Airtable for Artists: Organize Your Business & Increase Your Productivity | Shannon McNab | Skillshare

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Airtable for Artists: Organize Your Business & Increase Your Productivity

teacher avatar Shannon McNab, Surface Designer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Basics: Workspaces

    • 3. The Basics: Bases & Tables

    • 4. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 1

    • 5. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 2

    • 6. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 3

    • 7. Company & Client Tracker: Part 1

    • 8. Company & Client Tracker: Part 2

    • 9. Projects Calendar

    • 10. A Few More Examples + Your Assignment

    • 11. BONUS: Link to Another Record

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About This Class

Running your own business as a self employed artist is HARD and most of the time we forced to learn through our mistakes and problems. One of my biggest personal frustrations in my business was having all my art and important documents scattered all over my computer.... until I found Airtable, that is!

Airtable has been one of the best things I've discovered to help me organize my business and this class gives you an in-depth look at how I use it. I'll be sharing my actual working files with you to demonstrate all the features of the program and by the end of class, you'll be able to create your own documents from scratch.

This class is intended for those just starting out as well as more experienced designers; basically anyone who's looking for a way to be more organized and productive will get a lot out of this class!

Love this class and want to learn even more about Airtable? My Airtable for Artists: Advanced class takes you even deeper down the awesome Airtable rabbit hole!

Meet Your Teacher

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Shannon McNab

Surface Designer & Illustrator


Hi ya! I'm Shannon, an American surface designer living in Dublin, Ireland who specializes in patterns and hand lettering. My focus is on helping you not only improve your creative work, but also your business skills – anyone who dreams of making a living from their work needs BOTH to succeed. But community is also really important, which is why I started Sketch Design Repeat – to support and encourage you.


PS. Want to keep in touch and know when I have new classes or articles? Sign up for my newsletter.

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1. Introduction: Running your own business as a self-employed artist is hard. I'd venture to guess that most of us never received any formal training on the business side of building in art business. Which means we were forced to learn through our mistakes and waste a ton of time in the process. My name is [inaudible]. I'm a self-employed [inaudible] illustrator. I've been running my design business for the past few years. One of my biggest frustrations has been trying to organize all my art files and important documents because they end up scattered all over my computer. About a year ago, I stumbled upon an app called Airtable and seriously it changed my business. That's because Airtable combines the usefulness of a spreadsheet, the dynamic capabilities of a database and that pairing is magic because it means you can literally organize anything. Through this course, you'll get an in-depth look at the various ways you can use airtable to organize your creative business. I'll walk you through the basics of the app, then discuss three unique ways I use the platform using my actual portfolio, client, and calendar files so you can see exactly how I use Airtable for my business. I'll also share the benefits of using certain tools and functions like views, grouping, filters, and more. By the end of this class, you'll have enough working knowledge of Airtable to be able to collect and organize anything using the app. If you're just starting out in your creative business journey and have no clue how to organize things, or you're an experienced designer who's continually frustrated at the amount of time and energy you waste searching for documents on your computer then this class is for you. 2. The Basics: Workspaces: First, let's talk about the basics of Airtable. For your reference, everything I'm showing you in this class is available with their free pricing option. However, if you find yourself needing to add lots of records, say for a product catalog with over a 1000 items, you can upgrade for as little as $10 a month. Here's the home screen when I log onto my airtable. There's two terms you need to know right off the bat, bases and workspaces. A base is essentially a container for a project or collection. Think of it like a robust Excel spreadsheet, where you can have multiple related tables within the same document. A workspace, on the other hand, is a collection of bases. Think of it as a folder that contains a bunch of related items. I set up my workspaces by theme. Whether that's surface design, educational, or personal. Let's go through and start a new workspace from scratch. First, I'll scroll down to the bottom and click, Add a workspace, and then type out a name. Let's say I wanted to move this new workspace to the top of my airtable. To do that I'd go to the list of workspaces on the left-hand side, over the new workspace I just made, move my cursor over the little dots that appear on the right, and then move it to the top. Let's add a new base to that workspace. I'll click the Add a base icon, which will bring up a drop-down menu with three options. You can see that the first option is, start with a template, which if you click on it, will take you to the template page which has hundreds of pre-made options. Personally, I've never had much luck finding exactly what I need without having to make tons of changes. I prefer to start with scratch instead. There's also an option to import a spreadsheet. If you have something already on your computer you'd like to add. However, I find it's just as easy to copy and paste from an existing spreadsheet onto an empty base. I'll click Start from scratch, which will bring up an options menu. From here I title my new base, let's say Portfolio Catalog. I can pick different options for the base. You can change the color of it, but also the symbol that appears. I typically try and pick a symbol that is slightly related to the base. In this case, I'll pick the little book. Voila, my new base is ready. To access the new base. All I have to do is click on the icon. If you're in a base, but you want to return to your homepage, you have to click the little Airtable logo, located in the top left corner. What do I do if I accidentally added this base to the wrong workspace? You can't drag and drop it like we did when we were moving our new workspace. Instead, you'll need to hover over the icon, click the Down arrow when it appears. Once the base options are open, click on the option, Move base to another workspace. Use the drop down menu to choose where you'd like to move it. You can see I've moved it to the correct base. Lets say, I love the way the entire base is set up and I want to duplicate it. To do that, hover over the icon, and click to bring up the base options again. Click where it says, Duplicate base. From there you can adjust which workspace it goes into, and whether or not you want to duplicate both the records and comments of the original base. I sometimes will toggle duplicate records off, which will remove all data from every table in the base. Usually I just leave it alone and press Duplicate base. Why would you ever need to duplicate a base? Well, if you have records that recur on a yearly basis, like a project calendar or expense tracking, it can save you a lot of time duplicating last year's record, so you don't have to re-enter the same information. I'm all about saving myself time, especially when it comes to admin tasks. Finally, let's say I didn't need to duplicate that base after all, to delete it, navigate to the base options again, press Delete base, then press Delete. Make sure before you delete a base that you absolutely have no need for it anymore as there is no way with the free airtable plan, to restore deleted bases. 3. The Basics: Bases & Tables: Now that you're familiar with how workspaces work, we can get to the most important aspect of Airtable, bases. Bases have dozens of options and tools available, but I won't be covering every single one through the course of this class. Instead, I'm only focusing on the ones I found to be the most helpful to get you on the quickest path to organization in your business. However, if you have any questions on any aspect of Airtable I don't cover, please feel free to add them to the community tab and I'll be more than happy to answer them. Now, let's get started learning the basics of a table. The default start from scratch base looks like this. You might notice that the table and its columns all have a little down arrow just like when we hovered over the base on the home screen. It's a small but important detail to remember because that's how you edit them, just like it's how we edited the base. Whether that's renaming an entire table, renaming a column, or simply updating the type of column which Airtable calls customized field type. Now, am not going to delve into explaining field types just yet, instead, I thought it was best to discuss them as I walk you through my basis, through the rest of this class. So you can see exactly how each of them work and how to utilize them. Fortunately, there's many features of Airtable that will be familiar to you if you're already comfortable using spreadsheets in a program like Excel or numbers. If you want to add a new column, for example, just click the plus sign next to the right-most column. Likewise, if you need to add another table within a base, click on the plus sign next to the table tabs. Editing the content within an individual cell works the same as a spreadsheet too. You can either have a cell selected and just start typing or Double-click and type. However, there is one cool feature for editing the content of a specific row that Excel doesn't have, and that's the expand record feature. If you ever want to see all the information of a single row or record as Airtable calls it, simply hover your cursor to the right of the record number you see here on the left, until a double arrow symbol appears then click on it. From here, you can see and edit all the details of that record in one spot. When you need to delete a record, you can do that while on expand record mode by clicking the down arrow at the top and then selecting delete record. Or if you're just in the grid view of the table, you just need to select the record you want to delete, right-click your mouse and then select delete record. Another feature that Airtable simplified is the ability to reorganize columns. I always felt that doing so in Excel or Numbers was a bit clunky, but it super-easy in Airtable. All you have to do is click and hold the top of any column. When it turns gray, just move it to where you want. It's literally that simple. No holding down Shift or anything extra. Finally, you also have the ability to filter, group and sort records together like you can with a traditional spreadsheet. Now if you're like me and only have a basic knowledge of Excel, you might be hesitant to use these features. I for one could never get sorting or grouping to work the way I wanted it to in numbers on my Mac. The good news here is that Airtable has made these features so much easier to use per spreadsheet novices. So I want to encourage you to play around with these settings. I'll be showing you how to utilize all three functions throughout this class, starting with the next video, where I walk you through my portfolio base. 4. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 1: Of course, knowing the ins and outs of airtable is great. But if you're unsure how to utilize it as an organizational tool for your business, you'll likely won't see its full potential. That's why I thought it was so important that the rest of this class focus on showing you exactly how I use airtable using my own live documents. This way, you can learn more about the app with real life examples, helping you visually understand how all the bells and whistles work together. Now, one last thing I want to say before we dive into my portfolio catalog in airtable, everyone organizes information a little differently, which means you may not want to set up your airtable basis exactly as mine are laid out, and that's okay. Remember, the point of this class is to take what you learn from my examples and use them in your own airtable account in a way that best benefits you and your unique business. With that out of the way, let me walk you through my portfolio and contract base, which is the single most important base I have from my surface design business. The sole purpose of this base is to have a detailed record of every design in my portfolio, along with the licensing, buyout, and commission contracts I have for them. Anytime I create a new piece for my portfolio, sell or license a design, or receive royalties or payments from any of my clients, this one base is how I track all of that information, which means I pretty much use it every single day. Let's start with the first table of this base, my portfolio table. Each record contains a lot of different details, starting with the name of each design. Now, naming conventions can vary widely among the industry, so I say stick with whatever makes the most sense to you. Personally, I keep it simple and just include the display name of a design instead of its filename, mostly because my portfolio is still rather small. However, if you're extremely prolific or are part of a collective or agency that has more like a 1,000 images, you may want your names to be a little more structured, so you don't end up with 20 items called happy holidays, for example. The second column is for thumbnails of each portfolio design, and this particular field time is called an attachment. What's especially nice about this field is you can include multiple images and documents within a single record. On the occasions where it create larger collections, I can attach all the image associated with that collection into one field, like I did here for my black and white Christmas collection. If I expand this record and click on one of the thumbnail images, I can preview a larger version of each image in the collection. Now, one thing I want to make sure to mention is that it's important to only upload low-resolution files, because there is a two gigabyte limit for each base on the free plan of airtable, that's why I keep things streamlined and simply export my 11 by 17 portfolio sheets from InDesign, to 72 DPI JPEGs, which keeps each image under one megabyte and means I'll never run out of attachment space for this base. The next column after thumbnails is status, which simply lets me know whether design is currently being used are not. The status column utilizes a single select field type. Single select allows you to create multiple options in a drop-down menu, and then allows you to pick only one of them for each record. In the case of status, I have three separate options: licensed, for when the design has been licensed to one or more companies, on hold for when accompany has asked me to place a design aside briefly while they present options to their executive team, and purchased from when a company buys a design outright or has commissioned me for a specific project. After the status column is the category column, which is also a single select field type. This is where I categorize the broad subject matter of each portfolio design with things like Christmas, florals, geometrics, or animals, and just like how naming conventions can vary widely amongst designers, so can the categories we use to group our designs, so use whatever categories work best for your own portfolio. The good news about categories is they don't have to be set in stone, you can always add in new categories as your portfolio grows. For example, I used to keep most of my greeting card type designs in my seasonal and celebrations category. But a few months ago, I decided to add in a separate greetings category. I did this for two reasons. One, my seasonal category was getting rather large and nebulous. Two, I had recently created some generic greetings, like florals and hand lettering that just didn't fit very well into the seasonal category. The next column is subject matter, which upon first glance might seem redundant to the category column, but it's not, and here's why. I can add as many descriptors to each record as I want to because this column is a multi-select field type, and you can see from just my portfolio of less than 200 designs how many descriptors I already have? Now, why is having the subject matter column important? Say for example, a client asks to see all my designs with birds in them, holiday, floral or otherwise, having this subject matter column gives me a way to find them easily using the filter feature. I would just click on "Filter", change the column it's searching through to subject matter, and navigate to birds. Here's the filter results of my search, and now I know exactly which portfolio thumbnails to send my client. But you may be asking, why would I not just eliminate the category column entirely and just have the subject matter column? Well, I like having both because the categories will become more important as my portfolio grows and the number of items in my subject matter field expands exponentially. I've also found it extremely helpful that my portfolio sheet and airtable uses the same categories I have when presenting my portfolio to client during trade shows or in my private galleries online. After the subject matter column is a date created column, which is pretty straightforward as it uses the date field type. I simply add in the date I completed the design or commission project. The main reason I like to keep track of the completion date of my work is because I want to know how many designs I create each month. I'm a bit of an analytics nut. Keeping track of things like this gives me a better understanding of how many new portfolio pieces I can create before a given deadline and how many client commissions I can take on. Now, the final three columns in my portfolio table are clients, licensing contracts and purchased contracts, and all three are linked to other tables within this base using a field type called link to another record. I'll walk you through exactly how this works in the next video. But before I do, I want to show you the amazing functionality of the group feature and how it's especially helpful with the portfolio table. The group feature allows you to group similar records together, including nesting them within each other. The first grouping I have is based on the status of my portfolio pieces, so I can separate out the designs that are completely available for clients. To do that, I would click on the "Group" icon in the toolbar and navigate to Status under pick a field group by. Now, if I close each of these groups, you can see how many total designs are purchased, licensed, on hold, or available, which is why I left the status column empty. But 117 pieces is a lot of designs to sift through, which is why I like to also have a second nested grouping based on category. I'll click on "Group" again and press "Pick another field to group by" and select "Category". Now, that gives me sub groupings of every portfolio category within the group of available designs, making it much more manageable to navigate through. 5. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 2: We've tackled robust portfolio table, and have a solid understanding how to use the filter in group functions to aid you in your quest for portfolio organization. But we're not done with a portfolio based yet. Now it's time to discuss the licensing contracts table. While keeping track of all the art you've created is helpful. Having a record of every licensing and buying contract you have on your portfolio is an absolute necessity. Because licensing, buyouts and commissions can make up a significant percentage of a designer's income. Without a system in place to track all your contracts, you're putting yourself at risk from selling or licensing art, then you may not actually be available. Some people like to start with the name of the design being licensed, but I prefer to have the start and end dates of the contract first. Because usually when I'm looking up a contract, the most common thing I'm looking for is the date, the design will be released from the licensing agreement, and because it's the most important column of this table, I've also utilize the sort function for it. The sort function allows you to choose a column within a table to sort the information from either lowest to highest or highest to lowest. In this case, I've chosen to sort this table by end date from one to nine, which sorts it from most recent date to latest state. Sorting this way is helpful because I can instantly see which licensing contracts are almost up, because they'll appear at the very top. Of course, some of these have actually lapsed already, so if I only wanted to see the contracts that are current, I could also add a filter where the end date is after today, and you can see that things shifted. Now the only contracts displayed are the ones that are still current. After the contract dates, come with the name of the design that's being licensed. Now remember at the end of the last video when I mentioned that link to another record film type. Well, that's what this column utilizes, and it's one of my absolute favorite features about air table. The link to another record field allows you to reference related information from a different table within the same base. Because I already have a portfolio table completed with the names of each portfolio piece, I just have to use the link to another record field type here, and in this case, it's linked to my portfolio table, and if I double-click on one of these, let's say be of good cheer. It will pull up the entire record of that design from the portfolio table, including category, subject matter, everything, and that's why link to another record is so helpful, because it literally creates a link between these two records, and anytime I update the information of either the licensing contract or the design in the portfolio table. Air table will automatically make those changes globally within the base. Let's say I wanted to add an additional subject matter to Be of good cheer. I don't even have to navigate back to my portfolio table. You can simply add it in right here. Then when I do finally go back to my portfolio table, you can see that the Be of good cheer record has been updated to include that addition. But let's get back to the licensing contracts table so you can see the way I lay out the rest of it. Next step is product categories, which you probably guessed is where you include what market or products the license is meant to cover. The most important thing to remember here is to make sure the product category you pick for each record is exactly what appears in the contract for it. After product categories is the company whose license the design, and again, I use the link to another record here, which is linked to the paying clients table. Falling that are several columns that utilize the single line text field type, each one houses essential information and they are in order, contact info where I add the name and email of the person at the company I've corresponded with about the contract, territory, which could be anything from a single city to worldwide, and term, which lays out how long the license will last. Then comes the payment column, which tells me what form of compensation I'll be receiving for each licensing contract, whether that's a flat fee, royalties, etc. After that, I have columns to display either the flat fee amount, or the royalty percentage and frequency I'll receive, and then you use the currency and number field types. Last but certainly not least, is a paid column, which allows me to instantly see if there are any unpaid licenses, and this utilizes the checkbox field type. The only option in the free air table plan is the green check box. But if you happen to be on one of their paid plans, you can further customize the color or icon style of the checkbox, and that's my licensing contracts table in a nutshell. 6. Portfolio & Contracts: Part 3: There's two more tables in my portfolio and contracts base. So let's take a brief look at them, before moving on to other types of bases you can build for your business. First up is purchased contracts. It's essentially laid out the same way as my licensing contracts table. But because this table is for buy-outs and commissions, there's less information I need to keep track of. Like there's no end date term or territory here. Because when a company buys a piece outright or commissions me for a specific project, the only art in perpetuity, but the date, design name, product category, company, contact info, amount, and paid columns all remain the same. The only difference here is that I do include a column for purchase type, to differentiate between buy-outs and commission projects. The last table I've included in my portfolio and contracts base, is my paying clients table. It's not something that's as essential as the portfolio or licensing tables. But as I mentioned earlier, I love tracking data and how it affects my business and I use this table solely for that purpose. My paying clients table is exactly what it sounds like. I use it to track which companies have worked with me and the total income gained from each of them. So the first column is the company, followed by the way they like to purchase art like licensing or commissions. Next is the column of all the designs in my portfolio they've paid for. I like including this column, because the ability to see which companies have bought multiple designs and are repeat customers, is something I always want to make note of. That's also why the next column is the total income I've received from each client since the beginning of my career. I have the table sorted by this column from most income to list. Again, being the numbers data cruncher that I am, I like having a way to visually see which clients are contributing the most to my surface design income. So I can focus on continuing to develop those relationships. The most important but most difficult part of this table, is to remember to keep the income portion updated and current because it doesn't do you a whole lot of good if the information here is outdated. So what works for me, is whenever I receive a new check or direct deposit, after first putting the information into my accounting software, I also add it to this table. The last two columns, licensing contracts and purchase contracts, are linked to those respective tables within the base, and were automatically created when I added a link to another record column in those tables. The information displayed will always be the first column of the table that it's linked up to. So here in the paying clients table, that means the contract dates. I generally ignore these columns in this table, but it's also important to remember not to delete them accidentally, as the link between the tables will break. 7. Company & Client Tracker: Part 1: Building a working portfolio and contract space is important, but it's by far the only useful way to use airtable as an artist. My second favorite base I've set up is my company in client tracker base. I use this base is a way to store all the information I've gathered on every company I've interacted with, and the direct contacts I have at each company. If you've taken my finding buyers for your art class here on skillshare, you already know how much I advocate the importance of regularly seeking out new clients. Well, after you've done all that work to research and contact them, you need to have a place to put the information you receive, and make it easy to sift through. That's why I love using this space, because that's exactly what it does. Let me walk you through how I've set it up. Remember, you may want to organize things a little differently based on your business. The first table is my company's base where you guessed it. I added all the companies I've interacted with, it obviously starts with the name of the company, and I've chosen to sort the entire table alphabetically, is it makes it easy to search through the list. The second column where it says Client question mark, where a marked down if they've actually purchased are or hired me for a project, and you can see as I scroll through my entire company list, the vast majority of them are not paying customers. The reason I bring this up is that it illustrates the point that the art industry is partially a numbers game, and you need to contact a lot of different companies because you never know which ones will pan out. After the client column is my rating column, where I give one to five stars to each company based on how interested I am to work with them and how much I think my art matches their style. I base my rating largely on my gut feeling about accompany with the ratings are never set in stone. I've added or removed stars on numerous occasions after having additional interactions with the company. The next two columns, purchasing art and products they make are the most crucial, because they include important things you need to know about a company before working with them. These facts are so critical because they help you when a company asks you to quote prices for your work, this how they purchase and what they sell are two of the largest factors in determining price. Next is a column for the person or people who have connected with at that company, and it's linked to my contacts table, which we'll discuss in the next video. The column after that is a fairly new edition for me, its my acquired column, which tells me how I originally collected a companies information. Whether it was from a trade show, through my own research or social media. I decided to add this in, because I had been experimenting with new methods for acquiring customers, and I think it's important to track which avenues are having the largest impact on my business. In the last three columns are fairly straightforward, website, mailing address, and finally notes, where I include anything extra, I want to remember about the company, like when they're looking for art, what their budget is, or where they sell their goods. 8. Company & Client Tracker: Part 2: Now let's take a brief look at my context table. Most of the columns in this table are pretty clear cut. But there's three columns I'd like to call out. The first is the last contact column, which is the single most important field in this entire table. Let me illustrate why with a question. How many times have you had to track down the last e-mail you sent a client when preparing a new one, to avoid sending them out too soon or to realize it's been six months since the last time you e-mailed them? I used to do that several times a week when I first started my business. I have to tell you, not only did it drive me crazy, but it also wasted a lot of time. That's why this little date field is so essential. The way I work now is that I usually e-mail clients in batches of 10-25 people every single week. I just keep your table open the entire time G-mail is open. Then once I've pressed send on an e-mail and immediately go to that clients last contact field in this table and update it to today's date, which then puts them at the bottom of this list. I can move on to the next person that appears at the top of the list. Now there's no guessing or searching through G-mail to find the last one I sent. The next column I want to call out is my status column where I've two field options, keep contact or stop contact. The majority of my contacts are labeled key, and those are the people I regularly send new e-mails to. However, there have been occasions where I decide to stop contacting someone, that's usually for one of three reasons. One, the person has either left the company or e-mails keep getting bounced back to me as deliverable. Two, we've discussed pricing in detail and what they pay for art isn't just too low, and three, they haven't opened or responded to any e-mail I've sent them in over a year. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is why wait 12-18 months before removing someone from my keep list. However, I never feel bad when I do, because I'm a one woman business. If I can save even a few minutes each month, by taking some e-mails off my to-do list, and devote it to e-mailing someone more likely to work with me and that's what I'm going to do. The last column that's important is my own newsletter checkbox column, which simply lets me know whether someone is subscribed to the art newsletter that I send out each month. There's two reasons I like to keep track of that on this table. One, I always like to send them different portfolio pieces than what I've included in my newsletter when I e-mail them directly the same month. Two, I never want to bother a busy art director by accidentally sending them both my newsletter and a personal e-mail in the same week. Now I can just avoid the newsletter segment of this list when I'm sending personal art e-mails the same week and newsletter goes out. Now there's two more tables in my company and client tracker and their truncated duplicates of the companies in context tables I've just showed you. You might be asking why? Well, remember at the beginning of the last video when I said it's important to regularly seek out new companies to work with? Well, these two tables has all the research I do, to find companies and the correct person to contact at those companies. The benefit I'm including them within this space as opposed to having them on their own, is that once someone's contacting me back from one of these companies after I've reached out to them, I can copy and paste their information directly into the company and contact tables. Keeps everything nice and tidy. 9. Projects Calendar: Another way I like to use Airtable is to help me track all of the art deadlines and client projects I have. A lot of people like using a separate app for project management like Asana for example, but because I'm not managing a team of people, I feel that Airtable works well enough. Here's my project calendar base for last year and you may notice that it looks a lot less complicated than the previous two bases I've shown you, and you're right. There's only two tables in this entire base. My projects table is where I keep track of the high level projects or art submissions I have. While the tasks table is for all the small milestones for each project. The reason I've separated projects and tasks this way is because I like to keep both the bigger picture in details in mind to make sure there's never too much on my plate at any given time. Knowing that I only have a few days a week to devote to client work, when a new commission inquiry comes in, I can immediately look at my project calendar and see not only the final due dates of my current projects, but also the smaller milestones I have as well. It makes it much easier to decide whether I can pick up a new project or if I have to politely decline or ask the client for a later deadline. This type of project calendar doesn't only work for tracking client projects and art submissions, you can also use this setup for long-term project planning as well. Maybe you have a few high-level admin projects you want to work on, like updating your website or manufacturing your own products where you can use the project and task tables in the exact same way. Alternatively, I like to use the task timeline in preparation for all the trade shows pay exhibit at. Here's my Surtex 2019 base as an example. You can see that the first table is the task timeline, where there are each item I need to complete before the show, followed by the company research I did for the show, which uses the same table setup as the company research table and my company in client tracker from the last video. Can you see now how customized you can make your bases? Now there's one last feature of Airtable I'd like to cover before we go, and that's their view feature. The default view is grid view, which is what I've been using during this class so far. But there are a few other views too. For my project calendar base, the calendar view is especially handy. To add in a calendar, I just have to click on Grid view and then under Add a view, Click on the Calendar icon and press Done. The deadlines of each task are automatically populated into the calendar. You can see here I had a pretty busy summer last year and not to belabor the point about taking on too much work. Looking at my July 2018 calendar, I was pretty much maxed out, so if I had received any other project increase that month, it would have been easy for me to see I was fully booked and be able to turn them down with confidence. You can also change the amount of time visible in the calendar if you need to see shorter bursts of time. The default is set to monthly, but there's also a two-week, weekly, three-day, and daily view as well. If you're someone who likes to write down their daily to-do lists each night, you might consider adding a to-do list calendar based to your own Airtable setup. The last view type I'd like to mention is the Gallery view, which I utilize in my portfolio table of my portfolio in contract space, which I sort by day. My most recent designs show up at the top. The main reason I like having a Gallery view of my portfolio is to have a quick visual of my recent work because I like to include at least one new design in each newsletter or art e-mail I send out to clients. 10. A Few More Examples + Your Assignment: I know we've already covered a lot through the course of this class, and I hope it's illustrated just how helpful Airtable can be, especially to us as self-employed artists where every minute counts. But if you'd like a few more ideas on how you can use Airtable, here's a few other ways you could use it to organize your business and life. Product inventory. Especially if you're selling digital goods like fonts or clip art, where you don't keep physical stock of product. Building a base to keep track of all your products and how much you're selling, would be a great way to use the app. Income and expense tracker. If you want a free option to track your business finances, building an income or expense base would be an excellent solution. Airtable even allows you to share any workspace or base via email or private link. You could easily invite your accountant to view your finances base, which might make tax season a little less crazy for both of you. Personal uses. I don't just use Airtable for work, I've also started utilizing it at home. I have a health tracker base to measure my progress on my health goals. A moving base for when I kept track of costs, tasks to be completed, and a master packing list, for when my family moved homes back in March. I also have a base for planning each of our big vacations, which allows me to keep track of a lot more info in one spot, than I used to be able to. You can see that your tables potential is almost limitless. But before we go and you start organizing your own business, I just want to mention two best practices for using Airtable. First, I want to remind you to back up your most important information on a monthly basis. Airtable is great, but it also requires an internet connection. For the odd time, when you lose power or your Wi-Fi is on the [inaudible] , it's good to have all your essential files backed up. Now unfortunately, there's no way to download every workspace or base all at once from Airtable, which is annoying. Instead, you could only backup individual tables one at a time, which you do by clicking on the three dots on the far right side of any table's option menu, and select, download CSV. I usually house mine in one folder on my computer. Unfortunately, I've never had to use them. But you never know when you might have to. The other best-practice I'd like to mention, is that it's important that you remember to add new information to your bases regularly. Whether that means you update a base immediately after you finished a new design or talked to a new client, or you set aside an hour each week to update everything. It's important that you get into a routine using Airtable. Doing so will make sure your records are always up to date, and means you won't have to spend time hunting down information later on. With all that taken care of, it's time to get to your assignment, which is going to be really, really easy. Simply choose one area of your business that could be organized, whether that's your portfolio, a calendar, your finances, anything, and use Airtable to build a base for it. Once you're done, take a screenshot of your base, and post the image to the class using the create project button under the projects and resources tab. Remember if your base contains any sensitive information, that you block it out or blur that part of the image before posting. The last thing I'd want you to do is accidentally share the information you've worked so hard to organize. I truly hope you enjoy this class. That you now have the confidence to use Airtable as an organizational and productivity tool in your business. It really is a remarkable app, and I can't wait to see how you utilize it. 11. BONUS: Link to Another Record: It occurred to me as I was re-watching this class in preparation for my follow-up class, AirTable For Artists, Advanced, that I never actually demonstrated how the link to another record field type works. I talked about it, but I didn't actually demonstrate it. So I thought it would be incredibly helpful to add this little bonus video so I could show you how that's done. Here again is my company and client tracker. You may notice some slight changes from earlier. That's because I'm recording this in 2021. The first step, I'm starting from scratch, I want to add a column in to pull the corresponding contacts in my contacts table into my company's table. I'm going to click the plus sign and do link to another record, and here I'm going to click "Contacts" and then "Create field." Then if I switch to my contacts view, you will see it actually added the companies into here as well. So that step 1 is actually making the link happen. After that, it's up to you where you want to add the information in. I can go ahead and do it straight here from contacts. I would click into the first contact that I have and start typing in the name of the company that they work at. When they came up, I would just click that name, and now you can see it has populated. I know it's blurred out, but you can see that it's populated with the name. Then if I go back to my company's table and search for that company, you can now see that it is populated with that contact's name. That is actually how you set up and create a field using the link to another record field type. Now, what happens when you're going to add a contact in who actually hasn't been added to your contact table yet? This'll probably be for most of you as you're building air you won't necessarily have all the information populated yet. In that instance, what I suggest is you press the plus sign and start typing in a name. You can see it says, there are no matching records, and so instead of jumping to the contacts table and adding this name in, all I have to do is actually press this "Add new record named "Cheryl Hines"," and it will automatically add it in here. Then if I go to the contacts table, you can see it has added that name here and has already linked it to that company name. All I would need to do is go in and add all the remaining information in. I hope that was really helpful. Again, I apologize for totally missing the fact that I didn't actually demonstrate it when I originally launched this class in 2019. If you have really enjoyed learning in this class, right now I am working on the follow-up AirTable For Artists, Advanced, and it will be available soon. If you're watching this after it's launched, I will be sure to include a link to it on the About tab of this class.