This review originally was published on August 18, 2021, with the email subject line CT No. 91: "Put this in your deck and pitch it," alongside an essay about website and digital strategy ideas for 2022 agency/brand planning.

One persistent model for web-based businesses over the past 25 years: Collecting information, maintaining information, then selling access to it. Since the internet's inception, directories and resource lists have persisted, well-groomed or automated.

If, like me, you think you may start a directory one day or you just want a place to keep a list of all the products you might review, Airtable is a great place for all that info, as well as anything else you could store in a jacked-up spreadsheet.

Airtable at a glance

Many content calendar and editorial management tools float around on the web, but none as comprehensive and interoperable as Airtable. Content calendars are only as good as their staff anyway, and any decent editor can manage an Airtable with minimal training.

Turns out Airtable is also a good CRM. And a good resource manager. Can you put it in a spreadsheet? Need those spreadsheets to integrate with something else? Airtable! If you're starting an internet business and don't know what you need, I'm going to hard recommend this tool.

Airtable is a data management tool or a glorified spreadsheet, a product that has flourished on the web and still not outgrown its original purpose. It's prettier and less aligned to big tech than many of its compatriots, a backbone that serves metadata to no-code and code-intensive projects large and small.

With its importing and exporting capabilities, plugin bonanzas, and templates on templates, you can probably find what you need to run a web-based business in Airtable. (Except for a classified ads management template, but you could probably build that in a day.)

And with that... the last review of tools in my core stack. Sigh... guess I should look at the Airtable I've built over the past few years to see what I should review next.

If you sign up for Airtable from this review, you can use my code and we'll both get credits. Or not. Up to you.

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