Google experimental division Area 120 has a new project dubbed Tables, meant to help users with tracking work and other tasks. But Tables goes quite a bit further than that too. It reportedly incorporates bots to help manage some of the backend work required with team management solutions.
As its branding might imply, Tables works on the concept of code-free spreadsheets. Those are arranged and organized into Workspaces, with the deeper organization happening via Tables themselves. The company includes templates to get started quickly. But users can also import their own spreadsheets or CSV files.
The templates, however, serve as a ready-made guide for using Tables to get the most out of the product. And there are pre-made templates covering a host of use cases. From project management and IT operations to customer tracking, recruiting, product development, sales, team management, and more.
How do Area 120’s Tables work at a deeper level?
Area 120 highlights one workspace, in particular, to define how its new, Google-associated Tables tool works. That’s a workspace created for onboarding employees. The project has two Tables with a host of items in each one. Those are laid out similarly to a spreadsheet with top tabs for navigating between Tables. As shown in the video below, the tool works intuitively to make managing the columns and rows easier.
But Tables also works using bots to automate manual processes from collecting data across different sources to parsing, passing off, or pasting data before handing it off. And all of that is readily integratable with Google tools and tech. So it works hand-in-hand with the tools many are already using as part of Gmail.
The bots can also accomplish more complex tasks. For instance, they can schedule email reminders that repeat when tasks are overdue, until they’re completed. Or then can message a chat when there are new form submissions. Bots can even move tasks around or update them automatically.
This is free and in beta, but paid plans are available for those who need more
Among the most noteworthy features of Tables, at least for now, is that it’s free — as is the case with many Google services.
Now, that could potentially change as the project leaves its beta program. That’s if it leaves the beta program. But it offers quite a lot for free, to begin with at the very least. Free users can use Tables with up to 100 Tables and 1,000 rows on an individual basis. Paid members get up to 1,000 Tables and 10,000 rows.
That’s in addition to more actions, advanced history features, sharing, forms, automation, and view features, and support for large file attachments. The paid plan, as of this writing, costs just $10 per month.