What is Airtable? Simplifying data management

By The IFTTT Team

November 21, 2023

  • With the rise of remote work, chances are you have experienced the drag of managing multiple workflows simultaneously, juggling data between storage apps, and navigating a needlessly complex CMS. Now, imagine a world where work and data can be unified under a single management application, providing easy access and functionality to help you achieve your greatest productivity. Dream no longer, and allow us to introduce Airtable, the cloud-based database system that has helped over 300,000 users revolutionize their online work.

    In today's fast-paced world, data management is crucial for businesses of all sizes, and frankly, traditional spreadsheets and databases may no longer cut it. With Airtable, users can create custom views and reports, build relationships between data, automate workflows, and much more. It also offers powerful integrations with other popular applications like Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Office.

    Airtable is a great tool for businesses of any size, as it can help make data management easier and more efficient. In this article, we'll explore what Airtable is, what it's used for, and how IFTTT can help you connect Airtable to all of your favorite apps and services.

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    Table of Contents

    • What is Airtable
    • Airtable features
    • How does Airtable work?
    • What is Airtable used for?
    • Airtable pricing
    • Airtable alternatives
    • Upgrading Airtable with IFTTT

    What is Airtable?


    Airtable is a revolutionary cloud-based software that combines the functionalities of a spreadsheet and a database, providing users with a powerful and user-friendly tool for managing data. Founded in 2012, Airtable has quickly gained popularity among businesses of all sizes, offering a unified platform that simplifies data management and enhances collaboration.

    Traditionally, businesses have relied on spreadsheets and databases to handle their data, but these tools often prove to be limiting in terms of functionality and ease of use. Airtable breaks free from the constraints of traditional data management, offering a more intuitive and customizable approach. With Airtable, users can effortlessly organize, analyze, and collaborate on their data, unlocking new levels of efficiency and productivity.

    Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, Airtable offers a versatile and scalable solution for data management. From project tracking and content planning to inventory management and customer relationship management, Airtable can be customized to fit a wide range of use cases. Its adaptability and ease of use make it an indispensable tool for businesses looking to simplify their data management processes and unlock their full potential.

    Airtable features


    Airtable boasts a plethora of useful features for the small business owner to the corporate manager. Let's break down some of the most notable features:

    • User-friendly interface: Airtable provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface, allowing even non-technical users to navigate and utilize the software with ease. The familiar spreadsheet-like interface makes creating and managing databases simple and intuitive.
    • Custom views and reports: Users can create custom views and reports in Airtable, allowing them to visualize and analyze their data in different ways. Whether it's a grid view, calendar view, kanban view, or gallery view, teams can choose the most suitable view to work with their data.
    • Relationship building: Airtable enables users to build relationships between different sets of data, creating connections and associations. This feature allows for more advanced data management and analysis, making it easier to understand the relationships between different data points.
    • Integration with other apps: Airtable seamlessly integrates with other popular applications such as Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Office. This integration allows users to connect their workflows and streamline data management across multiple platforms. Data can be synced between Airtable and other tools, ensuring that information remains up-to-date and easily accessible.
    • Collaboration and real-time editing: Airtable supports real-time collaboration, enabling team members to work together on the same database simultaneously. Changes made by one user are instantly visible to others, promoting better collaboration and reducing the risk of data discrepancies.

    How does Airtable work?


    Airtable uses a system of "bases" to organize data. A base is essentially a collection of tables, similar to a spreadsheet. Each table contains records, which are individual pieces of data. Users can customize the fields within each table to fit their specific data needs.

    Airtable also offers a variety of views, including a grid, calendar, kanban, and gallery, to help users visualize their data in different ways. This makes it easier to understand and analyze data, especially for teams with different preferences for data presentation.

    Users can create new tables within a base and define the fields for each table. Each field can have different types such as text, numbers, dates, attachments, checkboxes, and more. Users can also set field validation rules to ensure data accuracy. Within each table, users can add, edit, and delete records. Each record corresponds to a row in a traditional spreadsheet and contains information about a specific entity or item. Users can fill in the fields for each record with relevant data.

    Essentially, Airtable allows users to take the reins and create the perfect database to suit their specific needs. Additionally, the smart organization of Airtable ensures that users can find what they are looking for, promptly and accurately.

    What is Airtable used for?


    Airtable can be used for a variety of purposes, from project management to inventory tracking. Here are some common use cases for Airtable

    Project management

    Airtable's customizable tables and views make it an excellent tool for project management. Teams can use it to track tasks, deadlines, and progress, and easily collaborate on projects in real time. With the ability to add attachments and comments to records, communication and organization are streamlined.

    Content planning

    For content creators, Airtable can be a game-changer. It allows teams to plan and organize content calendars, track ideas and pitches, and collaborate on content creation. With the ability to add attachments and links to records, teams can easily access all the necessary information in one place.

    Event planning

    Airtable's calendar view makes it an ideal tool for event planning. Teams can use it to track event details, deadlines, and tasks, and easily collaborate with vendors and team members. With the ability to add attachments and comments to records, communication and organization are streamlined.

    Inventory management

    For businesses that need to track inventory, Airtable can be a valuable tool. It allows teams to create custom databases to track inventory levels, orders, and suppliers. With the ability to add attachments and comments to records, teams can easily communicate and stay organized.

    Customer relationship management (CRM)

    Airtable can also be used as a CRM tool, allowing businesses to track customer information, interactions, and sales. With the ability to add attachments and comments to records, teams can easily collaborate on customer relationships and stay organized.

    Airtable pricing

    Like most online tools, Airtable offers a pricing structure that caters to the needs of different users, from individuals to larger teams and organizations.

    Airtable offers a free plan that provides basic features and functionality. With the free plan, users can create unlimited bases, collaborate with an unlimited number of collaborators, and store up to 1,200 records per base. However, some advanced features and capabilities are limited in the free plan.

    The Plus plan is designed for individual users or small teams looking for additional features and capabilities. It is priced at $12 per user per month when billed annually, or $15 per user per month when billed monthly. The Plus plan offers advanced features such as priority customer support, revision history, grid, calendar, and Kanban view options, and more generous storage and attachment limits.

    The Pro plan, at $24 per user per month, is designed for larger teams or businesses that require enhanced functionality and collaboration features. In addition to the features offered in the Plus plan, the Pro plan includes advanced features like custom branded forms, custom branded share links, advanced calendar features, and expanded automation options.

    Finally, for large organizations with specific and complex needs, Airtable offers an Enterprise plan. The pricing for this plan is customizable and tailored to the requirements of the organization. Airtable also offers discounts for non-profits and educational institutions, providing them with reduced pricing options.

    Airtable alternatives

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    Okay, we get it, Airtable is a strong contender in the world of data management systems. However, maybe you are looking for a different set of features, a cheaper price, or simply prefer another application. No shame, we'll go over some of the best Airtable alternatives so that you can be set no matter which you choose.

    Notion (Free): Notion is an all-in-one productivity tool that combines note-taking, task management, and database functionalities. It provides a flexible and customizable platform for organizing and managing data. Notion offers various templates and integrations for seamless workflow management.

    Trello (Free trial, $5 per month): Trello is a popular project management tool that allows teams to organize and track tasks using a Kanban board interface. While it is primarily focused on project management, Trello offers basic data management features such as custom fields and attachments.

    Smartsheet (Free Plan, Pro Plan at $7 monthly): Smartsheet is a cloud-based platform that combines spreadsheet-like functionality with project management features. It offers collaborative task tracking, resource management, and reporting capabilities. Smartsheet is popular among teams that require a balance of data management and project planning.

    ClickUp (Free Plan, Pro Plan at $7 monthly): ClickUp is a comprehensive project management and productivity tool. It provides features for task management, collaboration, and data organization. ClickUp integrates with other tools and offers customizable views for different data management needs.

    Upgrading Airtable with IFTTT

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    IFTTT (If This, Then That) is our powerful free automation tool that allows you to connect different apps and services to create automated workflows. By exploring our wide range of millions of applets available on the IFTTT platform or creating your own custom applets, you can further automate and streamline your workflows with Airtable.

    Read on to learn more about IFTTT's mission and our top picks for Airtable applets.

    What is IFTTT?

    IFTTT is our free web-based service and mobile app designed to boost productivity by automating tasks. It works by creating connections between popular apps and services, allowing them to work together seamlessly.

    The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example.

    Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.

    Top Airtable Applets with IFTTT

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    Automatically create new Airtable records for new Google My Business reviews

    Effortlessly keep an eye on all of your customer feedback so that you can identify trends and improve your business. When new reviews are submitted for your business in Google My Business, this Applet will add its contents to a new Airtable record.

    Connect Airtable to Salesforce & keep both databases in sync

    Whenever a record is created in Airtable, it will also create a record in Salesforce. This is great for small sales teams to keep their CRM and project management tools in sync.

    Log how much time you spend at home/work/etc.

    Set the area you want to log, and IFTTT will add a record to Airtable each time you arrive at or leave that area. Duplicate the recipe for each common area to see more data from different locations!

    To enable these Applets and millions more, try IFTTT today for free!

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