Wrangling Communication Assets in Airtable: A Loup Guide

Welcome to the second in a series of blogs outlining how Loup Design & Innovation — a social change consultancy, a small start-up, and a distributed team — uses Airtable. Our first post, Baffled by Airtable? Here are five things we figured out, shares some relational database basics that we had to wrap our heads around when we began using this tool. In this post, we’ll share the specifics of how we set up our communications base.

Image storage

  • Contain all versions of an image (square, rectangular, filtered) within a single record
  • Organize images by license (Creative Commons or otherwise) with the photographer’s credit easily accessible
  • Group images related to specific clients and projects
  • Find images by theme

An image and its data

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A typical Loup image.

This is a photo Loup took as part of our work with PASE and Hive NYC. We took the photo and share it under a Creative Commons Share Alike license. We have an original version (straight from a phone), a square version for Instagram, and a rectangular version for blogs. We need to link this photo to our client, but we also want to make it available when we search for themes like facilitation or Post-its (we do a lot of human centered design and Post-its are a big part of our process!)

Using Google Drive — the go-to file storage many distributed teams rely on — this would have been a nightmare of duplicated files stored in different folders. On Airtable, it’s beautifully simple.

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Loup’s images table

Great for audio, but video not so much

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What a video looks like in an Airtable record. So sad.

Bulk everything!

Logos, colors, palettes & more

  • Our logos, fonts, and color palette
  • Client branding guides (we often create assets with our client’s look and feel)
  • Boilerplate text about our organization and projects

In this way, our comms base also functions as a style guide!

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Color palettes are quick and easy to build

Designing a social tracker

Our goal was to create a comprehensive tracker, organized by topic, of every post across every platform. If we posted about International Women’s Day, or about one of our clients’ projects, or even just a silly meme, we wanted an easy way to review the text and images without visiting each individual platform.

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Our social tracker contains so much data that the grid view is unusable! See below for the views that we use.

We rely on the Gallery View, where each card represents a topic we posted about on one or more social platform. Because this table pulls from the main image database, which links to our clients and projects, we can easily see which social posts relate to which client.

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The gallery view is much more manageable.

Clicking on an individual card displays the text variations we wrote for different platforms, the dates posted, the images we used, and lots of other goodies. It’s easy on the eyes, and we can compose new tweets/posts right on the card.

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Partial card view for a topic we’ve posted about.

Loup’s integrations are a work in progress

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The calendar view, color-coded by platform, provides an at-a-glance summary of our social history.

Next in this series, we’ll share how we use Airtable for program management, and our hacks for building nested tickets and task checklists. Stay tuned!

Loup provides organizations with operations design and guidance. We bring organizational design expertise and experience rolling out new strategies and change initiatives. We specialize in helping geographically distributed teams, communities, and network-building projects. Learn more about our services.

The Deep Listen

The Deep Listen is a Loup publication.

Loup Editorial Team

Written by

Loup is a human-centered design and innovation consultancy dedicated to helping organizations listen to and learn from the people they serve.

The Deep Listen

The Deep Listen is a Loup publication. We write and collect stories that move us, celebrate our network, and share our creative process. Guest posts and contributors welcome!

Loup Editorial Team

Written by

Loup is a human-centered design and innovation consultancy dedicated to helping organizations listen to and learn from the people they serve.

The Deep Listen

The Deep Listen is a Loup publication. We write and collect stories that move us, celebrate our network, and share our creative process. Guest posts and contributors welcome!

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