Smartsheet Project Management Review

Last updated on 

September 6, 2021

by

The VA Reviewer

Project management is no longer an option; it is a must. It is now the bedrock of motivation and support for completing job assignments and other organizational responsibilities. 

A project management software is considered capable of supervising all project activities and timelines while generating commercial outcomes.

Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management application intended for businesses managing several projects with hundreds of moving parts. 

It allows companies of all shapes and sizes to more efficiently manage processes and communicate through a single platform. 

Smartsheet The Good and The Bad

Brief Background About Smartsheet

Smartsheet Inc. is a publicly-traded business based in the United States that develops and distributes the Smartsheet application. 

It employed 1,588 people as of 2019 and is based in Bellevue, Washington. The business was established in 2005, after co-founder Brent Frei’s previous venture, Onyx Software. 

Following the revamp of the Smartsheet software in 2010, the company’s sales increased by more than 100% per year for four straight years. 

In December 2012, it received $26 million in the financing, followed by another $35 million in May 2014. Additionally, the firm secured $52.1 million in funding in 2017. 

In 2018, Smartsheet announced Converse.AI, a startup located in Scotland that provides tools for developing business automation bots. 

On April 27, 2018, the business started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Smartsheet announced the acquisition of 10,000 feet, a SaaS platform for real-time resource and capacity planning, in May 2019.

How Smartsheet Works

With Smartsheet, you can accomplish almost everything with a conventional spreadsheet, including monitoring expenditures and budgets and generating forms. 

The primary distinction is that Smartsheet includes templates and a plethora of formatting features that make the platform more suitable for corporate use.

For instance, Smartsheet lets you build drop-down menus inside cells to facilitate access to contacts, calendar events, team members, and current tasks. 

By using numerous drop-down options, you can quickly and easily build a checklist of project activities, assign team members to each job, and establish deadlines. The benefit of Smartsheet over other project management systems is that you can add almost any custom field to every task. 

Smartsheet may also be very beneficial if used to build hybrid spreadsheets. It also includes templates for budgeting projects, monitoring expenditures, and tracking time

You may extend these templates to track which team members are allocated to which projects are inside an expenditure sheet. Alternatively, include an expenditure report straight into a timeline spreadsheet.

It’s so useful for task management is the ability to drag and drop tasks inside your spreadsheets. Thus, depending on how you want to arrange your workflow, you may build a hierarchy of sub-tasks or shift things to a “Done” column. 

Additionally, the program enables you to quickly create conditional formatting, allowing you to highlight any jobs having a deadline within the next two weeks, for example. 

Features

Smartsheet is similar to a spreadsheet. It caught the attention of several media sources due to its ease and quick adaptability. 

Smartsheet is a great project management tool if you want to work in Excel but avoid complicated formulas. 

Additionally, particular projects may include logos and color palettes. The following are the most delicate features of Smartsheet: 

  • Maintain the integrity of the project’s plans and timeline 
  • Portfolio management that’s dynamic 
  • Accelerate the planning and execution of programs 
  • Robust automation tools
  • Gantt charts help you visualize projects
  • Powerful analytics and reporting
  • Integration and add-ons
  • Data security

Whether working on a particular job or sharing work with colleagues, Smartsheet simplifies the process by centralizing all related files, comments, and project information. 

All content shared with others is available across all browsers, devices, and operating systems, simplifying and expediting collaboration.

Smartsheet Pricing Plans

Pricing 

Smartsheet offers a variety of programs and products. 

It provides solutions for both individual consumers and businesses. 

The following prices are for a yearly subscription. 

  • Individual— $14 per month/user
  • Business — $25 per month/user
  • Enterprise —custom pricing

Individual

The Individual plan is $14 per month. It is ideal for individuals looking to improve their efficiency and work with others on a project. The Individual bundle includes the following features: 

  • Free users
  • Integrations with Google, Microsoft Office, and Slack
  • Help center, community forums, and email support
  • Up to 10 sheets and five reports
  • 10 free collaborators per item
  • Library of free templates
  • Commenting
  • Card, Gantt, Grid, and Calendar Views
  • Forms
  • Mobile app
  • Solutions Center
  • Automation
  • One dashboard per portal
  • Alerts
  • Reminders and Notifications

Business 

When paid yearly, the Business plan costs $25 per user each month. It requires a minimum purchase of three users and is designed for corporate teams looking to automate execution. 

This package contains the following: 

  • Unlimited users
  • Up to 100 sheets per user
  • Document builder
  • Activity Log
  • Live data connections
  • Proofing
  • Custom branding
  • Resource management
  • Consolidating information into reports
  • Managing groups and users
  • Visualizing live data with dashboards and charts
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams, Quip, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, and Adobe Creative Cloud

Enterprise

The Enterprise plan includes industry-specific solutions and strategies for the whole organization. 

It is accessible to businesses seeking to operate at scale while maintaining security, visibility, and control. 

Teams interested in the Enterprise package must contact Smartsheet for a quotation. The Enterprise package includes the following features: 

  • Unlimited users
  • Up to 100 sheets per user
  • Live data connections
  • Activity Log
  • Custom branding
  • Proofing
  • Resource management
  • Document builder
  • Managing groups and users
  • Consolidating information into reports
  • Visualizing live data with dashboards and charts
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams, Quip, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, and Adobe Creative Cloud

Pros 

  • Easily customizable dashboards
  • Easy to share among group members
  • Numerous templates and resources
  • Sheet-to-sheet linking 
  • With a 30-day free trial

Cons 

  • It can be not very clear for beginners
  • Limited activity logs
  • Not real-time update for changes
  • Uncustomizable chart colors
  • Salesforce, Jira, and Dynamics connectors are limited to the Premium plan
  • Bit expensive compared to other alternatives

Other Alternatives 

Smartsheet, being a spreadsheet application at its heart, necessitates many options. Although it has many functions that appeal to project management requirements, you can look for other alternatives. 

No one tool can be considered the gold standard for meeting an organization’s project management requirements. The same is true for Smartsheet. 

So, here are the other options you can compare with Smartsheet’s best features. 

nTask 

nTask takes the top position on our list of free Smartsheet alternatives. A flexible project management application packed with an intelligent toolkit that precisely meets the job management requirements of both individuals and teams. nTask’s intuitive user interface and intelligently designed features enable the seamless storage, processing, and monitoring of project performance.

Pricing: Free – unlimited workspaces, unlimited tasks, unlimited meetings, 5 MB file attachment size, 100 MB storage space, issue tracking, timesheets. 

Pro – Starting at $1 per month per person, this plan includes limitless projects and Gantt Charts.

Basecamp

Basecamp is the next free Smartsheet replacement on our list. It is an online project management application that focuses on collaboration for small and medium-sized businesses. With a broad toolkit, Basecamp aims to offer users a centralized platform for managing their projects efficiently.

Pricing: Monthly fee of $99 includes unlimited users, unlimited projects, access to all features, and 500GB of file storage. Basecamp offers a 30-day free trial.

Airtable

Airtable is a cloud-based project management software that combines the capabilities of a task management tool with a spreadsheet to offer the most intuitive project management experience possible. Airtable, a free Smartsheet competitor, has an attractive design and an easy-to-use interface that encourages users to have fun while getting things done.

Pricing:

Free- Unlimited bases, 2GB attachment space included with each base, and other suitable features.

Plus- Monthly fee of $10 per user, unlimited bases, 5GB attachment space, and other important features. 

Pro- Monthly fee of $20 per user, includes unlimited bases, 20GB of attachment space, and basic and advanced functionality. 

Enterprise- unlimited bases upon request, 1000 GB attachment space, necessary and sophisticated features with maximum support and administrative controls 

Overall Review

Smartsheet is one of the most robust spreadsheet-based project management solutions available today. It’s designed for teams of various sizes and has many features. Having said that, Smartsheet has certain limitations. 

The enterprise plan is unquestionably an improvement above the Standard Business bundle. 

However, the design is missing many features that elevate a spreadsheet to the next level. It is particularly true if you want to use Smartsheet’s paid add-ons.

The Advanced package is a must-have if your organization presently uses Salesforce, Jira, or Microsoft 365. It is the only method to connect such premium tools to Smartsheet without incurring additional charges. 

In comparison to other project management solutions available now, Smartsheet remains a spreadsheet. Smartsheet is a dynamic workspace that enables teams to manage projects, automate processes, and quickly create new solutions to every business needs. 

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