I’ve been using Fibery seriously for some months now and kept meaning to write a review for it. Recently they launched their 2.0 release on Product Hunt and, given I want to support them, I wrote a review. Then I expanded it to post on G2 (which has a more in-depth review process). So here’s my expanded G2 review.
Powerful, flexible, progressing rapidly
What do you like best?
What defines Fibery and sets it apart is its flexibility and the interconnection of information in different workflows that can result. There is no other tool that can be quite as flexible while remaining easy to use and accessible even at the administrator-level. There are more powerful systems, or aspects of tools like e.g. Coda that can do things that Fibery can’t (yet) do, but in the vast majority of cases it is more complex and difficult to set things up in those tools. Fibery does a great job of balancing flexibility with ease of use at all levels.
Since this flexibility is its main strength, it is not necessarily going to compete directly with some dedicated tools in particular areas of work. If you are happy with the structure of existing tools and the connection of your data that is already available to you (or not) in other systems, then it’s not going to provide you much benefit. Setting it up to work in these kinds of “standard” ways is absolutely possible, it just takes time. But even in that case, if you anticipate a likelihood of growing needs over time, you may be able to save yourself time, money, or both by creating a more “standard” workflow in Fibery that you can then expand and customize for your changing needs.
If you are like me, and many other startups and other small businesses, and your needs don’t seem to be covered “out of the box” by any existing tool, then you’ll find Fibery to be a breath of fresh air. I run a real estate development company, hardly what you would consider the core use case for Fibery, and yet it adapted extremely well to our needs. Imagine being able to track every aspect of a property, from financial data (buy/sell price, annual taxes, etc.), to development (site improvements, studies, etc.), to maintenance (backflow testing, brush clearing and trash removal), and then relate that to equally comprehensive data on development projects, property sales or purchase processes, loans, contacts and companies, and more. All the data interconnects and can be segmented as much (or as little) as you want, which makes it better even than some other tools (like e.g. Airtable) that may be able to implement a similar level of detail for databases, but which are far more cumbersome and limited in terms of access to and interconnection of data.
One of the dangers of flexible, “no code” platforms is that because the UI is not customized, it is easy for your own administration and setup to result in sub-par UX for the actual users of the system. In Fibery this is possible too, of course, but unlike many other tools the core UI and UX are in general much more well thought-out, which helps to minimize the chance that the flexibility and customization lets you create a fundamentally frustrating UX for people. A good example of this in comparison to Notion is that Rich Text Fields in Fibery can be repositioned anywhere, and you can have as many as you want per “Entity” (what Notion calls “pages”). In Notion, even with the newer ability to hide some Properties, you still have all your DB properties at the top of the page, above your rich text content. For some situations this is desirable, but for many others it’s not. Fibery has fields alongside the rich text area(s), which is much, much better UX. That’s just one example of where Fibery’s team clearly thought through the user experience much more than Notion did as it built out flexible features and customization.
The other thing I want to mention is that the team behind Fibery has a lot of good experience (founder Michael Dubakov helped start Target Process as well) and I think this is partly responsible for their excellent consistency in feature updates and fixes (often weekly releases, monthly at a minimum). The transparency of the dev process has also been great, with (mostly) monthly updates from Michael on the progress of the product, including setbacks, challenges, etc. This is really refreshing when compared to products like Notion which are the opposite of transparent, and where you only find out about the reason for big delays and challenges well after the fact (e.g. API, localization), if at all.
In addition to this they have an active user community in their forums, where several of the team also interact fairly frequently. Again this contrasts sharply with tools like Notion where, yes sometimes you’ll get an acknowledgement on e.g. Twitter, but real conversations back and forth seldom happen, and never with the actual devs (it’s always indirect, with a support rep, etc.). I’ve had detailed and specific feature discussions with the Fibery team and it’s incredibly satisfying to have that much input into the process. Of course not everything will be implemented exactly as I prefer, but to know my voice is being listened to is so much more satisfying than the opaque interactions with other companies.
What do you dislike?
Now of course Fibery is not perfect. They are still relatively early in development and miss a lot of features you may already depend on in other tools. One of the biggest and most important in my view is proper “notifications”. There is a “Notifications” button, but the actual use of it is cumbersome and limited, and there is little “active” notification functionality. The best you can do is have all notifications sent to email, which works for letting you know of some things, but is still not ideal. There is no date-based notification, for example! So indeed you will not get a notification (yet) when a “due date” comes. I know this is something they’re working on, along with many other things. And we are making do in the meantime without it. The other capabilities we get from the existing functionality already make it a better tool for our needs than anything else we’ve seen out there, and we’ve looked at a lot, from the well-knowns like Coda, Airtable, and Notion 2.0, to lesser-knowns like Infinity, Ninox, Tabidoo, and more.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
I would primarily recommend Fibery only if your current tools, or others you are considering, are lacking in flexibility, or ease of use when addressing large amounts and varying types of data. It is not going to be an ideal replacement for dedicated task or project management tools (although you can do both fairly effectively within it). It’s not going to replace spreadsheets for all purposes, and in some cases apps like Notion might fit your needs better. But if you are considering Notion or Airtable or Coda and you haven’t looked at Fibery yet, I’d give it a strong recommendation for that kind of work.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
I run a real estate business and using Fibery allows me to create a highly customized and interlinked database to document a huge range of varying information and entities, and relate them to each other in intuitive and functional ways. From any property I can find details about the broker who is selling it, the entity that owns it, prior transactions on the property, any maintenance needs, etc. And because of the flexibility to create unlimited “Types” of data and connect them freely, I can segment the data so that no one “view” becomes overwhelming with information. It’s all segmented yet interconnected. This saves a lot of time, energy, and frustration as there is a huge amount of information to manage in a real estate business.