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My first Quickbase
(How I fell in love)

May 22, 2018

You'll always remember your first love and you'll always remember your first Quickbase.

Oh, wait... is that just me?

You know the movie, Jerry Maguire? There is a scene where Jerry (Tom Cruise) shows up at Dorothy's (Renee Zellweger) house and professes his love to her complete with the famous line "you complete me". Dorothy then responds with "just shut up... you had me at hello".

As cheesy as it sounds, I kinda feel this way about Quickbase. But it's more like...

"You had me at form rules."

Seriously after that, I was smitten ♥

 


The first Quickbase I built on my own was a sort of Learning Management System (LMS).

I was responsible for training several dozen people in our department on the basic principles of Lean and Six Sigma. I was also running multi-day Kaizen (process-improvement-focused) events and mini-events.

To track all of this I decided to try my hand at database development.

Now, having a strong background in using Microsoft office tools, I had tried to build databases in the past using Microsoft Access.

Queue the missile whistling through the air before landing in a fiery explosion.

It was NOT good. I'm not saying I didn't figure it out, or that I wasn't successful in archiving what I set out to do. I'm saying it SUCKED. The tools were not user-friendly. I spent way too much time trying to format my forms. And the sharing capabilities were extremely limited.

Sooooo a few years later, the idea of learning a new database tool had me on the defensive. However, I had been using other Quickbases that my colleagues built, so I knew this would be different.

How right I was.

The three main parts of my Quickbase would be:

  • Tools - The various types of training and events that I could facilitate
  • Activities - The individual occurrences of specific training or events that I would be facilitating
  • Participants - The people who would be attending my events and for who I wanted to track participation
  • Registration - These would be the actual events, a combination of people showing up on a specific day for a specific activity.

I recall eagerly signing up to attend the webinars that Quickbase hosted to learn the basics.

  • Click here to create a new table
  • Enter info here to add your fields
  • Arrange your form using this button
  • Create roles here in the settings
  • Invite participants here

And, that was about it. Quickbase was so much more user-friendly than most of the business tools I had to learn in my new job.  

Once I had the basics of table-to-table relationships down. Which, is probably the most complicated element for a newbie. I was on a role.

  • I imported all the possible Tools I would use for a particular training or event from an Excel sheet.
  • I entered the first few records in the Activities table for the events I would be hosting, along with their level of difficulty, duration, and max participants.
  • I exported a list of employees from another Quickbase and imported it to the Participants table.
  • I then emailed our department distro that I was "Open for Business". They could Register for an upcoming training session or participate in an event. 

Later, I would add additional fields like, "Dietary Restrictions" that would dynamically display, using those oh so lovely Form Rules, when a meal would be served during the event.

I would also add an additional table to track individual tools (vs sets of tools) from which I could build out an event or activity.

If you're fretting creating your first Quickbase... fear no more!

It really can be easier than you think, even if past database experiences have you running for the hills. There are lots of resources to get you started... including many right here on quickbasejunkie.com.

Cheers to First Loves!

 

 

 

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