What if you can turn Excel or Google Sheets into a streamlined project management tool? With Airtable, that’s possible. It is a powerful database and spreadsheet hybrid software that allows you to organize your data and automate different processes.
Unfortunately, that’s all it can do.
Airtable does not have other capabilities that help you run a successful project from start to finish. For that reason, many companies find themselves looking for alternatives to Airtable. Luckily, there are more than enough choices.
Even better, you don’t have to strain your brain trying to find the best one.
We’ve done the tough part of researching the leading Airtable alternatives and filtering out those that don’t deserve your time and attention. Now, all you need to do is sit back, read this post, and decide which is the best tool for your team.
What Is Airtable?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s cover the basics first. If you haven’t tried using Airtable yet or you’re unsure if it’s worth investing in, we’ll give you a quick walk-through of what this software really is and why you may want to consider an alternative.
Airtable is a sophisticated project management software that allows you to create custom applications. You can present projects in various views using different visual components like grids, Gantt charts, galleries, and calendars.
Best of all, you can build them without ever needing to learn how to write a single code.
Many companies use Airtable to manage all sorts of projects, from managing large-scale video productions to tracking job interviews. At its core, this software lets you create a database you can use to power custom applications.
What is a database? A database is a structured set of data around specific items, such as projects, products, or customers. With Airtable, you can capture and organize your data similar to how you might do using a spreadsheet software.
What Can Airtable Do For Your Team?
What makes this tool different is that it allows you to easily manipulate how you view the data. In turn, you can be on top of everything. Here’s a closer look at the main features of Airtable:
You can connect Airtable to your other tools to automate various processes, such as creating reports, sending an email update, or publishing a Tweet.
Airtable allows you to create polished, shareable visuals for team collaborations and reporting. This tool sorts and processes data into visual elements like a Gantt chart. This way, you can quickly analyze how your projects (e.g., marketing campaigns) are performing.
Airtable brings together information from multiple sources and then sort, filter, and rearrange it to create meaningful insights you can share with your team.
Why Do You Need an Airtable Alternative?
Airtable is one of the best tools for visualizing data, but it may not be enough for managing other aspects of your project. Here are a few reasons why businesses look for Airtable alternatives:
Limited Task Management Features
Airtable is great when it comes to helping you manage data and create spreadsheets. Unfortunately, it does not fit the bill if you’re looking for a task management tool that can help you assign tasks, for example.
To assign a task, you have to manually use and edit the Airtable grid. Now, imagine how tedious and error-prone this aspect can be if you work with many teams or individuals.
Lack of Collaboration Tools
Airtable falls short in terms of team collaboration. While it is possible to add comments on the data rows, there is no tab for general discussions or conversations. It also lacks features like forums, channels, and chatrooms.
Airtable has a tiered pricing system that ranges from $0 to $20 per user per month. Even though this software comes with a free version, you’d have to purchase the Premium plan to avail yourself of all the Airtable features.
The Pro is the most popular plan, as it comes with advanced customization features. For a team of 10, for example, the cost is $200 a month and is billed annually.
While it seems reasonable, take note that Airtable doesn’t provide you with other features to manage your projects from start to finish. That said, you have to opt for other tools that will cost you more money in the long run.
Best Airtable Alternatives: A Quick Comparison
If you want to get the best bang for your buck, consider our top picks:
|Airtable Alternative||Best Suited For||Pricing|
|Trello||Small project visualization and task management||Standard – $5 per user per month|
Premium – $10 per user per month
Enterprise – $17.50 per user per month
|Hive||Project management platform for hybrid work||Starts at $12 per user per month|
|Nifty||Project and team management||Starter – $39 per month|
Pro – $79 per month
Business – $124
Unlimited – $399
|Zenkit||Collaborative project management and database building||Zenkit Project Plus – $9 per user per month|
Zenchat Business – $19 per user per month
|Smartsheet||Data collection and management||Pro Plan – $7 per user per month|
Business Plan – $25 per user per month
|ProofHub||Project planning, management, and delivery||Ultimate Control – $89 per month |
Essential Package – $45 a month
|Asana||Project and product development and team collaboration||Free|
Premium Plan – $10.99 per month
Business Plan – $24.99
|ClickUp||Cloud-based collaboration and project management||Free|
Unlimited – $5 per user per month
Business – $12 per user per month
Business Plus – $19 per user per month
Enterprise – Custom pricing
Top 8 Best Alternatives to Airtable
When searching for alternatives to Airtable, look for software that not only helps you manage data but also takes care of your task management and collaboration needs. Do note, however, that not all Airtable alternatives are worth your time and resources.
Trello is a simple project management tool used by over 50 million people worldwide. What makes it one of the top Airtable alternatives is that it has a user-friendly dashboard where you can keep all of the information organized in one place.
At its core, it is a visual tool for managing all types of projects and workflows. This platform exists as a neatly organized collection of boards, lists, and cards that make it extremely easy to assign tasks and keep track of them.
Unlike Airtable, which has a slightly steep learning curve, navigating Trello is easy to learn. As such, even the most novice users can get the hang of it after only a few minutes of using it.
While Airtable lets you do more, such as make spreadsheets and applications, it will take time to learn each of its components. Therefore, it can be a little overwhelming for most users. Where Airtable falls short, Trello thrives. We’re talking about team collaboration.
In summary, this management tool lets you: create and assign tasks, view your workflow, and collaborate and communicate with your team. Here are the main features of Trello that make it a great tool for managing projects:
This platform comes with free preset templates for various categories, such as sales, design, marketing, productivity, and team management.
Trello has an automation feature called Butler. With it, you can create rules and commands on your board to reduce repetitive tasks. For example, you can set up a button on a card to trigger a specific action when clicked.
Tasks in Trello are created through cards. Each card can include the task description, attachments, due dates, subtasks, and assignees. You can make those cards more visual by changing the covers and colors.
Trello lets you break big tasks into smaller chunks and track the status of the project.
Trello currently offers three packages:
- Standard – $5 per user/month
- Premium – $10 per user/month
- Enterprise – $17.50 per user/month
It also has a free version, although it has limited features and is ideal only for small teams or individuals looking to organize any project.
Hive is a project management tool designed for teams that need a centralized workflow management system. With its built-in chat feature and four view options, it is a wonderful place for teams to communicate and collaborate.
The platform is very similar to other Airtable alternatives like Trello, Basecamp, and Asana. It allows you to create a workspace for your individual projects.
Even though it is mainly dubbed as a project management platform, Hive offers so much more. In particular, it is an efficient way to manage and collaborate tasks and actions, track workflows, and organize data.
In Hive, you can create your own to-do list and track tasks from projects. On Hive’s dashboard, you will see four tabs:
- To-do – This place houses all the tasks assigned to you.
- Snoozed – This is where all “snoozed” or pending tasks go.
- Completed – When you finish a task, it will go here.
- Assigned by me – If you have tasks assigned to others, they show up here.
Hive is a little more complex than Trello when it comes to project management. Even so, it remains relatively easy to use. For this reason, it is a perfect management tool for complex projects.
It is built with features to help you communicate with your teammates across projects, tasks, and notes. On Hive, you can comment on relevant action cards, add an attachment, tag a team member, and so on.
Like Airtable, Hive lets you create insightful visuals for your data. It has four view options: Kanban, Table, Calendar, and Gantt.
Lastly, Hive helps you connect with your team from anywhere. Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, it has tools that make communicating easy. For example, you can connect with teammates in Hive Chat individually, enter a video call, sync notes during meetings, and enter a Zoom or Google Meet conference.
Hive has a free version for individuals looking to organize projects in one place. However, if you want to unlock more of its features, you can choose the Teams plan, which costs $12 per user per month.
It also has an Enterprise package for bigger companies, priced depending on your business project management needs.
If you are looking for a simpler alternative to Airtable, Nifty is an excellent choice. This platform lets you consolidate workflows, flowcharts, projects, and communications in one place. It also streamlines and automates the tracking of your project milestones.
Aside from helping you manage tasks, Nifty comes with collaboration features so that you can easily communicate and work with your team.
Moreover, this software reduces project development cycles and boosts team productivity by taking all of the important project management features you need in one place. The end result is milestone-driven automation that keeps everyone in your team aligned.
Nifty makes one of the best alternatives to Airtable because of the following handy features:
Nifty allows you to set a visual timeline of your projects. You can visualize projects using Gantt charts, Swimlane View, and Master Overview.
You can also view projects using the Kanban view, which prioritizes work and manages feedback. The Timeline View helps you better plan your projects and keep track of your timelines.
Lastly, Nifty features a Calendar View to help you plan tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Like other Airtable alternatives, Nifty also promotes team communications through features like chatrooms and one-click video conferences. It supports real-time collaboration among project stakeholders to share ideas, collect feedback, and make meaningful decisions.
In addition, Nifty features direct messages, allowing you to stay connected with your teammates outside of projects.
- Collaborative Docs
With Nifty, you can seamlessly upload files from your computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox and auto-sort your files by type for easy access. You can choose between a Google Doc, Nifty Doc, or Spreadsheet, which syncs with your Google Drive.
Another unique feature of Nifty is that it can automatically create subtasks on projects based on the comments left on the content.
Nifty has several packages:
- Starter – $39 per month
- Pro – $79 per month
- Business – $124
- Unlimited – $399
A Nifty subscription includes a 14-day trial.
Zenkit is another project management tool that is highly suitable for small and large teams. In a nutshell, it makes setting up workflows and collaborating with your teammates quick and easy. The platform’s flexibility is a major benefit, and the modular pricing makes it possible for you to choose only the tools and features you need.
Zenkit is a fully customizable project management tool you can access from a browser or through an app on your phone or tablet. The platform is segmented into the following suite options:
- Zenkit Base
Zenkit offers a place to store and organize all of your data in one place, including your spreadsheets and documents. You can take advantage of multiple views, including Kanban, Table, Mindmap, and Calendar. All these view options can be filtered and customized to your unique needs.
- Zenkit To Do
Zenkit lets you create a to-do list in a more organized manner so that you never miss a beat. The smart list features include Favorites, Assigned to me, and Today.
The platform lets you create topic chats you and your teammates can use for specific tasks or projects. This reduces the need to scroll through the chat and filter out irrelevant information.
In 2020, Zenkit released a new feature that enables users to include notes, outlines, scripts, wikis, and documentation to better understand collected data.
- File Sharing
Zenkit also features file-sharing capabilities. You can share documents and images from your desktop or your cloud storage service with full offline support.
As mentioned, Zenkit has a modular pricing model. The cheapest plan is the Zenkit Project Plus, which costs $9 per user per month. Meanwhile, the most expensive plan is the Zenchat Business at $19 per user per month. Zenkit also offers special pricing plans for nonprofits and educational institutions.
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-style project management software for teams and organizations managing multiple complex projects. It is designed for companies of all sizes that need to manage their workflow and improve collaboration.
At its core, it is a powerful tool for collecting and analyzing data. It’s a great Airtable alternative if you feel that traditional options like Google Sheets and Excel are too limited for what you want.
Smartsheet has plenty of features that make managing data and workflows a breeze, such as:
- Team Collaboration Tools
In addition to project management, Smartsheet is equipped with tools and features that help teams easily collaborate. On the dashboard, you can attach files, make notes, assign tasks, share presentations, and more.
It is also highly customizable. You can add the collaboration features you want and get rid of the ones you don’t to keep things as simple as possible.
- Analytics and Reporting
Smartsheet has powerful reporting capabilities that make it easy to consolidate data from multiple sheets into a single file. In doing so, you can easily identify trends that can help you make good business decisions.
Moreover, you can publish and share the report with stakeholders, team members, departments, and anyone else who should be in the loop.
The software also has an activity log that shows who is accessing the reports and when they are doing it. In addition, if someone makes any change to the report, it is updated in real-time to the attached sheets.
- Automation Tools
Smartsheet outshines many of its competitors for its comprehensive set of integrations and automation tools. You can use triggers, conditional paths, and basic logic to automate processes and improve the team’s workflow.
Smartsheet has a Pro Plan that costs $7 per user per month. It is best for individuals and teams that want to share, track, and manage projects with unlimited viewers.
For businesses that need more capabilities, Smartsheet has the Business package that costs $25 per user per month. They also have an Enterprise package that has custom pricing.
ProofHub is an all-in-one project management solution that helps you effectively manage processes, tasks, and files and communicate with your team.
What makes this software a strong competitor of Airtable is that it is a complete package. It has everything you need to manage your projects from beginning to end. Your team can make sure every critical piece of information is in the right place and that nothing falls through the cracks.
There are many things to love about ProofHub, including:
- Task Views
ProofHub lets you create multiple task lists and divide them using checklists of subtasks. Thanks to this, you can define the structure of your projects. The platform also features a Calendar View that allows you to plan your time and events.
ProofHub supports discussions, file sharing, instant messaging, and document collaboration. You can tag people, set user permissions, and even check who is online.
- Project Planning
Anyone will benefit from the platform’s advanced project management features, such as collaborative planning and progress monitoring.
Similar to Airtable, ProofHub lets you create Gantt Charts, Kanban boards, and milestones. In 2021, ProofHub added new features and capabilities. Among them are sticky notes called Stickies. You can use them to quickly jot down thoughts or information you need while working.
Another helpful feature is Bookmarks, which helps you save tasks, topics, notes, folders, timesheets, and other elements to keep track of important information.
A huge draw of ProofHub is its flat pricing. You won’t have to pay per user; when you purchase a license, it can be used by unlimited people.
Currently, ProofHub has two packages: Ultimate Control and Essential. Ultimate Control is priced at $89 per month and supports unlimited projects with 100GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Essential package costs $45 a month. It supports up to 40 projects and provides 15GB of storage.
If you search the internet for the best project management tools, Asana will likely come up at the top of the list. It outperforms other software programs because of its user-friendly Kanban-style interface.
It is considered one of the best apps for managing workflows and different kinds of projects. Although it has a steep learning curve, the vast capabilities that Asana offers make it well worth the effort to get started.
Many productivity enthusiasts love Asana because it is a highly collaborative tool that helps teams track work, from tasks to workflows.
- Project Management
On Asana, you can organize your work into shared projects in the form of lists or Kanban boards. You can then break up these tasks into manageable pieces for your team.
For better organization, you can break up a task into smaller parts and show the steps to complete it. Consequently, you can tag task assignees so that everyone knows about their roles. You can even add dependencies, rules, likes, attachments, forms, comments, rules, and templates.
Asana supports communication among your team members through various tools and features, like project conversations, team pages, proofing (feedback), and task comments. The platform is available in multiple languages, including Chinese, Italian, Korean, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese.
- Process Management Automation
Asana makes it easy to automate processes, especially repetitive tasks and workflows. You can set up custom rules, triggers, and actions to speed things up. Moreover, it’s possible to set up basic automation, including assigning a task, checking a box, alerting your team in Slack when a project or task is done, and cascading due dates.
- Team Collaboration
Asana is one of the few Airtable alternatives that can act as a single source of truth for file sharing and team communication. You can assign priorities, create task dependencies, adjust due dates, and chat back and forth.
- Multiple Task Views
With Asana, you can manage projects and tasks in several different ways. You can make Kanban boards, calendars, lists, workloads, timelines, and portfolios.
If you’re looking for free Airtable alternatives that are not too limiting, you should try Asana. The free plan is jam-packed with features that make them ideal for small businesses. It supports unlimited teams and projects, messaging, file storage, multiple project views, and more.
If your team is composed of fewer than 15 members and you manage basic projects, there’s no need to upgrade your Asana plan. However, if you have a bigger team, you can switch to the Premium version, which costs $10.99 per month, or the Business plan, priced at $24.99.
If you’re looking for an Airtable alternative that strikes the right balance between features, user-friendliness, and affordability, then ClickUp is for you. This cloud-based project management tool offers team collaboration features and task-setting functions to help you efficiently manage projects and workflows.
ClickUp is a great Airtable alternative for the following reasons:
- Customization Capabilities
What makes ClickUp suitable for varying teams is that it has a high level of customization capability. As such, you can take a personalized approach to your projects.
For example, you can adjust the task structure based on your workflow, business model, or personal preference. You have over 50 widget variations to choose from to build your dashboard for high-level work overview and reporting.
- Team Collaboration and Communication
ClickUp offers advanced features that enable small and large teams to streamline their communication and collaborate with anyone in real time.
The software allows you to send or receive emails, chat with your colleagues, edit documents with other team members, and more. You can rely on the tool to stay connected with your team wherever you are.
- Real-Time Reporting
Another benefit of ClickUp is its advanced reporting capabilities. You can use the tool to track projects and productivity, as well as deadlines that your team members missed. In turn, you will gain more insight into your team’s overall performance.
- Multiple Task Views
The platform offers 15+ view options to choose from. You can view your projects, timelines, and team structure however you want. Apart from the usual view options, like Calendar, Board, List, and Gantt view, you can also try the Mind Map, Workload, and Activity views.
- Time Tracking
Aside from project management, ClickUp serves as a productivity management tool. You can use it to track time, add notes, view reports, and set estimates. You can also mark billable time to see how many hours your team members have clocked in for each task or project. All of these are helpful in creating invoices.
ClickUp is one of the few project management tools available in a well-functioning mobile application. The mobile version boasts an intuitive interface for easy navigation.
ClickUp has a free version that is best for personal use. It also has paid versions, which cost:
- Unlimited – $5 per user per month
- Business – $12 per user per month
- Business Plus – $19 per user per month
- Enterprise – Custom pricing
Which Airtable Alternative Is Best for Your Team?
Airtable is a reliable spreadsheet software, but it’s far from being a perfect project management tool. If you are looking for a robust platform that can help you manage projects and streamline collaboration, consider any of these alternatives to Airtable.
When choosing an Airtable alternative, take into account the size of your team, the tools and features you need, and your budget.
Airtable Alternatives FAQs
1. Why is Airtable so popular?
Airtable is a platform that helps you build powerful, custom applications to streamline your workflow, business processes, and projects. You can also use it to create and share relational databases through a simple, colorful, and easy-to-use dashboard.
2. Which is better Airtable or Google Sheets?
While both Google Sheets and Airtable are great tools for managing data, Airtable offers more benefits for teams. That’s because it lets you view and manage your data in dynamic ways. You can also use the software to create no-code applications.
3. Can I use Airtable as a CRM?
Yes, Airtable is a flexible tool you can use to build a CRM. Despite its limited automation options, you can integrate it with several other apps to fit your business.
4. What are the best free Airtable alternatives?
Asana, Zenkit, and ClickUp are among the best free Airtable alternatives. Their basic plans are enough to help you tackle simple projects and workflows. However, if you require more features and functionalities, you can always upgrade to a premium plan.
5. Is Airtable better than Excel?
Airtable is a hybrid of a spreadsheet and a database. It outperforms Excel in that it can track small amounts of data for workflows and help you collaborate and plan events.