If you’re reading this post, you may be on the hunt for reliable cloud collaboration software.
Founded in 2012, Airtable quickly rose to fame as an easy-to-use but robust alternative to Google Spreadsheets and Excel. It’s kind of like Google Sheets on steroids. The use cases for how people and companies use Airtable are nearly endless — from creating content calendars and project management trackers to employee org charts and even building full-on databases.
With so many use cases, Airtable can be intimidating. How do you take full advantage of these capabilities?
12 Airtable alternatives
Launched in October 2020, Jotform Tables combines the ease of use of spreadsheets with the sheer power and customization of a database. That’s because it allows teams to easily sync form responses and manage all of their data in one workplace.
Let’s say you want to create an onboarding tracker to ensure all new employees have a great experience in their first 90 days on the job. You can set up multiple tables — including one with all of the new hires’ names and phone numbers and another tab that has the full 90-day onboarding plan.
In your onboarding plan, you can add attachments for any presentations or information that you need to distribute and use the checkbox field to “check” off when an item has been completed.
You can set up custom filtering, calculations, and formulas to better standardize and automate administrative tasks related to employee onboarding. And, once you’ve built the onboarding plan table, you can email each new hire a link to view the table on their first day.
Employee onboarding is one of hundreds of use cases for Jotform Tables. More than 250 free templates make it easy to get started.
Just so you know
Organize and manage all of your data in one place with Jotform Tables.
Notion is ideal for individuals and teams looking for one SaaS tool to do a bunch of different tasks. That’s because Notion is specifically designed to be an all-in-one note-taking app, knowledge base, project management tool, and database. Instead of having to pay for two, three, or four pieces of software to do each task, you can just use Notion.
Some additional features include infinite category and page hierarchy, sophisticated table formats, markdown support, a web clipper to easily save images and sites from around the Internet, and real-time messaging features. It also works seamlessly across the web, desktop apps (Windows and Mac), and on mobile.
Some of Notion’s customers include Drawbotics, Aircall, Vero, Solvvy, and PayFit. They have a limited free version, and pricing for teams starts at $8 per member per month.
Asana is ideal for teams looking for advanced project management and collaboration features. You can document and keep track of individual tasks (such as checklists) and organize full projects (such as managing your content calendar) or large strategic business initiatives like a product launch.
You can organize and view individual projects across different formats, including Kanban-style, Calendar, and Timeline views. You can also save time by using custom fields and templates. Asana integrates with more than 100 different tools, including Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Zapier, and JotForm.
Asana customers include NASA, Uber, Yelp, GE, Google, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Spotify.
There’s a free version of Asana, which is ideal for individuals and small teams that need only basic project management functionality. Paid plans start at $10.99 per month for each team member.
Evernote is a powerful note-taking application with added knowledge management and team collaboration functionality. Some of their most popular features include tagging, advanced search (including handwriting in images and screenshots), web clipper, document and business card scanning, and template customization.
You can even build and publish an entire microsite on Evernote.
Evernote also integrates with hundreds of apps, including Google Drive, Salesforce, Outlook, and Slack, and works seamlessly across the web, desktop apps (Mac and PCs), and on mobile.
Some of Evernote’s customers include CoSchedule, Freitag, Migros, Andela, and Gantrex.
Similar to Asana, they have a free plan that’s ideal for individuals looking for more basic capabilities. Their team plans start at $15 per month for each team member.
Similar to Asana, Pipefy is another advanced project management and team collaboration tool. This tool works best if you’re looking to manage, automate, and report on existing workflows and processes. They have dozens of prebuilt process, workflow, PDF, and email templates as well as the ability to create your own quickly.
Some of their customers include Volvo, IBM, Capgemini, Santander, and Wipro.
Pipefy has a limited free version, and their paid plans start at $9 per month for each team member.
Similar to Asana and Pipefy, Basecamp is another advanced project management and team collaboration tool. Some of their most popular features include to-do lists, scheduling tools, file and document management, message boards, advanced reporting features, and even a client portal.
Many remote and distributed teams gravitate to Basecamp because it’s designed specifically for asynchronous communication. The two founders — Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson — are both fervent supporters of remote work.
More than 3 million organizations have used Basecamp, including APEX, Full Sail University, Autotrader, and Health Economics Advisors Inc.
They have a free version that’s ideal for individuals, freelancers, and small teams, and their paid plan is $99 per month. Basecamp is the only tool in this post that doesn’t charge a per-user fee.
ClickUp is a robust platform that can take the place of several other apps your team may be using. If you’d like to streamline your documents, chat app, goal planning, and more, ClickUp is a great all-around project management tool that will keep your team organized and on the same page.
Though it has hundreds of features, ClickUp really shines when it comes to collaboration. The whiteboard feature allows for real-time visualization of your team’s plans, and with remote work the new norm, this is a perfect alternative to getting your group together for an in-person brainstorming session.
If working asynchronously is more your thing, ClickUp Automations ensure proper workflows, whether you want to create them yourself or use prebuilt recipes.
The Free Forever version of ClickUp is packed with enough features for personal use, but for businesses looking to include unlimited teams, check out the Business or Business Plus plans. They’ll cost you $12 or $19 per month, per member and provide access to useful features like stronger automation tools and an API.
Trello has been around for a while in the project management world — and for good reason. Part of the Atlassian suite (home of JIRA and Confluence), Trello gets points for an attractive interface that’s built on simple cards.
However, the level of simplicity is in the hands of the user. Trello can handle weightier tasks like productivity metrics and built-in automation. Plus, a nice calendar feature helps keep you on track.
If you need help checking mundane tasks off your to-do list, you might find Trello’s Butler Power-Up to be a nice addition. You can automate simple actions like moving lists or let it take care of alerting the team about deadlines or new assignments.
In addition to Butler, you’ll find hundreds of other useful Power-Ups and many popular integrations, including Slack, Google Drive, and Evernote.
If your team can make do with fewer than 10 boards, the free account is pretty generous with its unlimited storage, cards, and Power-Ups. You can snag unlimited boards at $5 per month, per user and add additional project views starting at $10 per month, per user.
Zoho as a whole is a powerful software suite, so it’s no surprise its project collaboration tool is worth exploring. The interface is very customizable; you can opt to see everything all at once or set up filters to display only your most useful tools and items.
Smaller teams might find Zoho Projects to be a bit much for their needs, but it’s ideal for larger groups. If you like Zoho Projects, you may opt to use the entire Zoho suite for other functions throughout the company.
Zoho Projects excels when it comes to collaborating within many projects at once. The project portfolio dashboard gives a clear overview of each project, including the status of your budget, timeline, and overall project health. If you have several users collaborating on a project at once, managers can easily get reports on the time each user spends and find out what everyone’s working on at any given time.
If you think you can get your team to spend a week test driving pretty extensive software, the 10-day free trial might be worth trying. If you’re ready to dive in, the Premium and Enterprise accounts at $5 and $10 per user, per month, respectively, are your best options. The free account most likely won’t fit your needs if you’re checking out a platform as robust as this one.
If you’ve been looking to migrate your current collaboration software into something new, Nifty is a good option. You can easily move your current projects from popular platforms like Asana, Basecamp, ClickUp, and more.
When using Nifty, you won’t have to worry about switching between multiple tools. You can integrate many popular apps like Google Docs and Slack, or you can use Nifty’s docs and discussion tools.
With Nifty, you’ll be able to use all of the most common project management features — like reporting, time tracking, and file sharing — and you can do so easily with Nifty’s strong help center. There are articles that give advice on everything from specific use cases to how to set up custom roles and permissions for each person on your team.
Some of Nifty’s customers include Verizon, IBM, and VMware, just to name a few.
Pricing for Nifty is structured a little differently than other platforms. You won’t be paying per user, so make sure you choose a tier that works for the size of your team. Unlimited guests and clients can access all paid account projects, which is a nice touch for client-facing companies. If you’re planning on using the Open API, look at the Business or Unlimited accounts.
If your team already uses Microsoft 365, you don’t have to search for collaboration software at an additional cost. Microsoft Lists allows teams to organize their work and track any information within a list view — akin to a beefed up spreadsheet that incorporates Microsoft’s other products.
There are different ways to customize your lists, including changing the view to a calendar, grid, or a custom view. Or, if you’re looking to save time, there are ready-made templates available for all types of projects. If you’d like to learn more about Lists, you can listen to an episode of the podcast, Intrazone, hosted by Microsoft’s engineering team.
If you’re not already using Microsoft 365, Lists obviously won’t be your first choice, as there are cheaper options out there. However, it’s definitely a worthy add-on tool if your company is already shelling out the money for a monthly subscription.
The Zenkit Suite includes six separate solutions for the most common team needs: Projects, Hypernotes, Zenkit Base, To Do, Zenforms, and Zenchat. Zenkit offers bundles, so you can pay only for the specific products you need. Or you can stick with Zenkit Base, which is the most central product of Zenkit Suite.
The site is hosted and maintained in Europe, which might be appealing to international teams.
You’d probably choose Zenkit over Airtable for its clean, sleek interface, and affordability compared to similar platforms. It’s intuitive to use, but if you do have any trouble, you can book a demo or check out the many helpful video tutorials available.
One feature that sticks out for creative teams in particular is the ability to draw on or annotate any file or comment. And if security is an important factor in your platform choice, Zenkit puts that at the forefront of its product.
If you’re looking for an affordable option for project management, the Projects or Base products will be your best options. The other add-ons could make the suite a bit pricier, but contact sales for bundle pricing if you’re hoping to integrate extra features like forms (or you can check out another option, like Jotform).
While these are all great products, some work better for specific use cases like note-taking, knowledge base organization, or project management. We recommend creating a list with all of your must-have as well as nice-to-have features. This can help you choose the cloud collaboration software that best matches your needs.