Smart Spreadsheets For Pretty Much Anything
Since discovering Airtable in 2017, it’s fully revolutionized how we work and what we’re able to doing. Prior to utilizing Airtable, we used different spreadsheet-creating software program and we didn’t even know what we had been lacking out on till we began utilizing Airtable. Not solely can Airtable’s software program be used to create spreadsheets but it surely may also be used to create what are basically databases, and their software program is so versatile and intuitive it may be used to create just about any form of spreadsheet/database for any form of business. If you’re searching for database software program or only a technique to create higher spreadsheets, then carry on studying this Airtable evaluate.
In it, we’ll stroll you thru what Airtable does, who ought to use it, the way it works, the way it compares to different spreadsheet software program, what sort of options it gives, the professionals and cons of utilizing Airtable, how a lot it prices to make use of, and extra. Let’s bounce into it.
What Airtable Does
Airtable helps firms and groups manage just about something in just about no matter method they select to retailer and manage info.
That’s a really primary clarification of what Airtable is able to, but it surely’s a superb start line. Check out the next video to get a futrther look into what Airtable does.
What is Airtable?
Essentially, Airtable is software program designed to create spreadsheets (that are usually greatest used to calculate monetary information) and databases, the place every kind of information will be saved, referenced, and retrieved. As the person, you may create nonetheless many rows and columns you need per desk and you may assign every column (generally known as a “field”) with a task (generally known as a “field customization”) so it may well retailer sure sorts of information in that column in an efficient method. You may use Airtable to create calendars, visible galleries, and kanbans.
One of the most important benefits of utilizing Airtable is that it’s very intuitive to make use of and creates stunning and purposeful databases whereas additionally providing further highly effective customization options.
Is Airtable Good? Why We Use It
To reply this query merely: Airtable is wonderful. It has modified the best way we work for the higher and we might by no means return to common spreadsheet instruments. We didn’t know every part we had been lacking out on till we began utilizing Airtable.
We love Airtable as a result of we are able to handle all of our information in a extra organized and efficient method. We have totally different “bases” for every venture which home totally different “tables” of knowledge that we use to run our web site and tasks. We’ve fully constructed out a system that works for us and no different software that we all know of might create such a posh spreadsheet system that each seems so easy and runs so easily.
We by no means have an issue with Airtable, it’s a type of instruments that simply works and it truly is a part of our group at this level.
Who Airtable is For
One of one of the best issues about Airtable is that it may be utilized by just about anybody who needs to create a spreadsheet or database. It’s tremendous versatile and gives so many alternative choices when it comes to how info will be categorized and arranged so it may be utilized by groups or people doing just about any form of venture.
For instance, Airtable can be utilized by:
- Creative groups & businesses
- Project administration groups
- Marketing & communications groups
- Product administration groups
- Or simply people!
For concepts and inspiration on who makes use of Airtable and what they use it for, take a look at Airtable inspirations.
How Airtable Works
At first, attending to grips with Airtable generally is a little overwhelming due to its many options, nonetheless, when you get to understand how issues work and get used to the method of making and populating Airtable tables, the powers of its options change into inspiring.
What else is nice about Airtable is that the spreadsheets and databases you create will be as complicated or easy as you want them to be. Airtable works for you so that you’re within the driver’s seat when it comes to what you need your Airtable spreads to appear to be and do.
Just as a result of the entire highly effective options can be found to you doesn’t imply you need to put them to work, so in the event you simply must arrange one thing easy you are able to do that too, and it’ll look and work nice.
Airtable vs. Google Sheets & Excel
If you’re already aware of spreadsheet-making software program corresponding to Exel or Google Sheets, you is likely to be questioning how Airtable differs. In quick, they’re incomparable.
Airtable takes the idea of making spreadsheets and multiplies it by 100. It’s spreadsheets in overdrive, with much more subtle functionalities and options. Spreadsheet software program like Excel and Google Sheets are nonetheless helpful and have their time and place, however Airtable’s software program permits for way more flexibility, sophistication, and group.
Plus, Airtable’s spreadsheets are very visually pleasing and, in some instances, simpler to navigate due to the best way information will be categorized—which we’ll get to in additional element later on this article.
Essentially, spreadsheet software program like Excel and Google Sheets shine in terms of information calculations, however Airtable shines in terms of information group, storage, grouping, and retrieval. If you’re managing tasks with many information elements and want a technique to preserve that info multi functional place in an organized method, then Airtable was made for you.
Another massive distinction between Excel and Google Sheets is that each particular person cell can retailer various kinds of information, the place every column in an Airtable defines what sort of information the cells in that row can retailer. For instance, when creating an Airtable spreadsheet, you assign a class to every column corresponding to textual content, hyperlinks, numbers, and so on. and each cell in that column can solely maintain that sort of information. There’s nonetheless a number of flexibility inside this organizational construction, but it surely’s totally different than how Excel and Google Sheets function.
For extra perception into tips on how to swap from spreadsheets to Airtable, take a look at the next video.
What is Airtable Used For?
The great thing about Airtable is that it may be used to create just about any form of spreadsheet or database. It gives so many options that may be utilized to so many industries, in order that’s why so many groups and people use it to handle totally different components of their enterprise.
Following are some concepts on what to make use of Airtable for:
- To create any form of spreadsheet
- Data administration
- Inventory administration
- Customer relationship administration
- Task administration
- Project administration
- Planning and group of information or info
- Team administration
- Content administration
- Project calendars
- Content calendars
Which Companies Use Airtable
Want to know what firms use Airtable to handle their enterprise? These are among the most notable customers:
- Conde Nast Entertainment
- A&E Networks
- Penguin Random House
Not to say, we additionally use Airtable! Check out our Content Strategy weblog submit to see precisely how we use Airtable to handle our weblog content material calendar, plus get a preview of what it really seems like.
Airtable’s Features & Services
Airtable’s highly effective options are what make it such a singular software and why it’s such a useful useful resource for thus many companies. In this part, we’re breaking down every function intimately so you may perceive how their software program works so you may resolve whether or not it’s related to you.
Airtable Bases & Workspaces
First off, Airtable teams particular person spreadsheets (known as “Tables”) into “Bases.” Multiple tables can dwell in a single base, so you may handle a number of totally different facets of a venture in a single singular venture base. This makes organizing your work straightforward and intuitive. A bunch of bases is named a workspace.
Here’s how Airtable defines it in certainly one of their assist articles:
- A base (quick for database) is a database that accommodates the entire info you want for a particular venture and is made up of a number of tables.
- A workspace is a group of bases shared amongst a group of individuals.
- There are just a few alternative ways you may make a brand new base:
You can at all times change your tables, bases, and workspaces as you go so nothing’s set in stone. This is right as a result of it means that you would be able to modify issues as your databases develop.
Airtable Tables, Records & Fields
Within every Airtable base, there are tables, information, and fields and that is the place the magic actually occurs. Like we stated, every base can home a number of tables that are basically spreadsheets divided into their very own tab, and in every spreadsheet are the information and fields the place you may add your information.
Here’s how Airtable describes it:
- Each base is made up of a number of tables. A desk accommodates an inventory of things of the identical sort—like folks, concepts, or tasks. Each desk is comprised of information and fields.
- A report is a person merchandise in a desk. You can broaden a report to see all its related particulars in a card-like structure.
- Information associated to every report is saved in wealthy fields. Each area can retailer a unique sort of knowledge, like textual content, checkboxes, file attachments, rankings, choose choices, and extra. You can change a area’s sort and regulate its formatting with the area customization menu.
The area customizations are what makes Airtable a very distinctive software, and what makes their spreadsheets so subtle. You can add attachments, hyperlinks, photos, quick notes, lengthy notes, checkboxes, numbers, telephone numbers, percentages, dates, barcodes, rankings, currencies, emails, and single and a number of choose choices—plus, you may even hyperlink out to different fields in several tables throughout the similar base which helps preserve totally different tables related and updating in real-time. More on these customizations within the subsequent part.
This is without doubt one of the options that makes Airtable actually stand out from its rivals, and it’s what makes it so purposeful for groups who must retailer and manage a number of information. Using software program that’s tailor-made particularly to spreadsheets doesn’t normally supply these sorts of customizations so it may be unimaginable or not less than clunky so as to add in information like photos, hyperlinks, and even lengthy paragraphs of textual content.
Airtable handles every kind of information effortlessly and when you get used to inputting and storing various kinds of information, it actually opens your thoughts to what you may actually use Airtable for.
You can customise any area with the next class choices, and you may have as many as you’d like of every variety in a single desk:
- Single Line Text: Use this selection so as to add quick strains of textual content to explain something you want.
- Long Text: Use this selection for lengthy paragraphs, a lot of info, notes, or storing copy or directions. You can broaden this area to see the textual content extra simply and you may even “@” different customers on this area to inform them immediately.
- Attachments: Use this selection to connect recordsdata out of your laptop, corresponding to photos or paperwork.
- Checkboxes: Use this selection to tick off duties or to-do lists by merely clicking on the cell to verify or uncheck it.
- Single Select: Use this to create a set of predefined choices that you would be able to select from every time you wish to populate a cell in a selected area. A dropdown checklist of the alternatives you create will seem once you click on on a cell and you may choose the related choice.
- Multiple Select: This choice works just like the Single Select choice, nonetheless, you may choose a number of of your predefined decisions from the dropdown menu.
- Date: Use this selection so as to add dates corresponding to upcoming due dates, or you may even go for the date to populate when a brand new report is created or when the report is most just lately up to date.
- URL: Use this selection so as to add URLs that you would be able to click on on to open up webpages.
- Ratings: Use this selection to rank your information on a numeric or high quality evaluation scale. You can set the rankings from 1-10.
- Numbers: Use this selection so as to add integers or decimals.
- Currencies: Use this selection to format numbers as forex. You can customise the forex in addition to the precision.
As you may see, there are such a lot of customization choices to select from, which may make your databases as easy or as highly effective as you want them to be.
Airtable Revision History
Another invaluable function that Airtable gives is the power to view your revision historical past and revert again to earlier variations of your spreadsheet or database in case you made a mistake or wish to undo modifications. This function can also be helpful to see the previous modifications that different members of your group made.
Airtable’s free plan gives solely a restricted look into the revision historical past however once you improve to a premium model of their plan, you may view way more of your revision historical past. This may very well be a helpful function price upgrading to certainly one of Airtable’s paid plans for!
Since Airtable will be overwhelming to begin with, it’s extraordinarily helpful that they provide templates that you would be able to construct your Airtable bases from! Their group has made lots of of templates designed for particular use-cases so you can begin with a bit nudge in the precise course.
Their templates are additionally helpful to take a look at in the event you’re new to Airtable and wish to be taught the ropes, or simply wish to see what their software program is able to.
These are among the Airtable templates you would possibly wish to take a look at:
These are just a few ecommerce-related choices, however there are such a lot of to select from and so they even have on a regular basis life templates just like the Pet Medical History Airtable Template and Job Hunting Airtable Template. There actually is a template for every part!
Using an Airtable template is straightforward, all you need to do is add a base to your Airtable workspace and select the “Start with a Template” choice. This will take you to the Airtable template gallery the place you may choose any template that you really want.
You may take a look at the Airtable Universe to see bases that Airtable lovers from all around the world have created and shared with different Airtable customers! You can copy their bases to make use of as a template in the event you discover one thing that works for you.
Data views are one other function Airtable gives that make them totally different from different related instruments. The “Grid” view that they provide is the everyday spreadsheet view that we’re used to seeing, however you may also create calendars, galleries, and kanbans. These choices provide the freedom to see your information the best way you wish to see it.
You can create totally different views of the identical base in order that totally different customers can see the information otherwise. This helps preserve all the identical info in a single base so customers can see their most well-liked view with out having to create a number of tables.
Switching between totally different views is straightforward, simply click on on the dropdown arrow subsequent to the view. Head over to Airtable’s “Views” assist web page to be taught extra.
Check out what every view seems like right here:
The Grid View
This choice shows all of your information as fields and rows.
The Calendar View
This choice shows your entire information as a calendar. Click on every occasion within the calendar to see extra info.
The Gallery View
This choice showcases your information as playing cards, which is right for displaying off photos.
The Kanban View
This choice shows your playing cards on a kanban-style board.
The premium plans on Airtable allow you so as to add blocks to your bases that are much like apps in that they add further functionalities to your bases.
There are so many various kinds of blocks you may add to your bases together with:
- Maps & Geocodes
- Bar, Line & Scatter Charts
- Page Designers
- 3D Model Makers
- Countdown timers
- Video chat
- SMS message senders
- Time trackers
- World clocks
- Text translation
- Calendar, contact checklist, CVS and XML importers
And a lot, way more.
If you’re searching for further capabilities to actually deliver your databases to life, it’s price testing Airtable Blocks to see every part they’ve to supply your workflow. We wouldn’t say it is a function that each Airtable person wants, particularly in the event you simply wish to preserve issues easy, however in the event you’re searching for superior capabilities or added extras, there are some enjoyable and purposeful blocks so as to add.
Airtable Support & Tutorials
Another benefit of utilizing Airtable is that they provide very detailed assist companies and tutorials so customers can take advantage of their software program. This is particularly helpful for brand new Airtable customers since it may be such an awesome software to make use of at first.
These are among the sources we suggest testing to be taught extra about what Airtable’s software program can do:
Last however not least, Airtable performs properly with others. They combine with many different companies you would possibly already be utilizing to handle your group, web site, or enterprise so having these integration capabilities at your disposal will help preserve every part working not less than, extra easily and at greatest, extra effectively.
Check out their full checklist of integrations right here, however some notable ones are:
- Google Calendar
And way more. They additionally supply an API which you’ll be able to be taught extra about right here.
Pros & Cons of Airtable
It’s apparent that we love Airtable and every part that it gives, so that you’ll see a roundup of it’s greatest options right here. But, there are just a few minor drawbacks which we’ll additionally point out.
- The Templates: For first-time customers, accessing the pre-made templates is a big assist and actually exhibits what the software is able to.
- The Field Customization Options: No different spreadsheet software gives area customizations like Airtable does, and it’s what makes it so highly effective and turns it extra right into a database-maker.
- The Apps: Airtable is out there as a browser model plus iOS, Android & desktop apps which you’ll be able to obtain right here.
- The Free Pricing Plan: The free plan is just about limitless. It permits for a limiteless variety of bases and a restricted—however extraordinarily beneficiant—variety of information in every base. If you’re simply getting began or solely utilizing Airtable for small databases, you may in all probability get by with the free model fairly simply.
- The Customization Options: You may give every base a coloration and an icon, plus you probably have a premium plan you may make use of much more customization choices in your bases.
- The Sharing Capabilities: Share your bases with whomever you select and alter the viewing functionalities for these you share with.
- The User-Interface: There’s a little bit of a studying curve once you first use Airtable however once you get the hold of it it’s very user-friendly.
- The Embeddable Functionalities: Embed bases elsewhere corresponding to in your weblog or in your web site to share your information with others.
- There’s a Learning Curve: It takes a while to get used to the software in the event you’re model new to it, purely as a result of it’s able to a lot. Make use of their tutorials and base templates to be taught.
- It’s Hard to Add Sub-Tasks: If you’re used to including subtasks or subcategories to spreadsheets or to-do lists, you will have to discover a workaround when utilizing Airtable as a result of it’s not likely constructed into the system.
- Upgrade to a Premium Plan to Access All Features: Their free plan could be very sturdy, however not all options can be found so if you would like among the extra superior options like some customization choices and Airtable Blocks, you’ll must improve. Some options are additionally restricted till upgrading to a Pro plan.
- Linking Between Bases: You can presently hyperlink between totally different tables inside the identical base however you may’t hyperlink between totally different tables in totally different bases which will be limiting.
Considering how highly effective and helpful Airtable is, their pricing could be very honest. Check out Airtable’s pricing plan info right here.
There you could have our Airtable evaluate and a complete look into what Airtable does and why we and so many others love Airtable a lot! It’s fully modified the best way we work and makes us a lot extra environment friendly and arranged. If you’re presently making spreadsheets to handle your groups, tasks, or enterprise in any method, look into Airtable—it’s price making the swap.