Productivity platforms are vital for businesses aiming to streamline their operations. Businesses worldwide rely on the software in this article to modernise their day to day operations.
Microsoft, Google, Monday.com and Airtable offer a range of different services. Google and Microsoft's services come with each company’s preexisting products like Docs or Word. In contrast, Monday.com and Airtable only offer cloud-based services.
Let's go through the differences between the software and offers some guidance on the benefits of each so you can find the perfect software for your small business.
We’ve pulled together a comparison of the most popular, well-equipped email marketing platforms to aid small to medium UK businesses, to make your choice a little easier.
Microsoft 365 sets the gold standard for office suites. The software works flawlessly, the mobile apps sync with the desktop versions, and the programs allow for offline work. All the Microsoft 365 apps are aesthetic, customisable and functional. Also, Microsoft helpfully keeps the interface consistent throughout its apps, making navigation easier. Microsoft sells its products through subscription packages so you can download each program and work offline.
Microsoft supplies the entire spectrum of applications including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. These applications provide great value to businesses especially with its collaboration features.
Teams are an especially useful platform for organisations reliant on remote workers. The app lets you gather your team by department or group and host recorded voice or video conferences. You can also organise your schedule, plan upcoming projects and assign tasks to individual employees.
Exchange is another useful tool packaged in with a 365 subscription. The app helps organise your calendar and email with state of the art AI while streamlining your workflow.
+ Host recorded voice or video calls
+ Organise your schedule, plan upcoming projects and assign tasks to individuals
+ Software works flawlessly, the mobile apps sync with the desktop versions, and the programs allow for offline work.
- Constant updates mean constant changes - this won’t sit well with everyone
- Less secure as newer operating systems have more advanced security to address current cyber security threats.
Read our full Microsoft 365 Review
Google Workspace is Google’s cloud-based answer to Microsoft 365. Simplicity and usability are Google Workspace’s key attractions. Workspace adopts the best features from Microsoft’s programs and repackages them into simpler apps. You won't find some of the more advanced features in Microsoft Word. Cloud-based platforms like Google's help your team collaborate on any project through the web with live document editing, screen sharing, team messaging, shared calendars and more.
Offline working is where Google Workspace lacks some capability. While you can use Google Docs and Sheets offline, the applications don’t work as well offline as Microsoft’s programs.
+ Advanced features and programs make your teams faster, more collaborative and better informed than ever before. It allows all work and communication to take place in one space, expediting your operations.
+ There isn't a long-term free version. But you can access Google Docs, Sheets, and a few other features by creating a personal Gmail account.
+ Having all your work communication running through one platform expedites your operations.
- Google Sheets software just doesn't quite match up to the advanced features of Excel.
- Gmail labelling and general layout can be a bit confusing for new users who have spent years using a Microsoft suite
Read our full Google Workspace review.
Both Monday.com and Airtable streamline your workflow by handling repetitive administrative tasks and supporting your team and project management.
Monday.com is a collaboration platform that centralises a company's workflow into a shared online workspace. The platform has an intuitive interface that helps managers organise their projects and staff.
The platform lets you build projects from scratch or from a template. You then invite the employees and assign them tasks, each with a different priority rating. You can also group workers together to collaborate on specific parts of the project and track their workload.
Monday.com organises your data into graphs to help you make informed decisions about your project. This is what Monday.com is all about; collecting and using data to help you make data-driven decisions. The data will also highlight your project’s blockers and help you effectively allocate staff.
Besides the project management tools, monday.com has a few other unique features. These include daily task management and department planning tools helping to keep every level of your business on track. One of Monday.com's newest features is automation. Automations can be as straightforward or as complex as you need them to be.
The tool cuts hours from your admin budget by performing basic-level tasks for you. For example, they can notify you when employees complete tasks or if someone misses a deadline. The platform also integrates with third-party apps like MailChimp, Dropbox and Google Drive.
There are plenty of instructional videos to help you get started, and the site provides a vast template library. It may take a few hours to tailor the templates to your needs, but once you have, can leave them to take care of keeping things on track.
Monday.com is a valuable tool that any sized business looking to streamline and organise its operations would benefit from. It's user-friendly, the user interface is aesthetic, and the subscription is affordable.
+ This software eliminates the need for painfully long email threads and unnecessary meetings. All communication and files are in one place, so you never miss any key information.
+ Easy to collaborate across locations, structures, and teams. Super easy to see what's been done, what still needs doing and importantly - who is doing it!
+ The tools are easy to use, the user interface well-designed, and all for an affordable price.
- Monday.com may be one of the best work management tools in the market but reporting tools are quite limited.
Read our full Monday.com review.
Airtable is an online collaboration program built to help you the power and streamline your team's workflow. You can build and collaborate on all kinds of projects, including marketing, production, operations, HR, sales and finance.
Airtable is similar to Monday.com, but it’s more of a shared database with collaborative tools than a cloud-based workspace. If that doesn’t sound like much of a difference, you’d be right - it isn’t.
Before you let the dull-sounding "database” deter you from reading on, know that Airtable’s tools are easy enough to learn. You can plan events, work schedules or projects and integrate your database with apps like Gmail, Facebook and Microsoft Teams. You can organise your marketing efforts, plan and execute your social media campaigns and track your sales.
A tool included by Airtable but not by Monday.com is app-building capabilities. You can build an app that can present your data in various ways, create and scan QR codes or sync business bank accounts into one database. Your app can also pull data from anywhere on the web using an API.
Like monday.com, Airtable has released an automation feature to reduce unnecessary admin hours. These could include meeting reminders, missed deadline alerts, and record updating. Airtable is one of the most straightforward online workflow tools you can find anywhere. New users won't struggle at all while learning the ropes.
Due to its versatility, Netflix, Expedia and Medium use Airtable to streamline their operations. There's also a handy community guide section on the website and attentive customer service should any issues crop up.
+ We love the Automations tool that will reduce your admin hours massively, hugely important in any size of business.
+ The combinations of functionality and features commonly found in spreadsheet applications and databases are inspiring.
+ Airtable also offers a grace period to help you find the plan that best suits your business.
- Airtable comes with limitations, by adhering to a more spreadsheet-like structure and following workspace divisions, it can fail to scale up when your company needs it the most.
- More functionality similar to Google Sheets would be great. Though it has the capabilities it's still not actually a spreadsheet.
There are plenty of popular project management software suites available but when it comes to productivity software for projects we love Monday.com. You can easily plan, manage and collaborate on basic projects and complex portfolio management.
Read our full Monday.com review.
It's got to be Google Workspace. Advanced features and programs make your teams faster, more collaborative and better informed than ever before. We also love the live editing options in documents which makes remote working a breeze - automatically save and edit work with your teammates.
Read our full Google Workspace review.
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