Pros and Cons of Using Airtable Software
Businesses across all industries need a tool that they can use to automate their workflow, organize their processes, and make sure they deliver outputs that meet specifications. This can be achieved by making use of a project management solution that primarily focuses on collaboration and data organization. One of these cloud-based tools is Airtable which targets the organization of every team or business. It was founded in 2012 for the food industry but can now be adapted to any type of business.
The Airtable features a centralized database that enables a team to work together seamlessly for increased efficiency. It further helps them collaborate through its familiar spreadsheet-like interface. What users see is software that acts like a spreadsheet with its rows and columns, as well as a system that functions as a unified location for records, content, projects, and ideas. Airtable allows users to access data and migrate it to other databases without compromising its integrity. Users can also make use of file attachments, rich media and text, photos, notes, barcodes, and checkboxes.
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With the capabilities and features that make Airtable efficient and effective, it can be used by organizations and teams for various purposes.
- For collaboration. One of the most important uses of Airtable is for collaboration and project management. Project managers can assign tasks and let everyone know what needs to be done to increase accountability. Airtable also allows commenting so that users are aware of specific details about their tasks. The software also allows its users to change the views to suit their specific work style and priorities. It can also be used to share real-time updates to their stakeholders to reduce duplicative work.
- For organizing social media. Airtable is not only useful for project management but also for organizing social media work. Many users of the app successfully use it for creating monthly content calendars. Such calendars help teams go through various stages of approval before the content gets posted. Airtable is beneficial especially in this area because the spreadsheet can be shared with a number of people and content is planned weeks in advance.
- For use as a podcast guest database. What makes Airtable unique is its usefulness to podcast producers. The spreadsheet can be used to contain topics and guest ideas. Users can refer to these spreadsheets and keep track of the guests who have already graced the podcast.
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The Cons or Disadvantages of Airtable
- Higher learning curve. There are users who have reported a higher learning curve for Airtable. Even if a user is well-versed with Excel, it may not be very easy navigating the software for various reasons. More specifically, the process of copy/paste and highlighting cells is not as easy as it is in Excel. Though there are introductory videos and templates, many of these are not very helpful to users.
- Lack of formula builder. Though Airtable is supposed to operate similarly with Excel, users seem to find formula building challenging. Many of them would prefer the software to have its own formula builder.
- Payment types are not very friendly. There are three pricing plans implemented by Airtable—Free, Plus, and Pro. This is the same for most other software but Airtable charges per user instead of per organization. This makes it more expensive than other similar online collaboration tools. Even if these users are all working for the same project and team, they are charged individually for using Airtable.
- Lack of communication solutions. It is possible to put comments on the individual data rows but there is no overall tab for general discussions. Having this helps save time as users may skip hunting and sorting through a sea of information.
- It does not auto-refresh. Users of Airtable report that when they add a new record in a base, the app does not auto-refresh. They would need to go to the menu manually and sort the new information there.
The Pros or Advantages of Airtable
Meanwhile, Airtable also has numerous advantages that users attest to.
- Complete software. Airtable is basically software that works like a spreadsheet. Though there are cons about this, it is also capable of attaching files. There are drop-down options, as well as checkboxes among others. In fact, it also has various options that Excel does not let its users enjoy.
- Ease of use. Users of Airtable find themselves easily hiding/unhiding fields and even moving them. Using filters is easy and blocks can be used for bulk editing.
- It has an array of templates. One of the strengths of Airtable is its array of templates and layouts to choose from. There is enough to choose from for anyone who prefers to use the built-in ones. However, those who are proficient enough can also opt to create their own from scratch.
- Great view options. Every user has his own view options and preferences, depending on his work. Airtable allows users to go from grid appearance to form appearance. This means that they can view the project as a typical spreadsheet and change that to something that is similar to a database.
- Easily tracks project progress. Even though Airtable acts like a spreadsheet, it is still a project management tool. Therefore, one of its strengths is letting its users track the progress of their projects. It lets them see every department—sales, marketing, and communication, and the tasks they are doing.
The user-interface of Airtable makes it easy for users to do what they do in Excel because of its spreadsheet nature. This makes it more convenient for them and lets them do a lot more. With Airtable, it is like buying project management software that works with upgraded spreadsheet functionality.