Top 9 Airtable Alternatives for Professional Services
If you’re hoping to upgrade your operations with the best Airtable alternatives, we’ve got you covered.
Airtable is a low-code platform that lets agencies build a custom, scalable software solution by integrating apps they need for their business. In our list of the best alternatives, we’ll explore the best options for flexible agency project management.
Find out their features, benefits, and downsides, as well as how users feel about each of the solutions, and discover the perfect software fit for your agency.
Why Look for Airtable Alternatives?
Airtable is a database tool designed to provide a quick and easy way to build a custom solution for your agency.
It offers features such as workflow automation, a drag-and-drop Interface Designer, various project views, and reporting dashboards, as well as specialized marketing and product apps.
Airtable has very high user ratings on both G2 and Capterra, with 4.5+ stars on each website. Despite this, users underline some particular negatives:
- The tool has a steep learning curve, and the UI can be complicated, especially for beginners
- Some users comment that Airtable is not quite up to par with comparable project management tools
- The way that the pricing is structured could cause issues for smaller to mid-sized companies, especially as their teams grow
As for the benefits, users enjoy Airtable’s customization, flexibility, and native integrations. A review on Capterra commented that Airtable is “a bit like a colorful spreadsheet that allows showing data in different ways”. This can be seen both as positive and negative, depending on your experience with spreadsheet software like Excel or Google Sheets.
Key Features of Agency Management Tools
The ideal agency management software should offer a comprehensive set of features to streamline and optimize business operations. Some of these main capabilities are:
- Project and task management
- Resource planning
While your desired features might depend on your agency’s specific circumstances and needs, there are three key considerations that the ideal project management tool should cover. These are user-friendliness, scalability, and comprehensiveness.
No matter how complex your software solution is, it should aim primarily to provide a hassle-free experience. Consider whether a particular tool has the necessary learning materials available to simplify onboarding, such as help articles, explainer videos, or one-on-one support.
We really struggled to find a system that not only provided all the features we required but was also fast and user-friendly enough that our team could do what’s required without having to read a 30-page manual.
Scalability and comprehensiveness are two sides of the same coin. Investing in an all-in-one tool can benefit your agency’s finances and workflows, as it helps you replace disparate software with a unified solution. Scalability and flexibility mean that the tool provides various third-party apps to help you customize it to your needs and that improvements and upgrades are regular.
The Top Airtable Alternatives Currently Available
Without further ado, here’s our list of alternatives to Airtable, with the most popular tools and suitable options for management.
1. Productive – The Best All-in-One agency Management Alternative to Airtable
Productive is an all-in-one agency management software for smaller and larger teams in agencies of all sizes.
It offers the same features as Airtable and additional functionalities on a single platform, including task and project management, robust reporting, lightweight CRM, resource planning, and project budgeting.
With growth comes a bigger need for one source of truth, and that’s what it gives us, and that’s really important.
Productive has a 4.6-star rating on both G2 and Capterra. Now, let’s look at what makes Productive such an effective software solution for managing project timelines and overall business processes.
Productive’s Project Management feature offers customization options for project progress views, including Gantt, Kanban, and Calendar.
On a granular level, task management is simplified with:
- Milestones and to-dos
- Easy dependencies
- Custom fields
- Automatic notifications
Additionally, you can invite clients to your projects and give them permission to view and comment on tasks, create new ones, and even view their budgets. This can enhance your workflow efficiency and client communication, as well as streamline repetitive tasks.
Productive offers extensive Reporting features with over 50+ agency-focused templates. The pre-built templates can be further customized with custom fields for any agency-specific parameters.
A G2 user underlines reporting as one of the weaknesses of Airtable:
Airtable really fell short of reporting features. there are not really many reports that could be exported and analyzed for tracking team performance.
In comparison, Productive offers various reports for project, team, and budget tracking, including insights on utilization per business unit, forecasted sales revenue, unpaid client invoices, team time off, and more. To share your reports, you can create dashboards or schedule them to be sent to external email.
Productive simplifies Time Tracking with customizable options for billable hours tracking. You can create entries by starting timers directly from tasks, inputting time retroactively, or using automatically generated entries from the resource plan.
With the approval feature, managers can mark time as billable or non-billable, or request additional information for each entry. Productive also includes time-off management, which can be used to create agency-specific categories and process requests on a single platform.
Productive offers a comprehensive Resource Planning feature to help you manage your agency’s resources effectively. You can create a responsive resource plan that streamlines the project management process with easy allocation and workload balancing.
It also offers advanced forecasting for budget and project lifecycle management, allowing scenario testing and real-time updates. Its Profitability view provides budget burn and profit margin insights.
Forecasting also provides insights into utilization, a key but often overlooked metric, with survey data showing that only 35% of agencies track their actual billable utilization (SoDa & Productive).
Productive’s Budgeting feature allows for a range of budget-building models, including fixed prices, hourly rates, recurring budgeting, and hybrid pricing options. You can get insights into key financial metrics with real-time data that is customized to your agency processes.
Related: Top 7 Project Budget Management Tools: Optimize Your Project Budgeting
Productive also includes billing support, with easy invoice creation with billable hours or uninvoiced fixed amounts. With purchase orders, you can monitor how external costs affect your budget and directly issue purchase orders to your suppliers using Productive.
I can check our budgets in just a few clicks now and we’re not in a situation where we’re at the end of the month and we still have to deliver 40% of the budget and overwork ourselves relentlessly.
- Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
- The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
- The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
- You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.
Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can decide if it’s the right Airtable alternative for your agency.
Choose the Best Airtable Alternative
Adjust your software to your agency’s needs and workflows with Productive.
2. Notion – A Good Tool for Creative Collaboration and Documentation
Notion is a versatile cloud-based software with collaboration tools that streamline communication and enhance productivity.
- Customizable user interface
- Multiple ready-made templates
- Team collaboration features
- Documentation & file sharing
Notion is most frequently praised for its basic features, such as collaboration tools, as well as its intuitive interface. For agencies that are looking for a tool that focuses more on this side of project management, Notion can be a good choice.
However, consider a different alternative if you’re looking for an end-to-end project management tool, as Notion lacks some essential capabilities like integrated time tracking and invoicing.
3. ClickUp – A Versatile Task Management Solution for Dynamic Agencies
ClickUp is a project management tool that offers a variety of task management and collaboration tools for agencies.
- Customizable views
- Pre-built templates
- Workflow automation
- Collaborative documentation
ClickUp is a project management software with essential features for streamlining business processes and day-to-day workflows. As the most notable downside, users note that the reporting capabilities are not as robust as in some comparable solutions. Additionally, some have reported issues with slow loading times and bugs.
See more: Best 11 ClickUp Alternatives: Exploring Top Competitors
4. Asana – A Streamlined Workflow Management Software Solution
Asana is a project management software that offers a wide range of key features for task tracking and keeping project timelines on track.
- Time tracking
- Custom task fields
- Customizable views
- Reporting dashboards
Asana can be a good Airtable alternative for users who are looking for a project management tool that gathers most capabilities needed for efficient collaboration. Growing businesses might want to consider a solution such as agency management software that provides more extensive budgeting and reporting features.
See more: Wrike vs Asana vs Productive: An In-Depth Overview of Popular Project Management Solutions
5. Basecamp – A Good Airtable Alternative for Project Coordination
Basecamp is a solution for streamlined project management and easy collaboration between cross-functional and remote teams.
- Personal dashboards
- File sharing
- Customizable views
- Third-party integrations with Google Drive & Slack
Basecamp can be a good project management tool alternative thanks to its simplified interface and user-friendly features. It can be especially suitable as creative agency project management software for designers and other teams that might be less experienced with similar task-tracking tools. However, for more experienced agencies and project managers, a more robust option from this list will be better.
6. Quickbase – An Advanced Solution for Data-Driven Operations
Quickbooks is a no-code platform that provides custom apps for project management and automated workflows.
- App builder
- Third-party integrations
- Dynamic reporting
- Mobile application
Both Quickbase and Airtable are platforms for creating custom project management solutions. This makes Quickbase a suitable option for those who want to try out a similar, but still unique tool. Consider that Quickbase’s lowest pricing point is higher than Airtable’s and somewhat pricier than some other available solutions.
7. Hive – A Solid Project Management Tool for Agencies
Hive is a project management and productivity platform for agency teams of all shapes and sizes.
Hive can be a good alternative to Airtable, as it has a wide range of features to power up agency workflows. However, users underline that some advanced features that would make it a fully comprehensive software solution are missing, such as the ability to send quotes.
8. Smartsheet – A Good Alternative for Fans of Spreadsheets
Smartsheet is a project management tool known for its similarities to spreadsheet-based solutions.
As Airtable and Smartsheet are both often compared to Excel, Smartsheet can be a suitable option due to some familiarity with such solutions. However, some users report that Smartsheet’s interface is slightly unintuitive and outdated compared to more modern solutions. If you’re looking for a tool to innovate your business processes, you might want to consider a different alternative from this list.
9. Monday.com – A Customizable Platform for Comprehensive Project Tracking
Monday.com is a project management tool that supports easy project management, task tracking, and team collaboration.
- Kanban and Gantt charts
- Resource scheduling
- Real-time collaboration
- Automation features
As Monday.com has a free version with limited features for project management, it can be a suitable option for startups or small agency teams. However, it’s not the most suitable solution comprehensive solution, as it lacks key financial management features such as billable utilization forecasting or detailed reports.
Takeaway: Finding the Best Airtable Alternative
Finding the perfect all-in-one agency management solution is essential for operational efficiency. We’ve explored popular tools like Productive, Notion, Quickbase, and Hive to give you some of the best Airtable alternatives.
The right software can integrate project management, resource planning, and client collaboration, responding to dynamic requirements from various agencies. It can provide scalability, comprehensiveness, and a user-friendly experience.
To discover a tool that provides all of the above, consider booking a demo with Productive.
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