Project management tools are an incredible resource in today’s working environment. Providing a wide range of benefits to helping us, and our team, stay focused and productive. Since the inception of these tools online, many have risen in popularity.
Two notable titans of the project management world are Airtable and Trello, which both provide significantly different benefits, but are both coming in with the same intentions.
Today we’ll be looking into both of these more closely, and finding out which project management tool is right for you!
What is Airtable?
Airtable is a project management software that is designed to help craft spreadsheets and databases with ease. With advanced indexing features, and extensive support for project styles that rely heavily on an information matrix to complete their work. The platform was released in 2015, and since then has developed an incredibly loyal user base behind it.
What is Trello?
Trello has become a very popular project management platform since its inception. Designed around the Kanban system, which was invented by Toyota in the 1950s. The platform has seen significant results for its users. Primarily designed around a ‘Card’ system, Trello provides a streamlined way to tackle project management.
Airtable has developed a strong reputation for good reason, with many core benefits under its belt. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Airtable special:
Incredible Spreadsheet Capability
Airtable is, without a doubt, an incredible platform for spreadsheets. Providing a wide range of different spreadsheet options, extensive features for both beginner and advanced users, and the ability to seamlessly integrate these sheets into your work with ease.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better project management software that comes with as much effort put behind their spreadsheets as Airtable. Even Excel struggles to keep up in some areas!
Airtable has a template system, which is incredible for saving work time. Templates are created by the Airtable team, as well as third-party users. Meaning if you are looking for a very specific industry template, it’s very likely someone has already made one for you.
The template system provides a level of flexibility to Airtable that makes using the platform a breeze. You’ll always be able to integrate the hard work of the Airtable community into how you use the software.
Airtable has some of the best support, and update history, of any project management software on the market. With regular updates hitting every week or two, and many of these being optional. Meaning you don’t have to jump on the update as soon as it drops, in case it gets in the way of your work.
Furthermore, Airtable has fantastic support behind its program. If you ever need a question answered, the Airtable community is there. If you ever need live support, Airtable’s team is ready.
Supported, and Syncs, on All Platforms
Airtable is available on all platforms. Including any operating system that uses a web browser. As well as having an app, which can be picked up on iOS, Android, and Windows. The app will seamlessly sync with your Airtable profile, meaning you can pick up where you left off when you get back into the office.
Wide Range of Data Views
Airtable is all about looking at your data the way you want to. To aid in this, they provide a range of viewing options that help to see your data more effectively. Everything from a grid view, a Kanban view, calendar view, and a gallery view.
Airtable has worked hard to make sure the platform can be integrated with a wide range of other programs. Knowing that many people who use project management software often require the use of other programs in their industry.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a mainstream professional program that can’t be integrated into Airtable, and visa-versa.
Trello is a project management titan, built on a strong foundation of results that have helped companies for decades. Let’s take a moment to look deeper into the benefits of the Trello platform:
Simple and Effective UI Design
Trello uses a minimalist approach to their platform’s UI design. Providing a refreshingly simple functionality that users can enjoy. Every feature is easy to understand, the UI is responsive, and you’ll quickly come to grips with the central card system that is the primary focus of Trello’s design.
Trello comes with support for every platform. It is usable on all desktop operating systems that can support a web browser. As well as providing an app that is available on iOS, Android, and Windows.
The app comes with very high ratings, and there is a good reason for that. It is very well optimized, the UI is responsive and designed for mobile devices, and the Trello app will seamlessly sync with your desktop client. Meaning you can update and check your Trello board even when you’re out of the office.
Trello uses a notification system that is very helpful. Be default, the system will email you when a deadline is approaching, new tasks are made, or cards are completed. Allowing users to stay up to date with their board, without having to log on. Furthermore, you can change the settings of this system to meet your own personal preferences.
Allows You to Understand Instantly When A Deadline Nears
Keeping track of your deadlines with Trello is a breeze. All of the tasks inside your Trello board are housed within the ‘Card’ system. When a card is created, you set a deadline to that card. When the deadline approaches, the card will turn yellow (from green). When the deadline passes, it will turn red. Only disappearing after you have completed the task.
This allows users, at a glance, to quickly judge where they need to focus their energy. Keeping you productive in the right areas, and up to date with how your workflow is progressing.
Trello follows the Kanban system
The Kanban system was created by Toyota in the 1950s, designed to help senior management to track bottlenecks in their production, and optimize workflow across the board. Since its creation, the Kanban system has become widely popular in professional project management, and there is good reason for that.
Trello’s design philosophy is centered around the Kanban system. Providing the same long-lasting benefits to your productivity that Toyota strived to encapsulate in their Kanban project management design.
Less Complex Pricing Structure – Extensive Free Plan
Trello has a more straight-forward approach to their pricing system. Providing a very high value free plan, with only two paid options on top. The free plan provides the vast majority of the platform’s features, only being restricted in a few key areas. Such as administrator tools, and upload limits.
The Business Class and Trello Gold plans will set you back $25 per month, and unlock these features for you. However, using only the free plan, you can invite an unlimited number of people to your board, and enjoy the Trello experience perfectly fine.
No piece of software is perfect, and Airtable is no exception to that rule. Let’s take an honest look at some of the drawbacks of the Airtable platform:
Steep Learning Curve
Airtable comes with an incredibly steep learning curve. Making it difficult for anybody who hasn’t used project management software, or programs such as Excel before. Many of the features are complex, and expect prior knowledge, and there are areas of Airtable that simply don’t explain itself well.
Whilst Airtable does have great guides and support for all of this, it can be significantly overwhelming for many who simply wish to get to work. Leading to lost time in the process.
No Subtask Support
Airtable provides a way to add sub-tasks to your work. Meaning everything works on a one level hierarchy system. This can become significantly problematic if you are dealing with more complex tasks that need to be broken down for other team members.
Furthermore, you can’t add subcategories to spreadsheets, or even to-do lists. Often requiring users to create a web of third-party programs to get the job done.
You Need to Pay
Whilst Airtable does provide a free service, it’s simply not worth your time. So much of the platform is locked behind a paywall, that it may as well be a paid service completely. This creates a barrier of entry that can be problematic. As it can be hard to judge if Airtable is right for you, when it makes an effort to ask for an investment before letting you make a decent judgement.
Trello is a project management platform that sticks to a very strict design philosophy. That rigid approach comes with some drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at some areas that Trello struggles with:
No Road-Map Feature
Road mapping is an incredibly important tool that project managers use to mind map forward in production. Helping them to see important goals they need to meet, and what levels of productivity they have to maintain.
Sadly, Trello doesn’t provide any native support for road mapping. Missing out on one of the most critical tools for project management.
Difficult to Handle Big Projects
Trello is simply not designed for large projects. The minimalist design of Trello is fantastic for usability, and for keeping you focused. However, as soon as you try to scale this up, it becomes a nightmare. With very little feature support to help you organize a large project management position.
Trello Has A Storage Limit
Free users have a very restrictive storage limit on their attachments, sitting at only 10MB. While paid users of Business Class and Trello Gold can enjoy a limit of up to 250MB. Yet despite this, both of those limits are nowhere near what many industries require for data upload limits. Making Trello simply not suitable for many professional applications.
No Comment Editing
All of Trello’s comments are housed in cards, and it’s an effective way to attach information to each task you are tackling. However, quite surprisingly, there is no way to edit a card after you have written it. This means, if you make a mistake on one of your cards, you will have to recreate the entire task again. A slight annoyance that can waste important time.
No Offline Access
Trello does not support offline caching whatsoever. Meaning if you lose your internet, you will be unable to access your Trello board. This limitation won’t be an issue for some, as we rarely go without the internet these days. However, it can pose an issue if you suddenly find yourself without it for a few hours, and need to continue working.
Advantages that Airtable Has Over Trello
Let’s take a look at some key advantages that Airtable has over Trello:
Better Collaboration Support
Airtable has far more collaboration features compared to Trello. Allowing users to work together seamlessly. Have their data sheets sync between each other, and get a good grip of the team’s workflow. Whilst Trello does provide a way to work together, these features are incredibly limited when stacked up to the hard work Airtable has put in.
Airtable is leagues ahead of Trello in integration support. Providing far better options for users to tailor their project management platform to their specific needs. Whilst Trello can be integrated into other platforms, it’s often in a very limited capacity. Whereas Airtable is often designed to seamlessly become part of whatever project management platform it’s placed into.
A More Extensive Platform
To put it simply, Airtable just has more features. This is by design, for Trello’s part. However, when it comes to getting the most out of your project management software, you want to invest into a platform that has the most tools at its disposal.
Advantages that Trello Has Over Airtable
Let’s look at some of the areas that Trello excels over Airtable:
Easier to Use
Trello is significantly easier to use, compared to Airtable. Providing a minimalist and effective platform that will quickly improve your productivity and focus. Trello is designed with no fat on it whatsoever, and makes every feature it does include a breeze to pick up.
It’s possible to be completely up to speed with Trello’s inner workings in under an hour. A testament to its impressive usability design.
Provides More Productivity
Trello, when compared to Airtable, has a far larger impact on your productivity. Providing a very focused view of your tasks, with the foundation of the Kanban system at its feet. Whilst Airtable also provides a Kanban view, it requires significantly more setup to get running. While users of Trello will have already been productive for days!
There is a good reason that Trello has one of the highest rated apps on the market. It is well optimized, the UI is sleek and responsive, and it’s just a joy to use. Comparing this to Airtable is a little unfair, as the Airtable platform has a lot more information and complex design behind it. However, you can’t argue with the end result. Trello’s app is just better.
Who Should Use Trello?
Trello is best suited for small teams, and individuals, who are looking for a very simple approach to their project management. Getting everyone on the same page for deadlines, keeping everyone updated on new tasks, and providing a single workspace to track this information.
Who Should Use Airtable?
Airtable is a platform designed for more senior project management applications. Regardless of the team size, if you are looking for a program to get a handle of a vast amount of information, and keep it organized, then Airtable is for you.
Which is Better for Project Management?
The answer to this will be somewhat subjective, based on your own needs. However, Airtable provides significantly more project management features, when compared to Trello. Making it win out in this department.
Which is Better for Collaboration?
Airtable provides far more collaboration features than Trello. Helping to bring teams together seamlessly, and have their data all work into one giant information matrix. Whilst Trello does provide collaboration support as well, it doesn’t stack up to Airtable.
Which is Better for Information Handling?
Airtable is absolutely worlds ahead of Trello in this department. Providing support for incredibly complex information tracking, inputting, and projecting. You’ll find everything you need in the Airtable platform to handle large amounts of information with ease.
Pricing: Asana vs Trello
- FREE plan (Basic)
- Premium 10.99$
- Business 24.99$
- Enterprise (custom)
- FREE plan (Basic)
- Trello Gold 5$
Both Airtable and Trello have developed incredibly successful project management platforms. With loyal user bases at their backs, and a reputation for results. To understand which program is better suited for you, it’s important to look deeper into the design choices that have gone into creating both of these platforms.
For smaller teams with simple project management needs, Trello is your best friend. Or large companies looking to get a better handle on their company wide workflow, productivity, and collaboration, then Airtable is there to help.