Can these productivity apps really do everything? And if so, which one is right for your business? In this video, Scott Friesen compares 3 workspace apps (Notion, Airtable, and Qatalog) at 3 different price points.
Are you needing an all-in-one workspace for your team or business? Well, in this video we're taking a look at three applications, at three different price points, to determine what is the best for you. Now, note, all three of these apps have a free or a free trial version, but we want to compare apples to apples, so we're going to be looking at their pro or business plan. So let's get started. The very first tool that we're going to be looking at today is called Qatalog. Now, Qatalog is an all-in-one workspace where you can use it to manage your projects, manage clients, manage your staff, manage almost anything, but in a very clean and very easy to use navigation system. So after signing up for your Qatalog account it'll ask you what are you building it for? And it's given me a few examples here. Am I an advertising agency? Am I a law firm? Am I a real estate agency? In this case, I'm going to type in that I'm an accounting firm, that's what I am, that's what I want to build Qatalog for. I'm going to select continue, and what it's going to do is take all of its knowledge of the accounting world, of the bookkeeping world, and build something custom for me. Now, of course, I have the opportunity to change and tweak, and delete, and add more things as well, but what I'm most impressed with is that it's creating me something that I can use and my team can use right away. And in just a few seconds it has built something that I can get started with right away. Here you can see that it's going to give me three different modules, reports, projects, and clients. And it also tells me exactly what is going to be listed or included within those modules, including things such as cost, client name, start date, end date. And of course, all of this is customizable. So unlike just starting with a template, it has something that is much more detailed. Now, at this point, I could choose to remove any of these modules or change them, but we can also do this after the fact. So I'm going to come down here and say, Build my Qatalog, and now I'm ready to get started with my clients, projects, and reporting modules ready for me on the left hand side menu. Now that you've seen how easy it is to set up a Qatalog, let's go into another workspace which already has some content, so I can show you around. In this case, I have a few additional modules, including Services and Contractors, because perhaps I'm a consulting agency in this particular example. If I click on Projects, for example, I'm going to see a list of all of my projects, and I'm going to click on this one called Wayne Industries. Now, one of the first things that you're bound to notice is that Qatalog looks a lot more like an off the shelf software product, as opposed to something where you need to build things step by step or page by page. You may think that the services and the different modules here on the left hand side are hard coded, and I think that that's a great thing, especially as you're bringing on new members to your team, it can be like introducing them to a full-fledged software product rather than something that you or other members of your team are building along the way. Everything here within Qatalog is very easy to navigate and easy to find, and if you need to search for something, they've got a handy search space where you can search across the entire interface. Now, one of the great things about Qatalog is that not only have we set up different modules, but all of those different components are integrated. And unlike other all-in-one workspace tools everything is integrated together. So for example, if I have customers here in the top of my project space here, here is my particular customer for this particular project,. It is integrated directly with the Customers section over here. I don't have to make those manual connections, I can find them and manage them right here within this particular list. Now, another great feature of Qatalog is that we can change the name of any of our fields and it will change throughout the entire workspace. So for example, even though I'm looking at Projects here and I have Clients at the top of the screen, maybe that's not a term that we use, maybe this is something that we created, but we're now wanting to use the term customer for all of our clients. All I need to do is come down here and click on Settings, I'm going to click on my Modules, and then click on Clients. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to change this to Customer as the singular name, and I'm going to say Customers as the plural name and hit Save. And now when I jump back into my Projects, you can see that it is listed as Customers, and this will carry over to everywhere else within my module. So overall, when all is said and done, Qatalog is perhaps the smoothest all-in-one workspace, and the easiest to navigate. As for pricing Qatalog is priced at $9 per person per month, to learn more and to start your free trial you can go to qatalog.com. Next up, let's take a look at Notion which proudly presents itself as an all-in-one workspace. And it's true, you can use Notion for an awful lot, including projects, as a CRM, or for managing staff and other tasks. Now, when it comes to getting started with Notion you have one of two options. Yes, there are a large number of templates in which you can get started with. If I click on the Templates feature, you can see the long list here, everything from project management to some simple database management as well. Now, your second method would be to start from scratch, and that can be a little intimidating, and may have a rather steep learning curve here within Notion. Notion at its core feels an awful lot like a wiki where you can add almost anything, including the ability to embed other websites, and videos, and other pieces of content, but depending on how much work you want to do upfront, it may take you a little longer to get started within Notion. In this example here, I've got a project page where I've broken things down by a few different phases, Design, Development, and the Research Phase. Now, in many cases, Notion may feel somewhat spreadsheet like with columns and rows, and that can be very, very comforting and also very, very flexible. You can customize a number of different views. So if I want to see this exact same information, but only see the things that are assigned to me, I can do that here as well. And of course, you can dive deeper into each of your tasks, or projects, or shall we just say elements, because we're talking about all-in-one. So if I want to open up this task number one, I can dive into deeper detail, and I can also add an additional page within this task. Now, that last feature there I might say is a bit of a double edged sword, yes, you can go deeper and deeper, and embed, and link pages within one another, but many Notion users, especially first time Notion users will say that that can also be a bit of a downside, it can be somewhat confusing as you're making manual links or manual relations between different pages. Now, the good news is that Notion has a very active community. So if you're looking for other templates and other support, you'll have a large number of people to rely on, but if you're not so comfortable in building things out one by one, or if you're a little nervous that members of your team may edit or break some elements of your application, then Notion may not be the ideal tool for you. As for pricing, Notion Business is $15 per user per month. So that puts us in that sort of middle term of affordability. Again, a very, very flexible tool, but maybe too flexible depending on your needs and your team's comfort level. Now, if you're enjoying this comparison video and you're looking for more productivity tips, tricks, and how-to tutorials, I would invite you to subscribe right here to the Simpletivity channel. Now, the last all-in-one workspace tool that we are looking at is Airtable. Now, Airtable is the oldest of the three that we're discussing today, and there's an awful lot in which you can do within Airtable. Of the three, Airtable is the most database like, or shall we say, database exposed, where you're most likely going to be dealing with many rows and columns, that may be either a pro or a con, depending on your needs. If you have basic database knowledge and you love spreadsheets, well, Airtable may be the better choice for you. As you can see in my example here, we have many of these same features and similar navigations such as sorting and changing things at the top of rows, and keeping things in a very orderly manner. But of course, you can do so much more than just a simple spreadsheet by adding attachments, and due dates, and having things trigger an automation right here within Airtable. And you're also not just restricted to this table or database style view. For example, here I've got a social media calendar, so I can see things within a real world calendar. Another nice benefit is that you can create your own customized workflows, including the ability to build forms. So in this case, maybe I want to create an intake form that I'm going to post on my website, and whenever those forms are submitted that information can be brought in directly into my Airtable space. Now, getting started with Airtable needs a little bit of planning, a little bit of forethought in terms of how you are going to structure things together. It's certainly not as easy as setting up a workspace within Qatalog, but Airtable has an awful lot of flexibility and many many extensions available to you as well. As for pricing, Airtable Pro is $20 per user per month, so certainly the most expensive when it comes to the tools on this list, but you get an awful lot for that price point as well. But if you're wanting to save money and you want to create your own free mobile app, be sure to click on this video next, where I walk you through the steps of building your own custom app for absolutely no cost.
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