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Airtable and ClickUp are both pieces of project management software, designed to help make work easier for businesses, organizations, and teams. They’re both incredibly popular, with their own advantages and disadvantages compared to each other. Today, we’re going to give Airtable vs ClickUp a closer look to see what both platforms have to offer, as well as how their strengths and weaknesses match up with one another. After that, you can make the correct decision.
The biggest difference between Airtable and ClickUp comes from their approaches to project management. Airtable, at its core, is a database management tool. While it has grown since then into something more versatile and it can theoretically be used for everything, it’s still not exactly built to do said things. This is why Airtable has a reputation for being a powerful tool that can be difficult to use, and it lacks certain expected project management features.
Meanwhile, with ClickUp, there’s a much more general user interface that’s designed from the ground up to make doing many different things intuitive and easy. ClickUp makes a lot of its main features more visible and simple to use, though they’re still just as powerful as competing options. Overall, ClickUp is generally more intuitive than Airtable, with it being an all-in-one tool by design.
Other differences include ClickUp having more features for collaboration and tracking, a dark mode, and a slightly higher price tag. Airtable’s benefits on the other hand are that it has more templates and generally faster performance.
Airtable and ClickUp are similar in very few ways, and those ways are also only really similar in name to execution. For example, Airtable and ClickUp both offer document storage options and can be used for project management. On top of that, both feature integrations (called Applications or Blocks for Airtable), automation, and templates galore.
That’s basically where the similarities end, however, as Airtable and ClickUp are two very different tools.
Airtable is a cloud-based business and project management solution that’s been around for about a decade now. Functionally, Airtable gives you a workspace based around a spreadsheet-database hybrid interface that can be used for just about anything under the sun. It’s a one size fits all solution that’s left up to the creativity of the person using it to truly squeeze out maximum value. It can be difficult to use, but with time and effort, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for any kind of business.
ClickUp, similar to Airtable, is a project and business management platform that offers a deeper level of customization, allowing users to really tailor their experience to their business or project. Founded in 2017, ClickUp has been picking up speed as an alternative to many other project management tools due to its all-in-one nature. ClickUp themselves often boast about how their product can perform more than 100 features, replacing many pieces of third-party software all at once.
Airtable comes with support for a ton of different pre-made templates that allow users to get straight into what they need to do. Setting up an Airtable workplace can be fairly difficult, so having hundreds of different templates to start with can really make things a lot faster and more convenient. These templates cover a vast variety of topics, with everything from content calendars to user research trackers.
Airtable gives users storage spaces ranging from 2GB to 1000GB in various pricing plans. It gives you a fair number of options to choose from in this regard, though you’ll still need to keep yourself in check for storage. The database-style spreadsheet interface also means it’s easy to find any piece of information kept in storage.
Automations are custom actions set to activate based on triggers instead of manual input that speed up your workflow and make life convenient. Airtable allows you to add up to 50 automation to a base, and each one can contain up to 25 actions. With the ‘run a script’ action, it makes for endless possibilities. Airtable does limit your actions and automation runs per month based on your pricing plan, however.
Applications (formerly known as Blocks) are Airtable’s version of integrations. Fitting the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, Applications essentially allow you to make an integration out of anything. There are quite a few official extensions from Airtable covering popular third-party services like Jira Cloud and email, but with enough customization, you can make anything an application.
Another Airtable specialty is the ability to switch views instantly with the touch of a button. It defaults to the classic spreadsheet view databases are known for, but can be swapped for a calendar view based on creation dates, a gallery view based on attachments, and a Kanban Board style view ala many other project management tools.
ClickUp features powerful task and project tools, covering many options. All tasks and projects can be customized, allowing users to assign custom cell data, custom automation, and checklists of all sorts. Collaboration is simple and efficient thanks to social made-esque comments, replies, and like system, and every task can be broken down further into sub-tasks and assigned to different teams effortlessly.
Goal and work tracking is another big selling point for ClickUp and sets it apart from Airtable which has no native work or goal tracking. Goal tracking tools like checklists, progress updates in bars, and calendars showing deadline dates make it easy to keep track of every goal.
Automations are back with ClickUp, and they’re even more robust than ever. With over 50 actionable commands allowed per automation, ClickUp lets you do essentially anything you could imagine through them. From performing complex third-party commands all the way to simple things like new folder creation, ClickUp automation have you covered. It also removes the coding hurdle by offering an easy drag and drop interface.
ClickUp features its own API for custom integrations, a feature unique to this platform. This means just about any piece of software can be used as integration for ClickUp. On top of that, ClickUp also features a ton of normal integrations, ranging from extremely popular third-party software like Slack, Shopify, and Evernote all the way to more niche solutions like Twilio and Unito.
Templates are back, and they work just as you expect them to. While it doesn’t have the sheer overflow of templates Airtable does, ClickUp does still feature basically anything you could want out of a piece of project management software.
No good project management software is complete without a document storing option, and ClickUp is no exception. Where it does vastly differ from Airtable however is in how even the cheapest paid plan already offers unlimited document storage. This means, unlike Airtable, your storage here is truly unlimited. You also get the same database style functionality Airtable does, making it easy to find old documents.
With Chat View, you can quickly begin collaborating with anyone from any team in real-time. Chat View is a powerful chat client, allowing users to consolidate all useful information and communication in a simple, elegant chat window. It’s efficient, professional, and integrates well with the rest of the systems at play like task management and comments.
ClickUp works directly with Zoom to provide built-in video conferencing tools, with all the included Zoom bells and whistles. This means you get all the benefits of Zoom, including its file sharing and digital whiteboard options, but all managed through ClickUp. Recordings of meetings are automatically saved by ClickUp, for maximum convenience.
Airtable and ClickUp really differ a lot when it comes to pricing. The free package of Airtable is somewhat generous, allowing up to 5 creators, but that’s where the good points end. The Plus package starts at $10/seat, with the Pro package at $20/seat, and an Enterprise package available. To make practical use of most of the features we mentioned above, you NEED at least the Pro package, which is fairly pricey. As we stated earlier, you also need to buy more storage when it comes to Airtable, as there’s no unlimited storage.
Meanwhile, ClickUp’s free option is relatively weak, but their $5/member Unlimited package offers almost everything Airtable’s Pro package gives, and adds unlimited storage and integrations on top of that. The $12/member Business package then gives you literally almost everything the service has to offer, with the Business Plus ($19/member) and Enterprise packages mainly providing premium extras that are nice to have.
There are no two ways around it, ClickUp just absolutely smashes Airtable when it comes to value for what’s being offered. It offers a lot more for much less, and we really hope Airtable updates its options soon.
When it comes to Airtable vs ClickUp, we feel there’s a clear winner here. ClickUp simply offers too many benefits over Airtable as a piece of project management software. Not only does ClickUp do practically everything Airtable can, but also it usually does them better and typically at a lower price point. On top of that, ClickUp is even easier to use even for power users, which to us makes it the clear victor.
That’s not to say Airtable is bad however, it’s still a powerful tool that can accomplish almost anything if the user is dedicated enough. Many people even still swear by Airtable regardless of other options. We just don’t find it worth it when ClickUp can do it everything and more while keeping things user-friendly.
We hope this comparison has helped you decide which project management software is for you. Generally, we recommend giving both of these a shot considering. They both have free versions and trials. It’ll give you a better idea of what you’re getting into!