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In Collaboration Last updated: July 14, 2023
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Airtable and Notion are powerful content collaboration and organization tools. Though these apps seem similar to the naked eye, some fundamental differences exist. Let us learn those in this ultimate guide of Airtable vs. Notion.

Managing documents, notes, and databases for any business is challenging without content collaboration and organization apps. The two most common tools in this niche are the Airtable and Notion. Keep reading to know which one to choose!

Importance of Productivity and Collaboration Apps

Primarily, productivity and content collaboration apps help your business to organize all the documents, files, schedules, reports, codes, ideas, brainstorming boards, and codes in one secure place. 

From this centralized hub, you can give role-based access to content, documents, and codes to employees, contractors, and freelancers. People will work on and submit completed files and content using the same tool. 

So what do you achieve by this content and document centralization? Quite a few benefits are there, as outlined below:

  • Cut down business operations costs by not buying many business apps that separately do all the tasks that a content collaboration app can achieve.
  • Secure your business collaterals and codes to keep your confidential materials truly secret.
  • Easily assess the performance of employees by using the reporting tool.
  • Accurately pay invoices of freelancers and contractors.
  • Control one or many projects from one unified dashboard.
  • Facilitate easy remote and hybrid work cultures.
  • Integrate the productivity tool with other business apps like CRM, project management tools, cloud storage, helpdesk apps, ticketing software, etc.   

What Is Airtable?

YouTube video

Airtable is a workflow builder based on spreadsheets and databases. It is a no-code app so that anyone can build and use apps related to content collaboration, project management, event schedules, content publishing, etc., with a few days of learning.

Under the hood, Airtable is a relational database software. However, you do not need to code queries or databases in this app. Everything works on a visual interface with drag-and-drop actions. Like any database or spreadsheet app, you can create tables, rows, columns, etc., for data entry and filter or sort the data for interpretation.

To make things easier, Airtable transforms these databases into beautiful apps. Your teams can make their own apps and include the interfaces and fields they need. So, team members do not need to work on rigid apps made by a third-party developer who may not have a deep knowledge of their work.

Finally, these custom apps make workflow automation super-easy. When someone submits a draft, the reviewer gets a notification to edit and approve. When the reviewer approves, the developer can pick it up from their task bucket and upload the content.  

What Is Notion?

YouTube video

Notion is an all-in-one productivity tool for personal, professional, and business use. At its core, it is a project management, note-taking, and knowledge management software. You can call it a digital workspace like Google or Microsoft. 

On Notion, you can create a content, database, product, or app development roadmap. Then, use its robust integration functionality to bring documents, codes, and content in one place. Then, publish this project as a Notion site and let team members access it for brainstorming, content creation, and approval.

The building block of Notion pages is Notion blocks. A block could be any field for texts, data, codes, links, YouTube videos, etc. You can create and edit these blocks using drag-and-drop movements. Therefore, you do not need to know coding to build Notion sites or pages.     

Airtable Vs. Notion: A Feature-Based Comparison

Find below how Airtable and Notion compare with each other:

User Interface and Experience

The Airtable user interface has two navigation panels: one on the left side and the other on the top. The usable workspace is in the middle. Its left side panel has options like Home, All workspaces, Starred, Templates, Marketplace, Universe, and Import

UI of Airtable

On the top menu, you can access your Airtable account, Notifications, and Support. There is also a Search bar on the top menu. Overall, the user interface is clean and organized. However, the user experience becomes a bit tricky when you start creating Bases or Workspaces

Contrarily, the Notion comes with left-side navigation only. So, here you get more screen real estate for your work. From the top of the navigation pane, there are pages like Workspace, Search, Updates, All templates (your workspace), Settings & members, New page, Teamspaces, Private pages, Templates, Import, and Trash.

Notion UI

When you select a Temspace or Page or Database from the left, you can access its settings by clicking the ellipses icon on the top right corner. These site or page settings include important features like Lock database, Get notified, Copy link, Page history, Page analytics, Connections, etc. 

Notion Teamspace or Pages Settings

Notion’s UI has many options as compared to Airtable. Also, the app organizes these properly so you do not face any challenges when accessing. Just like Airtable, the UX is a bit complex when you start creating databases or pages.        

Ease of Use

Both Airtable and Notion have a learning curve. You need to learn the UI for a few days before you can effectively use these apps for content organization and collaboration. 

Airtable get started templates

If you have got experience in using spreadsheets, tables, and relational databases, then you can get started with Airtable quickly. To create Workspaces, Workflows, Interfaces, and Apps, you can visit the Marketplace option on the left-side navigation panel.

Notion New Page

Using Notion is easier than Airtable. You kickstart by creating a New page from the sidebar. Then personalize the page by adding Templates, Tables, Boards, etc. Or, you can create a Teamspace to organize all docs, pages, sites, and workflows within a dedicated workspace.  

Navigation and Organization


In Airtable, Workspace is the top navigation element. Workspace lets you create Bases, Interfaces, Workflow Automation, etc. The best way to start using Airtable is by repurposing preconfigured Extensions, Base templates, and Scripts.

When you are inside a Base, you can access the Getting started wizard to set up the Base following instructions from Airtable. In a Base, you can add Data tables, Extensions, or Import content from connections like Salesforce, Excel, Sheets, etc.

Workspaces on Notion

Workspace is the top-level organizational element in Notion. You can create a new workspace or join someone else’s. Next, you can create pages to track your work, notes, habits, or any other content. This is the easiest way to use Notion. If you work to streamline this a bit, you can create a teamspace. Notion shares pages and databases within the team members automatically when you create a teamspace.               

Summary Table for Features

Here is a summary table for features of Airtable and Notion:

Basic unitsBasesPages & blocks
File uploads2 GB to 1 TB5 MB to unlimited
ViewsKanban, Gantt, Table, List, Gallery, Timeline, Sections, and FormList View, By Meeting Type, Table, and Board
AINoneNotion AI for brainstorming, rewriting docs, generating summaries
AutomationBuilt-in automated workflow templates and scriptingUse Connections to link IFTTT or Zapier for third-party tool-based automation
Import/ExportImport content from Apple Numbers, Excel, Sheets, Salesforce, Jira Server, Salesforce, Trello, Zendesk, and more
Export Workspace, Bases, and App accesses to others who are already on Airtable
Limited import functionality
12 import options, including HTML, Asana, Confluence, Trello, Google Docs, and Dropbox Paper.
Export pages or databases as HTML, Markdown, and PDF documents.
Publish pages, sites, and databases as live websites hosted by Notion, accessible by the public 
Manual reportingExtensive features like tables, sorting, filtering, graphs, charts, and so onLimited reporting capability
Better reporting features using third-party free or paid Notion sites and pages
Notion API is also available for advanced automation
Automated appsAvailableNot available
Collaborative workspaceYesYes
Guest collaboratorsYesYes
Permission groupsYesYes
SecurityHTTPS encryption, SAML, SSO, user provisioning, Workspace auditingHTTPS encryption, SAML, SSO, user provisioning, Workspace auditing

Integration With Third-Party Apps

Airtable Integrations

Airtable provides integration options through the Add or import option. At the time of writing, there are 27 integrations you can choose from. Some top choices are Asana, Box, GitHub, Google Drive, etc.

Notion integrations

You can access all integrations of Notion from the Add connections option. From My connections inside the Account page, you can visit the Browse connections in the Gallery portal. At the time of writing, there are more than 50 integrations available for Notion. These are from top business apps like Slack, Figma, GitHub, Asana, Canva, Miro, Tableau, Zoom, Webex, etc.   

Free Trial, Price, and Plans

Airtable Pricing

Airtable has a free plan for individuals or small teams. It includes unlimited bases, up to 5 editors or creators, Interface Designer, a 2 GB attachment limit, and one extension per base. If you need advanced automation, security, and unlimited everything of Airtable, start with any of the following Airtable pricing plans

  • Airtable Plus for $10 per seat /month (yearly billed)
  • Airtable Pro for $20 per seat /month (yearly billed) 
  • Custom quotes for Airtable Enterprise   

Notion Pricing

Notion also offers a free plan. But it is only suitable for individuals and freelancers. Also, page history gets deleted after every 7 days. You can invite up to 10 guests with limited Notion database and page accessibilities.

If you are looking for better productivity and collaboration on Notion, checkout its subscription options below:

  • Notion Plus for $8 per user /month (yearly billed)
  • Airtable Pro for $15 per user /month (yearly billed) 
  • Contact sales for Notion Enterprise  

Airtable Vs. Notion: Comparison Based on Use Cases

Both Airtable and Notion are suitable for a wide range of teams, from small businesses to enterprises. However, they differ in solutions where you can apply these tools. Find below the use cases for Airtable and Notion suggested by the developers:

Solutions From Airtable

Image credit: Airtable

According to the official Airtable Solutions page, it comes with customizable databases and apps for Marketing, Product, Operations, Human Resources, Sales, and Finance. Let us take the example of a Marketing Team solution from Airtable below:

The Marketing solution lets you include digital asset management, campaign materials, and deliverables in one app. It also offers the following app pages:

  • A home page for campaigns that include Overview, Updates, OKRs, and Insights
  • Other standard pages like Budget, Requests, Calendar, Production, and Assets
  • Organization of campaign materials by cards, columns, or tables
  • Tags for tasks and assets like Approved, Pending, In-Review, Rejected, etc.
  • Integration for ad publishing sites like Facebook, Google Ads, etc.    

Solutions From Notion

Image credit: Notion

On the contrary, Notion has fewer solutions than Airtable. According to Notion’s website, its solutions include sites and pages for Design, Engineering, Product, and Managers. Let us dive deep into the Design page below:

The Design page lets you create a unified workspace for all things about creative designing projects. Here, you can import specifications, assets, and projects and connect these with other Notion sites and third-party tools.

The Design solution includes three sites: Design wiki, Design docs, and Design projects. The Design wiki site functions like a space for the contextual organization of brainstorming, comments, feedback, specifications, sketches, and a lot more. Inside the Design projects site, you can create project task views in various formats like Kanban boards, list views, tabular views, etc.           

Airtable Vs. Notion: Which One Do You Need?

By now, you should have understood whether you need Airtable or Notion. Find below the bullet points that can refresh your memory:

Use Airtable If

  • The team consists of technical employees and contractors
  • You are okay with limited attachment sizes per task or sub-tasks
  • Need automated apps for different tasks and sub-tasks
  • You must create data analytics reports manually
  • The business deals with a lot of spreadsheets
  • You need a relational database for your spreadsheet data

Use Notion If

  • The team works extensively on texts like notes, wikis, documents, etc.
  • You need to create a Kanban-based content management system
  • The team will publish public or private sites directly accessible via a Notion link
  • You are making a project management systems
  • The business requires a secured central hub for all documents and files
  • You need an AI for content brainstorming and production

Airtable Vs. Notion: The Verdict

Airtable and Notion are smart tools with differences. Here, you are not comparing apples with apples. Both apps are unique productivity and collaboration platforms.

Choose Notion if you already use Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and a relational database management system. Since you already own specialized apps, you can use Notion for content management, work management, and content collaboration. With Notion, collaborators can simply use their web browser to access a Notion site and start creating, reviewing, or publishing. 

Contrarily, choose Airtable if you need automated web apps for specialized tasks like ad campaigns, sales, HR recruitment, customer service operations, etc. management. Though, you must onboard collaborators to Airtable for effective collaboration.

Next, check out tools to monetize Airtable and Notion.

  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. After completing his MS in Science, he joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of IT technologies and business management. Now, he’s a professional freelance content… read more
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