Smartsheet vs Airtable: Which is right for you?

Smartsheet vs Airtable: Which is right for you?

In the good old days, if your brand wanted help with project or data management, you might have considered hiring an actual person with a degree in management or business. But today, there are ample options in the form of software as a service (SaaS) solutions, which are often more cost-effective and error-proof than a living, breathing human being.

As you weigh your options, two contenders are sure to appear frequently: Smartsheet and Airtable. Let’s drill down and see what sets these heavyweights apart.

What is Smartsheet?

Smartsheet provides collaboration and project management software. More than 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies use it. Smartsheet has data integrations with applications from major tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce.

Smartsheet Data Collection Dashboard
Smartsheet Data Collection Dashboard

It’s essentially a more collaborative version of the standard spreadsheet you experience with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

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What is Airtable?

Airtable is a platform for building collaborative apps that requires little coding know-how. Consider it a database-spreadsheet hybrid that offers a familiar spreadsheet-like interface with tools you’d find in a standard database.

Airtable Open Data Management
Airtable Open Data Management

Here, you have what’s arguably a more powerful spreadsheet. Although to be fair, Smartsheet probably looks the most like the spreadsheet applications you’re already familiar with.

Which one is right for you, Smartsheet or Airtable? Let’s take a closer look at how they stack up.

Just so you know

Already tried Smartsheet to replace Airtable? Then you can choose from one of many Airtable alternatives.

Similarities between Smartsheet and Airtable

Both Smartsheet and Airtable are effective project management solutions. Businesses use them for tasks like project planning, issue tracking, recurring tasks, and time and expense tracking.

Both platforms feature spreadsheet-like interfaces and are no or low code, so you don’t have to take a crash course in coding (or hire someone) to make sense of them. They both also offer plenty of prebuilt and custom integrations.

While they are essentially comparable in price, Smartsheet is technically less expensive. Smartsheet provides a free plan, then starts at $7 per month for individuals (billed annually). On the other hand, Airtable offers a free plan in addition to a Team plan that costs $20 per user, per month (billed annually).

Differences between Smartsheet and Airtable

The differences between the two platforms, including price, are subtle.

The biggest difference is in the target audience for each platform: Smartsheet is ideal for medium-sized businesses while Airtable is better for smaller businesses.

There’s also a distinction category-wise as Airtable isn’t technically a bonafide project management solution — although it can be used to track project-related data. Alternatively, Smartsheet provides a range of project management capabilities like dependencies, critical paths, and resource management.

Plus, Smartsheet offers support in multiple languages, while Airtable does not. Smartsheet also provides more ways for customers to contact customer support, although how useful that is will depend on your specific business needs.

Smartsheet vs Airtable: Which should you choose?

If your biggest concern is project management capabilities and/or if you want an interface you’re already familiar with or support in a language other than English, you should probably opt for Smartsheet.

But if your top concern is price, you’re probably better off with Airtable.

Another contender: Jotform Tables

There is a third option. Jotform Tables is another hybrid spreadsheet-database tool offering powerful analysis tools like formulas, calculations, filtering, and editing. It’s an ideal option for both small- and medium-sized businesses that have outgrown basic spreadsheets.

Similar to Airtable, Jotform Tables is flexible and can be used for project management and more. Sales teams can track leads, HR departments can manage job candidates, and marketing teams can keep tabs on ad campaigns and goals. Users can also import files with existing data and create online forms. 

For more on the benefits of Jotform Tables, see our announcement here. The best part? It’s free! To get started, just set up a Jotform account.

Smartsheet vs Airtable vs Jotform

At the end of the day, the right data management solution for your brand will depend on your unique needs. Use this comparison as a guide to help you determine which one is right for you.

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