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The best Airtable alternatives to try right now

Best Airtable alternatives

There’s no denying that Airtable is a great platform. It stands out from the crowd thanks to its user-friendliness and innovative features. But it doesn’t always get great reviews, which is why we’ve created this guide to the best Airtable alternatives.

We’ve included all the top alternatives to Airtable including the best open source, self hosted, paid and free alternatives. To help you decide, we’ve included all the key features, pricing, and pros and cons of each. You can switch to any of these options quickly and seamlessly without any data loss or workflow interruptions.

Ready to find out more? Read on to find out everything you know to help you choose the best Airtable alternative for your needs.

Airtable is a popular platform that makes it easy to build custom applications without needing to write any code. It combines a database backend with a spreadsheet interface where you can store all your data, organise it into grids and easily integrate third-party applications like Slack, Stripe, Mailchimp and more.

It’s packed with cool features like pre-built templates, easy automation and collaboration capabilities. But despite its popularity, the software isn’t perfect. Many users complain about a lack of performance at scale, poor APIs, no ability to self host and generic functioning without the ability to create plugins for new features. The good news is, there are lots of competitors that are just as good or even better than Airtable.

We’re going to tell you all about them. But first, let’s look at the cons of Airtable and why people are looking around for alternative solutions.

What are the cons of Airtable?

While Airtable claims to be leading the way in the no-code movement, some users are questioning if it has the depth of functionality they need. For instance, although it simplifies the manipulation of data, some users complain that the API is limited, they can only store their data on US-based servers, and they can’t store enough data within even the most expensive price plan.

Looking at its Trustpilot reviews, users also complain about issues with Jira automation, and a lack of customer support. Some users say that the user interface is complicated. And some even claim that their accounts were suddenly deleted and they lost important company data.

Here’s a look at a few of the cons of Airtable and why users are looking for an alternative:

  • Lack of task management features
  • Lack of communication features
  • Limited work automation tools
  • No built-in reports
  • Expensive compared to competitors
  • The tool is slow at larger data volume
  • APIs are limited. You can only manipulate table data and they have a rate limit of 5 requests per second.

Is there anything better than Airtable?

Yes, there are lots of solutions that are better than Airtable. One of the best alternatives to Airtable has to be Baserow, the open-source no-code database that lets you create your own online database without any technical experience needed.

There are some great other alternatives, too. Smartsheets, Notion, Trello, Asana, Freedcamp, and Quip are all worth checking out. Some are free alternatives and some are paid. But they all offer powerful project management and organizational tools that work exactly the way you want.

Best Airtable alternatives and competitors

1. Baserow

Baserow is one of the best Airtable alternatives to try

Yes, we’ve said it and we’ll say it again. Baserow leads the way as the best alternative to Airtable. This collaborative open-source no-code database is one of Airtable’s biggest competitors, offering an array of data management and collaboration features that give you the powers of a developer without leaving your browser.

Each month the company is getting closer to feature parity with Airtable. They’ve created a fantastic platform. And their roadmap for 2023 looks promising, having raised a €5m seed round to build on their open source no-code toolchain.

Baserow lets you connect all your data across your teams and workflows to keep everything in sync. Even without technical expertise, teams can easily digitise workflows, automate processes and improve efficiencies with well-detailed spreadsheets and databases.

The API-first, open source alternative to Airtable

One of the biggest advantages of Baserow vs its competitors is that the software is open source (or rather open core, but let’s not make it confusing). This means that you can optionally install it on your own server. Say goodbye to vendor lock-in!

Baserow is also API first (every feature is an API in Baserow) with very powerful documentation that enables integration with front end and back end tools in a much better way than Airtable.

If you’re missing a feature with a traditional SaaS tool, you might not get it on a different platform, but with an open source tool like Baserow that supports custom plugins, you can simply find what you need and integrate it easily.

Compared to other Airtable alternatives, Baserow offers a clean and user-friendly interface that looks the most like Airtable. It also offers the same flexibility and freedom. However, one of its biggest advantages is its speed. It’s impressive! Even with unlimited rows, everything stays lightning-fast.

It’s really flexible too, so Baserow works for pretty much any project. It easily integrates with other software, it lets you collaborate in real time, and you can choose from a wide range of pre-built templates from marketing and management, to finance, human resources and product management.

Top features, pros and cons

  • Free and paid pricing plans
  • Open source, no code
  • Can be installed on 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.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Nice looking interface.
  • Lots of templates.
  • API first, supporting lots of integrations with other tools
  • Can only be used with a browser.
  • Does not offer a native mobile application yet.

Try Baserow

2. Smartsheet

A Smartsheet spreadsheet

Smartsheet is a great online project management and collaboration tool that works using what it calls ‘‘smartsheets’’. Similar to Microsoft Excel, it has a simple user interface and is quite easy for anyone to learn how to use it, especially if they have experience with Microsoft Excel.

It’s a good option for users who want a bit more than the basics. It has automated alerts, instant updating and sharing across teams, resource management, a Gantt chart view, exportable and automated reports, and easy integration with email.

It can be used to manage and track all kinds of work, from team projects and tasks to customer information, sales pipelines, event schedules, business processes and more.

It’s clean and customizable (although some might say a bit boring) plus it comes with a free trial so you can see for yourself before signing up.

A big downside is the lack of time tracking. It has some third-party solutions but it doesn’t have its own form of time tracking which makes it a deal-breaker for some organisations.

Top features, pros and cons

  • Seamless integration with Google Apps
  • Sign in with Google account info
  • Sync with Google Calendar
  • Works with Google Drive
  • Import/Export between Google and Smartsheet
  • Row and cell link limitations
  • Some users find it difficult to use
  • Can’t easily sort on date and time
  • Commercial software, not open source

Try Smartsheet

3. Notion

A screenshot of Notion team tasks

Notion is one of the better alternatives to Airtable. It offers comparable flexibility 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.

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. For example, you can add an inline table database and choose the fields that fit your needs.

The downside compared to Airtable is that you do not have all the features a regular database has, like linking a field to another table. Notion also does not work well with large amounts of records. But this is not really where their focus lies. If you want the power of a database, spreadsheet and text editor in one tool then Notion is a top choice.

Some other cool features include commenting which is great for collaboration. Also, interactive elements like to-do 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 pages such as 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.
  • Does not work well with lots of data.
  • Limited database capabilities.
  • No plugins.
  • SaaS only.

Try Notion

4. Trello

Trello kanban board

No list of Airtable alternatives would be complete without mentioning Trello. This web-based, kanban-style project management tool lets you easily create work boards, automate tasks and collaborate with team members. It takes just seconds to create a board, and you can collaborate from anywhere, even on mobile.

Whether your team is large or small, Trello can be customized to suit you. It comes complete with great security and features to manage any type of project, task or workflow. Each Trello card has everything you need to create checklists, due dates, attachments, messages and more.

The software is super simple to use, plus it has a handy Power Up feature that helps you integrate top work tools like Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote. It’s also one of the best free alternatives to Airtable, offering an impressive basic package for your whole team. And a free trial for its Premium plan.

Top features, pros and cons

  • Decent free plan
  • Clean interface
  • Great organisation capabilities
  • Keep track of lots of tasks
  • Easy to create boards
  • Good for collaboration
  • For general project management only
  • Not the most agile tool
  • Free plan limits you to board view
  • Hard to handle larger projects with multiple teams

Try Trello

5. Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is another alternative to Airtable

Microsoft Excel is a top contender as an Airtable open source alternative. The popular spreadsheet software features calculation and computation capabilities, graphing tools, pivot tables, and lots of other tools to help you jumpstart your spreadsheets.

Easily create spreadsheets on your own or from templates, and use spreadsheet formulas to help you easily perform calculations. The software boasts new charts and graphs to help you present your data in great ways and create forecasts to predict trends with just a few clicks.

Excel also offers capabilities for real-time collaboration to help you or your teams get work done faster. Additionally, you can now add data to Excel directly from a photo. How cool is that! Simply take a photo of a data table and you can automatically convert the photo into a fully editable table in Excel.

Despite its advantages, Excel’s automatic calculation functions are not foolproof. The software offers no way of checking for human error, so one mistake can skew all of the results. As Forbes reports, JP Morgan lost billions due to an equation error in Excel. So it pays to be ultra-careful when you’re inputting data.

  • Good instant number crunching
  • Easy to organise large amounts of data
  • Good support on multiple platforms
  • A learning curve for unfamiliar users
  • Data is often unstructured and you can’t make relations between entries.
  • Inputting data can be time-consuming
  • Easy to make calculation errors
  • Cloud-based versions are expensive
  • Requires training users once tables become complex
  • Lack of good collaboration views like Kanban or Gallery vows
  • Does not support import of files via forms or drag en drop

Try Microsoft Excel

6. Asana

Asana project management software

Another Airtable alternative to consider is Asana. This smart project management tool helps you manage projects and tasks, focus on priorities and organise work, all in one easy-to-use platform. From the small stuff to the biggest of projects, it can help you automate repetitive work in seconds, avoid human errors and focus on what really matters.

That being said, there are some disadvantages to using Asana. While it’s a good project management tool, it lacks any way to track time, making it one of the platform’s biggest weaknesses. It also requires some experience to use, with lots of features associated with tasks, which can feel a bit overwhelming.

As far as Airtable database alternatives go, Asana is a good contender, however, its main application is geared towards small businesses. So when you start getting larger, some features like task assignment and template customisation can become overly complicated.

  • Lots of views including kanban board
  • Good reporting features
  • Custom rules to reduce errors
  • Lots of templates
  • Needs some prior knowledge
  • No time tracking features
  • Limited assignments
  • Limited file exporting formats

Try Asana

7. Freedcamp

Freedcamp is a free Airtable alternative

Freedcamp is free project management software that helps you streamline all of your projects, processes and workflows in a single collaborative tool. Built for high-performance teams, it has a host of tools including task lists, drag-and-drop kanban boards, subtasks and private task lists.

It also lets you see a calendar overview, discuss ideas with your team, create milestones, track issues, track time and keep all your documentation in one place. You get a Gantt Chart with paid plans to keep a bird’s eye view of your tasks and quickly adjust your plans.

Best free Airtable alternative

If you’re looking for the best free Airtable alternative, Freedcamp is definitely worth checking out. They’ve made their core features free. The free plan includes unlimited projects, tasks, storage and users, however, you need to upgrade to enjoy premium features and add-ons.

  • Comprehensive feature sets
  • Only install what you need
  • Ease of use
  • Free to use basic plan
  • Easy to upgrade for higher storage
  • Mobile app is behind web version
  • It’s focused on project management and doesn’t have the same flexibility as Airtable.
  • More integration needed between tools

Try Freedcamp

8. Quip

Quip productivity solution

Quip is a collaborative productivity solution for mobile and the web. It allows teams to create and edit spreadsheets and documents as a workspace, making business processes more seamless. It also has tools for communicating in real time, including a handy in-app chat. Users can choose between a variety of file types, including spreadsheets, word-processing documents and slideshow presentations.

Quip is free for unlimited personal use, making it another great free alternative to Airtable. However, the free version is limited if you’re sharing with a company or larger workspace. Despite being a good platform, some reviewers felt like Microsoft Excel is better than Quip for feature updates and roadmaps.

Features, pros and cons

  • Communicate directly in documents and spreadsheets
  • Smart inbox to manage documents
  • User permissions can be assigned at workspace level
  • Mobile apps and offline functionality
  • Import and export to Google Drive, Office and more.
  • Text formatting controls are limited
  • Some problems with commenting
  • Desktop can be slow to update
  • Formatting features while exporting are limited

Try Quip

9. Coda

A screenshot of a Coda spreadsheet

If you like to create simple applications by assigning actions to buttons and checkboxes then Coda is your tool. It’s impressive to see how intelligent you can make your documents.

It’s also possible to create database tables and embed them inside your document. It feels really powerful. It’s basically a combination of an application builder, database and text document in one too. If you have a creative mind and know how to put this to good use, you might not need a developer after all.

The app-building alternative to Airtable

When you take a first look at the interface it looks like a regular text editor, but you can do much more once you understand how it works. The tool can be learned easily because of its great onboarding. It contains some interactive examples which actually make it easy to understand everything quickly. There is also a sidebar with learning resources.

Easily add components like tables and calendars to your page. This can be compared to the views of Airtable. It is also possible to add regular text, heading and other normal text editor components.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to expose your data publicly via a REST API. They do have an API available, which is clearly documented by the way, but this is only to modify your pages. Even though it is not possible to code a custom plugin, developers can still do a lot with the API. There are also apps available for Android and iOS, but there is no application for your desktop or laptop.

  • Clean interface.
  • Nice onboarding with examples.
  • App making functions inside a text editor.
  • Easily share your pages.
  • Lots of templates.
  • Components like table, calendar, chart etc.
  • REST API for editing.
  • Android and iOS apps.
  • Slightly more expensive than Notion.
  • Interface feels a bit crowded sometimes.
  • No plugins.
  • SaaS only.

Try Coda

So, which Airtable Alternative is best?

Call us biassed but we think that Baserow is one of the best Airtable alternatives. If you haven’t checked it out already, then you definitely should in 2023.

Baserow’s open source no-code database is user-friendly, plus it boasts heaps of tools and functionalities that anyone can use. You can run it on your own server, so there’s no vendor lock-in. Plus, it’s lightning fast, having been continuously tested with 100,000 rows per table while in development.

It’s also great value, with a great free plan for smaller teams and Premium plans starting from just $5 per month. For larger teams, the Enterprise plan offers RBAC, SSO, audit logs, and direct support.

Ready to get started? Create an account with Baserow today!

Contact Baserow

September 12, 2023 by Bram Wiepjes
Release 1.20

Baserow version 1.20 comes with email notifications, workspace level audit log, search for calendar view, new shortcuts, context menu improvements, and more.

January 26, 2023 by Georgina Brisk
Best Airtable alternatives
January 10, 2023 by Olivier Maes
No-Code Platforms in 2023
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