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Airtable VS Google Sheets Reviews: Features, Pros & More

September 23, 2023 811 views

Airtable stands out as a formidable productivity tool, seamlessly blending the functionalities of a database and a spreadsheet. Its versatility makes it a valuable asset for individuals, small teams, and even large enterprises. While it does come at a cost, there are free spreadsheet alternatives that can effectively serve as substitutes, with Google Sheets being a prime example.

In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive comparison between Airtable vs Google Sheets, analyzing various factors to assist you in making an informed decision about which tool best suits your specific needs and purposes.

What is Airtable

Airtable is an intuitive software, designed to empower users of all backgrounds to effortlessly create and share databases. Its user-friendly interface welcomes you with open arms, making it as easy as pie to craft a database view within minutes. Airtable allows you to effortlessly store, organize, and manage your data, whether it's employee records, customer information, or product inventories. No technical wizardry is required; you don't need to be a SQL script guru to make the most of Airtable.

What is Google Sheets

Google Sheets, a web-based spreadsheet tool powered by Google and seamlessly integrated with Google Drive, is your gateway to efficient productivity. This versatile tool bears striking resemblances to the traditional Excel software while harnessing the full potential of the internet.

As a complimentary offering from Google, Google Sheets provides users with a plethora of features at absolutely no cost. Users can easily create, manage, and access their spreadsheets online, eliminating the need for costly software installations or downloads.

Airtable VS Google Sheets

Google Sheets

Features

  • API (Application Programming Interface)

  • Access Controls/Permissions

  • Commenting/Notes

  • Customizable Templates

  • Reporting/Analytics

Pricing

Google Sheets is completely free to use.

Privacy

Google Sheets offers robust security measures. All files stored in the cloud benefit from 128-bit encryption, ensuring that your data remains confidential and inaccessible to unauthorized individuals. The platform also meticulously tracks document changes, providing you with a clear and accountable record of all modifications made by authorized users.

User Experience

Users have expressed their concerns about the Google Sheets application which is generally

Positive Experiences:

  1. Many users express their strong affinity for Google Sheets, citing its intention to use it extensively in the future. They highlight its cost-free access, user-friendly interface, Excel-like functionalities, and the convenience of cross-device accessibility. Users find it particularly valuable for budgeting, helping them save money and plan for the future.

  2. Users appreciate Google Sheets as a completely free application from Google with a clean and practical user interface. They enjoy creating multiple sheets within a project, diverse sheet formats, and the ease of use on both mobile and PC/Laptop devices. The sharing and collaboration features stand out as valuable for working with others.

Constructive Feedback:

  1. In terms of improvement, users express a desire for more customization options within Google Sheets to better align with specific needs. Some note occasional limitations in performing certain tasks but acknowledge the overall value of the platform.

  2. While recognizing Google Sheets' utility, users mention a limitation—the necessity for an internet connection to use it. They find this requirement somewhat restrictive but acknowledge the tool's overall usefulness and express hope for potential enhancements in the future.

Airtable

Features

  • Access Controls/Permissions

  • Collaboration and Communication

  • Data Management

  • Project and Task Management

  • Marketing and Campaign Management

  • Analytics and Reporting

Pricing

Airtable presents a range of pricing plans to suit your needs:

  • Free Plan: This option comes at no cost, offering you 1,200 records per base, 2GB of attachment space per base, and access to 2 weeks of revision and snapshot history.

  • Plus Plan: For $20 per user per month, you get an upgrade to 5,000 records per base, 10GB of attachment space per base, and an extended 6-month history of revisions and snapshots.

  • Pro Plan: Priced at $45 per user per month, the Pro Plan provides a substantial boost with 50,000 records per base, 100GB of attachment space per base, and an entire year of revision and snapshot history.

  • Enterprise Plan: For a tailored quote that meets your specific enterprise needs, reach out to Airtable directly.

Privacy

When utilizing an Airtable application or browsing their website, rest assured that every piece of information exchanged between your device and Airtable servers is safeguarded.

User Experience

  • Users have appreciated the versatility of Airtable. They've found the pre-designed templates to be highly valuable, providing exceptional insights into the software's capabilities. Notably, the Social Media Calendar and Project List have become indispensable tools for these users.

  • Another user noted the ease of use and the clarity of Airtable's calendar feature. They particularly enjoy the ability to view an entire month's worth of content at once, facilitating efficient planning. The software's capability for seamless content upload and download from various locations greatly enhances team collaboration, making it a valuable asset.

Constructive Feedback:

  • Some users have noted that while Airtable excels in many areas, certain aspects could be improved. One user mentioned that the admin portal feels somewhat clunky. Specifically, they expressed the need for more streamlined administrative capabilities, such as the ability to delete bases/workspaces or manage departing team members directly from the admin portal. Currently, they find it cumbersome to access these functions through a departing team member's account and believe that enhancing the admin portal's functionality in this regard would be beneficial.

Comparing Google Sheets and Airtable: Key Features at a Glance

Features

Google Sheets

Airtable

Interface & Usability

Familiar spreadsheet interface; easy learning curve

Spreadsheet-style interface; intuitive and user-friendly

Collaboration

Real-time co-editing; comments and chat

Real-time collaboration; comments and mentions

Database Capabilities

Basic database features

Robust database capabilities; relational data model

Templates

Limited templates

Extensive template gallery

Views

Limited views (e.g., filter, sort)

Versatile views (e.g., grid, calendar, kanban)

Integration

Integrates with other Google Workspace apps

Offers integrations with various apps and services

Automation

Limited automation through scripts

Extensive automation using "Automation"

Pricing

Free; Paid plans for Google Workspace

Free plan available; Paid plans with more features

Privacy & Security

Strong security measures with encryption

Secure data transmission and storage


After delving into the intricate features of Airtable and Google Sheets, it's evident that each has its unique strengths and ideal use cases. The decision between the two is ultimately determined by your unique demands and preferences.

  • For the Budget-Conscious User: Google Sheets is a clear winner, offering a robust suite of features for free. It's an excellent choice for individuals, small teams, and budget-conscious users who need a familiar spreadsheet tool for tasks like budgeting, simple data analysis, and collaboration.

  • For Robust Database Management: Airtable shines when it comes to database capabilities. It's perfect for those who require a more structured approach to data management, including project management, marketing, and analytics. Its templates and relational data model make it versatile and powerful.

How to Use Airtable & Google Sheets

Now that we've thoroughly compared Airtable and Google Sheets, let's take a hands-on approach to make this guide even more comprehensive and practical. By diving into actual usage scenarios, we can provide you with a richer understanding of how these tools can benefit your workflow.

Start Airtable

To start using Airtable, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit the official Airtable website and go to the main menu. Click on "Platform" and select "Download".

Step 2: Find the downloaded file on your system and initiate the installation process.

Step 3: Once installed, launch Airtable on your system to manage your projects.

Step 4: Sign up using your email account. Airtable offers a 15-day free trial, so take advantage of it to get familiar with the tool and make an informed decision about purchasing a paid plan.

Step 5: Start by creating your first base in your workspace.

Step 6: In the table tabs at the top, create tables. These tables can be linked together, making it a powerful tool to manage tasks and sub-tasks efficiently.

Step 7: Import data from Excel, Google Sheets, or other files into your Airtable base by clicking on "Add or import".

Step 8: Click on "Views" in the toolbar to create, edit, and manage views.

Step 9: Users have the flexibility to access various tools through the toolbar to filter and view only the crucial records.

I found Airtable to be an amazing tool for project management, although it did require a bit of a learning curve, especially with automation methods. However, automation methods are often technical in many project management systems. The pricing is somewhat similar to other project management systems, making it a good choice if you're looking for collaboration features.

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Start Google Sheets

To get started with Google Sheets, here are some steps:

Step 1: Go to Google Sheets after opening your web browser and. If you have a Google account, you can access it for free.

Step 2: Click on "Blank" to create a new sheet or choose a template to start.

Step 3: Users have the option to edit the document and input data either by using the keyboard or by seamlessly copying and pasting data from external sources.

Step 4: Explore the "Insert" tab located in the main menu, which allows you to easily insert tables, charts, and various functions to enhance your document.

Step 5: Functions can also be accessed effortlessly by entering an equal sign (=) in a cell, triggering the function. For example, if you want to use the "SUM" function, simply type "=SUM(" to initiate the function. This streamlines the process of performing calculations and data analysis within your document.

Step 6: Share the sheet with others for real-time collaboration. Click the "Share" button and enter the email addresses of collaborators.

Step 7: Use features like filters, sort, and pivot tables to organize and analyze your data.

Google Sheets is a user-friendly and familiar tool. It's great for simple data tasks and collaborative work. It's accessible for free and works well for basic needs.

How to Edit Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for Free?

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Steps to edit Word/Excel/Powerpoint in WPS:

Users can take advantage of WPS Office to efficiently edit their Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Thanks to its wide range of features and compatibility with Microsoft Office files, WPS Office serves as an excellent companion for working with these files, all for free.

Edit a Word File:

Step 1: On your computer, open the WPS Office.

Step 2: From the Side Bar menu, choose the “Docs” option and access your Word document using WPS Writer.

Step 3: You'll find editing tools within various tabs of WPS Writer allowing you to enhance your manuscript's overall quality.

Edit an Excel File:

Step 1: Go to the “Sheets” option that is located in the Side Bar menu. Using WPS Spreadsheet, open your Excel document.

Step 2: Use the editing tools provided in the various tabs of Spreadsheet to improve your Excel document.

Edit a PowerPoint Presentation:

Step 1: Go to the "Slides" option in the Side Bar menu, and then, with WPS Presentation, access your PowerPoint Presentation.

Step 2: You may use the many editing tools that you will find in WPS Presentation’s various tabs to enhance the quality of your presentation.

FAQs

Q1. What are the weaknesses of Airtable?

Airtable comes with the following drawbacks;

  • Airtable's database struggles with managing interactive, visual, and media material, particularly large amounts of pictures and videos. It also lacks support for embedding forms, restricting the seamless integration of rich media and interactive features.

  • Airtable's integration issues make it less recommendable for some companies, particularly those relying heavily on renowned applications like Google Sheets or Excel. It can result in compatibility issues and obstruct data transfer, potentially leading to a search for more adaptable substitutes.

  • Airtable's cost design, starting at $10 per user per month, can significantly burden larger teams and businesses.

  • Airtable, a popular and quick database solution, may give sluggish responses when adding more features and data. To maintain efficiency, consider alternative substitutes to handle increasing workloads and support the organization.

Q2. Can Airtable and Google Sheets handle complex data effectively?

Airtable, a powerful tool with robust relational database features, excels at handling complex data, making it ideal for projects requiring structured databases. Google Sheets offers a user-friendly interface for prompt calculations and basic data analysis, making it suitable for uncomplicated data tasks.

Q3. Which tool offers a better user experience, Airtable, or Google Sheets?

Individual preferences may impact the user experience. While Airtable's database features might require a learning curve, Google Sheets is familiar and easy to use. The best experience depends on expertise and workflow needs.

Q4. What are the pricing differences between Airtable and Google Sheets?

Airtable and Google Sheets have notable price differences. Airtable offers monthly subscriptions starting at $10 per user, offering advanced features and larger data storage. However, its cost can increase as companies grow. Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet, which makes it suitable for individuals and small teams.

Q5. Are there mobile apps available for Airtable and Google Sheets?

Both Google Sheets and Airtable offer specialized mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms, giving users the privilege to access and modify their data from almost anywhere on their smartphones and tablets.

Choosing Your Productivity Path: Airtable, Google Sheets, or WPS Office?

We conducted a comprehensive comparison between Airtable vs Google Sheets to evaluate their respective strengths and capabilities. This guide is designed to empower you with the insights needed to make an informed decision about selecting the most suitable platform for your needs.

Moreover, it's worth noting that WPS Office serves as a compelling alternative to both Airtable and Google Sheets. Not only is it free, but it also offers a wide array of similar features. To explore its capabilities further, you can easily download WPS Office.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.