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Best Airtable alternatives

1. Baserow

A relatively new player as an Airtable competitor is the open source tool Baserow. If you look at their roadmap it looks very promising, but they're still in a very early phase. This means that they don’t have lots of features, which might make you hesitant to actually start using the tool instead of only trying it out.

Screenshot Notion

The open source alternative to Airtable

The large advantage they hold over all the other competitors is that their software is open source, or rather open core, but let's not make it confusing. For you, this means that you can optionally install it on your own server. Goodbye vendor lock-in! In case of Baserow this also means that developers can make custom plugins and this is something that can be very useful. If you’re missing a feature with a traditional SaaS tool, you might never get it, but with an open source tool that supports custom plugins there will likely be someone who thinks the same and actually wrote that plugin. Take Wordpress as an example, there are at the time of writing 56.136 plugins on their site.

Compared to the others, their interface looks the most like Airtable. It offers the same flexibility and freedom. One of the advantages is the speed. You’ll immediately notice when you’re having lots of rows is that it’s still very fast. It seems that they’ve put a lot of effort in keeping this fast because they continuously tested with 100.000 rows. This probably means that their developers used a database with lots of rows while writing code.

  • Open source.
  • Can be installed at your own server.
  • Has a hosted SaaS version.
  • Unlimited rows when self hosted.
  • Supports plugins.
  • The interface works fast! They continuously test with 100.000+ rows.
  • The SaaS version can be used for free.
  • Nice looking interface.
  • Can only be used with a browser.
  • Doesn’t support mobile devices yet.
  • Doesn’t have a lot of documentation yet.
Try Baserow

2. Notion

Notion is one of the better alternatives to Airtable. It offers comparable flexibilities and it looks really good! The approach is different though. With Airtable you have a spreadsheet like interface that works really well with larger sets of data. Notion on the other hand has a text editor like approach.

Screenshot Notion

A text editor alternative to Airtable

You’ll love the flexibility! You can create a “page” and add headings, lists, text and more, just like you would expect from a text editor. The power lies in the databases you can add. You can for example add an inline table database where you can choose the fields that fits your needs. The downside compared to Airtable is that you don’t have all the features a regular database has, like linking a field to another table. Notion also doesn't work well with large amount of records, but again this is not where their focus lies. If you want to power of a database, spreadsheet and text editor in one tool then Notion will probably be your tool of choice.

Some other cool features are commenting which is great for collaboration with co-workers. Also the interactive elements like todo lists work like a charm. While it is not an open source tool that supports plugins, there are a lot of embeds you can add to your page, think of a Tweet, Google Maps and many more.

  • Nice looking interface.
  • Flexible with a text editor approach.
  • Lots of templates to choose from.
  • User friendly documentation.
  • Share pages publicly.
  • Apps for windows, mac, iOS and Android.
  • Doesn't work well with lots of data.
  • Limited database capabilities.
  • No plugins.
  • SaaS only.
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May 21, 2020 by Bram Wiepjes
Best Airtable alternatives

A lot of tools claim to be a competitor to Airtable, but in reality they aren’t nearly as flexible or only offer a small subset of features. We’ve looked at real competitors and compared them.

release
May 1, 2020 by Bram Wiepjes
May alpha release of Baserow
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April 16, 2020 by Bram Wiepjes
Under the hood of Baserow