HOW TO USE AIRTABLE TO ORganize your research

Howdy BuiltOnAir community! As part of our Winter Series we will be reviewing some of our favorite podcast episodes from season 5 until season 7 is ready! Make sure to go check out some of our old episodes if you haven’t already, or just rewatch them to make sure you didn’t miss anything the first time. This week we are looking at episode 10 with Nicole Dyers, a genealogist.

Nicole was first introduced to genealogy by doing family history with her mom. As an adult she regained that love of family history and became a professional genealogist. As a genealogist she studies family trees and works as a time based private detective. With her skills she is able to help people who are adopted and don’t know a lot about their past, people wanting to know if they have any hereditary diseases, and people who just want to learn more about their family history. She loves genealogy because she can help people feel more connected, and tell people’s stories.

Nicole takes people’s DNA tests and sees what DNA markers people share with one another in big DNA bases. These bases can tell you that you share a great grandpa, but they can’t tell you their name. This is where Nicole’s detective work comes in. She uses online databases, censuses, and paper records to track down names and relationships. It took her a while to understand the DNA results and get good at researching but after lots of practice and classes she’s now a pro. Nicole shares her knowledge with a podcast that her and her mom created. They had a genealogy blog and would always talk about their work over the phone. One day Nicole mentioned how they should record their conversations because others would want to hear what they were discussing; shortly after the Research like a Pro podcast was born. 

With all that Nicole does she has a lot of data. When she first started she just used normal spreadsheets and would have to have multiple tabs opened and spent a lot of time duplicating information from spreadsheet to spreadsheet. Once she realized she could use Airtable, all her frustrations went away as she could have all her data in one place and used linked fields to simplify everything. She shows us her DNA research log and her FAN club genealogy research log and how they link together.


  • Correspondence log for who has replied to her messages
  • Lets you know what service you contacted people through, their response, and how many times you have messaged them
  • Research log has all the info she needs on a case
  • Able to organize a ton of data
  • Reduces data entry time so you can focus on more important tasks
  • Can link her research to FAN club base

Nicole has thought of everything in her bases. Even if you aren’t in genealogy her organizational skills can be used in any professional or personal base. 

Visit Nicole’s website and portfolio here. 

Find her podcast, Research Like a Pro.

Check out her bases on the Airtable Universe here.

Here’s the video of the original podcast, including more of  Nicole’s story, and the live walkthrough of the bases described above:

Episode Video:

Here’s an audio version of the above, with links to download or share if desired:

Episode Audio

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