Replacing Airtable with a Notion Database

Use Commotion to cut the need for Airtable

October 10, 2021

I love Airtable. After using Excel and Google Sheets for so many years, it's such a breath of fresh air. A truly modern, powerful spreadsheet tool that's great for complex sheets that pull data in from everywhere. That said, I see so many people use it when they don't need to and it drives me a little nuts.

People use Airtable all the time not for its great functionality but for simple forms. Companies use it to collect resumes, investors use it to collect pitchdecks, etc. which is fine, but I see Airtable paired often with Notion, with the Notion page providing the information and Airtable providing the form input, and I think to myself, "there's a better way! You don't need another service!"

Notion has had "databases", really just nice tables, for quite some time now, but it wasn't until they finally released their developer API last summer did they really open the door for their potential. Maybe not on par with what you can do with Airtable, but that's not the point, Notion databases are trying to be a lightweight, simple alternative that appeals to most use cases. Here at Commotion, we're tackling one of the simplest yet most important use cases, forms.

With Commotion, not only can you embed a form in your Notion pages that matches Notion's design and size, but you can also save responses not to some external service like Airtable, but right into a Notion database. This way, you can collect the information in the same service where you ask for it. For example, if you had a job board where a Notion page talks about a certain position, you can embed an application form at the bottom, and have that information saved into another Notion page, hidden from potential applicants. Now, you can quickly reference the data when you write new job listings or update old ones. This means less context switching which means less headache for whoever has to do this. Notion databases are great!

In fact, a great number of our users are people trying to get off of Airtable and stick to Notion for everything. There's nothing wrong with Airtable or using it, in fact I love using it too, but for simple use cases, having a streamlined workflow all on Notion is much easier for the poster, and with Commotion, you can do just that by adding forms right into your Notion pages!