- Monroe Horn
Google’s Smart Spreadsheet App
Google’s Area 120 internal incubator has recently released a competitor to the various cloud spreadsheet/database combo applications that have been around for a while now. Tables, looks and feels a lot like Airtable and allows you to create various “workspaces” that have one or more tables in them. These tables, in turn, can be related to one another with a common column.
Each table is similar to a spreadsheet in that it has rows and fields, which are generally the same as columns. Each field has a type (date, number, dropdown, etc.) that enforces consistent data entry.
One key difference between Tables and a spreadsheet is that, like a database, a Table can be displayed in different views. Tables can be shown in a grid (like a spreadsheet), in what they call a Record Queue layout (which shows a list on the left and then an form to edit on the right), in a Kanban view, or (if you have latitude and longitude data) in a map view. Each of these views has a number of different filtering and grouping options built into it that make it easy to show different sets of records.
At first glance, I think it would be difficult to distinguish a Google Tables workspace and an Airtable workspace (they’re even called the same thing). If you are already using something like Airtable or Smartsheet, there certainly wouldn’t be any reason to switch to Tables.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an easy way to plan and manage personal projects or schedules for a small team you might want to take a look at Tables. The free plan includes 100 tables, each with up to 1,000 rows. It also includes “limited” sharing. If you want “advanced” sharing and greater data storage capabilities you need to go to the paid plan.