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In this post, we share the eight best no-code tools that’ll help you organize projects, automate tasks, manage payments, collaborate with clients or team members, track applications, and more to simplify business operations.
We’ll start with our own no-code platform: Stacker. Stacker has helped businesses like Zapier and Makerpad create diverse web apps including workflow management tools, bike delivery software, real estate portals, employee directories, and student application portals in three simple steps — all without writing a single line of code or hiring a design and dev agency.
Here are the eight no-code solutions we’ll review in this post (according to various use cases, pricing options, and feature sets):
- Stacker: Our no-code tool to create useful business apps powered by your data.
- Airtable: A no-code tool that lets you create app databases and build mini-apps.
- Glide: Software that lets you create apps from your spreadsheets without coding.
- Bubble: A no-code solution to create SaaS apps, marketplaces, and other digital products.
- Webflow: A visual editor tool to design websites without coding.
- Carrd: A free one-page website designing tool.
- Adalo: A drag-and-drop app builder with customizable design settings.
- Thunkable: A no-code mobile app development platform.
Stacker lets you build and launch web apps, portals, or internal tools within a few minutes, all without any software development. Sign up for a 30-day free trial and test the ins and outs of our no-code tool.
You can connect Stacker to wherever you house your data (e.g., Airtable or Google Sheets) and create a functional app within a few clicks. Then, you can even customize the interface’s look and feel and set permissions to decide who can access which data.
In the following sections, we’ll go into more detail about Stacker’s three simple steps that let you:
- Connect your data source (or use Stacker to save your data).
- Allow or restrict users to access information with permission rules.
- Customize your layout with drag-and-drop elements.
Connect Your Data Source (Or Use Stacker to Store Your Data)
The first step to creating your app is to connect Stacker to your existing data sources.
Your data sources could be any of these three options (or a combination of these options):
Option 1: Google Sheets, Excel, or Airtable
If you are connecting your Airtable database with Stacker, you need your API key.
Here’s where you can find it:
Once done, Stacker starts syncing your database while also copying linked records, relationships, and formulas. After all the data is synced, Stacker creates a workable app for you based on the structure of your data (more on this later).
But Stacker isn’t limited to just connecting to one database; you can:
- Connect multiple Airtable databases, like our client Complete DJ Group did. They used one Airtable database to store client orders and another for their contractors. With Stacker, they connected both databases and created a client portal for users to access event details and a contractor-specific portal for them to view upcoming bookings.
- Create multiple apps from one Airtable database. For example, Spedal, a Stacker client, is a bike delivery agency employing people dealing with homelessness in London. They store customer data and delivery information for their riders on Airtable. From one database, they created two Stacker apps — one that acts as a customer portal for clients to book (and track) their orders and another internal portal for the riders, where they can log in and mark the status of the order with a photo.
To avoid any duplicate work, Stacker provides a two-way sync. Meaning, any change in the backend will automatically be reflected in the front end, and vice-versa. For example, say you have a student portal on Stacker and store all your data on Airtable. If you change a column heading from “2022” to “2023” in an Airtable database, it will automatically reflect in Stacker (you won’t have to do it manually).
Apart from Airtable, you can also import data from Google Sheets and Excel. The Google Sheets connection wizard will help you connect relevant sheets to the Stacker app. And to plug in data from Excel, you’ll need to upload a CSV file to Stacker.
Finally, Stacker also lets you connect to multiple data sources. For example, if you run a sales CRM on Airtable but collect sales leads on Google Sheets, you can connect both data sources.
Option 2: Stacker
You can choose to move out of your existing data sources and house all your data in Stacker. This has two benefits:
- You don’t have to juggle multiple platforms to manage business operations.
- You don’t have to worry about subscription costs or additional expenses if your number of users increases.
For example, if your CRM software is getting costly because of the number of users, you can use Stacker as your highly customizable, complete CRM. Plus, if you want to move out of Airtable, Google Sheets, or Excel, and make Stacker your single source of truth (so you don’t have to maintain multiple tools), you can use Stacker Tables to store all your data.
Option 3: 60+ Data Connectors
Stacker’s Enterprise plan lets you integrate with and import data from 60+ data connectors like Salesforce, Mailchimp, Zapier, Shopify, QuickBooks, Dropbox, HubSpot, and more.
For example, one Stacker app can sync customer data from Google Sheets, Salesforce and Stripe.
After you have connected Stacker to a data source, you can set custom permissions, so external and internal users see information that’s relevant to them.
Allow or Restrict Users to Access Information with Permission Rules
When you use Stacker to create a web app or portal, you gain control over what every user can view and edit.
Stacker lets you set custom and granular permissions: you can decide who can access which information and what actions they can take. For example, if you create a recruitment portal on Stacker, you can let the HR admin create fields but restrict them from editing any info.
You can set permissions on every level: page, record, and field. This allows users to interact with data that’s meant for them while also keeping the interface minimal and clean.
Say you want to create a custom CRM that lets you manage incoming orders from customers and get this information to your sales fulfillment team.
First, you’ll have to connect your customer’s data source (this could be Excel, Airtable database, Shopify account, etc) to your Stacker account. You can then set permissions so your sales staff can see only the accounts that they are handling. And you can even create a custom view that displays pending tasks for each client and make that visible to the sales and fulfillment team.
Plus, you can set different roles for your users and also give them names (like admin, partner, vendor, etc.) and specify what action they can oversee in the CRM. Meaning you can create one app that multiple people can use while taking care of their privacy and user experience.
Learn more about our permission systems in this detailed help center documentation.
Customize Your Layout with Drag-and-Drop Elements
Stacker lets you easily customize your interface’s layout to match your specific use case.
However, it depends on where you sync your data from. If you use Airtable or Google Sheets to sync your data, Stacker immediately creates a workable app — you can then change design elements. For Excel and other data sources, you can choose from our pre-built templates (like request tracker, customer portal, deal tracker, etc.) or design from a blank canvas.
You can go ahead with either of the options, and Stacker will help you design professional-looking apps without you having to worry about font sizes, pixel perfection, color choices, coding, etc. Our features are simple and intuitive to use, so you won’t need to work with any design or dev agency — you can design the user interface yourself!
For example, you can start by presenting your information as rows, a board, tables, inbox, single-view, or a calendar view (as shown in the example below).
The next image shows a kanban view, allowing you to get an at-a-glance overview of the status of your records.
Further, you can also:
- Add your logo and brand colors to match the app’s identity with your brand’s design values.
- Drag and drop design elements like widgets, headers, banners, pipelines, etc.
- Add action buttons like edit, save, archive, mark as done, send, and also use buttons to trigger advanced workflow automations using our Zapier integration.
- Add custom fields to get specific details from end-users (for example, an attachment field where you can collect certain docs, PDFs, invoices, bills, etc.).
- Add filters so users can hide or see relevant information (for example, an event management portal can have a filter of ‘today’s bookings’ or ‘canceled bookings’ for contractors).
- Preview the app before it’s live so you can ensure everything’s working as it should be.
Lastly, you can also share the app with your users by adding their email addresses, connecting a user table (from a data source), or creating a link where users can register and sign up to use the app.
Now that we’ve discussed how Stacker works, let’s look at how three of our clients, Growth Collective, Meow Wolf, and TED Fellows used Stacker to simplify their work processes and tasks.
#Client 1: Growth Collective — Workflow Management Tool
Growth Collective is a platform for organizations that want to hire pre-vetted freelance marketing experts. They use Airtable to store their customer and freelancer data, which made it difficult to let customers or freelancers see data that was just relevant to them.
Stacker helped Growth Collective create portals where:
- Clients can log in to book time with the freelancers they want to work with.
- Freelancers can log in, see, and edit their profiles, view their matches, and access other perks of the platform.
- Bookkeepers and external sales reps can access unique portals for their tasks.
#Client 2: Meow Wolf — Client Portal
Meow Wolf is an entertainment company that works with hundreds of artists on various immersive art projects across the US.
Before Stacker, they used to run a requests for proposals (RFPs) process where they would invite artists to submit proposals for artwork. This would happen via emails and PDFs, which became difficult to manage because of the number of artists they had to collaborate with.
To simplify their team’s workflow, they created an artists’ portal on Stacker. Now, with the portal, they can:
- Invite artists to submit their proposals through a user-friendly portal.
- Allow artists to easily track the proposal’s progress.
- Share essential info with artists via the portal.
Here’s what Jessie Kelley — Meow Wolf’s Associate Creative Producer — had to say about Stacker:
“With Stacker, we’re able to control when information is available, unlocking features as an artist moves through their project phases. For example, when an artist gets to the fabrication phase, they’ll see guidelines around packing and shipping — something they won’t see, or need to, during the much earlier phases.”
#Client 3: TED Fellows — Internal Tool
TED Fellows runs a support program for 500+ people who collaborate on various change-making projects. TED Fellows uses Airtable to manage the incoming applications for the program. However, if a recruiter or an external reviewer wanted to view an applicant’s profile or offer feedback, they’d have to go through the entire Airtable database, which was overwhelming and time-consuming.
With Stacker, they created a portal where external reviewers could log in securely, and:
- Go through the applicant info and add ratings to the candidates.
- Share interview notes.
- Refer back to the profiles whenever needed.
This helped them save around eight hours a week (that’s one full working day).
Connect Stacker to your data source, add permission rules, and customize the layout design by signing up for a 30-day free trial.
7 Other No-Code Tools to Manage Your Business Processes
In the next sections, we review seven other no-code solutions with respect to their features and pricing plans.
Airtable is a database that helps you save, organize, and manipulate data. You can create projects and share them with a group of collaborators. It offers multiple views like grid view, Gantt view, form view, timeline view, and more. It also offers integrations with other apps like Salesforce, Google Drive, Box, etc.
Airtable comes with a full-fledged template library to create campaign trackers, product catalogs, bug trackers, project trackers, social media calendars, employee directories, etc. You can also create interactive interfaces using the data you already have in your databases with their Interface Designer.
Airtable offers three pricing plans:
- Unlimited bases
- Up to 5 creators
- 1 sync integration
- 1,200 records and 2GB attachments per base
2. Plus ($10 per seat/month)
- Everything above, plus 5,000 records and 5GB attachments for every base
- 3 sync integrations
- 6-month revision history
- Automatic table syncing
3. Pro ($20 per seat/month)
- 7 sync integrations
- 50,000 records and 20GB attachments per base
- 1-year revision history
- Permission settings
They also have an enterprise plan — but to learn more, you’ll need to contact their sales team.
Glide helps you make apps from data stored in Excel, Airtable, Google Sheets, and other data sources.
It has a huge library of 100+ pre-built templates like inventory tracker, employee directory, company CRM, property manager, etc. to get you started quickly without relying on coders. You can also use its drag-and-drop feature to add further design elements. Glide also offers support through extensive documentation and video tutorials you can refer to on their website.
Glide offers three pricing plans:
1. Pro ($99/month)
- Unlimited apps and pages
- 10 editors
- 25,000 rows per project and 50GB storage
- Whitelabeling for three projects
2. Business ($249/month)
- Unlimited apps and pages
- 25 editors
- 25,000 rows per project and 1TB storage
- Whitelabeling for five projects
3. Enterprise ($799/month)
- Unlimited apps and pages
- Custom number of editors
- 100,000 rows per project and custom file storage
Detailed info can be found here.
Bubble is a no-code development tool that lets startups, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and enterprises create CRMs, prototypes, online stores, portals, trackers, and more.
It includes features like a drag-and-drop interface, a marketplace with templates and plugins, and integrations with tools like Asana, Slack, and Dropbox. Bubble also allows you to custom code if you want to add more features that it doesn’t provide.
Bubble offers four pricing plans:
- Main platform features (API publisher, connections to third party services, secure payment processing)
- Bubble branding and community support
2. Personal ($25/month)
- Main features + Custom domain, API, and email support.
- 10GBs file storage
3. Professional ($115/month)
- All features of personal
- 20GBs file storage
- Data backup for the last 30 days
4. Production ($475/month):
- 50GBs file storage
- Priority email support
Webflow helps you design beautiful no-code websites, eCommerce stores, paid member-only sites, and more. They have plenty of free lessons that teach you everything about web design (layouts, typography, colors, etc.). You can also hire a Webflow-endorsed expert to get support while designing your website. You can get started for free, and there’s no trial, so you can take your time to create your site.
Webflow has five pricing plans:
1. Free Starter - For learning how to use Webflow
- Webflow domain
- 50 CMS items
- 50 form submissions
- 1 GB bandwidth
2. Basic - Suitable if you want a simple site ($14/month)
- Custom domain
- No CMS items
- 500 monthly form submissions
- 50GB bandwidth
3. CMS - Fit for a blog or content-heavy site ($23/month)
- Custom domain
- 2,000 CMS items
- 1,000 monthly form submissions
- 200GB bandwidth
- 3 guest editors
4. Business - Best for a high-traffic marketing site ($39/month)
- Custom domain
- 10,000 CMS items
- 2,500 monthly form submissions
- 400GB bandwidth
- 10 guest editors
5. Enterprise plan info available at request.
Besides this, they also have different plans for in-house teams and freelancers that you can view here.
They offer many templates, so you can choose one and start building websites or start from a blank canvas. Their free plan lets you create three sites from one account and also lets you use all of their core features.
Carrd comes with three types of Pro pricing plans:
1. Pro Lite ($9/year)
2. Pro Standard ($19/year)
3. Pro Plus ($49/year)
They don’t have specific details for each pricing plan, but with pro accounts, you can:
- Get your custom domain
- Get SSL support
- Add sign-up forms from Mailchimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, and GetResponse
- Add Google Analytics to track traffic
- Upload images up to 16MB
- Add a favicon
Adalo is a no-code tool that lets you build mobile and web applications with drag-and-drop elements. Adalo comes with many design tools and building blocks to choose from: like forms, charts, navigation bar, buttons, texts, etc. You can also link pages, add user logins for security, set relationships and formulas, and add push notifications.
Adalo comes with five different pricing plans, and each of those has various offerings. Ranging from a free plan to $250 per month, you can choose a plan that suits you best depending on how many records you need to store, whether you need to publish your app on app stores, how many collaborators you want to add, and the storage you need.
Thunkable lets you create custom mobile apps with a drag-and-drop design interface and logic blocks. With Thunkable’s no-code app, you can create Android, iOS, and Web apps (you can also make native apps).
Along with 50+ design elements, you can use their animation features and integrations to make your app idea come to life. Thunkable offers direct deployment capabilities for Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and the Web.
They have two main pricing plans: Personal and Business. Each of these has three different plans.
- Personal: Here, it offers a free plan, a starter plan ($13/month), and a pro plan ($38/month).
- Business: Business ($167/month), Team, and Custom plans.
The deciding factor for each plan is based on the project limits, account storage you need, and the number of downloads you want to allow.
Try Stacker’s No-Code Tool Free for 30 Days
- Easy data import: Connect to your data source and bring in data to Stacker.
- User permissions and roles: Set custom permissions to tightly control what information each user can access and edit.
- Flexible designing options: Customize your layout with a simple visual editor.
Sign up for Stacker’s free 30-day trial to test our features.