Welcome to the second part of our deep dive into Airtable View types. Today we’re going to be talking about the Kanban View, the Timeline View, and the Gantt View. These view types offer a multitude of different ways to see and customize our information in order to save time and keep us more accountable when it comes to our workflow and our writing deadlines.
To access the views in your Airtable base template go to the views tab in the menu in the upper left-hand side of the base, from there we can scroll and see the views built into the base already and there is an option to add more views based on your preferences.
To add views just pick a view type and click the plus next to the name. Remember that we put our information into a table in our Airtable base template, the information in one table is independent of information in other tables even in the same base, and views in a table are just a different way to see and enter information into a given table. So any previous information entered into a table in any view will appear in all other views unless filters are in place to exclude that information.
The Kanban View
The Kanban view allows us to view our records as cards in a collection of stacks with customized information, in which we can sort records by clicking and them dragging them between stacks or within stacks.
Click the plus next to the Kanban in the view menu. We will then be prompted to pick a grouping field in order to organize our records. The field can be either a single or multiple select and the view will sort our records into specific groupings—
if the record has information in the field we’re grouping by. We can always change the way this view is grouped by clicking on the stacked by tab in the menu at the top.
In addition, we can choose to add more information to our cards. We’ll do this by using the customize cards tab in the menu, from there we choose any of our fields to feature on our cards along with the graphic and the field we are grouping by. We can also filter, sort, and color cards based on information in a specific field or by specific conditions.
We use the Kanban view primarily as a progress tracker in our bases. We use a status field or progress field to group our records, and when working we’ll check the Kanban for tasks that haven’t been started; in progress social media posts that we need to add graphics or copy for; and to check in to see what has been completed in terms of tasks, social media posts, and promotions. We can also use the kanban as a way to track characters, such as their appearances in different books, or use it to give members of our team, specific workflow tasks.
The Timeline View
The Timeline view is a feature for pro Airtable users only. With the timeline view, you can build custom timelines for various tasks having to do with the business of your books or just writing in general.
Click the plus next to the timeline in the view menu to add a new view. We’ll then be prompted to select a date field we’d like to use for the timeline. We can also select an end date field. This places our record on the timeline based on the date we’ve entered into the start and end date fields.
We can edit the date setting by clicking on the date setting box in the menu. In addition, we can choose to customize our timeline labels. Click the customize labels at the top and choose from any for fields to add more information to our timeline.
We can also group, sort, filter, and color our records based on specific conditions or fields by clicking the corresponding boxes in the menu. We filter to show only specific categories of tasks on our timeline, or group our tasks in accordance with what team members are assigned to them for a personalized timeline for each team member.
We use this view to create timelines for our writing so we know exactly how much progress we need to make before our editing or final deadline. We also use it to keep track of our workflow tasks, so we’re the most effective we can be when it comes to managing the business of our books!
The Gantt View
The Gantt view is another feature for pro Airtable users only. The Gantt view is very similar to the timeline view, in that it’s a workflow management tool based on the starts and end dates of our administrative or writing tasks. The Gantt view is used to see our workflow over time, and link one task to another. For example, if we’re creating social media posts, one record or event would be to create the graphics, we could set a timetable for when we’d like those done, then link it to another task like writing copy for the post.Then, we can link it to the final task which would be posting the content.
When we add a new Gantt view, we are prompted to select a date field, we can also select an end date. Next, we choose a dependency field. Sometimes a project involves multiple tasks and some tasks need to be completed before others. There are a few ways to set dependencies.
We can use this box and create a dependency field in which we will link other records. We can choose to use a predecessor or a successor. For us, it makes the most sense to use predecessors, which states that records or tasks taking place before another must be completed before the new task or record can start.
From there we can select whether or not we’d like to include milestones. Milestones are records with only an end date, and they are helpful when we start linking records.
Now on to linking records. Sometimes tasks need to be completed before others can begin. We easily set a visual for these relationships to understand our workflow and tasks as part of a whole project a little bit better.
Choose records and tasks that are dependent on each other and click the circle under the record and drag it to the next task to link the records, we’ll then have a visual of our workflow so we can keep track of exactly what needs to be done and when.
If you’re having trouble please reach out to us via our website, also check out our social media, and sign up for our newsletter! Keep on the lookout for weekly blog posts here! In addition, take a look at Airtable’s resources under Airtable Support, there is a ton of articles and forums that can help make the most of your Airtable base template!
Have a good one and get writing!
– Frank, Organized Authors
Check back next week for a dive into Airtable apps and our favorites!
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