- very intuitive and simple to use
- we are able to formulate it for our needs instead of fitting into someone else's idea of what we need
- usable across multiple platforms and devices--desktops, laptops, iphones.
- editing in real time, and several viewers viewing screens from remote locations
- entering a single record seems to have to be done across several screens. Perhaps just the way we did it, but would be easier if it were all done on one screen
- can't figure out how to "hide" a record once one of the people we are visiting dies. We don't want to delete the record, just hide it from the primary view.
- eventually, it would be great to be able to integrate into Gmail--eg to hit the email address and have that transfer to an email...but perhaps not possible without permission from google...
- All the hard work of trying to build a solution in Excel is done for you. You can create links to simple mobile-friendly forms and datasheets and it builds input forms automatically that can then be easily customized.
- The relationships across tables are robust and deal with changes to fields and tables without the need for intervention or maintenance (like a proper database).
- Initial set up and use require a minimal set of IT skills. Coming with an array of pre-built templates and the ability to import your existing spreadsheet and customize and fine tune it from there into a database
- They don't contact me every day trying to sell their product (probably because they don't have to).
- A little more customisation of the forms would be fantastic. The interface is simple and helps avoid making problems for yourself, but being able to take out some of the white space and select different fonts or show basic formatting would be a good addition. But such is Airtable I am likely to find out with the right knowledge you can.
- Not being able to connect "Bases" together. This can be addressed by building all tables you need in to one base and remembering you can always export the data out somewhere else if you need this level of integration.
- If you are a larger or growing organisation, Airtables flexibility and ease at replacing spreadsheets needs to be managed (or you could replace your uncontrolled Excel addiction with an Airtable one).
When dealing with smaller data sets and not requiring blocks, then for a non-profit it is useful to have the free workspaces where everyone can fully collaborate and update records.
Less good for complex financial work you should stick with Excel or your finance system. If you have a very large number of records and need many people to be able to update records then you need to consider the costs (however most off the shelf products you will be looking at to do your specific tasks will probably cost more when you evaluate them).
- Great user experience and minimal learning curve. It wasn't until I became aware of Airtable that we found a solution that allows us to implement the best features of a collaborative RDBMS with our staff who don't have any training. I had previously used Zoho Creator and found that it was difficult to onboard new users because of a steeper learning curve.
- Easy to share views and invite contributions via forms.
- Blocks add significant functionality that would be hard to custom build.
- I'd really like to be able to link records or a view between bases within my workspace.
- The form designer is not as featured as we're used to with Google Forms.
- I'm using the Airtable Importer by Railsware to bring Airtable data into Google Sheets. Import from Google sheets would be a great feature.
- It's very easy to use. I was able to start from scratch and get a pretty complex workflow set up in just a couple hours.
- The ability to create one "master table" with every piece of possible information is good for the "deep dive" members of the team, but then it's easy to create views and calendars based on just a few pieces of data that are better for one specific use or person.
- Being able to store draft content on the system as attachments means that the review copy/image can be included in the workflow rather than as a separate email or in another tracking system.
- The ability to quickly group, sort and filter on the master table make it easy for the power-users to work with the full set of information, but still find a specific project quickly.
- It would be great to have multi-tiered selection options. So if I check a box-like, "Does this need social support?" I could then pick from a multi-select drop-down based on the choice.
- It would be good if we could have a kanban view built off a selection from a multi-select since some projects might be part of multiple strategic initiatives.
- It would be cool if forms could have some basic if/then functionality. As it is, we need to create different forms for different media requests that share 75% of the same data.
I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a content repository specifically or a DAM. It could do that in a very limited sense, but not if you're wanting to store large graphic or video assets. Also, as far as I can tell, you can't publish directly to social accounts from Airtable. So you'll still need to port your content directly to your social accounts or a platform manager like Social Studio.
- The ease of the relational database capabilities are key for keeping tracking of how our contacts, partners, donors, and event attendees are all related.
- The map block feature is great for when we're on the road visiting partners.
- The custom views are extremely helpful for viewing the most important information quickly.
- As a nonprofit, the reduced prices are also greatly appreciated so we can put more funds towards the youth we serve rather than into infrastructure.
- Of HUGE importance is the care and feeding I've received from customer support. I ask a question and get a response within 24 hours and the response is personalized and makes sense. The conversation with a single representative is such a relief and makes it so much easier for me to be productive.
- I suspect that the technology integrations with other apps, using Zapier or otherwise, will become more and more important to us - we're working on getting PayPal payment completions to populate our event attendee lists right now!
- I can't actually think of any road blocks or insufficiencies yet!
- Extremely easy for low tech people to pick up and use. It feels intuitive and there are lots of examples that make it easy to learn.
- The blocks make some pretty sophisticated stuff possible, even for people who lack a tech or database background.
- Its a replacement for lead/case management, project management, and file storage - all in one!
- The trial period should be a bit longer. I wanted to test it before I rolled it out to my team. Just after I felt comfortable and started to share, the trial period ended.
- Shorter videos. I think there are great resources available and I really think that is a strength, but if I had to suggest something, it would be to make more short videos to give technical how-tos.
- Airtable is easy to use. It has an intuitive interface and plenty of video/help support for what is not.
- It makes not only organizing your data efficient, but connects that data to everyone on your team in one centralized database. I love that multiple people can be editing the same records at the same time, and Airtable captures it all in real time!
- Easy to link data between tables. This makes a lot of information available to users with just a few keystrokes - which makes the frustration of hunting down information a thing of the past.
- Really appreciate being able to use Zapier to connect Airtable to several of our other systems that house data - MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, Quickbooks to name a few.
- Being able to change the data views is one of the bigger fan favorites on our team, whether it is in Grid, Gallery, or Kanban, to grouping and sorting by Field Type. There is something for everyone's needs there.
- I can see where being able to connect several bases together within one workspace would be beneficial. Currently, we've created a lot of tables within one CRM base, and in doing so has made it a bit overwhelming (visually) for some of our users. Limits flexibility a bit.
- The app for the iPhone is solid. The Android app needs some work/an update.
- The formula functionality between cells is a bit limited (not the depth of say, MSExcel) and not intuitive for all of our user base.
- The ability to create charts through the "Blocks" options is a great idea, but very limited in it's initial debut. Looking for more features (pie charts, series labels, dual axes, etc.) to be able to create more dynamic charts in the future.
- I've gotten a browser warning or two about Airtable being "resource heavy." Time will tell if that becomes an issue.
Airtable's dynamic database functionality allows us to rapidly update and adapt our information. We are able to manage multiple things in one place - assets, participants, tasks, media opportunities - and interlink records. This means that we have a complete, up to date data set in one place. The flexibility of being able to add and adjust fields as you go is excellent. Our Airtable workspace has evolved with us and with the emerging needs of our pilot program.
- Links between different tables. This is one of the best features if you're managing things that are linked to other things, which nearly everything is!
- You can add fields, change fields, remove fields, whenever you want. It's an adaptable, dynamic database. You don't get stuck with a structure that doesn't work for you-you just change it.
- You can view records in different views e.g. as a grid, form, calendar. This is so handy. When I'm collecting data about a new participant in our program I open up a new record as a form and fill it out like that. At other times I need to see them all as a list or group of different criteria and I can do all of that with the click of a button.
- You can send out forms and the data goes straight back into your Airtable workspace. So handy and makes data collection and management easy.
- Grouping, filtering. This is so handy for viewing where tasks or participants are up to in the process.
- We are relatively new to Airtable and are still exploring its functionality. We've also just been using a free account which has some limits but paid plans have features that could be handy. So far, we're just thrilled at how it's streamlined our workflow and information management.
It helps manage:
- One thing Airtable's power comes from is the fact that you can relate databases to each other. So you can have one table for your organizations that you work with, and another separate table for the contacts within those organizations, and then tie them together individually. After doing so it is very easy to jump between the contacts and their organizations profiles, and switch as contact to a different organization instantly. Very powerful when you have multiple contacts within single organizations, or any type of multiple data points that are linked to the same record.
- Another thing that makes Airtable powerful is the views. You can filter, sort, and group a big table to show only the things you want to see at a particular time - but then save that view, and many other views, for Later use. That way you can switch between different views of the same data on a continual basis, easily and quickly. Or different people can have different filters and sorts and different columns showing on the same table without interfering with each other.
- I think this thing has huge potential for us to manage our photos. We take over 10,000 photos a year and Airtable has the capability of easily loading, tagging and sorting them. It even has history and you could store edited versions of each photo within each original photo's profile. However - the ability to view these photos as thumbnails of different sizes, gallery style, is very limited. So that's a big additional feature I'd like to see, some optimization to use this as a photo management system.
- If you include numbers into a table, automagically from another table via the rollup or lookup features, then you cannot use those numbers as part of a formula in a subsequent field. This turned out to be a major limiting factor on my using it as a budget manager. (Luckily I came up with a workaround but it makes me add additional columns to the table that add a bit of otherwise unnecessary clutter.)
- Organization: Helps keep the various programs and rentals, along with all contact information, notes, and budgeting requests in line.
- Task Management: Easy to share documents with both team members and outside contacts, such as board members and volunteers, to assign and keep track of tasks related to the various programs, events, and exhibits we host. Also helps keep track of priority of these tasks.
- Flexible: Only having used the product for a few weeks, Airtable has proven to be a very flexible platform to use and adapt to our various needs. I am already looking forward to learning about the deeper functionality of the program and how we can adapt it for our use.
- This, perhaps, is a function I have yet to explore, but as I need to upload photos into Airtable for use in planning exhibitions it would be nice when exporting Airtable documents that these photos would be exported in the Excel document spreadsheet as well.
- Airtable has robust API access with a self-documenting API. It's vital for us to be able to access our data via an API and it's easy to do all the operations we need using an open source Python client library.
- Airtable has robust column definitions and the ability to create formulas, lookups, and rollups so data integrity can be guaranteed.
- Airtable handles user access and authentication and provides all the 'interface' elements of a database system so we can focus on writing business logic.
- Forms can only create new records, not update existing records with additional information.
- Forms do not make use of 'default' values when creating new records.
- 'Default' values are limited to certain field types.
- We love using Airtable as a CMS! The relational aspect and linking to other tabs makes it easy for different employees to use the same data sets for a variety of reasons without any particular tab or view getting to cluttered for use.
- We use Airtable to plan our annual conference, from the logo design to sponsorship opportunities to coffee breaks! The variety in field options and flexibility of the database allow us to do all the planning necessary with just one web app.
- The polls feature is a great way to hold electronic votes, whether it's our members or the board. All records are then tracked in the same base as the initiative or project, making it easy to reference when needed.
- I have the same three people on several teams as a way to break up the bases. It's a lot to have one team with 20 bases, so we break them up into much smaller groups. Then when it comes to paying, I have to add them all back into the one paid group or I'm double, triple paying for the same people. Very frustrating to not have sub-folders or sub-categories within each team.
Managing this growing program dictated the need for a new way to track information. We have had information tracked in bits and pieces from Basecamp to Google Sheets to Dropbox to Sync to the personal computers of various volunteers and myself. I sometimes felt I had to spend as much time looking for the location of something as I did handling it. Even when things were quickly findable, managing the multiple parts was complicated.
- The driving force behind the decision to use Airtable began with two pieces. First, the course outlines. Managing the outlines, related faculty, assuring no duplication of assigned times or locations, getting the information up on the website, then transferred over to final compensation schedules was a multiple spreadsheet and document process. But then if there was one minor change - "the" change to "that" for instance - it had to be changed in up to five different places! Obviously, this required updating and re-proofing with each and every modification. Airtable is making all of that so much simpler. One base maintains all of the information about the faculty, the courses, the course outlines, and the resources, along with the compensation amounts allowed per session. Once the detailed course outlines are entered, with days, times, and faculty assigned, a simple grouping by course provides a quick proof for the course coordinator. A re-grouping by faculty/instructor provides a quick review of potential conflicts and overlap, not to mention an immediate summary of their potential earnings. In that same location, I'm able to track when things are submitted, whether instructors are eligible for bonus payment for timely submissions.....I need not go on. Hours of work consolidated into one place. A coordinator submitted a minor change in their schedule and life was as simple as reassigning them in one place; that simple change flows through to all views and all required reports. Wow!
- The second driving force behind creating this system was all of the outreach efforts made by multiple people - each with their own set of responsibilities in the organization. Now we have a base that tracks all of the organizations and societies, conferences, and other places that require some kind of contact, when they were contacted, and what the results were. Another base tracks social media campaigns, blog posts, costs, and analytic results.
- Last - at least so far since I'm just getting my feet wet and having a blast doing so - is that all of my contact information is now centralized in one place. From suppliers to sponsors to instructors and committee. The date of contact, date a contract was sent, copy of signed contract, photo, bio, etc. all uploaded and tracked in one place. I can invite other volunteers to use this space - which they can do from a browser or the desktop app - and it syncs immediately with their updates as well. Again, no more looking. No more long to do lists - just check the box when done; check the next one. Upload the document. etc. etc.
- If I had my dream world, I would be able to link data in one base to data in another base - inter-relational database bases.
- I haven't been able to try out blocks yet, but I can quickly see there are only a couple that would apply to what I'm doing. It would be nice to be able to customize a plus with a select handful of pro items without the pro price. Non-profits aren't big spenders, so unless I can justify use of the majority of the pro features, I will end up not having the few I would like due to overall cost.
- I would love to be able to group my bases inside a workspace by topic.
- I haven't yet figured out how to connect Airtable with other things we use. An "easier" tutorial on this topic would be extremely nice. Kind of a guide for non-technical dummies. Don't assume that a person who knows enough to build an inter-relational database also understands the interactive technologies and apps of the day.
- T-minus tasks. Setting a deadline for a task x number of days prior to or following a program. While I was able to find a workaround using functions, it requires the task deadline to be calculated from a date in the same row. I want the ability to put in a date for the entire base - say the date a program begins - and have the task deadlines calculate from that instead.
I will say that I'm extremely impressed so far. And it has kept me from begging my program-developer spouse to create a system for me. That's really saying something!
- You can see events in many different views (i.e. groups, calendar, table) without having to manually format each view. I can add/edit event data in any view, and have it populate to other views. This helps conceptualize program content and see any gaps or conflicts.
- It's very easy to link data from one table into another table. It means that I can adapt Airtable as I build in information. I don't have to worry that making changes or additions as needed will fundamentally mess up my database.
- The calendaring features are amazing. Our whole team loves being able to color code and filter our events. This will allow us to print calendars customized to each audience (i.e. staff vs program participants).
- I'd like to see the forms capability have more features. For example, with richer forms features, we could use Airtable to solicit and manage applications from individual students who apply to our programs.
- It might be helpful to have some sort of automated fill in for dates and times. It would be great to have less clicking and scrolling to select dates and times. For example, an end time could auto-populate as an hour after the start...or even if the default start time was 8 am or some reasonable hour.
We depend on Airtable to ensure all of our information is beautifully, intuitively organized and accessible in one place, and to collaborate as a team on important long-, medium-, and short-term objectives.
- Ability to link across tables, allowing information from one "sheet" to always be viewed in context with other relevant information
- Ability to customize columns to have many different functions (single/multi select dropdowns, numbers, email address, attachments, of course long and short text, and more)
- Ability to change and save "views" of the same table so that different team members can easily access different configurations of the same information depending on the task at hand; plus the ability to create shareable views for an external audience where our team can control what's visible
- Linking across bases: We basically use one big "HQ" base as a pared down CRM where we store all our contacts and their basic info, then link them to separate, more detailed tabs for our Speaker Network, Entrepreneur Network, Funders/Partners, Country Profiles, etc. This is great, but we also use Airtable to manage our application process (startups applying for our quarterly program) and plan the program itself (where it becomes more of a project management tool). Right now, we have to copy and paste our entire Speaker Network tab from the HQ base into the Program Planning base 4x/year, and any update we make to either of these places doesn't reflect in the other. It's super frustrating and creates additional work and lots of confusion. I'm not sure what the technical challenges of allowing users to link bases are, but even if you could just link one "main" tab from a base into other bases that would allow that to be the central nervous point for the whole workspace/team, that would be massively helpful.
- Smoother integrations: We've been able to hack Airtable to almost work like a CRM in terms of organizing and even automatically collecting some data on our network via Zapier integrations, but the Gmail integration doesn't quite do the trick. We want to be able to log email correspondence with important contacts (which I've tried to set up through a labelling system via that Zap), but it's still pretty janky. Any chance of your team offering a direct integration to Gmail that works more smoothly? This one piece would enable us to just stick with Airtable vs adding on Salesforce....
- Lightweight inventory management
- Lightweight business analytics
- Contact Management
- As many users have requested, crass base linking would be very useful though it is not critical and Airtable still maintains serious usefulness
- I would love to see a unified development roadmap. Airtable does a great job of communicating with its users but it can be a challenge to find the crux of their direction - this is important especially for business customers who may be charting future processes.
- Airtable is a powerhouse when it comes to collecting and organizing all kinds of data. This includes anything from project and event planning and management, to a simple CRM. You honestly have to build as little or as much as you need.
- Airtable is also a powerhouse when it comes to integration. We have the ability to connect nearly all of the different services and systems we use to it, in order to simplify, and in most cases, automate our tasks and processes.
- Airtable has recently become a fantastic way to collect, analyze and report on data as well. With their new Blocks integration, you can create all kinds of data reporting tools, along with many others built right in. I am particularly excited about this, because I know more is to come.
- Airtable is a great project management tool, which is my primary use for it, but it does lack on particular feature, that I know will be addressed at some point. I am in great need of a way to nest tasks within a task line item. It has become very difficult to create a large scale project plan and be able to see the grand large picture of the project, but also drill down into the details. Creating a field option for subtasks would help pull related tasks, or steps within a task, to allow for this.
- Airtable is great when it comes to integration, but the problem we run into as a non-profit, is that most of the automation comes from another service, which is another cost. I would love to see them develop some sort of integration in-house, or work with Zapier to offer a discounted plan when you sign-up for both of their services.
- Airtable handles linking of records well, but another problem we run into, is the inability to link items within a separate base. An example of the goal for us here, would be to have the ability to create a centralized database of contacts, that can be linked to several other processes, like a separate on-boarding base, or a project or event plan. Without this, we end up with redundant data in several bases with no centralized place to look for what is needed at any given time.
Airtable is mainly being used for our development department where we manage donor data. We are noticing we use Airtable more and more since it integrates with our other applications as well.
- Airtable is amazing in how they can display the data with their view options. You can create a grid, calendar, form, and even kanban views with the same dataset. It is amazing too for visualization.
- I love the relationships you can easily make without formulas as their filed options.
- You can actually create an app using their database and form view within minutes.
- I think it will be great to be able to connect different work bases.
- I understand their pricing is per workspace, but workspace is really horrible for organizing your bases.
- Their pricing is not that great for small organizations or non-profits if they need more than what free version can offer.
- It has similar functionality to Google Sheets but allows you to do much more powerful data organizing. ie. Relationships between data (which DB devs will know all about but not spreadsheet users). eg. You have a list of students and a list of classes, you want to link those two lists together so you don't have to duplicate lots of data.
- Also, in terms of data organizing, the fields are a lot easier to customize and lock-in. Instead of using clunky data validation in sheets, Airtable allows you to select all kinds of different field types. Single select, multi-select, phone number, email address, collaborator, checkbox are ones we use regularly.
- Once paired with Zapier, Airtable's ability to power annoying manual data entry is fabulous! Using views you can trigger Zapier in all kinds of powerful ways.
- Pricing per user and per record is a bit of a pain and could get expensive quickly.
- We use Airtable with Zapier a lot and sometimes we have some issues with deduplication where a zap won't run because a record has appeared in a view that it's been in before... which is probably great most of the time but sometimes we have to switch the zap off and on to make it work again.
- Date formatting between Zapier and Airtable is working better than it used to.
- Well suited: A startup looking to develop a web app should really start in Airtable and make sure you know what you're doing with data and processes and integrations before scaling up.
- Well suited: If your spreadsheet is getting out of hand due to the volume and types of data in it, might be time to look at Airtable.
- Well suited: If you're using a spreadsheet like a database.
- Well suited: You've got lots of business systems across different web apps and need to integrate/automate a few of them. Airtable is good as a central hub, especially if you're dealing with customer records.
- Not so well suited: You want to quickly collect some data and aren't worried about automation. Easier to start in a sheet.
- Not so well suited: You want to capture customer interactions from email. Probably easier to just get a simple CRM.
We even had Accenture advise us pro bono on how to improve our system. After many meetings and the understanding that what we want is basically impossible in a Microsoft environment, and after long hours of research and discussions, I found Airtable. Just for a try, I imported the most crucial data from Sharepoint to Airtable.
It felt like a miracle - it was easy to use, fast, provided all the features I needed and the user interface was just great. It gives both the table view and form view, and most of all, it is an idiot-proof system that instantly connects records from various "sheets" called tables in Airtable.
Now we use it for Tasks, Manuals, Events integrated with Google Calendar, CRM is integrated with Eventbrite - whenever any of our volunteers want a training we have the name in Airtable instantly, the records are instantly integrated with MailChimp - different for our donors and different for other contacts, We have all the data from our volunteers using MS SharePoint native app, minutes from our meetings, all the data regarding impact and quality measurement, etc.
I basically made it all by myself and it I am not an IT geek, just a standard manager understanding computers a bit.
I recommend for basically everyone, and will stick with this app for all other projects I run.
- Easy to link records - If I am at an event, I can link the attendees right on the trainings we organize, including their emails, attach a photo right from the cellphone, link a task I discussed with one teh attendees and set up another meeting with one of their collegues - all linked to this event, so I have all the information in context - the perfect feature is that even I there is no record to link, I can create a new record right away - I do not have to close the current record and look for it in a different database or sheet - everything is very easy and fast to link. This way the data remains structured and where it belongs, however it does not take long to record all the relevant data
- Adjusting the system is idiot-proof. Whenever our staff gives me an idea how to improve the system, I do it right away - it takes seconds to make a new field, to change the order or to make simple calculations.
- Blocks are a new feature for reporting purposes - covers basically all we need - it is instantly there and unlike other systems, if I find there is a mistake or need to update a record based on a report I see, I can do it instantly. If I click on a chart column, I see the records from which the column was calculated (the volunteers who are in a certain state of selection process e.g.). This is fabulous.
- Integrations through Zapier are very easy to set up. I never ever worked with API in my life and I don't even understand what it is. And I do not really need to if I use Zapier. It does not have all the integrations I want, but all the basic needs are covered.
- For developer who know how to work with API, it is easy to set us integrations with other services. Accenture helped us with integrating a Sharepoint native app with the system and our website developer integrated all volunteer applications right into Airtable. There are even notification alerts if a new record is made. Works like a miracle compared to traditional massive solutions that take weeks to set up.
- In a base, I need to lock specific tables for specific people in the team. I want to have all the information in one base - I do not want everybody to see the budget and all the donors, however, I want to have one database of donors to be integrated with MailChimp. Either I need to link two bases or I need to set specific access rights fro every table.
- Iphone app might have a calendar view, and block as well, also missing grouping would be great in a mobile app.
- In charts, more series would be helpful - not just one line in a line graph, a pie chart would be nice too. Pivot tables might also allow more fields and options.
Due to common arrangement of budgets where months are in columns and not in rows, it is not entirely perfect for financial data, however it takes just a little to get used to different approach and works much better than common Excel views.
We were earlier using Google Sheets to track, but as a significant proportion of the organization is not very technically inclined, writing formulae and scripts to create applications was a challenge. Airtable makes it super easy to create links between different tables, and the Slack integration and attachments features are things we wished were there in Google Sheets for a long time, and had to resort to clunky alternatives like uploading content to Dropbox and then copy pasting links.
- Very easy to use and friendly interface. Ability to create links between tables without using VLOOKUP or other formulae
- Attachments! So so important for us, as we need to track things like delivery receipts, employee documents, etc. Now they can all live in one place instead of Google Drive folders that need to manually be tracked in Google Sheets/excel
- Native integrations like Slack. Zero code/setup required and managed to configure our new job applications to our HR channel in Slack.
- Grouped grid views is a godsend - gives the ability to quickly add entries group wise. In a traditional spreadsheet, we had to insert rows in between (that would sometimes break formulae/row no.s)
- Ability to set detailed and customizable table-wise and group wise permissions. E.g. we have an employee table, and I want all our employees to see just name and designation, but not others.
- Global variables - Having the ability to reference global constants / assumptions would make it much more useful for financial planning / budgeting applications. E.g. referring to currency conversion rates etc
- Support for (some) blocks in free / plus plans like Pivot Tables etc.
Even advanced programmers/tech people will find the ease of use and beautiful UX nice, and with the API integration, it is possible to create much more powerful applications as well.
It is not appropriate as a full-fledged business modeling, financial planning or budgeting tool like excel due to the inherent simplicity of the product (And I think they're not trying to do that as well).
After years of managing volunteers and interns for our busy non-profit environmental management organization, I wanted to replace our current system with something that was Excel-compatible, cloud-based, and had relational database capabilities. I especially wanted a solution that was intuitive, customizable, visually stimulating without being overwhelming, and shareable. Airtable fits the bill. It is simple to learn but offers robust features that address reporting needs.
Besides using it for volunteer-intern management, I’ve begun using it to track equipment, inventory management, and partnership development. Other program managers are going to adapt it to their needs.
- Great user interface that is clean and balanced. It's easy to create and save 'views' to isolate and compare data.
- Helpful tutorials and useful examples from Airtable users.
- The ability to share and interact with staff and partners on common projects and goals.
- Being able to link PDFs and Word docs.
- I would like to see the ability to detect duplicate rows and values.
- Improved functionality and editing via the Android app.
- More calendar view options.
Since our experience with Airtable is limited, where it is less appropriate is an open question. Possibly when it comes to more advanced data and statistical analysis.
- Airtable is great for creating a simple and flexible CRM that has easy data inputs and great automated features (such as filtering and grouping).
- Airtable Blocks (new) allows us to create dashboards and high-level analysis that we use to monitor our work (especially great for executives).
- Airtable connects with Zapier allowing us to create automated workflows, especially great with email, to do things such as travel request approvals.
- Airtable is a great event management tool, even for large groups, because it stores information in a more mutable way than a regular spreadsheet or document.
- Airtable has a survey view that allows us to quickly collect data from people for any purpose. It also imports data (CSV, XLS, copy and paste) with great accuracy and ease.
- Airtable could be better at allowing record updating via surveys to allow people to complete incomplete record data. While it can be done using integrations with other services, the process is cumbersome.
- Airtable could help with data entry by building some scraping tools or "quick add" features.
It's actually a much more powerful program than it would appear because of its views and filtering (grouping) capability. We also thought the blocks function to create dashboards (automatically updated) was super useful for visualization and monitoring.
- Linking across tables.
- Toggling between views. This allows me to more easily evaluate visual collections containing artwork and photographs.
- Filtering. The method for filtering is very straightforward and I can clearly distinguish the criteria being applied.
- Building blocks. I have just started to use these but I feel they could be more integrated with the view of a table once they are selected.
- Searching across bases. I don't believe this is possible but I've just started to experiment with the 'search' building block.
- Sharing views. There are limitations to the views that are shared. For example, it doesn't look like you can access records that are linked to the records in the shared view.
- Customer service/personal account management. I have had spotty customer service, sometimes having to email multiple times to receive an answer. I also find it somewhat difficult to access information about my account. When I select the upper right hand profile icon, I think it would be more intuitive to see information about upgrades, remove/add collaborators, and my messages with Airtable staff (since they will pop up when current but after that I actually have no idea where to access them once more).
With a simple import into Airtable (via a Sheets export to a .csv document), and a few clicks, this spreadsheet is filled with color -- fields are easily changed to color-coded pull-down lists (courses, instructors, success criteria). Then, with a view change, this becomes a colorful, easy-to-read set of cards on a table, cards that students can easily filter and sort. The success criteria form (also in Airtable) can be linked right in the task data, so students see the actual form their instructors will be using to determine their success.
So far, I'm the only one that I know of using Airtable here, but I'm absolutely enchanted with it and will be presenting it to others, who I expect to be assimilated.
- Color-code and standardize fields -- if I switch a field from short or long text to single selection, Airtable will automatically provide me with a list of entries and color suggestions for them, making them much easier to sort and filter.
- View data -- by being able to very easily pop a spreadsheet line out into an expanded form, I can easily manipulate the information for that item -- without a bunch of scrolling back and forth.
- Form creation -- Airtable data headers can easily be made into a form (sort of the opposite approach from Google Forms) so I can easily embed those into other data fields in my Base. So no swapping back and forth between form creation and spreadsheets -- it's all right there.
- I'm struggling a bit with the "link to another record" data type. I'd like to use the second set of records as a single select lookup, effectively, creating a table with, for example, student names and then referencing that table throughout all my sheets rather than having to change the single select possibilities in each sheet every year. However, the link assumes you're doing a real lookup, i.e. if field x is "blue" then the field will be filled in with "first letter is a b."
- I wish the display for a URL could be hyperlink text rather than the URL, itself.
- I wish there was an opportunity for secure data entry on forms, i.e. password/account management for form submission.
However, since it does cost to use it, I'm going to have to be judicious about how much I force it on others.
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