Hugo Nunes • Updated on July 12, 2023 • 21 min read
In today's digital landscape, spreadsheets and workspaces have become integral to our productivity. That's why I've gathered five remarkable tools that can rival Airtable's functionality and empower you to take your projects to new heights.
While Airtable excels in many areas, it has some limitations that may prompt users to seek alternatives to it. Key limitations include its limited communication features, such as the lack of real-time chat or forum functionalities, making collaborative work challenging. Its basic user roles and permissions might be insufficient for larger or complex teams. Additionally, Airtable's steep learning curve, particularly for those unfamiliar with database concepts, may pose a hurdle. Lastly, the tool's limited customization can be restrictive for sophisticated projects.
These constraints mean that, depending on your scenario, you may be better off seeking alternatives to Airtable.
If you’re looking for a specific tool, use the links below to navigate:
Google Sheets, a product created by the tech giant Google, was launched in 2006 as an integral component of Google's suite of productivity tools known as Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite). Like Airtable, Google Sheets offers a robust, cloud-based spreadsheet system for real-time data collaboration, analysis, and visualization.
Screenshot of Google Sheets
Both Google Sheets and Airtable integrate with third-party applications, like Softr, Zapier, Trello, and Slack. On top of that, Google Sheets also includes deep integration with Google Workspace tools, like Google Apps Scripts.
Like Airtable, Google Sheets allows the usage of a wide range of formulas for data manipulation, lookups, and others such as “average”, “countif”, “stdev”, “vlookup”, “match”, “importdata” or “concatenate”. However, in Google Sheets, you don’t need to know the formulas beforehand, because you can access them on its menu Insert.
Both tools also allow you to customize the cells - by size, text color, or cell color, among others - and change their data format. Unlike Airtable, Google Sheets doesn’t allow you to create different types of fields such as multiple select or attachment fields directly within cells
If you have a large, complex dataset, you may find Google Sheets to be slow, particularly when loading sheets or applying complex formulas, as an alternative to Airtable for that use case.
Airtable and Google Sheets provide a historical list of changes, so you can control who revised what in your dataset. In addition, both tools allow you to choose who can view or edit your database.
Though Airtable has an extensive library of templates, Google Sheets can make use of an even bigger amount of user-generated templates due to its larger user base.
When using Airtable, you can access its documentation, contact the company’s support, or reach out to an Airtable expert or agency. On the other hand, when using Google Sheets, you can find more helpful content on the web, compared to that related to Airtable.
In terms of visual design, Google Sheets maintains a functional, no-frills approach, whereas Airtable is more visually appealing with customizable views and the ability to incorporate images directly into cells.
Screenshot of Google Sheets’ templates
Google Sheets itself is a free tool, offered to all Google users. In contrast, Airtable offers a free tier with basic features and limits on records and attachments. For expanded functionalities, it has 'Plus' and 'Pro' plans priced at $10 and $20 per seat/month, respectively, billed annually.
Like Airtable, Google Sheets has robust support through documentation, forums, and tutorials. Google Workspace customers can also access 24/7 support via phone, email, and chat.
Overall, Google Sheets is an adaptable tool, useful for numerous applications such as project management and budget tracking, albeit lacking advanced features like complex relational databases and Kanban boards found in Airtable.
Notion, an all-in-one workspace launched in 2018 by Notion Labs Inc., offers a flexible and wide-ranging solution for note-taking, task management, project collaboration, and knowledge base organization. The platform is highly customizable, allowing users to handle diverse content types within a single workspace.
Screenshot of Notion
Notion's block-based interface offers flexibility for users utilizing it as a database. Each piece of content is a block, nestable, linkable, and customizable, facilitating diverse workflows. Databases in Notion can be tables, boards, lists, or calendars, with each entry expandable into its own page for added details or sub-databases, allowing for interlinked, hierarchical structures.
Compared to Airtable, Notion provides a visually-driven approach to databases rather than a spreadsheet-like format. Therefore, Notion is ideal for users seeking a flexible, visual database, while those preferring a traditional, grid-based database might lean towards Airtable.
Notion provides packages that cater to various user needs, offering flexibility and scalability in its pricing plans. Their offerings include a free plan for basic functionality, as well as paid plans priced at $10 and $18 per user per month. Each plan offers different analytics features, limits for file uploads, days of page history, and guest limitations. This allows users to select the plan that aligns best with their specific requirements, ensuring they have the necessary tools and capabilities for their projects.
In comparison, Airtable's pricing, including a free tier, 'Plus' at $10, and 'Pro' at $20 per user/month, focuses on feature-specific scalability, like record limits and integrations. While Airtable is more feature-specific, Notion provides broader capabilities within each plan. Thus, the choice between Notion and Airtable depends on specific user requirements and budget considerations.
The time required to create a workspace in Notion largely depends on the complexity and volume of data involved, with mastering the platform taking anything from a few days to a couple of months. Notion shows excellent versatility with its block-based system allowing the creation of various apps and workflows. However, despite Airtable possibly requiring a more substantial time investment to fully comprehend its myriad features, it stands as the ideal tool for handling intricate relational databases and executing extensive automation functions.
Screenshot of Notion
Notion's commitment to data security is strong, with measures such as data encryption, secure access controls, and regular backups. It boasts an extensive template library, making it more comprehensive than Airtable's.
While Notion integrates well with popular applications, Airtable offers a broader ecosystem of integrations. Notion provides robust user support through email assistance, a comprehensive help center, their Academy, and an active user community. Airtable has similar support channels, including training and resources.
Screenshot of Notion
Smartsheet, launched in 2006, is a prominent cloud-based platform that is an alternative to Airtable. It excels in data management, allowing users to manipulate and visualize data while collaborating in real-time. Smartsheet is particularly well-suited for professionals like accountants and project managers, and teams seeking efficient project tracking.
One of Smartsheet's strengths is its user-friendly interface, which closely resembles traditional spreadsheets, making it intuitive for those familiar with such formats. This similarity provides an easy transition for users, with a mild learning curve that requires little to no coding knowledge.
Compared to Airtable, which has a more database-oriented, grid-like interface, Smartsheet might feel more accessible to users accustomed to conventional spreadsheet tools. However, both platforms offer comprehensive documentation to assist users in acclimating to their respective environments.
Screenshot of Smartsheet
Smartsheet's pricing strategy caters to a wide array of user needs, with options for individuals, teams, and enterprises. They offer a free plan with limited features, in addition to paid plans at $9 and $32 per user per month or per year. Each plan comes with different restrictions, such as the number of sheets and attachment storage limits. In contrast, Airtable pricing structure focuses more on feature-specific scalability, such as the number of records, attachments, and integrations.
While both Smartsheet and Airtable offer free and paid options, Smartsheet's pricing is more aligned with user types and overall feature access, while Airtable's structure scales with feature-specific needs. The decision between Smartsheet and Airtable hinges on individual or team needs and budget, as each platform provides its unique pricing structure and value proposition.
The time it takes to create a database with Smartsheet depends on the data complexity, but it will range from a few days to over a month. It offers versatility in creating various apps, like project management trackers and task lists, with a focus on data management and collaboration. However, interactive dashboard creation might be limited compared to Airtable.
Smartsheet grants users customization options, though not as extensive as Airtable. Both platforms prioritize data security, but Airtable provides more granular access controls. Compared to Airtable, Smartsheet offers an identical range of pre-designed templates, simplifying the development process. It integrates with key applications like Microsoft OneDrive, facilitating file managing and document signing, unlike Airtable which lacks these functions.
Screenshot of Smartsheet
Customer support is available through their portal for paid plans, backed by a community forum and a Help & Learning Center. The speed and performance of Smartsheet are reliable, albeit not as quick as Airtable, and its visual design is functional, though not as modern-looking as Airtable.
Coda, developed by Coda.io, is an all-encompassing document and database platform designed to consolidate documents and spreadsheets into a singular tool, in order to enhance team collaboration. It shines as a data source and is suitable for professionals and teams needing a robust platform for data organization, analysis, and collaboration. However, it may have some limitations in crafting complex dashboards.
Screenshot of Coda
Coda stands out for its ease of use, much like Airtable, sporting a user-friendly interface that encourages quick adoption. While it has a moderate learning curve, similar to Airtable, it offers a different approach to handling databases and formulas. Prior experience with such concepts can be advantageous in navigating Coda, though it doesn't necessitate coding expertise. Compared to Airtable's more database-centric layout, Coda blends document and database functionalities into one, providing a unique and versatile experience.
Coda's pricing structure is diverse, covering individual to business needs, just like Airtable. Coda offers a free plan and paid options priced at $12 and $36 per user per month, with annual billing also available. Each plan gives access to different features, such as collaborative documents, automations, hidden pages, and Pro/Team Packs.
In comparison, Airtable's pricing ranges from a free tier to 'Plus' and 'Pro' plans at $10 and $20 per user/month respectively, focusing on record limits, attachments, and integrations. Therefore, while both Coda and Airtable offer pricing tiers catering to various needs, Coda leans more towards feature diversity within each plan, whereas Airtable's structure scales with specific feature requirements. The decision to opt for either Coda or Airtable will largely hinge on the specific requirements and financial considerations of the individual user or team.
Creating a workspace in Coda varies in time due to its array of functionalities. It offers a high level of versatility for creating applications such as project trackers and CRM systems, albeit with a moderate learning curve. It also presents a fair amount of design freedom and customization of layouts, formulas, and interactive features. Contrastingly, Airtable, while also feature-rich, is more focused on database and automation capabilities, often requiring a lesser time investment for workspace setup.
Screenshot of Coda
Security-wise and similarly to Airtable, Coda complies with key industry-standard protocols, data encryption, access limits, and is GDPR and CCPA compliant.
It offers a limited range of templates, fewer than Airtable, but sufficient to expedite the development process. Integration with apps like Slack, GitHub, and Zoom is available through Pro and Team Packs. Support is offered through email/tickets, documentation, and a lively community forum. In comparison, Airtable also provides integration capabilities with a wide range of applications and services, and supports its users through comprehensive documentation and a rich community forum. However, Airtable's ecosystem of integrations is more expansive, potentially offering greater connectivity for users seeking extensive app compatibility.
Apps created with Coda demonstrate good speed and responsiveness. Its visual design blends modernity and usability, offering a visually pleasing and engaging interface, much like Airtable.
Screenshot of Coda
Baserow, launched in 2022, is an open-source, no-code database platform offering a flexible solution for data management and custom database creation. It shines as a data source, making it suitable for those building data-centric applications, but it might have constraints, compared to Airtable, in crafting complex dashboards and lacks some common features like views or types of fields.
Screenshot of Baserow
Both Baserow and Airtable odder user-friendly interface which makes it easy for beginners and requires little to no coding knowledge. These users can easily link fields and customize views with simple point-and-click or drag-and-drop actions.
Baserow provides a range of pricing plans to accommodate diverse user requirements. They offer a free plan, as well as two subscription-based options priced at $5 and $20 per user per month. Each plan offers a unique set of features, including the choice between hosted or self-hosted deployment, unlimited databases, row limitations per workspace, and storage limits for attachments. Notably, the Advanced Plan provides direct and priority support for users, ensuring a seamless experience.
Compared to Airtable, which offers a free tier and paid plans at $10 and $20 per user per month, Baserow's pricing is more affordable at the entry level. While Airtable's structure focuses on feature-specific scalability such as the number of records, attachments, and integrations, Baserow's structure emphasizes deployment options and database quantity.
Database creation time varies, depending on data complexity, but Baserow provides efficient tools for speedy setup. It provides a versatile platform for creating diverse applications such as project management tools and customer databases, though its template library is more limited than Airtable's.
Baserow enables users to tailor databases to specific needs, with extensive design and customization options, though Airtable offers more advanced customization features. Baserow prioritizes data security, implementing strong measures to safeguard user data, in line with Airtable's practices.
Screenshot of Baserow
Despite its modest template gallery, Baserow streamlines app development through its integrations. It integrates with popular tools like Zapier and Make, offering flexibility in connecting with external services and automating workflows, though fewer native integrations exist compared to Airtable.
Screenshot of Baserow
Support is offered through comprehensive documentation, FAQs, community forums, and direct support for advanced plan users. Baserow matches Airtable's speed, ensuring a smooth and responsive user experience. Its visual design is modern and intuitive, similar to Airtable's visually pleasing layout.
Tableau, a renowned visual analytics platform founded in 2003, offers a powerful alternative to Airtable for those seeking to convert data into meaningful insights. It excels at data visualization, making it a favorite among professionals and teams requiring robust analytics and reporting capabilities. While Tableau may not be designed as a database management tool like Airtable, its strength lies in its ability to transform complex datasets into visually compelling, interactive dashboards.
Screenshot of Tableau
Tableau’s interface is user-friendly, and though it might have a slightly steeper learning curve than Airtable, users can grasp its functionalities without coding knowledge. Its robust capabilities reward those willing to invest time into learning its features.
Tableau's pricing is tailored to various user needs, featuring tiered options for its cloud-hosted service: the Creator plan at $70 per user per month, the Explorer plan at $42 per user per month, and the Viewer plan at $15 per user per month. All plans are billed annually and require at least one Creator license.
When compared to Airtable's pricing plans—free, 'Plus' at $10 per user per month, and 'Pro' at $20 per user per month—Tableau's pricing leans towards the higher end, reflecting its advanced data visualization and analytics capabilities. While Airtable offers feature-specific scalability like record limits, attachments, and integrations, Tableau provides different features based on user roles and licensing. The decision between these two platforms would depend on user needs and budget, as well as the level of data analysis and visualization required for each user.
Creating visualizations in Tableau can vary in time, based on data complexity and the user’s expertise. It offers great versatility, enabling users to create a wide array of visualizations such as heat maps, scatter plots, and bar charts. Compared to Airtable, Tableau provides more advanced data analysis and visualization options.
Tableau allows customization of data visualizations, offering users substantial control over design elements, something not as extensive in Airtable. It also prioritizes data security, implementing strong measures to protect user data.
Screenshot of Tableau
Tableau doesn’t offer an extensive template gallery like Airtable, but its platform also enables users to save and reuse their visualizations as templates. Tableau integrates with a wide variety of data sources, ensuring seamless data flow.
Tableau’s support is primarily offered through a comprehensiveknowledge base, community forums, and direct assistance for premium users. When compared to Airtable, Tableau’s forum and documentation are very in-depth.
Both platform’s speed and performance are commendable, offering quick rendering of visualizations. Airtable and Tableau’s visual design focuses on functionality, offering an interface that efficiently translates data into engaging visual stories.
Grist, a no-code spreadsheet-like database tool, offers a solid alternative to Airtable for users seeking a spreadsheet-like data management solution, despite their similar interfaces. Grist provides users with a flexible platform that excels at data organization and visualization, enabling the creation of tailored applications and complex data models.
Screenshot of Grist
Grist features an intuitive interface that resembles a spreadsheet, making it accessible and easy-to-use, especially for those familiar with spreadsheet tools. It offers a moderate learning curve, requiring minimal to no coding expertise. Its functionalities parallel Airtable in terms of ease-of-use, but with an additional emphasis on complex data structuring.
When it comes to pricing, Grist offers a range of plans to cater to different user requirements. For cloud-hosted options, they have a free plan that provides a solid set of features. Additionally, they offer a Pro plan priced at $8 per user per month, which unlocks more power and peace of mind for teams with increased record limits and extended automatic backups. Both Grist’s and Airtable's paid plans offer scalability in terms of the number of records, attachments, and integrations.
Just like with Airtable, building a database in Grist can take varying amounts of time depending on the complexity of the data and the extent of customization. It offers great versatility, with the capacity to create a diverse range of applications like project management tools, customer databases, and inventory trackers.
Screenshot of Grist
Grist's flexibility lies in its spreadsheet-like design, allowing users to customize their databases extensively, much akin to the adaptability found in Airtable's design. It prioritizes data security, employing robust measures to protect user data.
Grist does not offer a template gallery like Airtable. However, its spreadsheet-like structure facilitates the easy setup of databases. In terms of integrations, Grist and Airtable are much similar, being compatible with popular tools and facilitating seamless connectivity and data exchange.
Screenshot of Grit
Grist shines in its support offerings. It provides comprehensive documentation and community forums where users can find answers and solutions. Paid users have access to direct support from the Grist team. In comparison, Airtable also provides thorough documentation and community forums for its users. However, Airtable has a distinct advantage in terms of the volume of content and user-generated resources available on the internet.
Grist delivers excellent speed and performance, ensuring efficient data management. Its visual design is clean and user-friendly, providing a smooth and enjoyable user experience. While it may lack the advanced visualization features of Airtable, Grist's robust data structuring capabilities make it a compelling alternative.
Hive is a dynamic, no-code project management tool that presents an effective alternative to Airtable, particularly for users focused on teamwork and project organization. Hive combines the functionalities of spreadsheets, chats, and project management into a unified platform. Although Hive doesn't specifically position itself as a database tool like Airtable, it does include spreadsheet-like features that enable data management and collaboration.
Screenshot of Hive
Hive's user-friendly interface guarantees a smooth and intuitive user experience, allowing for easy adoption without the need for coding knowledge. With its extensive toolset for project management and data collaboration, Hive emerges as a compelling option for teams in search of a comprehensive platform. While Hive is more project-oriented, Airtable offers a wider range of use cases and versatility, making it suitable for diverse applications beyond project management.
Hive provides pricing options that cater to various user needs. They offer a free plan for basic usage, ensuring accessibility to all users. Additionally, Hive offers paid plans priced at $12 per user per month, unlocking advanced features and scalability for businesses. Comparatively, Airtable offers a similar free tier and paid plans starting at $10 per user per month. With similar scalability of features, Airtable is cheaper for small teams or projects.
Hive offers considerable versatility, supporting a myriad of applications, including project management, CRM, and task tracking. In terms of flexibility, Hive allows users to customize their workspace views, workflows, and project layouts. However, compared to Airtable, Hive's advanced data manipulation capabilities may be more limited.
Nevertheless, Hive prioritizes data security, implementing stringent protocols to protect user data, just as Airtable does.
Comparatively, Airtable also presents robust integration capabilities with a wide range of popular tools, promoting seamless data exchange and collaboration. In terms of support, Airtable matches up to Hive with its extensive documentation, community forums, and dedicated support for premium users. However, Airtable's larger user base often translates into a broader range of user-generated resources and content available online, supplementing its official support channels.
Screenshot of Hive
Hive's project templates cover various scenarios, expediting project setup and allowing users to dive straight into their work. While not as extensive as Airtable's, Hive's templates add significant value for project-focused users.
Performance-wise, both tools ensure fast loading times and efficient data access. Like Airtable, Hive’s visual design prioritizes simplicity and functionality, facilitating easy navigation and an enjoyable user experience.
ClickUp is a versatile, no-code project management platform that, much like Airtable, facilitates seamless data collaboration and organization. Launched in 2017, ClickUp integrates various productivity tools and services into a singular workspace, offering a competitive alternative to Airtable, especially for teams seeking project-centric management features.
While ClickUp is not specifically marketed as a spreadsheet-like database tool, it provides comparable capabilities allowing users to manage, share, and interact with their data in a similar fashion. Its intuitive interface ensures a moderate learning curve and, just like Airtable, requires no coding expertise to utilize fully.
Screenshot of ClickUp
ClickUp offers a freemium model with a Free Forever plan, making it accessible for personal use. Paid plans cater to various team sizes, starting at $5 per member per month for the Unlimited plan. The Business plan at $12 per member per month adds advanced features, while the Business Plus plan provides additional capabilities for multiple teams. ClickUp's pricing options ensure flexibility and scalability for users and teams of all sizes.
Both ClickUp and Airtable present pricing options for users to explore based on their team's specific needs, with ClickUp potentially providing a more cost-effective solution for teams seeking comprehensive project management capabilities, while Airtable caters to a wider range of use cases and offers a broader ecosystem of integrations.
ClickUp showcases versatility, allowing users to manage a wide array of projects, tasks, and operations, similar to what can be achieved with Airtable's diverse functionalities.
ClickUp provides a high degree of flexibility, allowing users to customize their workspace layouts, workflows, and data structures. However, Airtable might offer a slight edge when it comes to advanced data manipulation and database-specific functionalities.
ClickUp maintains a strong commitment to data security, employing stringent measures to ensure the safety and privacy of user data. It also provides an array of templates, similar to Airtable. While ClickUp's template library is primarily project-focused, it offers an efficient way to kick-start various projects and tasks.
Screenshot of Clickup
ClickUp integrates seamlessly with a wide range of tools and applications, enhancing its functionality and promoting a streamlined workflow. Although ClickUp and Airtable offer different integrations, both present a wide range of tools for different use cases.
Its extensive support offerings include comprehensive documentation, an active community forum, and dedicated support for premium users. Similarly, Airtable provides thorough documentation and a community forum for support. Additionally, Airtable benefits from a larger user base and an extensive online presence, resulting in a wealth of user-generated content and resources available.
Performance-wise, ClickUp ensures responsive app delivery with quick data access, ensuring an efficient workflow. Both Airtable’s and ClickUp’s modern and user-friendly visual designs create a pleasant and immersive user experience.
Stackby is a robust no-code platform for project management, database creation, and workflow automation. Launched in 2018, it provides a comprehensive alternative to Airtable, offering a unique blend of spreadsheet-like interface and relational database functionalities.
Similar to Airtable, Stackby shines with its versatility. Users can customize databases for various applications: from project management to CRM and content calendars. Its learning curve is moderate, and it requires no programming skills, making it accessible for a broad audience.
Screenshot of Stackby
Stackby's pricing is competitive and versatile. The free plan suits individuals and small teams, while the $5 personal plan offers expanded features for a single user. Small teams looking to get organized can opt for the $9 economy plan, and growing teams may benefit from the comprehensive $18 business plan. These plans provide varying levels of storage, stack limits, and automation, making Stackby adaptable to many needs. In comparison to Airtable, Stackby offers more cost-effective pricing tiers.
Stackby offers a great deal of flexibility, allowing users to tailor their databases, workflows, and layouts to their specific needs. Yet, the level of advanced customization and data manipulation in Airtable may provide an edge over Stackby.
When it comes to data security, both Stackby and Airtable uphold high standards, employing stringent measures to ensure user data protection and privacy. They both provide similar capabilities, maintaining a secure environment for your information.
Stackby also provides a variety of pre-built templates, which, although may not be as extensive as Airtable's, still offer a helpful kick-start for various use cases.
Screenshot of Stackby
Stackby integrates with popular applications to enhance functionality and streamline workflows, though its scope of integration is not as expansive as that of Airtable. When it comes to support, Stackby provides extensive resources, including detailed documentation, video tutorials, and a dedicated support team, similar to Airtable.
Performance-wise and just like Airtable, Stackby ensures responsive and fast applications, with efficient data access for a smooth workflow. Its visual design combines a spreadsheet-like interface with database functionalities, providing a user-friendly and engaging experience.