Google – through its incubator Area 120 – recently announced its own Airtable competitor, Tables. In this post we’ll take a look at how you can get started with Tables.
What is Google Tables?
Think of Tables as a lightweight spreadsheet, similar to Microsoft Access database, or a competitor to Airtable. Using bots, you can create automations that do everything from emailing people when rows are added or changed, to modifying other rows or posting to a webhook.
Is Tables free?
Yes, there’s a free plan available. However it limits the number of rows you can have in a table to 1000, and you can only have 100 tables in total.
The paid plan ups that to 10,000 rows across 1000 tables, as well as providing more generous attachment sizes and actions.
Why use Tables instead of Google Sheets?
At this point Sheets are far more advanced than Tables. If you’re after functionality like formulas, you’ll want to stick to Sheets.
Tables really shines for lightweight data, like form responses and datasets that you might otherwise look to store in a database.
Be sure to check out Tables pricing too, as Sheets might be able to meet your needs for free.
Also note that Tables is still a part of Google’s incubator Area 120. As such it’s essentially still classified an experiment unlike Sheets, which is a fully-fledged Google product. This means there is no guarantee of Tables continued availability – particularly given Google’s history of losing interest in its experiments.
What other features does Tables have?
Tables allow you to create forms to allow anyone to input data into your tables. The form title, description and submission message can be customised, as can the layout of fields on the page. Each field maps to a field in your table, and can be hidden or marked as required.
The other powerful feature of Tables is automations via Bots. Bots allow you to perform various actions based on a set list of triggers, which include insertion or deletion of rows, column value changes, and cron or time-based.
What’s the difference between a workspace and a table?
A workspace is a collection of tables. Each table stores a particular set of data, organised into columns and rows. Workspaces can be shared with other people.
Where is Tables available?
Officially at the moment only those located in the United States can use Tables. But if you’re still keen to try it out, follow these steps to get access from anywhere.