While chatting about our favorite productivity tools, a colleague of mine mentioned Airtable. I was intrigued by my colleague’s description, so I tried the tool. I quickly fell in love with Airtable’s power and ease of use. I have put together my experience in this Airtable review so you can tell if Airtable is right for you.
What is Airtable? #
Airtable is a powerful, easy to use web-based tool for creating AND sharing your own online spreadsheets and databases.
Airtable Vs. Spreadsheets #
I LOVE spreadsheets! I use them everyday for pricing quotes, bookkeeping, “what if” scenarios, item tracking and many other business and personal uses. But Airtable goes beyond just online spreadsheets, letting you create interactive databases and even software solutions you can share with others.
Unlike spreadsheets, Airtable lets you control the field types. So rather than just a number field, you can format the field as:
- Single line text
- Long text
- Multiple select
- Single select
- Created Time
- Auto Number
Wow! This is huge. It is incredibly easy to add checkboxes and selection menus or any other field type to your Airtable. Trying to do this in Excel would be very complicated. But I can do it in seconds in Airtable.
Templates, Templates, Templates #
Another fantastic feature of Airtable is it’s templates. Airtable has a huge library of premade templates for you to copy and adapt as your own.
Here are just a few:
- Project Tracker
- Launch Calendar
- Conference Planning
- Bug & Issue Tracker
- Job Recruiting
- Indie Film Production
- Novel Planning
- Art Gallery
- Pet Medical History
- Camping Trip Planning
- Book Catalog
- Legal Case Tracking
- Social Advertising
- Sales Pipeline and many, many more.
.uring my Airtable review, I was totally blown away by how many templates were in the library for things I never would have thought of. Chances are, there is a template that is just what you are looking for that you can adapt and add to
Sharable, Embeddable #
Once you have your Airtable created, it is extremely easy to share it with others. You can control whether each user can just view, add data or edit data or help manage the table you’ve created. And you can easily embed your table into your web site. A feature I plan on making a lot more use of very soon.
Create Your Own Productivity Tools With Airtable #
The thing I like best about Airtable is that it is so customizable. Using this feature, I have started using Airtable to create and share my own productivity tools. Here are a few examples:
- Conference Database: I created a database to hold information about upcoming conferences that I might be hired to speak at. My Virtual Assistant gathers the conference data and enters it into the Airtable base. We can then create followup plans for each conference and I can see the status of each conference at a glance.
- Freelancer Checklist: I wrote an article about how to hire a freelancer. I created a companion “Freelancer Checklist” for the article and added it into Airtable and shared it so my article readers could copy the checklist for their own use. I was even able to embed the checklist right into the article on my web site.
- Editorial Calendar and Marketing Task List: I am helping one my client with his content marketing program and I created an Airtable Editorial Calendar to track who is assigned to write each article, the article stage (keyword researching, writing, SEO) and the publishing due date. We also track other marketing tasks, such as promoting the articles on social media and tracking their SEO results.
What I love about creating my own productivity tools this way is that I am not stuck with how others think a tool should work – I can customize it for my exact requirements in my business. And, I don’t have to keep paying a monthly subscription for a whole flock of different tools.
What Tools Can Airtable Replace? #
For an organization on a budget, Airtable could replace several other tools.
Like most companies, I pay monthly fees for a LOT of software tools. These fees for me are hundreds of dollars a month and will run in the thousands for larger corporations. But Airtable has the potential to replace many tools like your:
- Project or Task Management Software
- Editorial Calendar
- Inventory Management Software
- Bug Trackers
- Custom Databases
Please note that I am not recommending that you dump all your existing software right off and switch to Airtable, I am just pointing out the possibility. The software you are using may include features and integrations you would miss so I would suggest reviewing your needs carefully before switching.
What about Mobile? #
Airtable works very well on mobile, enabling you to access your tables from your smart phone or tablets.
What About Integrations? #
For me, integrations are becoming one of THE most important factors when choosing software. If new software can’t talk to my existing software, then it is almost useless to me. Airtable does have Zapier integration which does connect you with over 450 web sites and apps. While this integration is excellent, I would like to also see more direct integration with tools I use like Gmail or Teamwork. For example, you can turn a Gmail email into a task in Airtable using Zapier and a Gmail folder/label, but I prefer the way that Teamwork lets me just hit a button and assign the task on a panel that opens up. Hopefully we will see more direct integrations over time.
What is Airtable’s Pricing? #
Airtable’s free version is very generous with unlimited bases, 1,200 records/base and 2GB of attachments per base and 2 weeks of revision and snapshot history. This is enough for many small businesses and non-profits for some time. Their paid plans go from $10 to $20 per user per month and increase your records, attachments and revision history along with a few additional features. So still a very affordable tool.
Airtable Review Conclusion #
I tried to come up with negatives, during my Airtable review, but I honestly can’t say anything bad about Airtable. It has been a joy for me to find a tool that lets me create my own productivity tools that suit my needs. And my clients have been very impressed at the solutions I have created for them in Airtable.
Get started with Airtable here.
Disclosure: Airtable Is a tool I use for myself and my clients every day and that is why wrote this Airtable review. In the interests of honesty and full disclosure, Airtable does reward its members (including me) with additional credit towards higher level features when others join via member links. But I would recommend it even if that weren’t the case.
Please share this Airtable review with others if you found it useful.