Google “project management” and you get “about 3,770,000,000 results.
Suffice to say, there is not a shortage or articles about project management.
While there are not billions of project management solutions on the market, Smartsheet and Airtable are two of the many available. This article will touch on the similarities of the two platforms while mostly focusing on how they differ.
Smartsheet is “the enterprise platform for dynamic work that aligns people and technology so your entire business can move faster, drive innovation, and achieve more” (Source: Smartsheet About page).
Released in 2006, Smartsheet is a SaaS collaboration and work management platform — the “modern alternative to Microsoft Project.” Smartsheet employs a “tabular user interface” with a look and feel most similar to spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel.
Think of Smartsheet as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets with built-in collaboration tools.
Airtable “was founded on the belief that software shouldn’t dictate how you work—you should dictate how it works. Our mission is to democratize software creation by enabling anyone to build the tools that meet their needs. Creators and creatives around the world use Airtable to do everything from cattle tracking to filmmaking, and they have great things to say” (Source: Airtable About page).
Founded in 2012 in San Francisco, Airtable is a collaborative software platform that operates like a “spreadsheet-database hybrid.”
Think of Airtable as a spreadsheet powered by a database.
How are Smartsheet and Airtable different? Spoiler: not by a lot
Our analysis found these two solutions to be quite similar, but noticeable differences do exist. Below are those differences that are objectively unique between each platform.
Audience: Airtable caters more heavily to the small-business segment, while Smartsheet favors a mid-market clientele. While there is no clear line in the sand on this one — and the lines between small and mid-market sometimes blur — it’s worth pointing out. Airtable claims to serve “over 200,000 of the world’s leading organizations” while Smartsheet serves “over 83,000 brands and millions of information workers.”
Category: According to Stackshare, Airtable is in the “Spreadsheets as a Backend” category, while Smartsheet slides in under “Project Management”. Smartsheet claims “robust project management capabilities” — dependencies, critical path, resource management, etc. Airtable, on the other hand, is not as well-positioned as a project management solution.
Look and Feel/Interface: While both Smartsheet and Airtable are “driven by a spreadsheet-type interface,” Smartsheet is really the one that is most closely aligned with a traditional spreadsheet.
Language Support: Airtable only supports English, whereas Smartsheet offers support in English, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, and Turkish.
Support/Help: Smartsheet offers the following support:
- Live support
Airtable includes all of the above except ticket and phone support.
While there are some differences between Smartsheet and Airtable, there are quite a few similarities as well:
- Driven by a spreadsheet-type interface
- Project management solutions (according to review site G2, both Airtable and Smartsheet are in the “Project Management” category)
- Online, web-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms
In fact, according to TechRadar, “the largest UK-based consumer technology news and reviews site”:
“Smartsheet is most similar to AirTable, which also uses advanced spreadsheets to organize projects and every other aspect of your business. AirTable is slightly less expensive and offers a more user-friendly interface, but it lacks the depth of functionality that Smartsheet offers. In particular, AirTable doesn’t have tools for workflow automation, and it’s much more difficult to create hybrid spreadsheets.”
A look at Smartsheet vs. Airtable: pricing and Integrations
In addition to the differences mentioned above, pricing and integrations are easier to compare directly.
Here is what we’ve found:
- Offers both “Standard” and “Enterprise/Premier” pricing tiers
- Standard, Individual: $14/month, billed annually
- Standard, Business: $25/user/month, billed annually (minimum 3 licenses)
- Enterprise & Premier pricing falls under the “contact us” category.
As you move up the Smartsheet tiers, the feature set grows.
- Offers 4 tiers — Free, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise
- Free: FREE!
- Plus: $10/user/month
- Pro: $20/user/month
- Enterprise: You know the drill on this one (“click to ‘Learn More’”)
As you move up the Airtable pricing tiers, you get “more” of the following: records per base, attachment space per base, and revision and snapshot history. You also get more automations, more syncs, and more advanced features.
Note: Integrations are combining (or connecting) software “parts” into one system to form an “integrated system.”
The Smartsheet marketplace (as they call it) has over 300 “connectors and integrations” listed on its marketplace page. You can sort the various options by Type (template, applications, etc), Category (add-on, integrator/connection, etc), and Level (basic or premium).
Observation: It would appear the majority of the Smartsheet integrations fall into the “template” and/or “template set” type.
Per Airtable, customers can “use Zapier, Workato, Integromat, or Automate.io to connect Airtable with over 1000 websites and apps.”
Observation: The Airtable integrations page only shows 32 by name/logo.
What are the alternatives to Smartsheet and Airtable? monday.com, for one
In short, it depends on who you ask.
But first, as mentioned above, TechRadar believes “Smartsheet is most similar to AirTable,” so it goes without saying, an alternative to Smartsheet is an alternative to Airtable.
Here are what a few companies show as competitors:
Workzone lists 24 alternatives to Smartsheet including Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Jira, Microsoft Project (and its own platform, of course).
TrustRadius has Microsoft Project, MS SharePoint, Asana, Jira, Salesforce, Wrike, and … monday.com!
Speaking of monday.com …
We happen to be big — HUGE — fans of monday.com.
Did you know… monday.com’s Work OS combines the best of both Smartsheet and Airtable, plus a whole lot more?
Our solution empowers teams to “do more than day-to-day task management.” With monday.com, users can collaborate on multiple projects while keeping every team member focused on their individual and overall team goals.
Other key features include:
- Automated workflows
- Integrated communication tools
- Gantt charts
- Integrations (thousands and thousands)
- And so on …
What are customer review sites saying?
TL;DR: Both G2 and TrustRadius rank Airtable and Smartsheet (and monday.com!) as top solutions in the project management category.
There are plenty — plenty! — of reputable software review sites on the Internet. For this section, we picked two of the more well-known: G2 and TrustRadius.
Per its About page, G2 is “the world’s largest tech marketplace where businesses can discover, review, and manage the technology they need to reach their potential.”
Star Rating: Airtable has a 4.5/5.0 star rating with 896 reviews. Smartsheet has a 4.0/5.0 star rating with 2,136 reviews. For comparison purposes, monday.com has a 4.5/5.0 star rating with 1,242 reviews.
Per its About page, TrustRadius is “the most trusted review site for business technology. Optimized for content quality and data integrity, we help buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews. We also help vendors harness and scale the authentic voice of their customers.”
Star Rating + “Score”: Airtable has a 4.5/5.0 star rating with 340 reviews and a “score” of 8.6 out of 10. Smartsheet has a 4.5/5.0 star rating with 382 reviews and a “score” of 8.6 out of 10. For comparison purposes, monday.com has a 4.5/5.0 star rating with 195 reviews and a “score” of 8.5 out of 10.
The “final verdict”
As you can tell from the above comparison, Smartsheet and Airtable are pretty similar! Even the review sites have them essentially neck-in-neck in the ratings and scoring.
Here at monday.com we believe we have a solid alternative to Smartsheet.
We also allow customers to connect Airtable and monday.com with the Embedded Airtable view and widget! With this amazing feature, you can embed your Airtable view side by side with your monday.com boards and allow both apps to work seamlessly together.
Related articles: monday.com vs. Airtable, Trello vs. Airtable, Asana vs. Airtable