Google Sheet vs Airtable vs Jotform tables: What to use in 2024

Google Sheet vs Airtable vs Jotform tables: What to use in 2024

Spreadsheets, forms, data management tools – they're everywhere these days! But it's also quite easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. Selecting the perfect data management tool shouldn't be a stressful experience, so we have your back.

This guide dives into three popular platforms: Google Sheets, Airtable, and Jotform Tables. We'll break down their features, explore what makes them shine (and where they might stumble!), and help you pick the perfect match for your needs. 


Google Sheets excels as a free, formula-rich spreadsheet ideal for individual users and small teams. Airtable caters to teams needing to manage data relationships Airtable is perfect for teams needing to manage data relationships and leverage project management tools. Jotform Tables shines in form creation and handling big datasets. However, complex data analysis requires exporting data for use with other tools.

Summary of the comparison


  • Data organization: All three platforms allow you to organize and manage data in a structured format.
  • Data collection: All can be used for data collection, though in different ways (Google Sheets with forms, Airtable with integrations, Jotform Tables with built-in forms).
  • Basic analysis and visualization: All offer some level of data analysis with formulas and basic visualization tools like charts and graphs.

Key differences:

  • Primary function:

Google Sheets: Primarily a spreadsheet for in-depth data analysis and complex calculations.

Airtable: A relational database disguised as a spreadsheet, focusing on data relationships and project management functionalities.

Jotform Tables: Primarily a form builder with data collection capabilities and limited analysis/visualization within the platform itself.

  • Form functionality:

Google Sheets: Relies on separate Google Forms for form creation.

Airtable: Integrates with third-party form builders.

Jotform Tables: Built-in form builder with a wide range of question types and features.

  • Analysis and visualization:

Google Sheets: Most powerful for complex calculations, statistical analysis, and customizable data visualization.

Airtable: Basic formulas but excels at linking data across tables for relationship-based calculations. Offers unique project management views like calendars and Gantt charts.

Jotform Tables: Limited calculation capabilities and visualizations within the platform. Relies on exporting data for further analysis.

  • Case studies

While there might be some overlap, here are some general use cases where each platform shines:

Google Sheets

  • Financial modeling and budgeting.
  • Sales data analysis with complex formulas and pivot tables.
  • Scientific data analysis with statistical functions.


  • Project management with task tracking, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) with linked data on clients, interactions, and sales.
  • Content management with calendars for editorial workflows.

Jotform Tables

  • Collecting customer feedback or survey data through forms.
  • Event registration with online forms and data management.
  • Simple lead capture and contact management.

1. Core functionality

Google Sheets

  • Data structure: Google Sheets uses a grid of rows and columns to organize data, similar to traditional spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel. Each cell in the grid can contain data, and you can perform operations on this data using formulas and functions. Sheets also support multiple tabs (or sheets) within a single document, allowing you to organize related data separately.
  • Data types supported: Google Sheets supports a wide range of data types. This includes text, numbers (integers, decimals, currencies), dates and times, Boolean values (TRUE/FALSE), formulas, and functions. You can also insert links, images, and notes within a cell. Google Sheets also supports data validation, which allows you to restrict the type of data that can be entered into a cell.


  • Data structure: Airtable combines elements of spreadsheets and databases to organize data. Like a spreadsheet, data is organized in a table with rows and columns. However, each row in Airtable is like a record in a database and can have attached files, long text notes, checkboxes, links to other records, and more. Airtable also supports multiple tables within a single base (similar to a database), and you can link records between tables to create relationships.
  • Data types supported: Airtable supports various data types, including text, numbers, dates, file attachments, links to other records, barcodes, users, and more. It also supports complex data types like arrays and objects, making it more powerful than a traditional spreadsheet. Airtable also supports data validation; you can set up automated actions based on certain conditions.

Jotform Tables

  • Data structure: Jotform Tables is designed to manage form submissions. It organizes data in a spreadsheet-like format, with each row representing a form submission, and columns representing the different fields in the form. Jotform Tables also supports multiple tables within a single form, and you can create custom views to organize and analyze your data.
  • Data types supported: Jotform Tables support various data types including text, numbers, dates, and file attachments. It also supports form-specific data types like payment information, e-signatures, and geolocation data. Jotform Tables also supports data validation, and you can set up conditional logic to show or hide certain fields based on user input.

2. User interface and experience

Google Sheets

  • Ease of use: Google Sheets has a familiar and intuitive interface for anyone who has used spreadsheet software before. It's easy to create new sheets, enter data, and perform basic operations. More advanced features like formulas and functions may require some learning, but Google provides extensive documentation and help resources.
  • Customization options: Google Sheets offers a variety of customization options to help users organize and analyze their data. Users can apply different font styles, colors, and cell borders to their sheets. They can also use conditional formatting to automatically apply formatting to cells based on their values. In addition, users can create custom formulas and functions to perform complex calculations on their data.
  • Views: Google Sheets supports multiple sheets within a single document, allowing users to organize related data separately. Users can also filter and sort their data to create custom views. However, Google Sheets does not support custom views in the same way that Airtable does. Instead, users can create separate sheets with filtered or sorted data.


  • Ease of use: Airtable has a modern and user-friendly interface. It may take some time to get used to the hybrid spreadsheet/database model, especially for users who are new to databases. However, Airtable provides extensive documentation and tutorials to help users get started.
  • Customization options: Airtable offers extensive customization options to help users manage their data. Users can apply different colors and styles to their tables, and they can create custom fields to capture specific types of data. Airtable also supports automated actions, which allow users to automate repetitive tasks and workflows. In addition, users can create custom scripts to perform complex operations on their data.
  • Views: Airtable supports multiple views within a single table, allowing users to organize and analyze their data in different ways. Users can create custom views by filtering, sorting, and grouping their data. Airtable also supports calendar, gallery, and kanban views, which allow users to visualize their data in different ways.

Jotform Tables

  • Ease of use: Jotform Tables has a clean and intuitive interface. It's easy to create new forms, view form submissions, and organize your data. The interface is designed to be user-friendly for beginners, but it also offers advanced features for power users.
  • Customization options: Jotform Tables offers a variety of customization options to help users manage their form submissions. Users can apply different themes and styles to their forms, and they can create custom fields to capture specific types of data. Jotform Tables also supports conditional logic, which allows users to show or hide certain fields based on user input. In addition, users can create custom integrations with other services to automate workflows.
  • Views: Jotform Tables supports multiple views within a single form, allowing users to organize and analyze their data in different ways. Users can create custom views by filtering, sorting, and grouping their data. Jotform Tables also supports calendar, report, and card views, which allow users to visualize their data in different ways.

3. Data entry and collection

Creating forms to capture data

  • Google Sheets: Winner for built-in forms! Google Sheets offers Google Forms, a user-friendly tool for creating custom forms with various question types and customization options.
  • Airtable: While Airtable doesn't have built-in forms, it plays well with others. You can integrate third-party form builders like Jotform or Typeform to create custom forms and automatically populate your Airtable tables.
  • Jotform Tables: Built for forms first, Jotform Tables includes a powerful form builder. It has a lot of question types and features like payment integration and e-signatures. You can embed forms in your tables or share them for seamless data collection.

Bulk data import

All three platforms offer ways to import large datasets for analysis:

  • They all speak the same language: All three platforms (Google Sheets, Airtable, and Jotform Tables) support bulk data import through common file formats like CSV, TSV, and Excel. Just a few clicks and your data is ready for action!
  • Beyond basic imports: For more advanced needs, Google Sheets and Airtable offer additional options. Google Sheets allows automated data import using Google Apps Script, while Airtable connects with external sources like databases and APIs through its API. Jotform Tables, on the other hand, relies on integrations with other services like Google Sheets for automated data import.

4. Data management and organization

Sorting and filtering:

  • Google Sheets: Allows users to sort data based on specific columns and filter data based on specific criteria. Users can apply multiple filters at once and use conditional formatting to highlight specific data. Google Sheets also offers advanced filtering options, such as filtering based on custom formulas.
  • Airtable: Offers users the ability to sort data based on specific columns and filter data based on specific criteria. Users can apply multiple filters at once and use grouping to organize data into categories. Airtable also offers advanced filtering options, such as filtering based on linked records and collaborator assignments.
  • Jotform Tables: Provides users with the capability to sort data based on specific columns and filter data based on specific criteria. Users can apply multiple filters at once and use conditional formatting to highlight specific data. Jotform Tables also offers advanced filtering options, such as filtering based on form submission status and payment status.

Search functionality:

  • Google Sheets: Offers a powerful search functionality that allows users to search for specific data within a sheet. Users can use the "Find and Replace" feature to quickly find and replace specific data. Google Sheets also offers a "Query" function that allows users to perform complex searches based on specific criteria.
  • Airtable: Provides a robust search functionality that allows users to search for specific data within a table. Users can use the "Find" feature to quickly find specific data. Airtable also offers a "Filter" feature that allows users to perform complex searches based on specific criteria.
  • Jotform Tables: Offers a comprehensive search functionality that allows users to search for specific data within a table. Users can use the "Search" feature to quickly find specific data. Jotform Tables also offers a "Filter" feature that allows users to perform complex searches based on specific criteria.

In terms of data management and organization, all three tools offer robust sorting and filtering capabilities. Google Sheets and Jotform Tables offer more traditional sorting and filtering options, while Airtable offers more extensive grouping and linking options for organizing data.

All three tools also offer powerful search functionality, but Google Sheets offers the most extensive search options with its "Query" function. Airtable and Jotform Tables have more streamlined search options but still allow for efficient and effective data searches.

5. Collaboration features

Keeping your team on the same page is crucial, and all three platforms - Google Sheets, Airtable, and Jotform Tables -  understand that. They all offer real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to edit a document simultaneously. No more waiting turns or wondering who made the latest change! Plus, they all keep a revision history, so you can easily rewind and see previous versions.

However, there are some unique collaboration features to each platform. Google Sheets offers a "suggestion mode" that allows users to suggest changes to the document without actually modifying it. This can be useful for collaborating on sensitive documents or for getting feedback from team members. Google Sheets also offers a "comment" feature that allows users to leave comments and feedback on specific cells or ranges of cells. 

Airtable lets you create custom views and forms so your team can see the data they need most. It also has a "mention" feature, like tagging someone on social media, to get specific people involved in discussions.

Jotform Tables offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of form customization options, making it easy to collect and manage data from online forms. Just like G Sheets, Jotform Tables allows you to leave comments directly on submissions for clear communication.

Access controls and permissions

Google Sheets, Airtable, and Jotform Tables all offer permissions features to help you manage who can access and edit your data. Google Sheets provides granular control over permissions, allowing you to set permissions for individual cells or ranges of cells. You can also set permissions at the document level, allowing you to control who can view, edit, or comment on the entire document.

Airtable offers flexible access controls, allowing you to create custom views, forms, and reports with different permission levels. You can set permissions at the base level, table level, or even at the individual record level. Airtable also allows you to create custom user roles with specific permissions.  (Free plans offer basic collaboration and permissions, but advanced features require a paid plan.)

Jotform Tables provides a user-friendly interface and advanced search and filtering options to help you manage your data. You can set permissions at the form level, allowing you to control who can view, edit, or submit form responses. You can also drill down further and set permissions for individual fields within a form.

6. Data Analysis and Reporting

Formulas and calculations

  • Google Sheets: Unmatched formula muscle. Google Sheets has the biggest amount of built-in formulas encompassing mathematical functions, statistical analysis tools, and the ability to create custom formulas using Google Apps Script. This empowers users to perform complex calculations, explore trends, and conduct in-depth data manipulation.
  • Airtable: Focuses on data relationships. While Airtable offers basic formulas for calculations like sum, average, and count, its strength lies in linking data across tables. This allows for calculations that consider relationships between data points in different sections of your workspace.
  • Jotform Tables: Limited calculation capability. Jotform primarily handles basic mathematical operations within forms. It is not equipped for robust data analysis requiring complex formulas or statistical functions.

Visualization tools

  • Google Sheets: A spectrum of visualizations. Google Sheets offers a wide range of charts and graphs for data visualization, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and more. These charts are highly customizable, and you can customize them to create clear and impactful reports that effectively communicate your findings.
  • Airtable: Beyond basic charts. Airtable provides standard charts and Kanban boards for data visualization. While not as extensive as Sheets, Airtable offers unique views like calendars and Gantt charts, which can be particularly valuable for project management tasks where visualizing timelines and workflows is crucial.
  • Jotform Tables: Restricted visualization options. Jotform Tables offers limited visualization capabilities within the tables themselves. However, data collected through Jotform forms can be exported to other tools like Google Sheets for more advanced analysis and more robust visualization.

7. Automations and third-party integrations

  • Google Sheets: While not the most robust automation engine, Sheets offers built-in formulas and scripts to automate repetitive tasks like data cleaning, formatting, and calculations. You can also leverage Google Apps Script, a powerful coding tool, to create custom automations. As for integrations, of course, it integrates with other Google Workspace apps like Gmail, Forms, and Docs. To connect with other third-party services you must rely on Zapier or other integration platforms.
  • Airtable: Airtable has more options. It offers built-in automations triggered by specific events like a new record being created or a field being updated. These automations can send emails, update other records, or even move records between tables. When it comes to automations, it has a library that includes project management tools, CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and more
  • Jotform Tables: Jotform Tables doesn't have built-in automation features. On the other hand, it does integrate with popular tools like payment processors, email marketing services, and project management software. These integrations can help you automate tasks related to your Jotform data, like automatically adding new form submissions to a spreadsheet.

8. Scalability

File size and record limits

  • Google Sheets: While Google Sheets doesn't have a hard limit on file size, performance can degrade with very large datasets (millions of rows). It also has a limit of 2 million cells per sheet.
  • Airtable: Airtable offers a generous limit of 1,200,000 records per base (workspace). However, individual tables within a base might have performance limitations with very large datasets.
  • Jotform Tables: Jotform Tables has a limit of 10 million rows per table, making it a strong contender for very large datasets.


  • Google Sheets: For complex calculations or manipulations on massive datasets, Google Sheets might experience performance slowdowns. Consider using Google Apps Script for automation to potentially improve efficiency.
  • Airtable: While Airtable handles large datasets reasonably well, complex filtering or searching on very large tables could lead to performance lags.
  • Jotform Tables: Jotform is optimized for handling large datasets. However, complex queries or calculations might still require exporting data for analysis in other tools like Google Sheets.

9. Security and compliance

  • Google Sheets: Backed by Google's robust security infrastructure, including data encryption at rest and in transit. Users can also set access permissions to control who can view and edit data. While Google Sheets offers strong security, it might not be ideal for highly sensitive data due to its inherent cloud-based nature. Compliance-wise, Google Sheets adheres to general security best practices but doesn't guarantee specific certifications like HIPAA.
  • Airtable:  Offers multiple security features like data encryption, access controls, and audit logs. Additionally, Airtable complies with SOC 2, a widely recognized security standard. For enhanced security in regulated industries, Airtable offers HIPAA compliance features for healthcare data (additional fees may apply).
  • Jotform Tables:  Employs data encryption at rest and in transit, and allows for access control to manage data visibility and editing.  Like Google Sheets, Jotform Tables might not be the best choice for strictly confidential information due to its cloud-based nature. In terms of compliance,  Jotform prioritizes general data privacy but also lacks specific certifications for heavily regulated industries.

10. Pricing

Google Sheets

  • Always free. Ideal for individual use, basic data organization, and collaboration on small projects.


  • Free plan: Suitable for personal use or trying out the platform.
  • Paid plans (Starting around $10/user/month): Perfect for teams needing more storage, collaborators, and advanced features. HIPAA compliance adds additional costs.

Jotform Tables

  • Free plan: Good for simple data collection through forms and basic data management.
  • Paid plans (Starting around $25/month): Ideal for larger teams or those needing increased submission limits, storage, collaborators, and integrations with other services.


Google Sheets allows you to manage and analyze data without upfront costs. This makes it a perfect starting point for individual users or casual collaboration on small projects. Airtable offers a balance between free tier capabilities and paid features, making it potentially cost-effective for teams needing more functionality. Meanwhile, Jotform Tables Can be cost-effective for basic form collection, but costs can increase with higher submission volumes and team sizes.

11. Support and Resources

Customer support:

For Google Sheets, vast online documentation and a large user community serve as the primary support channels. Google doesn't provide dedicated phone or chat support specifically for Sheets, but you can find help through community forums and troubleshooting guides. 

Jotform shares some similarities with Google Sheets. It offers a knowledge base, video tutorials, and a user community forum for assistance. Dedicated phone or chat support might be limited depending on the plan, so navigating through the user community and self-service resources might be the primary way to find solutions.

Out of the three, Airtable has the most comprehensive approach, providing a knowledge base, video tutorials, and email support. Also, paid plans typically offer priority email support, with faster response times ensured for more critical issues.

Community and learning resources:

All three platforms boast a wealth of online learning resources to empower users. Google Sheets benefits from its massive user base and integration with other Google services. This can lead to a wider range of community-created resources, tutorials, and forums where users can share knowledge and troubleshoot challenges.  Airtable and Jotform Tables, while potentially having smaller communities, offer well-structured knowledge bases and video tutorials specific to their platforms, ensuring users have platform-specific guidance readily available.

12. Mobile Accessibility

 All three platforms offer mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices. These mobile apps allow you to view, edit, and collaborate on your data from anywhere.

Functionality differences for mobile apps:

  • Google Sheets: The Google Sheets mobile app offers most core spreadsheet functionalities, allowing you to view, edit, and format data. However, some complex features like creating charts or using custom formulas might be limited or require the web version for full functionality.
  • Airtable: The Airtable mobile app provides a good balance between core functionalities and mobile-friendly design. You can view, edit, add records, and collaborate on your data while also benefiting from some advanced features like filtering and basic record linking.
  • Jotform Tables: The Jotform Tables mobile app is primarily focused on data viewing and management. While you can view and edit existing data, creating new forms or manipulating data in complex ways might be better suited for the web app.

Offline access:

While all three platforms offer mobile apps, offline access to data and functionality is limited.

  • Google Sheets: With Google Sheets, you can enable offline access for specific spreadsheets. This allows you to view and edit data even without an internet connection. However, any changes made offline will be synced the next time you connect to the internet.
  • Airtable: Airtable offers limited offline functionality in its mobile app. You can view existing records but creating or editing them requires an internet connection.
  • Jotform Tables: Similar to Airtable, Jotform Tables offers limited offline access in its mobile app. You can view existing data entries but creating new entries or editing existing ones requires an internet connection.

Conclusion: Which platform is best for you?

Google Sheets, Airtable, and Jotform Tables each offer unique strengths, making the "best" option entirely dependent on your specific requirements. 

formulas and free access. Its extensive add-on library offers even more functionality. Airtable is the best option for teams that need to leverage data relationships and unique visualizations like calendars. Keep in mind that formula capabilities are not as powerful as Google Sheets'. Finally, Jotform is the best option for collecting information through forms and managing massive datasets. However, complex data analysis requires exporting data for use with other tools.

The bottom line: 

  • Consider your data storage needs, collaboration requirements, desired level of analysis, and security concerns. 
  • Explore free tiers and factor in potential costs when making your decision. 
  • Don't hesitate to experiment with each platform to see which best complements your workflow.

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