Automations in Airtable make it easy to complete and schedule tasks in the background without having to manually update records, create new records, send emails, or update calendars.

At times, you may need to run automations on a set schedule, whether it’s once a day, every week, or once a month. 

You can create a scheduler for your automations. Using this scheduler will prevent you from having to remember to run the automation each time it’s needed. You can continue with your work, knowing it will process at a set time.

 

Table of Contents

In this article

Before starting

Creating the fields in Airtable for the scheduler

Setting up the Automation in your Airtable base

Create the trigger

Add an action – Send email

Add another action – Update the record

Using the scheduler

Integrate with On2Air: Actions trigger

 

In this article

In this article, we’ll show you how to schedule automations in your Airtable base. You will be able to customize a schedule to fit your needs.

For the demo, we will schedule an email to send every hour with an update of the time.

 

scheduler in airtable

 

Before starting

 

A couple of notes on scheduling automations

 

  • The minimum recommended time to schedule is once per hour. 
  • You can set automations to schedule more frequently than every hour, but you must have your base open at all times. This is not ideal and is prone to error and your automation not running.
  • NOW is an option for a time formula, but it isn’t always reliable. NOW will not always produce the actual time right now and will occasionally quit working when a base is closed.
  • All times are in the GMT time zone.

Creating the fields in Airtable required for the scheduler

 

You can follow the instructions below or copy our Sales base with the Scheduler table.

 

  • Create a table in your base called Scheduler
  • Create the following fields

Fields Required

 

Hourly Interval – Number field type with format set to Integer

Add the number 1 to the record, so it will run every hour. You can change this to whatever number you need. 

For example, if you want it to run once a day, you can set it to 24.

 

Status – Single-Select field type with options of Active and Inactive

This is the first of 2 trigger conditions to determine when the Automation will begin processing. You can set multiple records that are run by the same automation.

 

Last Runtime – Date field type with date format of Local, Include time field, 12 hours, and Use same time zone for all users

This displays the last time the automation ran.

 

Next Runtime – Formula field type

DATEADD({Last Runtime},{Hourly Interval},"hours")

This adds an hourly interval to the Last Runtime. In this example, it’s 1 hour after the Last Runtime.

 

Run Now – Formula field type

IF(OR({Force Run},HOUR(NOW())>=HOUR({Next Runtime})),"YES","NO")

This field is used as the second of 2 trigger conditions to determine when the Automation will begin processing. When the Hour is within the current hour of the Next Runtime field, this will display YES. It will also change to YES if the Force Run checkbox is checked.

Example: If NOW is 08:30pm and Next Runtime is inside the 8pm hour, the Run Now field will display YES and the automation will run.

 

Now – Formula Field type

NOW()

Displays the current date and time in GMT

 

Optional Fields

Now Hour – Formula Field type

HOUR(Now)

Displays the current hour from the Now field in a 24 hour time period

 

Next Hour – Formula Field type

HOUR({Next Runtime})

 

Last Hour – Formula Field type

HOUR({Last Runtime})

 

Setting up the Automation in your Airtable base

 

Now, we’ll create an automation that sends an email every hour.

 

Create the trigger – Trigger on Active Status and Run Now field is YES

 

  • First, go to the Automations menu in your base and click +New automation
  • Name it Email Once Daily
  • Click + Choose a trigger
  • Choose When a record matches conditions
  • Choose your Scheduler table
  • For the first condition, choose When Status is Active
  • For the second condition, choose And Run Now contains YES
  • Click Run test you will need to set your Last Runtime to one hour prior to the date and time shown in the Now field to get it to display YES
  • Click Done

 

trigger on status and run now field

 

Add an action – Send Email

 

  • Next, create an action by clicking +Add action
  • Click Send an email
  • Enter an email address into the To field (preferably one you can check and verify the test)
  • Add the Email subject – You can manually type in a subject or you can insert any field value
  • Add the Message body – I typed Last Runtime then inserted the Last Runtime field value
  • Click Run test
  • Click Done

email automation - last runtime

 

Add another action – Update the record after the automation is completed

 

This step resets the record, so it will run again next time. It will update the Last Runtime to the current time. 

  • Click +Add another action
  • Choose Update record
  • Select the Scheduler table
  • Click the blue + icon
  • Choose and insert the Record ID value
  • In Fields, click Choose field 
  • Choose the Last Runtime field
  • Click the blue + icon
  • Choose and insert the Now field value
  • Again, Click Choose fields
  • Choose the Force Run field
  • Click the blue + icon
  • Choose and type a zero “0” (without the quotes) in the Force Run value – this will make sure it is unchecked
  • Click Run test
  • Click Done
  • Turn the automation on

 

update record - scheduler

 

 

 

Using the scheduler

 

First, we will test it out without the automation turned on.

  • In the Last Runtime field, change the time to a previous date and time from the current date shown in the Now field.
  • This will change the Next Runtime field and the Run Now field should say NO
  • Again in the Last Runtime field, change the date and time to an hour before the Now field. This will change the Next Runtime field to the same hour as the Now field.
  • The Run Now field should say YES

 

change time for run now from no to yes

 

Now, open your automation to the Update record action

  • Click Test now to reset the fields
  • Change your date and time again in the Last Runtime field to a previous date and time
  • Turn the automation on
  • Again, change the date and time in the Last Runtime to an hour before the Now field. This will change the Next Runtime field to the same hour as the Now field.
  • You should see the Run Now change to YES
  • Your automation will then run and reset the time and your Run Now should say NO again

 

full automation scheduler

 

 

Integrate with On2Air: Actions Trigger

Once you’ve created a schedule, you can combine it with On2Air: Actions to have more control and customization.

On2Air allows you to connect multiple Airtable bases together to create, update, or delete records.

You can create a trigger in On2Air to update multiple records, which is not possible in Airtable. You can also update a single record, delete a single record, or delete multiple records.

When you incorporate On2Air into your Airtable automations, the possibilities are endless. You can update or search your records and integrate with Zapier.

 

Final Thoughts

Now, you know how to trigger automations on a schedule! Copy our base for your template and create the automation. Setting your automation on a recurring schedule eliminates having to manually process information. 

For more scheduling options for automations and to connect your automations to other bases or different software, start a free trial of On2Air: Actions. On2Air gives you more control and customization for your Airtable automations. Learn more about automations like adding a checklist of tasks for each new project and how to connect multiple field records together.

Even More Powerful Automations

Automations in Airtable make it easy to complete basic in-app tasks. However, the automations in Airtable have multiple limitations. On2Air: Actions fills the gap to help you connect your Airtable data better.

If you need more automation power and connection to over 2,500 other apps, try On2Air: Actions, an advanced Airtable connector. 

Sign up for a free trial of On2Air: Actions today!

On2Air Actions - MAIN

 

Current Limitations in Airtable Automations:

 

- Unable to integrate with other apps you use

✅ On2Air: Actions integrates with Zapier to connect to over 2,500 other apps

- No bulk record automation - only single records at a time

✅ On2Air: Actions allows you to process multiple records at one time in bulk

- Many field types are not available to use in automations, such as attachments, linked records, lookups, multiple-select, rollups with only values, and collaborator fields with more than one collaborator

✅ On2Air: Actions is able to use every field type available in Airtable

- 1-second limitation on script runs

✅ On2Air: Actions has no script run limitations - scripts allow you to do just about anything in Airtable using JavaScript

- The 'Send email' action is branded with Airtable logo and information

✅ On2Air: Actions allows you to integrate with any email provider you choose

- Limitation on the number of automation runs per month - when you hit the limit, your automations will stop working

✅ On2Air: Actions has no limit on the number of runs per month and the number of actions is significantly higher depending on the plan you choose

- Limitation on the number of automations per base

✅ On2Air: Actions allows for a significantly higher number of automations

 

With On2Air: Actions, you can create automations with more field types, add conditional actions based on previous actions, update multiple records at once, and connect to all your other business software.

 

on2air_actions - All-In-One Toolkit to Run Your Business in Airtable