Olympian in the pool – kicking it solopreneur style – by planning in that swim lane view, you can easily identify what your expectations are imposing on your workload and whether that’s realistic when it accounts for your other requirements.

    What I swoon hard for when it comes to Timeline Views is that I can actually just brain dump everything I have to do, and then go into my Timeline View to redistribute my tasks in a way that visually makes sense for the time I have to work with. Oftentimes, I’ll see that – wow! – my expectations for Month 2 are goofy and I have very little on the roster for Month 1 so let’s shift a few things in the schedule to better balance things.


    Sometimes, though, you can’t just move tasks to accommodate the gaps because you have dependencies: this is where a GANTT CHART comes into play.

    So sticking with the evergreen funnel example: you would need the sales pages in place and the emails written BEFORE you put the automations in place, right? Those items need to be produced and ready to go because the automations you’ll then put in place depend on them.

    When your planning requires one task to be completed before the next one can be done, you’ll want to use a Gantt chart.

    But again, you can easily swim those tasks and deliverables around to accommodate what space is available to you and your resources.

    So here’s your ACTION ITEM…

    Because yes, I love Airtable and am admittedly bias when it comes to using the easy drag-and-drop features for scheduling… but you don’t have to stare at a screen to do this, either.

    You can get an erasable wall calendar – if you think and brainstorm better that way – and use highlighters to identify your tasks and resources. It’ll be harder to edit but it’s also light-years easier than trying to plan without that visual response to seeing what is due, when it’s due and whether you’re even able to stay on track with your goals.

    Your action item is to not just put goals in place like “I’m going to 10x my business” or “I’m going to have a whatever-figure month”: establish what has to happen for you to achieve that, breakdown what numbers you expect to see that will reflect that achievement, and put it on a schedule that fits your needs and availability.

    If you’re a visual boss like me and you want to explore Airtable as a system to fit your needs, I’ve just completed by annual update of my signature program on Airtable called AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS and you have freshly pressed lessons on using Timeline Views and Gantt Charts, as well as the Interface feature which I’ll brag about next week because I’ve had a couple of 1:1 conversations that were of the “ohmigosh, this changes EVERYTHING” persuasion.

    Check out AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS here.



    June 30, 2020

    Using the numeric function formulas in Airtable can save you a lot of time when it comes to auto-magically calculating entries for you. Here are some of my favorite uses for them:

    When you need the data to report an EVEN number

    EVEN(value) → this will give you the next greatest even number

    When you need the data to report an ODD number

    ODD(value) → this will give you the next greatest odd number

    When you want an INTEGER /no decimal numbers

    INT(value) → this will remove any decimal points, regardless of formatting

    When you want your data to be ROUNDED

    ROUND(value,0) → this will round to the nearest whole number

    When you want your data to be ROUNDED UP

    ROUNDUP(value,0) → this will round up to the nearest whole number

    When you want to pull up the LOWEST NUMERIC RESULT from other field

    MIN(field1, field2…) → this will pull up the smallest value from those fields

    When you want to pull up the HIGHEST NUMERIC RESULT from other field

    MAX(field1, field2…) → this will pull up the biggest value from those fields

    When you want to calculate the AVERAGE from several fields

    AVERAGE(field1, field2…) → this will pull up the average from those fields

    When you want to calculate the SQUARE ROOT

    SQRT(value) → this will give you the square root value 



    You actually can pre-fill form fields in Airtable and this blog post will walk you through how you can do that. (Prefer video? You’ll find one at the bottom of this post!)

    Let’s say you have an application form that you want the STATUS section to automatically populate as “Applicant”.

    You will start by clicking the OPEN FORM option. Using the form URL, you will add to the existing URL as follows:  ?prefill_FIELDNAME=ENTRY

    Going back to our example of having the STATUS field prefill with “Applicant”, it would look like this:

    What if the field you want to have prefilled has space? Good question!Let’s say you wanted the pre-filled field to be “Approved applicant”. You would then have to replace all spaces with %20, like this:

    Keep in mind that pre-filled form fields are case-sensitive. Your entries will therefore have to be exactly the same in the URL as they should appear pre-filled omn the form.

    Can you pre-fill more than one field at a time? Of course you can! Simply use the & symbol between entries, like so:

    Let’s say you have an application form that you want the STATUS section to automatically populate as “Applicant”.



    I love Airtable. I use it for EVERYTHING! And sometimes, I’m so “in it” that I forget that not everyone is a big old nerd about Airtable like I am. Sometimes, you’ve gotta break it down for peeps to see its glory.

    In today’s post, I’m bringing it back to basics. We’re going to look at some fundamental, frequently asked questions about Airtable and most importantly, hone in on what that means for YOU!


    Excellent question! Because it’s not exactly a project manager… but it does use project management principles. For instance, Kanban is a production system based around cards that are used to help determine what resources are available to see a project through. The idea is that the cards allow you to see inefficiencies that could overload or overwhelm production. (If you know and love Trello, you know and love Kanban!)

    Which brings us back to :: what the heck IS Airtable, then? Well, they self-identify as a spreadsheet-database hybrid that focuses on collaboration. That’s about right, at least in the technical sense.

    I would describe it as a hub where all of your information can be viewed any damned way you see fit. That means, if you want to view your project in that Kanban format? Have at it! If your coworker responds better – or perhaps the type of work they do is more suited! – for the Gallery view, that same information will be shown exactly as they see fit. Calendars, forms, spreadsheets, reports – however you need to work most efficiently – Airtable is designed to allow you to see it that way.

    So yes, it STARTS as a database-spreadsheet hybrid. But it takes that information to be generated any way that will best serve the person who is using it. Yes, even if we’re talking about 2 people working on one project, but want to see the same project in different ways. Everything gets updated in real-time, in all views, for all accounts.


    You can think of Bases as projects. Each Base you create works as its own sort of ecosystem.

    You can create as many views as you like for as many tables as you want to generate and link. You can add collaborators to Bases, but you can also limit their access to specific views within a Base.


    Every Base you create will live as its own icon on your Airtable homepage. Your homepage will be ground zero to your Workspace, and you can create more than one Workspace.

    So if a Base is a project, your Workspace is the umbrella under which those projects fall. As an example, you may want to have a personal Workspace to track things like meal planning, your fitness journey and the research you’ve been doing on that big trip you have coming up. You create that Workspace separate from your business space where you house the Bases relating to course creation, tracking your numbers and content planning.

    When you share a Base or when a Base is shared with you, this will generate a separate workspace called “Bases shared with me”.


    Records are the information with which you populate your Base. Each row of information consists of a Record and as with everything in Airtable, they have a lot of flexibility. If you prefer to see your data in a spreadsheet-like row, that is the default presentation. However, if you would rather see your Records in more of a card-like format, you can expand your Record to create and modify it that way.

    If you need a summary of Record – that is, you want to see things like the sum, median, average, highest or lowest value – that can be done as well. Again, it’s about having a hyper-customized view of what you need to see, when you need to see it.

    What’s more is that you can link Records between Bases in a way that doesn’t duplicate the Record. This way, it is still providing an easy reference for it in another/multiple areas of your project.