Recently there has been an influx of spreadsheet-database hybrids to the marketplace. It started with products like Airtable, and since then, new competitors have arisen — like Coda and Google Tables. Why are these applications increasing in popularity?
These spreadsheet-database hybrids give users the ability to leverage both database and spreadsheet technology without needing to learn how to code. Additionally, they reduce complexity because they are as easy to use as an app. Users can connect separate tables and databases as well as change their design with ease. For example, it’s possible to keep the layout in spreadsheet mode, change it to kanban mode, or even convert it into a calendar.
The flexibility these solutions offer makes them an ideal choice for individuals who need more power than a simple spreadsheet can provide but don’t need a standalone application. In this post, we’ll first explain what Google Tables is and then talk about the best alternatives you can find today.
Manage complex data with Google Tables or one of its competitors
Google Tables is a workflow automation tool that’s designed to make data more manageable. Like its spreadsheet counterpart, Google Sheets, it’s a collaborative tool that allows you to work with teams on the fly. From a technical aspect, it’s a spreadsheet-database hybrid that helps you accomplish tasks that are too complex for a spreadsheet to display in a visually appealing way.
Google Tables is split into four main sections: workspaces, tables, templates, and home. These areas provide you with easy access to your databases and data. In addition, templates give you an easy foundation for any of your projects, helping you skip a lot of the startup work. However, Google Tables is new to the scene and still in the beta phase. With that in mind, let’s look at six additional alternatives.
1. JotForm Tables
JotForm Tables offers a new twist on workflow innovation by focusing on data collection from forms or surveys. The collected data automatically populates a table. This powers turnkey management, organization and team collaboration through a feature set that includes all-in-one workspace capabilities.
JotForm has a substantial table template library and functionality that enables users to perform complex calculations, track the progress of tasks, and analyze and visualize data in a variety of ways.
Airtable is an online organizational and collaboration tool that’s also part spreadsheet and part database. It allows users to create simple application-like workflows, using spreadsheets and databases as the principal entry point.
Airtable was one of the first spreadsheet-database hybrid tools, and for that reason, it has an extensive template offering and rich feature set. Airtable’s pricing structure has four tiers, starting with a free option and going all the way up to enterprise plans.
Coda, like Airtable, provides simple application-like workflows for its users, albeit with a different purpose.
Coda’s goal is to unify the work done with spreadsheets, documents, and applications into a single platform. It features simple, intuitive docs, much like what we’re already accustomed to using. The difference is that docs and spreadsheets can easily communicate with each other, allowing for an app-like experience and easily automated workflows.
Notion is different from the other options in this list in that it more closely resembles a team wiki than a spreadsheet or database.
Like the other options, it offers easy collaboration, the ability to interlink data from multiple sources, and an app-like interface. These features give it a bit more flexibility than its counterparts but also mean that it isn’t as feature rich when managing spreadsheets and database activities.
Notion has four pricing tiers, ranging from free to the enterprise level.
Smartsheet is another spreadsheet-database hybrid. Like Airtable and Coda, it offers an intuitive way to connect data from disparate sources so that it works together seamlessly.
Smartsheet’s mission is to align people and technology by reducing the time it takes for employees to do things like find information, switch apps, and reduce errors in repeatable processes.
Unlike the other software on this list, Smartsheet doesn’t offer a free option. Plans start at $14 per month for an individual and $25 per user, per month for business. Smartsheet also offers enterprise plans.
6. Microsoft Lists
Microsoft Lists may seem like an odd choice for this post, but its feature set is comparable to the rest of the products we’ve discussed.
Microsoft Lists allows users to track information using a spreadsheet-style interface, easily change the visualization of that information, and build custom productivity apps that help automate repetitive tasks.
Like Google Tables, Microsoft Lists is part of a larger ecosystem. Organizations need to have a Microsoft 365 subscription to use Lists.
Choosing the best Google Tables alternative for your organization
We’ve considered Google Tables and six powerful alternatives. Making the right choice depends on subtleties. For example, perhaps you already use Microsoft 365 in your business and would like to take advantage of an existing feature set. Or maybe you’re interested in another provider, like Coda, for its ease of use and communication ability. Whatever your needs, you can be sure that these data powerhouses will help you visualize your data like never before.
What if your needs revolve around collecting and organizing data? At JotForm, we provide intuitive form software that enables you to gather a broad spectrum of data types. And with JotForm Tables, you can organize and analyze this data effortlessly, and communicate data-driven insights through turnkey reporting.
We offer four subscription levels, including a free Starter plan that includes JotForm Tables. Try it today.