Managing an organisation’s project management operations and processes isn’t a straightforward task. With constantly moving parts and inevitable bumps in the road, the life of a project manager can quickly become an uphill battle.
Combine this with a growing number of companies embracing remote working and teams commonly spread across different locations and time zones, now more than ever, choosing the right project management software is essential to equip your project team with the platform needed to deliver results that allow your business to flourish.
With so many different project management software offerings available, finding the one that best fits you and your team can be a little daunting. From price points and functionality to integrations with your existing tech stack, there are a number of things to weigh up before making a decision.
One option on the market right now is Airtable for project management, which utilises a spreadsheet approach to project management. Building on traditional spreadsheet software, Airtable allows users to add images, PDFs and tags within the cells of the spreadsheet.
Airtable comes into its own with presenting and managing data in a more interesting way than traditional spreadsheet software. However, in terms of project management features it falls short. Due to it primarily being built as a powerful data management solution, it lacks the kind of tools that are now essential to project managers.
For this reason and others, you may want to find alternatives to Airtable for your project management needs. We’ve picked out some of the options currently available along with a few pros and cons of each.
Unsurprisingly topping our list of top recommendations for project management software is Fluid, the all-in-one PPM software platform has been built specifically to be a tool you actually want to use.
Fluid packs the enterprise-level features of premium PPM software into an intuitive dashboard that features the richness and usability of the best consumer-facing software. This means Fluid users are able to manage multiple projects across global, remote-working teams and resources of hundreds (or thousands!), but do so via a simple, one-page workspace.
Automated minute-taking and pre-set agenda templates keep your project meetings on track and deliver actionable next steps, while instant, real-time updates across multiple projects and tasks provide maximum transparency, allowing project managers to spot potential bottlenecks before they become an issue.
Fluid’s powerful reporting software ensures project detail is available instantly and in-depth, while in-depth financials allow you to track, manage and forecast your resources with extreme precision.
Asana is a name you’ve almost certainly come across if you’re responsible for managing a team and an alternative to Airtable for project management. One of the original project management software platforms, Asana can be useful for keeping track of workflows for small teams thanks to its intuitive, simple dashboard and it comes equipped with handy integration features.
As your team grows, Asana may struggle to handle the growing complexity that comes with managing multiple projects and portfolios. Asana also lacks a time-tracking feature and restricts task assignment to only a single user, a notable pitfall for a team collaboration tool.
Another recognisable task management platform, Monday.com is frequently the go-to for many teams across the globe. Monday.com comes equipped with good tracking features, allowing project managers to keep on top of potential bottlenecks. It also offers an in-built communication system, which is useful for centralising feedback, though the way this is set up can get messy when multiple people are communicating.
Again, Monday.com is best suited to more basic task management, and while its simple interface makes it accessible for new users, it does make keeping track of more complex workloads difficult. Similarly, while the platform does boast reporting capabilities, these are fairly limited. The bulk of Monday.com’s project and portfolio functionality is gated behind its expensive Enterprise project management plan.
Wrike’s various customisable views and ability to integrate with more than 400 different SaaS apps have made it a popular choice among a number of Fortune 500 companies. The platform’s in-built tracker is great for accurately monitoring time spent on projects and the platform offers a number of flexible task management tools that can be adjusted as your team grows.
The availability of enterprise-level features does mean there is a steep learning curve when using Wrike and the interface isn’t the most intuitive. Communication features are another area where Wrike falls by the wayside of its competitors, and many of its best features are only available on premium plans, which can quickly become expensive.
ClickUp earns a lot of plaudits for allowing users to monitor project progress in a way that suits them best, including a choice between Gantt Charts, Kanban Boards and Spreadsheet Views of ongoing work. The free version of ClickUp is also surprisingly powerful, offering users a decent amount of features on its basic plan.
While ClickUp does come equipped with a plethora of tools, this can quickly become overwhelming when spread across a somewhat confusing dashboard. The platform’s calendar feature is also a pain point among users and isn’t as intuitive as it could be.
For those working on a tighter budget, Teamwork’s generous price points are a big factor in its popularity, and for the money you pay (around £17.99 for the premium package), you gain access to a range of decent task management features that you’d expect from one of the higher-end solutions out there. It also comes with built-in tools for budgeting, billable hours, expense tracking and invoicing, meaning it’s good for keeping an eye on finances.
The ability to handle simultaneous tasks is an issue that is commonly raised when it comes to Teamwork’s flaws, so larger teams may find it difficult to use. There’s also a lack of in-depth reporting features and the platform’s Gantt chart option can be quite buggy when being viewed on mobile.
Speeding up performance is a key focus in Scoro’s approach to project management, and the platform has a useful feature that translates time spent on a project into costs, making it a good choice for optimising budgets.
Scoro is definitely at the premium end when it comes to cost, and if you want anything more than basic functions the price can quickly shoot up. The onboarding process for new users can also be complex and the in-built communication features, as well as limited reporting capabilities, perhaps don’t live up to the service’s price tag.
8. Oracle Primavera
Oracle’s Primavera is one of the most established and trusted names in enterprise project management and has been around for more than 30 years. Oracle Primavera is a powerful system that can quickly detect risks of overruns and it integrates seamlessly with other Oracle products.
The Oracle Primavera user interface will now seem somewhat outdated to new users, a drawback that can also deem it too complex when it comes to running simple, smaller projects. That combined with a rather high price tag and additional costs may run the risk of putting a few people off.
9. Microsoft Project
Tech names don’t come much bigger than Microsoft so it’s little surprise that this is certainly one of the more commonly used, reliable solutions. As you’d expect, Microsoft Project users can enjoy quick and easy customer support and pain-free integration with other Microsoft products, though integration with non-Microsoft products is a tad more frustrating.
Microsoft Project is surprisingly advanced, meaning it’s not immediately friendly to first-time users, and the scarcity of real-time dashboard updates can sometimes mean losing track of where projects are up to. Microsoft Project is another that does fall into the higher price bracket if you need more advanced project management functionality
Similar to Airtable, Smartsheet is another project management software tool with its roots in spreadsheets. A simple user interface makes it a good entry point for junior project management teams and its mobile app is great for keeping track of tasks on the go.
However, with no free version available, many would be reluctant to take the plunge immediately. Elsewhere, there are no real-time communication or chat features, and the reporting system will come across as complicated to a lot of users.
Which alternative to Airtable is best?
Perhaps we’re biased, but Fluid’s combination of premium PPM software features and pain-free interface makes it, we reckon, the ideal alternative to Airtable. Beyond the project management jargon, Fluid has a simple premise at its core, to make your day-to-day working life easier, and to ensure work-life balance is a thing that actually exists.
If you want to find out more about how Fluid can help you and your business reclaim this priceless time, we’d love to chat.