Airtable vs Notion Comparison: Is Notion or Airtable Better?
Choosing between Airtable and Notion is like choosing between jeans and pants. They both have their pros and cons and are more suitable for specific occasions. So, that’s why we prepared Airtable vs Notion comparison for you.
Although Airtable and Notion have some similar functionality, they have different use cases. One would be a better fit for managing structured data, and the other one for creating and organizing documents.
In this Airtable vs Notion review, we'll see how the two platforms compare in terms of features and functionality and discuss their specialty.
What is the difference between Airtable and Notion?
The main difference between Notion and Airtable is that Notion is a more versatile tool that was primarily built as a note-taking platform, while Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid tool that excels at managing structured data. But, what are some other significant differences? Keep reading!
Notion can be a handy all-in-one software for personal notes, company wikis, and project management. You can even use it as a CRM if your needs are more modest. Airtable is a suitable solution for managing extensive databases, as well as for project management, content management, event planning, and inventory management. Notion strives to replace tools like Google Docs and Evernote, while Airtable's major competitors are Excel and Google Sheets.
If you’re curious to learn the full functionality of Notion, read this detailed Notion review. We also have a separate Airtable review that walks you through the software’s perks and limitations.
Airtable vs Notion comparison chart
Before we dive into a detailed comparison, let’s briefly see how the two apps weigh up in terms of plans, ease of use, and features.
Airtable vs Notion pricing
Airtable has a free plan and three paid plans. The cheapest paid plan costs $12 per seat /month billed annually and comes with more integrations and extension options. If you need more advanced features like Timeline view and Gantt charts, you'll need to subscribe to the Pro plan, which is $20 per seat /month billed annually.
Notion's pricing structure is similar to Airtable as it offers one free and three paid plans. There's a Personal plan that costs $4 per month, billed annually, that's great for individual use. Small businesses can subscribe to the Team plan, billed annually at $8 per user/month.
Notion wins this round as its pricing plans are more affordable than Airtable.
Notion vs Airtable free versions
Airtable’s free plan is ideal for individual use or small teams just starting. It supports up to 5 creators or editors, unlimited bases, unlimited commenter & read-only users, 1,200 records per base, one extension per base, and one sync integration. You’ll also get 100 automations per month, five views, and 2GB of attachment space per base,
Notion’s freemium version is designed for individuals and supports unlimited blocks and pages, five guests, real-time collaboration, and six views. You’ll get 40+ block content types, 50+ starter templates, wikis, docs, notes, 5 MB of file uploads, and more.
Airtable takes this round as its free plan is suitable for both individual use and for smaller teams and startups with basic needs. Notion’s free plan is geared towards individual use only.
Users of all Airtable plans get email support. Enterprise users also have priority support. The company typically responds within 1-2 business days. Currently, there’s no phone support.
You can reach customer support at Notion via live chat, email, or Tweet at Notion staff. There's Priority Support on all plans except for the Personal plan. You can also contact the sales team on the phone.
We give this round to Notion as its customer support is just better. There’s Priority Support for all paid plans. To compare, Airtable offers Priority Support only to users of the Enterprise plan.
Knowledgebase & learning
Airtable has a rich knowledge base that includes help articles, demos, webinars, articles, ebooks, and reports. There’s an active community forum for sharing announcements, asking questions, sharing tips and knowledge, and open discussions.
Notion has a solid knowledge base that contains 100+ help articles and weekly webinars that cover the basics of the Notion software. Additionally, there’s the community forum where you can help fellow users and get answers to your questions. You can even join a Notion group in your city and attend lunch gatherings, coffee meetups, and larger events.
Notion has a slight edge in this category as its community is more active than Airtable’s. There are location-based groups in 40 countries that bring Notion fans together in person.
The upside of Airtable is also its downside. Airtable’s major strength lies in its advanced database capabilities, while Notion is a much more versatile tool overall. Airtable’s pricing plans can also be quite pricey, especially for businesses with tight budgets.
While Notion lets you organize your docs into a database, it's nowhere near as flexible or customizable as Airtable. If you need a powerful database tool, Airtable would be a better pick. The app also lacks features like time tracking, custom reporting, and automation.
Although Notion has some task management features, larger businesses will quickly run into the app's limits.
This round is a tie as both tools come with product limitations.
Airtable or Notion for ease of use?
Airtable has great ease of use and a flat learning curve. The interface is very intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. There's also a rich knowledge base with software tutorials.
Notion is not the most intuitive platform. Absolute beginners might need help finding their way around, as everything in Notion starts with an empty page. The good news is there's a vast knowledge base and a very active community forum.
This round goes to Airtable as it’s simply easier to use than Notion.
Notion vs Airtable features & functionality
Now that we’ve compared Notion vs Airtable in terms of pricing, free plans, customer service, and ease of use, it’s time to see how they stack up against each other in terms of features and functionality.
Notion vs Airtable online versions
Airtable is available as an online app that you can use from anywhere. Supported browsers include Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. You can also use it on the go by downloading the corresponding mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Notion is a cloud-based app that can be accessed online from multiple web browsers. Currently, you can use the online version on Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. There’s also a mobile app for iOS and Android for easy access on the go.
This round is a tie as both platforms have online versions that can be accessed via different browsers.
Airtable vs Notion desktop versions
The Airtable desktop app for Mac and Windows looks and acts exactly like the web version of Airtable. The only difference is that you must download the software as a desktop app. One slight difference between the desktop and online versions of Airtable is that the desktop version has more keyboard shortcuts. If you use the desktop app, you will receive Airtable notifications on your desktop by default, but this option can always be deactivated.
Notion also has a desktop version for Mac and Windows you can download on your device. The desktop app has some shortcuts that are not available with the web version, but that's it. You can find the same suite of features on both the desktop and online versions.
This round is a tie as both Airtable and Notion have solid desktop apps that offer the same functionality as the online versions.
Spreadsheets and databases
Airtable is a powerful spreadsheet-database hybrid tool that’s ideal as a Google Sheets replacement. You can use the powerful spreadsheet and database functionality for project management, inventory management, event planning, and more. Airtable databases are fast and can handle vast amounts of data. You can view databases in different views, including grid, form, calendar, gallery, kanban, timeline, and Gantt.
Notion began as a note-taking tool, but it now comes with solid spreadsheets and database functionality. Databases and spreadsheets in Notion are easy to set up and work with. You can use the feature as a CRM, company wikis, project management, content calendar, etc.
In Notion, databases are a collection of pages, letting you organize multiple Notion pages in a single structure. If you need to dive deeper, you can open each page separately to view its contents in greater detail. You can view the contents of a database as a table, list, board, calendar, gallery, or timeline.
Airtable wins this round. Although Notion lets you organize your docs into a database, Airtable is simply more flexible and customizable. Notion does several things well, while Airtable does spreadsheets and databases exceptionally well.
Tasks and projects
Airtable has solid task and project management capabilities. There’s a gallery of templates for things like putting together a project plan, tracking your progress, or managing team communications. As we previously mentioned, you’ll be able to view your data in different views, including Gantt charts and Kanban boards.
You can add attachments in different formats, like images, videos, PDFs, excel files, and more. The storage space ranges from 2 GB to 1,000 GB, depending on your plan. In terms of task management, you can create tasks, assign them to team members, set deadlines, and more. Users can leave comments or notes for their fellow teammates for smoother team collaboration.
Notion comes with some basic task and project management features. There's a Kanban board, which is pretty decent. You can view your tasks in different ways to have another perspective, including list view, table view, calendar view, and timeline layout.
Each item on a task list becomes its own page and can then be assigned to one or more team members. You can add notes, due dates, tags, and priority levels. One downside is that Notion doesn't support recurring tasks and lacks workflow automation.
Although both tools come with generous project and task management tools, Airtable has a slight lead as it also has some automation capabilities. For example, you can easily set up recurring tasks, which is not possible with Notion.
Airtable has built-in support for many popular apps, including Miro, Jira, Google Workspace, Loom, Typeform, and more. The software also integrates with 1,000+ apps via Zapier, Workato, Integromat, and Tray.io. Airtable also has various extensions that help extend the functionality of an Airtable base. You can find all kinds of extensions, including charts, tables, maps, visualizations, and more.
Notion integrates with third-party apps like Jira, Google Drive, and Slack to supercharge your workflow. You can also create your own integration with the Notion API. Via Zapier, the software connects with 4,000+ apps.
This round is a tie, as both platforms come with a good deal of integrations. Airtable has extensions, while Notion has its blocks.
A note on notion airtable integration
Unfortunately, there's no native Airtable Notion integration. However, you can set up an Airtable-Notion integration easily via "connector" apps like Zapier, Unito, and Automate.io.
These "connector" apps let you send data from Airtable to Notion and from Notion to Airtable automatically. You can even embed Airtable in Notion so that, for instance, Airtable views appear on Notion pages.
Notion or Airtable for automation
Airtable has some basic automation capabilities. For instance, you can automate things like recurring tasks, sending an email, creating Slack messages or Twitter posts, creating issues in Jira Cloud, updating records, and more.
Notion doesn’t come with built-in automation. You can automate your workflows using a third-party tool like Zapier or IFTTT.
Although neither tool has powerful automation features, Airtable has the advantage here as it comes with basic automation.
Wikis and docs
Airtable wasn't built to be used for creating wikis and docs. It's not really suited for notes, but it's geared toward building databases.
Notion's main features are the blocks and pages that help you build extensive wikis and docs. You can choose between 500+ different blocks that can be added to pages, including text, bullet points, images, maps, tables, and more. Using these blocks, you can create rich wiki databases that can easily be shared with your team.
Notion is the clear winner here as it excels at document organization. Airtable is best for managing structured data.
Is Airtable better than Notion? Final points
Yes, Airtable is better than Notion if you need to organize data and manage databases. Notion is better than Airtable if you want to organize documents and manage information.
The best choice for you will depend on your needs.
Airtable is a more powerful Google Sheets tool that can handle vast amounts of data, making it an amazing spreadsheet and database replacement app. It offers a wide range of extensions that can extend the functionality of your databases. The rich app marketplace and native automation features justify its pricey monthly plans. If you're primarily working with rows of data, Airtable is the better choice.
Notion is a better option if you're looking for a versatile tool that can replace multiple other apps. The range of knowledge management features make it a fantastic platform for creating company wikis, personal writing, managing projects, and even publishing your blog or website. It's also more affordable than Airtable and has separate plans for individual use and team use. If you care about customer support, Notion's better in this regard.
Take a look at this project management CRM software list if you want to know how Airtable and Notion compare against other project management tools like Asana and Trello.