With the rise of low-code and no-code tools to manage and automate your tasks and content, project managers, content creators, and marketers are saving weeks of time. Airtable and Google Sheets are two of the most popular software in this category. In this article, we'll go over Airtable vs Google Sheets as options for:
- Project management
- Marketing (editorial calendar for social media)
- CRM and Sales
- Event planning
At Slam Media, we’ve used Google Sheets and Airtable to plan and project manage in the past, and have our favorite. Of course, we’ll let you decide!
Airtable vs Google Sheets 101
Google Sheets is part of the Google suite of products and is a cloud-based spreadsheet application. It’s feature-rich, easy to use, and comes free with a Google account. If you’ve used Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets is pretty much a replica of that. Most Apple users opt to use Google Sheets, since they can’t get to the level of sophistication you can have with a Windows laptop.
Airtable is a cloud-based application that calls itself a “spreadsheet-database crossbreed.” In other words, it’s an easy way to organize anything with a flexible database structure. We like to think about it as a smart Google Sheets.
Airtable vs Google Sheets: Use Cases
How do Teams use Airtable?
Airtable is best for managing projects that have a lot of data points and need to be easily searchable. This means that Airtable works well for:
- Task management
- Communication with multiple stakeholders
- Projects that involve internal and external collaborators
- Managing social media calendars
- Track leads, statuses, and conversation histories
- Asset management
For instance, if you need to track a lot of information for your blog posts or social media posts, Airtable can help you find what you need immediately by using their search bar. What’s special is that you can connect multiple tables and data points and group them based on those data points.
On Slam Media’s Airtable content calendar, we use one base to manage all of our client work. We have tabs for:
These three tabs connect with each other, allowing the Content tab to have entries from Clients/Organizations and Writers involved. From there, we can customize views based on writers, month due, client, statuses, etc.
How do Teams use Google Sheets?
Google Sheets is mostly used for teams that want to manage data in a spreadsheet, but don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles of a dedicated project management tool.
For example, most small businesses use Google Sheets for their sales pipeline or to track their customer relationship management (CRM). Google Sheets is also good for managing a small editorial calendar for social media or blog content, but incredibly hard to do at scale.
Google Sheets is better for managing projects that are simpler, or if you’re looking just for a database of numbers.
Google Sheets vs Airtable: Pros and Cons
When it comes to features, Airtable has a lot to offer. It's a robust application that can do a lot more than just store data and information. With Airtable, you can create custom views, add attachments, and even create formulas to automate tasks.
Google Sheets is no slouch in the features department either. It can do pretty much everything that Excel can do. However, where Airtable really shines is in its flexibility and customization options. With Airtable, you can create custom views for different team members and leave comments on specific cells. This means that everyone can see the information that's most relevant to them. Google Sheets doesn't offer this same level of flexibility.
Sounds perfect, right? The difference is that Google Sheets is completely free.
Google Sheets vs Airtable Pricing
Google Sheets Pricing
Google Sheets, on the other hand, is completely free for anyone with a Google account. But, it should be noted that the free version of Airtable is still more powerful than the free version of Google Sheets.
Airtable has a free plan that lets you have up to 1,200 records (rows) per base (database). After that, you'll need to sign up for one of their paid plans, which start at $10/month.
Airtable vs Google Sheets: Project Management
If you have multiple teammates and are managing a big project that requires input from different teams, Airtable is your best bet.
Airtable for Project Managers
Airtable helps simplify complex data, allows users to control how they want to see their information, and has a notification system dedicated to you. The software allows you to track anything from project deadlines to customer information, while sharing records with internal and external partners.
Instead of tagging someone with and “@” in a cell, you can have a conversation with your colleagues on the sidebar instead of a cell. Yes, say goodbye to resolving the comments or trying to find resolved comments.
With Airtable, you can find your conversations, files, and status – all in one place. In addition, you can integrate it with existing tools in your stack and automate workflows. They connect with tools like:
Google Sheets for Project Managers
Many small businesses and small teams use Google Sheets to project manage because it’s free. The pros include:
- Very user-friendly and easy to learn
- Project managers can access it anywhere
- Integrates with Google products, who are already using other Google tools
- Track changes
- Create charts and graphs
The cons of using Google Sheets vs Airtable for project managers include:
- Google Sheets may not be as robust as some other project management tools, so it may not be suitable for all projects
- Google Sheets can be less secure than other tools, as it is a cloud-based tool and therefore subject to potential hacking
- Google Sheets may not be compatible with all browsers
So when it comes to picking the right tool for your needs, based it on your size and what features you need.
Google Sheets vs Airtable: Marketing
When it comes to running an editorial calendar for social media and content strategy, Airtable is the clear winner.
Airtable for Marketing Teams
Airtable's UX is neat for marketing and content teams, because once you get through the set-up, it provides different types of views by status, channel, owner, and colors. You can also organize it by Kanban view, timeline view, and list view, allowing each team member to have its own view.
Each of the views has three different ways to group data:
If you're coming from a spreadsheet background, this will make you 10x more efficient. If you’d like to try out Airtable, check out our Airtable content calendar template. You can download it for free here (it comes with a tutorial).
Google Sheets for Marketing Teams
Google Sheets is a versatile tool that marketing teams can use to keep their data and information all in one place. You can:
- Manage campaign results
- Create marketing reports
- Design data visualizations
- Create a table-form editorial calendar with entries as cells
We recommend using Google Sheets for calendars when your content team is small (1-2 people) because if you’re pushing out 2-3 pieces of content per day, the Google Sheets calendar won’t be able to handle that much volume. On top of that, it’s hard to track comments, edits, add images, etc.
Airtable vs Google Sheets: CRM
If you’re using Google tools already, Google Sheets might be the tool you need to track your leads and follow-up with them. Because it’s free, it doesn’t cost your business any more money and it allows your colleagues to see the data without having to log-in at all.
However, there are some downsides to using Google Sheets as a CRM. One is that it can be less flexible than some other CRM options, since it’s based on a set grid.
This can make it difficult to track certain types of data or to customize reports. Additionally, Google Sheets doesn’t have some of the more advanced features that other CRMs offer, such as sales automation or built-in customer support.
With Airtable, you can enable salespeople to manage their sales pipeline and customer relationships more effectively. It provides flexible, customizable views to manage sales activity and create custom reports. Plus, you can connect your deadlines and timelines so everyone on your team can have a 360-view of your workload and responsibilities.
Our favorite part about it is that you can create a form within Airtable that can sync with your database.
The main disadvantages of using Airtable are its learning curve. It might take some time to get the right set-up. Thankfully, Airtable has templates you can use to get rolling.
Google Sheets vs Airtable: Event Planning
What if your caterer cancelled, your vendors didn’t show up, your budget was completely off the charts, and the venue was double-booked? These are the questions that keep even the best event planners up at night. And it’s not without reason—unfortunately, the most poorly planned events are also the ones you can never forget. The key to avoiding these disasters is easier said than done: perfecting the art of event management.
We’re going to compare Google Sheets vs Airtable and see which one is best for event planning below.
Airtable is perfect for event management teams who want to create automated workflows, collaborate with other departments, and store all kinds of event details like images, contracts, budgets, and timelines.
With flexible views ranging from calendars and Gantt charts to grids and Kanban boards, your team can view the information they need in the way that works for them. Plus, integrations with tools like Slack, Google Suite, and Dropbox give your events team all the functionality they need, right at their fingertips.
You can check out their templates here.
With Google Sheets, you can use it as a table to track guest lists, track RSVPs, and manage logistics and budget. The magic is the same. You can use it to help you keep all the info in one place. The only thing you can’t do is automate workflows.
Airtable vs Google Sheets: What’s Right for me?
Airtable and Google Sheets are both great options for different purposes. If you need a simple way to keep track of data, then Google Sheets is your pick!
If you’re looking for a comprehensive collaborative solution, Airtable is your best choice.
At Slam, we’re big fans of Airtable, and have helped organizations streamline their operations in marketing, sales, and project management. This is why we’ve developed a free Airtable content calendar you can download. Give it a try!