Reference attribute = key field?


Is the “Reference” attribute equivalent to a “key” field in a relational database?



Hi @kevin!

Welcome to our CF!

I have to say that I’m not familiar with the ‘key’ feature, but what I can say is that a ‘Reference’ attribute gives you power to link an item from one folder, to an item in another folder.

Hence, when you ‘link’ the two, once you click on a Reference field (grey area), you’ll get a modal of all the attributes (custom fields) for the linked item in another folder (so you don’t have to switch folders to check its details). :slight_smile:



This article might help:

under ‘Reference’ attribute.



Is it a feature or a bug that creating a Reference attribute links to every folder in a board? I would consider it a bug. I’d really like to see a way to limit the folders that show up in each attribute.

For example in one of the templates is a Project Management board with a folder tree consisting of:

  • Projects
  • To-do List
  • Clients

Now if I want to connect specific clients to Projects I add a Reference attribute titled 'Clients" but each time I want to reference a client on a Project or vice versa, I have to search or scroll through hundreds of tasks and project cards mixed in with the two dozen client cards and hundreds of additional pieces of information in associated folder collections.

If I could assign each Reference attribute to only pull from the folders that I want this would be a much more powerful and valuable attribute. As it is, I have to skip the Reference attribute and instead create a Tag attribute with a client pick list in order to stay sane. This is a bummer because it negates the power of connecting directly to the client profile.

I assumed that this attribute would work like a typical database or Excel where you are selecting a reference data set or like Airtable or Stackby where you are selecting a specific sub table. It is kind of insane to link every Reference to the entire kitchen sink.

Is there any way you will make folder selection a feature of the Reference attribute? (Also what is the purpose of “Source Folder” attribute?)

Airtable makes it pretty easy.

1 Like


I want to +1 this big time, but still maintain the Reference attribute’s ability to target and reference to a specific item.

1 Like


Hey @infinity.justs!

So if I understood well, the problem is the ‘search’ option for items in Reference, and that is shows all items from all folders?

I have been pushing an improvement on this, so when you create a Reference attribute, there’s a panel that will show the folders in that board.

And then, you’ll first select a folder from which the item you want to reference to is, and then select an item.

Would that work?