Working with Airtable Kanban Views: 4 Easy Steps

on Airtable, Automation, Project Management Tool • July 26th, 2021

Airtable Kanban Views - FI

Businesses often struggle with the problem of organizing data for Project Management. A poor organization in an enterprise can lead to sloppy communication and erratic planning, which slackens the process and negatively impacts productivity. With the absence of proper planning, the organization may divert from its objectivity to accomplish Business Growth. Hence, they need tools that can help them keep tabs on fragmented organizational activities. Among several tools in the market, Airtable is one of the most popular tools that is empowering organizations to streamline their Project Management.

This article will give you a comprehensive guide to Airtable and its components. You will also explore Airtable Kanban Views and how you can create your Airtable Kanban View using 4 simple steps. Read along to know more about Airtable Kanban Views.

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

Before diving deep into the Airtable Kanban Views, you must be familiar with the below Prerequisites to help you understand the technique efficiently.

  • Knowledge of Spreadsheet.
  • Understanding Database Technology.

Introduction to Airtable

Airtable is a cloud-based visual Project Management software founded in 2015 by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas. The no-code/low-code platform allows you to create and customize applications without knowing how to program them. With its simple language, eye-catching color schemes, and helpful icons, this collaborative platform is used to manage work, track inventories, plan events, and much more. Airtable organizes data in a way that makes sense to the user by presenting them in Grid, Kanban, Gantt, Form, Calendar, and many other formats.

Airtable is considered an upgrade from traditional Excel Spreadsheets. Most of the older versions of Spreadsheets require scripting skills. However, the user interface of Airtable is intuitive, colorful, and user-friendly, allowing anybody to create a Database in minutes. This platform enables teams to Communicate, Coordinate Projects, Organize key Data Sets, Materials, and Information with people all over the world. Airtable boomed in popularity amid the current COVID-19 remote work environment.

For example, imagine you are working for a leading online magazine company and need to handle tasks such as updating articles on a website. Airtable lets you compile a Database of all the articles on your site that require an update. You can create Database entries with fields for the title of the article, its URL, the original author, editor, publication time, and the deadline for updating it, among many other things. Later, you can invite editors and writers into the Database to assign tasks and maybe mark a checkbox in each Database record to signify when they have finished editing the article.

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Components of Airtable

Airtable is made up of 6 components in total. These are:

  1. Workspaces: It is a collection of related Bases. 
  2. Bases: Airtable Bases are Databases that include the necessary data required for projects.
  3. Tables: Tables are the foundation of the Base. They’re used to store a list of information in a tabular format. Each Base can include one or more Tables, much like a Spreadsheet.
  4. Fields: Fields are Airtable’s equivalent of columns in a Spreadsheet. Each Field conveys the same type of information across many rows. Fields, unlike typical Spreadsheet cells, can be customized to hold over 25 different types of information. These include Single-line text, Attachments, Checkbox, Date, Email, URL, Currency, Duration, Rating, Formula, and more. 
  5. Views: Views are the different ways the data in your table can be presented. These are generally subsets of data from Tables.  
  6. Records: Records are the Database counterpart of Spreadsheet rows. 

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Latest Features of Airtable

Recently Airtable’s API (Application Programming Interface) was made open for allowing third-party developers to create applications and functions that operate on the platform. This is similar to how third-party developers make apps for Apple’s App Store. In March 2021, Airtable released Gantt View, which enables customers to visualize a schedule of activities as a timeline of events with the added benefit of being able to see how those activities relate to one another via dependencies. 

Airtable also launched Airtable Sync to let teams sync their most essential data, even if it is stored in multiple Databases. Users may now sync data from Google Calendar, Jira Cloud, Box, and Salesforce with Airtable. 

Additionally, Airtable introduced email automation, which allows teams to compose a regular email digest based on constantly changing data in their Databases. These email digests are ideal for reducing the time spent on tedious status checks and standup meetings. 

Airtable launched a new Help sidebar last month that includes fast tips, videos, lessons, and more. As per the official blog, Airtable even included GIFs, which offer quick, looping tutorials to showcase use-cases directly on the platform.

Creating Your First Workspace on Airtable 

Airtable Kanban - Airtable Workspace
Image Source

After initial sign-up, Airtable automatically creates a Workspace for users and asks them to make their first Base (short for the Database). Airtable offers three options for doing so: starting from scratch, importing a project, or using a template. Under Start from Scratch, users can select Create Base, enter a name, choose colors, and other customization from the popup box. This option allows more user control and flexibility than others. 

The import option in Airtable enables users to import data from a variety of sources, including a CSV file, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and even Project Management applications like Asana and Trello. Users can also work with Airtable’s templates, which are designed for specific scenarios. For instance, there are templates named Social Media Calendar, Nonprofit Grant Tracker, Employee Onboarding, Bug Tracker, Product Launch, and many others. To use a template, go to the homepage and choose “New Base”, then select a template and click Use template at the top of the page.

Customizations Using Airtable Views

With Airtable Views, users can display particular fields or records, as well as apply additional Customizations to control the data in that view. Each Airtable View can have its own set of settings for hiding, sorting, and filtering records in a table. With multiple view options, each having a pleasant user interface with diverse icons, Airtable makes Customization easy. While the default is Grid View, users can switch to other view formats with just a click.

Airtable Kanban - Customizations in Airtable Kanban
Image Source

Some of the views offered by Airtable include:

  1. Grid: It displays information in the form of a Grid containing rows and columns.
  2. Form: It is suitable for feeding information into a Base rather than viewing information that’s already there.
  3. Calendar: It displays records as events on a Calendar. This helps users visualize the deadline of each task.
  4. Gallery: It represents your records as large cards. This is best for displaying images.
  5. Kanban: It displays records as cards on a Kanban Board. This helps users visualize the status of each task. 
  6. Gantt: It displays a schedule of activities similar to a timeline of events, but with the added benefit of understanding how those actions are related to one another via dependencies.

Creating a New View

To create a new view, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1: Open the view switcher and scroll down to the “Create area”.

Step 2: Select the option for the type of view you want to create. You’ll need to extend your view creation section if it’s collapsed. 

Step 3: Hover over each of the view options in the view creation section for a quick description of the view type. Select the View type you want.

Airtable Kanban View

Airtable Kanban - Airtable Kanban View
Image Source

Airtable Kanban View lets you view all your data as stacks of cards on a Board. These stacks are characterized by a single select field or a single collaborator field. You may move a record card from one stack to another to change the value in its single select field or reassign it to a different collaborator by clicking and dragging it from one stack to another. This is an excellent approach to create a project workflow or illustrate what stage each item user is working on.

Moreover, Airtable even allows reorganizing stacks or building new stacks straight from the Airtable Kanban View. You can also add as many custom columns as you like in the Airtable Kanban View to accommodate the workflow you want your requests to follow. 

In addition to the streamlined Project Management, Airtable Kanban’s collaborative features let users and their teammates create Airtable Kanban Boards and manage work among each other. The Airtable Kanban View allows them to move assignments through various statuses until they are finished in a visual layout using the Drag and Drop feature, which is fundamental to any Airtable Kanban View. In other words, the status of a card gets automatically updated when it is moved from one column to another. Below are the features provided by the Airtable Kanban View:

1) Creating Airtable Kanban View

To make a new Airtable Kanban View, follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1: Open the “view switcher” by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to the name of the current view.

Step 2: In the view switcher, click on the “Kanban” option.

Step 3: The previous step will direct you to a configuration dialog box. Here, you will be prompted to select a grouping field that will determine how the record cards get stacked. You may add a new single select or collaborator field using the “+ Create a new single select field” or “+ Create a new collaborator field” choices if you do not currently have one.

Step 4: Click on “Done”.

Note: You can modify the appearance of your cards by clicking on the Customize cards button. You can also change the Airtable Kanban View’s associated field by clicking on the “Stacked by [field]” option, then selecting the appropriate field option. If you wish to delete your Airtable Kanban View, click on the […] button in the view bar and select the “Delete view” option.

Airtable Kanban - Creating Airtable Kanban View
Image Source

2) Clover Field Customization

Each Airtable Kanban card has a Clover Field, which can be defined as an attachment field that appears at the top of each card with its contents. If your table contains at least one attachment field, the first attachment field will be set as the Cover Field for your Airtable Kanban View when you create it.

To modify the Cover Field, click the “Customize Cards” option in the display menu. Then you may either choose a different attachment field as the Cover Field or opt for no Cover Field by using the dropdown in the Cover Field section.

Users can experiment with the slider present at the top of the customize cards menu to choose if they want to crop or fit images on the Cover Fields.

3) Hide/Show Fields in Airtable Kanban View

In the “Customize Cards” option, users can opt to Hide or Show Fields on the Airtable Kanban card by checking or unchecking the boxes for the appropriate fields or clicking the “Hide all” and “Show all” buttons.

4) Add/Delete Stacks in Airtable Kanban View

Stacks are the group of all records in a table organized by Airtable Kanban’s Single Select or Collaborator field, whichever is selected. To create a new stack, go to the far right of all the stacks and select “+ New Stack”. To delete a stack, select the “Delete Stack” option from the dropdown arrow in the stack header.

5) Moving Cards Between Stacks

A record card can be dragged and dropped from one stack to another. When this is done, the value of the single-select field gets updated to match the value of the new stack.

Note: When you drag and drop a card into a Collapsed Stack, the Collapsed Stack expands temporarily to fit the card while you drag it onto the stack, then collapses after the card is dropped. Also, you can rearrange the order in which the stacks appear on the screen by clicking and dragging on the stack headers. However, you cannot move the Uncategorized Stack, which always stays on the leftmost side of the screen. The Uncategorized Stack contains records with no field values.

6) Collapse a Stack

You can reduce the size of a stack on your screen by minimizing it. Select the “Collapse Stack” option from the dropdown arrow in the stack header. You can also collapse a stack by clicking the collapse button at the bottom of the stack (the icon looks like two arrows coming together). To restore a stack from a collapsed state, click anywhere on the Collapsed Stack.

Conclusion

At present, more than 250,000 companies are using Airtable. From Monitoring, Scheduling to Database Management, Airtable is a comprehensive tool at its disposal. Its friendly user interface makes it easy to use, and the numerous templates and tutorials assist you in discovering new ways to utilize the platform. 

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Share your experience of learning about Airtable Kanban Views in the comments section below!

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