Inverted ( the other way around) relations

Imagine! You want to call another table from one table to establish a relationship (in SharePoint terms, you use a “lookup”). On the one hand, you have a value that has a relationship with another value in another overview.


Musicians and their instruments

When you manage a list of musicians and a list of instruments, you expect that if you link Miles Davis to trumpet or Keith Richards to guitar, then a relationship is also established the other way around. 

One application is now covered, which musicians use which instrument?

The second application could be that you want to reason from the instrument to see which artists are linked to an instrument.

This does not work in a SharePoint list setup. Once you have established one relationship, you must manually establish the other one. Unfortunately!


For a few years now I have been using a free web tool that covers the function as described in the example and also allows you to establish the relationship from the other point by creating a relationship from the starting point. If you click on the “Tool-Instrument” tab, you will see relationships the other way around.

Read-only is supported for free, but collaborative editing requires a free account.

In times like this, I’ll switch to a tried and tested approach.

When you want to encourage a developer to make something you desperately need, you say: you can’t do that. Rest assured that you will have what you need in no time.

Dear Mr Nadella from Microsoft

I’m sure your people can’t support this in SharePoint as well. 

Make a bet?

Spreadsheets are for mathematics

The list phenomenon (whether in SharePoint or not) is extremely powerful because it goes beyond a spreadsheet.

Lists, for example, have the option of using text fields, while very often those lists that we make in Excel deal with that. In addition, lists have equivalent filtering options and, last but not least, lists offer much more comfort for working on them together. This is also possible in Excel (in theory), but in no time someone will make an independent copy again via “save as” and the person who does the final editing is again the proverbial Sjaak.

When you combine several lists, you can also use each separate list independently.


You are Quentin Tarantino’s production assistant, and it’s your job to create an outline that supports the process. The sound people need to know when to set up which items where. It’s annoying to have the wrong props on the set where you’re currently shooting because John Travolta with boxing gloves on a dance floor is no use.

Do you choose Excel, SharePoint lists or do you go for the free option of Airtable?