Do you really need a database to solve your list problem?

Rajat Gupta
Dec 8, 2015 · 2 min read

Very often, the problem you are solving is how to share information with a group of people, allow them to update it, and customize how the information is displayed. Essentially, you are dealing with lists. Lists are the most basic form of keeping track of information, gathering and sharing in a team. It can be your customer list or the group vacation schedule during the holidays.

Databases are like the sports car for keeping lists. It’s supposed to be the best way to manage information. You can break down the information so it isn’t repeated (such as the customer information for multiple orders might be the same). You can use that information across multiple applications, all talking to one database. So the information is essentially kept separate from how you use it. You get one way to backup the information. You get transactions so if you make multiple changes, you either want them all to go through or not. You don’t want the customer’s first name saved, but not the last name.

Databases come with lots of needs too. You need a DBA to manage the database. You need an application developer to write an application to update the database. You need a server to run it. You need to setup backups. You need to model the information so there isn’t duplication. Each change needs all the people in the chain to do their thing.

Since databases are so needy, most often, only a small percentage of the information you share in a team actually gets into a database. The rest remains in spreadsheets, updated online or emailed. So spreadsheets are the other way lists are managed. They are the quick and dirty. Spreadsheets are like Betty if databases were Veronicas.

Qvikly Lists do more of what spreadsheets and databases do. Simple and powerful. You can get back to any version, see who did what. Each time someone makes a change, they add a comment and you see an activity stream of all the comments and changes made. You can assign people to work on a list and track who’s completed the task and who you still need to bug. You use it like a spreadsheet, make a bunch of changes, and then save it back so others can see your changes. See your information as a table or as cards. Keyboard navigation is exactly like a spreadsheet, and it’s fast. It also works like a database — it’s central, it has a defined structure so only the owner can change the columns, you can manage who can view vs. edit information. There are templates to get you started, and you can setup your own lists too with your own data.

Try Qviky Lists at

Rajat Gupta

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Qvikly Lists is the simplest tool to gather and share information, with tasks, activity streams, and history. Now available at