5 Project Management Alternatives to Airtable (2022)

Airtable is one of the top cloud-based data and project management softwares, but it doesn't answer every team's needs. Consider these five alternatives.
by Julianne Youngberg · November 2022

Contents

    Airtable is notorious for being the leading cloud-based database-spreadsheet hybrid in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space. Its robust integration features put it in a league of its own. And because it is built as a no- to low-code product, it’s fairly easy for non-technical users to use.

    The impressive versatility and visualization features of the platform makes Airtable the preferred project management software in practically every capacity you can think of, including sales, marketing, product development, and personal productivity. Even so, there are times when Airtable might not be the right fit for you.

    Many Airtable alternatives have emerged throughout the years, both free and paid. In this article, we’ll discuss a few on the list and consider when they might be a better fit for you.

    Note : All of the information in this article is current as of the publishing date.

    Airtable: A Robust Spreadsheet-Database Hybrid on the Cloud

    Database software is a dime a dozen, but Airtable stands out as a cloud-based platform that brings together the best of spreadsheets and relational data management tools. With over 1,000 native integrations, Airtable makes it easy to create custom workflows in a few clicks.

    Third-party integration services, scripting extensions, automation scripts, webhook triggers, and an enterprise API (Application Programming Interface) also make it possible to take advantage of other apps’ capabilities. Whether you’re generating event ID cards from a base or building a comprehensive lead management system, Airtable can do it all.

    Screenshot of Airtable home page

    Airtable’s pricing starts from free for individual and small team use, going up to $20 monthly per user for access to many more bases, extensions, integration options. Departments and organizations can also request custom quotes for unlimited use.

    Screenshot of Airtable pricing page

    As extensive as its capabilities might be, Airtable is not always the best fit. Teams looking for platforms with better time-tracking capabilities, detailed reporting, or more affordable pricing should consider alternatives that better answer their needs.

    Trello: A Lightweight Kanban-based System

    Trello has gained notoriety as a Kanban method-oriented platform. Teams use cards to title tasks, add deadlines, assign stakeholders, upload files, and upload related files. As these tasks progress, they are moved down different lists so it's easy to visualize the current status of a project at a glance. Projects can also be viewed as timelines, charts, calendars, and maps.

    If you need to integrate other tools’ capabilities into your Trello board, you can use features such as Butler automation, native integrations, and third-party plugins known as “Power-ups.” This allows for more control without requiring too much technical know-how.

    The intuitive, cloud-based system requires little-to-no ramp up, making it excellent for smaller and less complex projects. However, large-scale project teams may find Trello to be limiting. Without dependency management and similar capabilities, it can be difficult to truly gauge the status of a project.

    Screenshot of Trello home page

    Trello’s pricing starts free for individuals and small teams that need up to 10 boards, going up as high as $17.50 monthly per user for features like additional project views, unlimited command runs, and admin features. Larger teams can get an enterprise quote that bring costs per user down.

    Screenshot of Trello pricing page

    🔑 Key Features:

    • Kanban visualization
    • Drag-and-drop interface
    • Options for integrating third-party tools

    😍   What We Liked:

    • Little-to-no ramp up
    • Unlimited activity log for all tiers (including free)
    • Web, desktop, and mobile apps available

    😐   What We Didn’t Like:

    • No advanced project management features
    • Paid plugins required for basic tasks

    💭   Overall Thoughts:

    Trello is easy to use and highly accessible across devices. Kanban visualization makes it the platform of choice for less complex projects, and automation features save a lot of time. However, the lack of advanced features make it less suitable for large-scale projects.

    Asana: An Multi-Workspace Tool for Businesses

    Asana is well-known in the project management space for its range of capabilities. Teams can organize anything from complex processes to minute tasks using timelines, boards, calendars, and more.

    Other features include hundreds of native app integrations, real-time reporting, strategic goal-setting, and an API for custom solutions. The fairly recent Workflow Builder tool is worth noting because it now allows Asana users to automate processes within the app and across tools, saving time and increasing accuracy in the process.

    Screenshot of Asana home page

    Asana’s pricing starts free for individual or small team use, offering unlimited tasks, projects, and activity logs. It goes up to $24.99 monthly per user for a wider range of customization features and the Workflow Builder tool. Larger organizations can also request an enterprise quote.

    Screenshot of Asana pricing page

    🔑 Key Features:

    • Shared activity feed for centralized updates
    • Highly intuitive and easy to navigate
    • Workflow Builder for simplified processes

    😍   What We Liked:

    • Easy collaboration with comments, likes, reactions, assignments, and follows
    • Native integration with most industry-leading tools
    • Dynamic and extensive reporting features

    😐   What We Didn’t Like:

    • Limited time-tracking features
    • Steep learning curve

    💭   Overall Thoughts:

    Asana is a comprehensive project management tool with features suitable for teams of all sizes. The built-in Workflow Builder and native integrations allow it to work well with most existing tech stacks. However, there might be such a thing as too many features. Teams that don’t need advanced capabilities might find the software unnecessarily complicated and opt for something simpler and easier to learn.

    Stackby: An API Integration Powerhouse

    Stackby has a user interface reminiscent of Airtable, and it shares the most features in common compared to any other platform on this list. Spreadsheet-style databases with supercharged API and automation capabilities make it suitable for both small- and large-scale projects.

    With over 40 column-level API connectors and 15 powerups (plugins), Stackby is an integrations powerhouse that even non-technical users can use. It’s built to take as many menial tasks as possible off of your hands while being completely customizable.

    Even with a relatively limited number of native integrations, Stackby’s API easily connects to other tools. This gives teams more control over their processes and makes it easy for them to send data from one app to another.

    Screenshot of Stackby home page

    Stackby’s pricing starts free for 10 stacks and has three paid tiers that go up to as much as $18 monthly per user. Most teams will find the usage to be sufficient, although companies that require even more can contact sales for a custom enterprise quote.

    Screenshot of Stackby pricing page

    🔑 Key Features:

    • 40+ native app integrations
    • Drag-and-drop workflow builder
    • Robust reporting features

    😍   What We Liked:

    • Built-in time tracker, countdown tracker, and milestones
    • Easy connectivity to different data sets
    • 200+ pre-built templates for a wide range of use cases

    😐   What We Didn’t Like:

    • Limited native integrations
    • Steep learning curve
    • Insufficient number of free workspaces

    💭   Overall Thoughts:

    Teams needing to build highly custom workflows that require spreadsheet granularity can benefit from Stackby’s advanced features. However, they will need to consider that the platform is still relatively new and may not live up to the standard in terms of user interface and quick customer support.

    Notion: A Simple, Yet Highly Personalizable Platform

    Notion appears to have a simple, notepad-like interface, but its capabilities go far beyond. Teams can build dashboards that include docs, spreadsheets, roadmaps, and trackers. Personalization is a priority for Notion, and anyone from high school students to enterprise sales teams can build the systems they need.

    Aside from built-in features, Notion has 200+ built-in app integrations and an API that allow you to connect with other tools in your workflows. The platform itself is incredibly nocode friendly—ideal for non-technical users.

    Screenshot of Notion home page

    Notion’s pricing starts free for personal use, going as high as $8 monthly per user for team use, unlimited file attachments, and admin tools. Brands in need of more extensive security, auditing, and support can also request enterprise quotes.

    Screenshot of Notion pricing page

    🔑 Key Features:

    • 200+ native app integrations
    • Drag-and-drop user interface
    • Web, desktop, and mobile apps

    😍   What We Liked:

    • Engaged and growing community
    • Thousands of peer-generated templates
    • Easy to share with guests and external stakeholders

    😐   What We Didn’t Like:

    • Difficult to switch between pages and users
    • Users cannot have custom views on shared pages
    • Limited spreadsheet capabilities

    💭   Overall Thoughts:

    If you’re looking for a less complex alternative to Airtable, Notion could be the software of choice. It’s ideal for use cases that require dashboards that are a mix of different things—wikis, lists, spreadsheets, docs, and calendars. That said, no one feature is especially advanced and larger datasets may take time to load and feel clunky. You might find other platforms to be more suitable if in-depth project management or reporting features are necessary.

    Basecamp: A Platform Geared Towards Remote Teams

    Basecamp is a project management software that puts real-time collaboration at the forefront of its priorities. Communication is easy with both synchronous and asynchronous options. Teams can use a combination of polled check-ins, group chats, and pings to seamlessly keep each other in the loop.

    In terms of actual project management capabilities, Basecamp has a lot to offer. Users can visualize projects as Kanban cards, timelines, and even Hill charts. Individual feeds and personalized notifications also mean users can follow multiple projects at once.

    Dozens of “doors”—app integrations—allow third-party tools to send or receive data from Basecamp, expanding the processes you can build.

    Screenshot of Basecamp home page

    Basecamp’s pricing is simple: they only offer one tier at $11 monthly per user. Projects, features, and integrations are unlimited, and guests can be invited to collaborate at no further charge.

    Screenshot of Basecamp pricing page

    🔑 Key Features:

    • Synchronous and asynchronous collaboration features
    • Dashboard to view project statuses in a glance
    • Web, desktop, and mobile apps

    😍   What We Liked:

    • Transparent, single-tier pricing
    • Variety of remote collaboration options
    • Personal activity feed for updates on associated projects

    😐   What We Didn’t Like:

    • Limited project views
    • No time-tracking, budgeting, or resource management features

    💭   Overall Thoughts:

    Basecamp certainly has a wide range of features, and it extends all of them to users at no additional cost. The straightforward task management tools may be sufficient for individual users and small- to mid-sized businesses, especially those that work remotely. That said, the quality of these capabilities might not quite be what is needed for complex, large-scale projects.

    Selecting the Best Project Management Platform for You

    There are so many ways to visualize data and track projects today, and no one software can do it all. Fortunately, there is a myriad of options out there for you to choose from.

    When selecting the best project management software for you, consider not only the features you need but also the pricing and support. You might also find an engaged community of users to be helpful for learning from other use cases and solving problems in your own workflows.

    About the authorJulianne Youngberg@paradoxicaljul
    Julianne is a technical content specialist fascinated with digital tools and how they can optimize our lives. She enjoys bridging product-user gaps using the power of words.

    How to Use a Webhook to Retrieve Generated Videos on Make

    Rendering a video can take time, and using a webhook to trigger retrieval makes a more bulletproof nocode automation. Learn how to do this in Make.

    How to Automatically Turn Instagram Photos into Videos with Make

    Your static Instagram images can be repurposed as videos to capture more attention online. In this tutorial, learn how to autogenerate them using Make.

    When to Use Webhooks by Zapier in Your Automations (For Nocoders)

    Webhooks send payloads without any need for requests or API calls. Here's how to use Zapier webhooks to build better nocode automations.

    Follow the Journey

    Sign up for our once a fortnight newsletter update on new Bannerbear features and our business journey

    5 Project Management Alternatives to Airtable (2022)
    5 Project Management Alternatives to Airtable (2022)