What do you like best?
AirTable is terrifically smart, with a user-focused design and interface that is truly impressive. It is already great, and I look forward to seeing it get even better over time.
- An intuitive interface, which allows me to get new part-time student volunteers up, running, and collaborating on AirTable with minimal training on my part
- WordPress website compatibility (info we save on AirTable can show up instantly on our WordPress-based website, showing exactly the fields we specify)
- Control over info (I decide which info gets shown on WordPress from a base; I decide whether other collaborators can add columns, I can grant access to some bases but not others or to an entire workspace, etc.)
-An amazing array of hugely useful options for organizing information, with both easy pre-packaged options (choosing a certain type of column display) along with higher-end, customizable database type features (i.e., linking across records).
- Color coding (along with the option to turn it off) and other useful visual features, which helps me focus on key info
- The ability to save images and documents with each record, with super fast and easy drag & drop functionality
What do you dislike?
*** 1 *** I don't like that pro and premium users have to pay for each Workspace they use, rather than just getting premium access to AirTable. I like to organize my information, and separate out different projects. That is important to me. But I can't put spreadsheets for a different project into a separate workspace, or I will get charged double for it. That is annoying, because I suspect that few people are really paying double, triple, etc. for AirTable premium access. They are just having to give up on organizing their AirTable bases, and then granting access to collaborators to individual bases instead of workspaces. I wish that AirTable would rethink that, because it doesn't seem to be putting the customer first.
*** 2 *** To be able to make key info within a given cell stand out visually, I want to be able to bold or color certain words, as one can in an Excel spreadsheet. That is not possible in AirTable.
*** 3 *** I would like to have more text wrapping and associated row height options and controls for key fields.
*** 4 *** I want to be able to have "bases" talk to each other (i.e., reference information about team members from a different base to link to records in another base.) If bases can't be better programmed to talk to one another, I would like to have the option to automatically copy the content from one table into another base, to serve essentially the same function, albeit less efficiently.
*** 5 *** My needs are very image heavy (i.e., uploading many docs and photos), and I would like to have an export option that exports the photos/docs, and not just text. Among other things, it would make me feel better about being able to save a full backup locally.
*** 6 *** Display options on iPads and mobile devices are currently pretty limited, so less useful for our team management bases (for example, to do lists.) I hope they focus on improving that for the future.
*** 7 *** I can see how a per user pricing model works for corporate uses, where each user might spend a significant amount of time on AirTable. However, many non-profit and educational institutions often have a lot of workers who each work a small number of hours per month/year. Even with non-profit/educational pricing (which I appreciate), the per user costs are still pretty high. I wish that the non-profit/educational discounts could involve an option to pay per base, or pay per workspace rather than per user in each workspace -- with everyone (or up to a certain number, say 10 users) having editing privileges rather.
Recommendations to others considering the product
It is great for WordPress compatibility in basic ways; however, I wish there was a PlugIn on WordPress for AirTable that could facilitate options on the display (for example, AirTable shows up smaller than the width of my WordPress site, and I wish there were easy options for fixing that.) But it is amazingly easy to set up on WordPress websites to pull from a select array of info on an AirTable, with wonderful filtering options included. It really is pretty amazing.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
I am engaged in a non-for-profit social enterprise, leading a team of students in a social good project at a university. AirTable allows me and my team of students to:
A) organize content-rich data along with associated documents (i.e., titles and abstracts of research studies that we share with others doing research on those areas, while attaching PDFs of the articles for our internal, university use only)
B) Our WordPress site automatically pulls the fields I want over into our website, with full read-only search, filtering, and sorting capabilities by users. There is almost no time lag in the transmission of that information to the website.
3) I will be moving most of my student team management tools (to do lists, contact lists, dates of employment, etc.) to AirTable, so it will be one-stop-shopping for keeping track of both of the logistical aspects of the team's work, and much of their research and associated output.