Easy adding text from mobile device how? (other than Airtable app and Airtable form)

Anybody came with a lazy way to add text from mobile device (Android in this case).

All I need is to add short text snippets I find when reading to review it later. Every time I add a snipped, a new record in Airtable is created. Only 1 field is populated in that record, so the text snippet goes in that field and new record is created. Next snipped, new record etc…

I am trying to find if there is a way to do in the most lazy fashion. I am trying to use the text copy / sharing function and perhaps save it in another app and from that app/web-service then Airtable would be populated.

Of if there was something that could make an Airtable web hook? (But if I understand correctly it’s not possible to write into Airtable using web hook right, I would have to use Make etc).

I know Make has a mobile app but I am not crazy about it.

Another approach is using a form but here I need to copy text, open webform (unless multi-window multi-task, not the case for smaller device) and then past the text and send the form.

Too much work.

I know there are other Android tools like clipboard managers etc… but I want the stuff in Airtable.

You are okay copy/pasting into a different app, but not the Airtable app? Why?

What if you have a shortcut on your phone that opens a specific view or interface page in your base that shows some pre-created records with blank text fields.

You copy the text from your source. Open the view or interface page using the shortcut on your phone. Paste the text into the text field. Close the app. The text is now in Airtable and disappears from the view / interface page.

Yes, Airtable is good for data entry when creating a record with perhaps more fields, but it is clunky when switching between apps frequently because it takes more memory and it’s even more ugly if not multitasking.

If I am adding lots of text snippets and trying to work less hard. Ideally Airtable would have a menu entry in Android when copy text - Share to Airtable and Airtable would open, perhaps share to specific table, ideally it would trigger a workflow or a webhook, something along this here:

Copy and goes to Airtable
or
Copy, Select send to Airtable, goes to Airtable

For example Coda seems can handle something like that. I am not an expert as you can tell but it seems to me the issue is with Airtable not being able to accept the post entries via web-hook right?

Coda and Tasker to scan barcodes

I know I can scan barcodes to Airtable directly, that is not the point, just want to highlight how I would imagine adding text could work if Airtable was accepting it the entry the same way.

The last entry on that page says “you can trigger webhooks in Coda from Shortcuts on iOS which allows you to bring in data from most places on iOS.” which is quite convenient and nice given that Shortcuts is part of iOS.

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Also, I find entering data on the mobile app is unreliable on Android. iOS app no issues except for occasional issues with image uploads (which Android app sucks also quite badly across several Android devices I own). When I enter new record on Android app, sometimes it doesn’t get synced properly and shows as an empty record on Airtable site and never gets populated. When I delete that empty record on the site, the corresponding record on the mobile device (still showing the correct data) gets also deleted.

I reported this a while ago and no response from Airtable yet. This has been an issue for a while.

Not the mention the issues with adding attachments when the attachments disappear in the mobile app, or it just shows an error not able to upload a picture. This issue has been around for months. They are trying to solve it but instead getting worse.

So that is the reason momentarily I avoid using the mobile app for data entry anyhow, although as I mentioned it is a bit clunky to deal with when switching between that and another app on frequent basis.

Read this. Make sure you also read the reference that mentions Tana Capture.

Capturing anything should be magically possible with voice and whatever text you happen to be sitting on.

No. No, no, no, no, no, no. You cannot become hyper-productive with copy-paste. It doesn’t matter how simple or memorable the process may be. Any worker who believes this is okay will be made irrelevant some day by people who find a way to never do this.

Yeah. You are are right. I’m not even going to try defending my original point at all.

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There are certain hills you don’t want to die on. :wink:

Okay. I looked into this and there are 3+ ways doing it on Android which are less painful than using the copy / past method:

  1. Using web glue and a helper app on Android e.g. Google Keep or similar note taking apps. Then I will select text I want to save into Airtable, Share and select Google Keep and there it goes. web glue will then file it for me. I can have the web glue manipulate text, or have it as it is saved into Airtable and there I will do manipulation (e.g. split into fields etc). Likely the method I will go right now because it the easiest for my skill level. Nice and easy.

  2. Using Tasker app on Android with AutoSheets addon and AutoShare addon.

https://tasker.joaoapps.com/

Good grief.

I am going to do this if I am stuck in an elevator over the weekend, assuming I have a battery power pack with me. Tasker is steep learning curve, albeit rewarding one since power users like it a lot. But for beginner it’s a no-mans land. Been looking at this app for 10 years now and always going around it not touching with bare hands. I looked at it and it would handle it exactly as needed and send to Google sheet. Then Airtable would be updated from Google Sheet by Airtable Automation (or by a web glue).
Tasker seems the only automation app capable handling the whole process.
On top of this there is a setup required in Google Cloud Console for Google Sheet, which is also build like Taj Mahal. I have setup a few google cloud free apps but since I am not a programmer, every time I feel like I go pull my hair because it’s complicated interface in Google Cloud Console and it doesn’t work unless using the latest version of Google Chrome.

  1. Via a Webhook on Android using the app called HTTP Shortcuts.

https://http-shortcuts.rmy.ch/

The app is capable generating the webhook shortcuts from the text or image I want to send. Then the HTTP Shortcut appears as share menu item in Android or Intent on Android so it can be even used with other apps if needed. This is pretty cool and would like to learn how to set it up with webhooks so I’ll like to take a look into that when I have time. What I am not sure is how to get this into Airtable.

If I understand correctly, I can’t write directly into Airtable using webhook. Correct?
But I am looking under Automations and I see there Webhook. So can I trigger a POST webhook that is Airtable URL properly formatted and HTTP Shortcuts app will add into it my text I want to copy as Body and then Airtable Automation will pick it up and create a row in Airtable?

Can this be accomplished with Automations in Airtable? That would be awesome.

Simplified way to send to Airtable is useful if you learn Spanish :grinning:

I use LingoTube https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.springwalk.lingotube&hl=en_CA&gl=US
to get videos in dual language and want to get the words in Airtable… (I could use another flash card app but as I mentioned earlier I have a workflow into my TV screen for passive learning, that’s why I use Airtable).
Also use Screen Translate sometimes https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.recognize_text.translate.screen&hl=en_CA&gl=US and same here I want to get words to Airtable.

Some apps don’t allow me to show the “share” menu in Android, there I would need to use Tasker to read clipboard and then send to Airtable. But the ones I mention allow normal sharing.

Tana iOS app released. Android Coming soon.

Is creating a calendar entry device dependent function, or is it processed through their cloud? Just wondering.

Cloud service.

I figured the HTTP Shortcuts app should be able to use for sharing to Airtable and creating entry from Android.
I was able to send a static text to Airtable and create a record.
I have a variable setup already.
But I can’t figure out what to put in the body of the HTTP request to include that Variable.
The Variable is my Clipboard.

https://http-shortcuts.rmy.ch/documentation
https://http-shortcuts.rmy.ch/examples

My variable is called {Word}

I am getting bad request.
But if I do Custom text it works e.g. "{“Airtable_field_name”: “enter this into the new record”} … that works and new record is created with the text “enter this into the new record”.

I’m stuck. Have no idea what I am doing wrong since I have no idea what I am doing in general, just trying to see what remains sticking on the wall from what I throw at it…

Okay solved. Very nice developer. Deserves full credit for providing something so wonderful like HTTP Shortcuts. It’s a must app on any Android and should be part of core Android system. It doesn’t go as far as automation that Tasker does and that is perfect because it only does when use does some action like clicking a shortcut or using a share-menu. The solution is making sure the syntax is correct and the variable is added via the integrated button in the application and not manually.

So here is what I put in the webhook body and now the highlighted word in any Android application is sent directly to my Airtable table field as a new record.

{“Webhook_Spanish_Word_field_in_Airtable”: “{Wordvariableinhttpsshortcuts}”}

This is what I would have expected from Airtable mobile app, to have a menu item in Android which I can select to send the highlighted text into Airtable.

Solved.

I am a fan of convenience when it comes to use of mobile devices. So one small improvement I came up with:
If your Android device supports built-in gestures, you can add the shortcut to the workflow in HTTP Shortcuts to the gesture. If you don’t have that, you can look at Edge Gestures or Fluid Navigation Gestures.

I can either send the text using the Share function on Android, or by using the gestures function (or gestures app), I can call up the workflow using a gesture. For example, gesture can be swiping from the edge of the display while I have copied a text and the text is sent to Airtable.

In Airtable, I can have a set of formulas for example to handle the copied text further e.g. put into into different fields.

One more trick for desktop.

Want to enter single field data without opening Airtable?
On MacOS can be done easily via KeyboardMaestro app and add a curl script which is comfortably provided by Airtable in their support document for the Restful API calls.

Now I can highlight text, copy into clipboard, press key combination and send it to Airtable.
Configured XKeys programmable keypad and now press a button and the text goes into the table I want.

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Keyboard Maestro is one of my all-time favorite apps!

I give a demo of using Keyboard Maestro with Airtable on this BuiltOnAir podcast episode:

WOw. That is cool. In particular the calling showing record. This is what $$$$$ CRM apps have like Salesforce, here this get be setup for a few dollars. You are gonna empty the Salesforce bank account if you continue like that.

Lol. Well, Salesforce is essentially the owner of Airtable, so probably not. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Salesforce is Airtable’s #1 largest investor, and it’s clear that Howie wants them to purchase Airtable, just like they purchased Slack.

Hope not like a Saleforce that also aquired Quip and destroyed it completely, like a spider sucking out the butterfly and leaving an empty shell.