Are you a fan of spreadsheets? Love ’em or hate ’em, cells are the basis for many project management software platforms. Airtable is one such offering, with an interface that builds on — you guessed it — tables. It’s a great solution for teams who want to visualize, manage, and accelerate their work.
For many Airtable fans, it’s the spreadsheet style that attracts them to the platform. It’s easy to arrange, manage, and view individual projects in this format if that’s your preference, and there is a wide range of additional functionality on offer via third-party integrations. It also comes with ready-made templates, which helps to make the onboarding process a little quicker and easier.
With so many Airtable alternatives to choose from, it can be challenging for teams to select the right option for their specific needs. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of platforms that are similar to Airtable, with a variety of features, capabilities, and limitations.
In this blog post, we’ll compare the most common choices including Wrike, ClickUp, Notion, and Monday.com. Discover the benefits and challenges of each, and learn why Wrike tops the comparison board every time, offering a far greater range of features, along with unrivaled power, versatility, and flexibility.
What is Airtable software?
Airtable is a database-centric platform that combines the functionalities of a spreadsheet and a database in one simple interface.
It’s good for managing and reporting data as it allows users to create and organize information in a flexible and attractive way. As cloud-based software, Airtable is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to users from a variety of locations and within a wide range of industries. This makes it popular among project managers, content planners, customer relationship management (CRM) teams, event planners, and others.
The platform is built on the concept of ‘bases,’ which are similar to the type of spreadsheets or tables you would see in a traditional database. Within each base, users can create multiple tables to store different types of data. Each table consists of records (rows) and fields (columns), which can be customized to accommodate various data types such as text, numbers, dates, attachments, checkboxes, and more. This is of benefit to users who are familiar and comfortable with Excel-style spreadsheets, but might appear more complex than necessary to those who aren’t.
In terms of features, users value the ability to link records between tables, create multiple views of the same data, filter and sort information, and apply formulas to perform calculations. Airtable also includes pre-built templates that help new users get started quickly, saving time building documents from scratch.
While Airtable does allow multiple users to work on the same base simultaneously, its collaboration offering is not as robust as many modern teams will require. It also lacks extensive functionality in terms of project and task execution. This may mean that integration with third-party software is necessary to meet all the team’s needs.
Best Airtable alternative: Wrike
These days, modern teams need much more than a spreadsheet-based management tool. Wrike is by far the best of the Airtable alternatives, because it’s packed with every type of feature and capability you’ll need to excel in this working environment. These include:
While integrations with project management and CWM apps are available in Airtable, they don’t fully plug its collaboration gaps. Wrike, by contrast, was built to facilitate seamless collaboration across remote, hybrid, and onsite teams.
Unique teams need unique solutions. Unlike Airtable, Wrike can be fully tailored to suit your way of working, including custom item types and adaptable request forms that gather all the information you need from the get-go.
Full resource management
It’s more important than ever to maximize our resources, but Airtable is lacking on this front. Wrike, however, has a range of resource management features including native time tracking functionality and out-of-the-box workload charts.
Built-in proofing features
Airtable proofing is limited to comments on image files, but Wrike allows teams to review work in context, add real-time commentary, view multiple versions, edit using popular apps such as Adobe CC, and create automated approvals.
With Wrike, you can work with 400+ popular tools, while staying within one easy-to-use platform. Airtable is more limited here, with roughly 30 standard integrations. More are available via programs such as Zapier and Workato, but these may require additional costs.
Powerful reporting abilities
Wrike makes end-of-month reporting a breeze, with one-click reports and instant-access dashboards that are packed with insightful infographics and detailed analytics. Create from scratch or build from a series of ready-made templates that can be issued to colleagues, shareholders, and clients in a matter of minutes.
If you want to see for yourself just how versatile, powerful, and intuitive Wrike is, you can start a free trial today.
Airtable vs. ClickUp
When analyzing project management software options, many people might consider ClickUp as an alternative to Airtable. Another popular project management tool, ClickUp offers more built-in CWM features, although it’s still not a complete solution like Wrike.
When comparing ClickUp to Airtable and other collaboration tools, proofing and approval capabilities will be high on the list of priorities.
Airtable is limited in terms of proofing; users can comment on image files, but many modern teams need more capabilities than this. It also doesn’t currently offer any integrations with Adobe Creative Cloud. ClickUp, on the other hand, offers the ability to mark changes or leave comments on up to six file types.
However, neither has built-in approval tasks, HTML/web proofing, or native integrations with DAM platforms such as MediaValet — all available via integration with Wrike. If users are looking for an all-in-one CWM solution that offers proofing and approval abilities without additional integrations or add-ons, Wrike is by far the better choice.
Both platforms offer free plans with many of the most popular work management features required by modern teams, including Kanban boards and list views. ClickUp has the edge though, with more built-in offerings and enhanced visibility.
Airtable vs. Notion
Another work management platform that’s similar to Airtable is Notion. While it began life as a note taking app, it has since developed into a task management platform that offers users the ability to centralize knowledge, projects, and tasks.
This is where Notion may be limited. While it’s excellent for managing small teams and projects, it may lack the full range of capabilities required by larger or enterprise organizations. It doesn’t have built-in resource management tools, for example, nor reporting, or proofing capabilities. Airtable is stronger in this regard, although some users may prefer the note-based interface of Notion to the spreadsheet style of Airtable.
Both require integrations in order to extend their offering to cater for a fuller range of requirements, which adds another layer of complexity for busy users. Those seeking a more complete solution would be wise to look at Wrike’s range of features and functions, which make for a fast, easy start in the world of project management and team collaboration.
Free plans are available for both, although Notion is definitely the more affordable option for smaller or growing teams, rising to just $10 or $18 a month for maximum access (billed monthly).
Airtable vs. Monday.com
If you’re looking at Airtable competitors, Monday.com will definitely appear on your list. It’s a well-known work management solution that helps teams boost their productivity. Its features include dashboards, automation, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and more.
The biggest difference between Airtable and Monday.com is their range of built-in features and capabilities. Monday.com’s platform has a more complete set of task management and resource management features, including time tracking. Airtable allows for this via integrations but, in terms of a comprehensive platform, Monday.com has the edge.
However, both solutions have their limitations, so users needing more elevated resource management tools should compare Wrike’s offering to Monday.com’s. Wrike’s 360° workload view allows users to drag and drop tasks, track budget expenditure, and monitor progression to scan for roadblocks and ensure on-time delivery. It’s the simpler, more ready-to-go solution for organizations seeking to do more with fewer resources this year.
Like Airtable, Monday.com has a free plan (for up to two users.) Its paid plans do have minimum users (or seats), which makes the starting price $24 per month (billed annually.)
Why you should choose Wrike over Airtable
If you’re a fan of spreadsheets and cells, Airtable will be right up your alley. It’s great for data management and users familiar with Google Sheets or Excel will find its layout and interface familiar. While it doesn’t have a full suite of CWM features, it does offer integrations to help meet modern teams’ needs.
However, if your team needs more robust work management capabilities — for example, resource management, proofing and approvals, or third-party collaboration — you should probably think about more comprehensive project management software such as Wrike.
One platform for all your needs
With Wrike, everyday features such as proofing, time tracking, and project reporting are part of the package, whereas these require plug-ins with Airtable. Third-party apps are a great addition to any platform, but they can take some time to set up and can throw up potential bugs and learning curves that most modern teams could do without.
One place to unite your teams
Wrike fits all sizes, including small, large, and enterprise organizations. It’s the ideal solution for connecting remote, hybrid, and on-site teams, with a mobile app, real-time chat, and in-context comments. It also allows for true sharing of work through cross-tagging, not just cell linking that gives limited visibility into the linked project or task.
One centralized hub for all your projects
Airtable has no folders, which means that the workspace has to serve as an organizational container for all projects, making it hard to separate and define individual tasks, programs, and portfolios. Wrike, on the other hand, offers complete 360° visibility into every part of your operations, from the highest strategy to the lowest individual task.
If you want to take a tour of Wrike’s powerful platform, dive into a two-week free trial today. It only takes a minute to get set up, so you can start your journey to more productive, successful work immediately.
Say goodbye to sheets forever.