Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-style project management solution for businesses managing multiple projects with dozens of moving parts. It helps companies of all sizes manage workflows and improve collaboration. It’s not as easy to use as we’d like and doesn’t have the familiar Kanban view of project management we’ve all come to love. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good fit for you and your team.
Compare Smartsheet to the Best Project Management Software
At its core, Smartsheet is the most powerful and sophisticated spreadsheet tool you’ve ever seen. It’s ideal for those of you who already have experience using spreadsheets to manage projects—but you feel traditional options like Excel and Google Sheets are just too limited for what you want to accomplish. However, it may not be the best option for you. Here are our top three Golden Eggs of project management software.
We appreciate the ability to track everything related to a particular project through the easy-to-use Monday.com interface, which is why it tops our list. Test Monday.com to see if it fits your needs by signing up for the always-free tier or by taking advantage of a 14-day free trial period on the pay tiers.
Clear communication often can be the difference between success and failure with projects, and ClickUp is one of our favorite project management software options because of its outstanding collaboration features. If you subscribe to ClickUp, the service offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, during which you can request to receive your money back if you are unhappy.
Should you need project management software that allows your client to collaborate with you, ensuring the project remains on track, Teamwork allows you to give clients limited access to your project board. Sign up at Teamwork and take advantage of the software’s 30-day free trial period to test its features.
Additionally, our research team has a lot to say about how Smartsheet stacks up against the other leading solutions. Read our full review of the best project management software for additional tools. If you prefer visual-style project management tools that have Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and timeline views, you might find something you like better than Smartsheet.
Smartsheet: The Good and The Bad
Smartsheet has numerous breath-of-fresh-air redeeming qualities for spreadsheet and database fans. If that sounds like you, it may be worth the confusing interface and expensive price tag.
Team Collaboration Tools: In addition to project management, Smartsheet brands itself as a “dynamic work and collaboration software.” Teams can easily collaborate with file sharing, notes, and tasks, all within a central source of truth. This allows everyone on a team to keep up with the progress of a particular project. Multiple team members can share presentations, images, and PDFs to work on content at the same time, complete with notifications, version control, and a customizable approval process.The entire Smartsheet solution is highly customizable so you can add the collaboration features you need and remove the ones you don’t to keep things as simple as possible. In fact, Smartsheet made our list of the best simple project management software options.
Powerful Analytics and Reporting: Admins, managers, and users love Smartsheet’s reporting capabilities. The advanced reporting makes it easy to consolidate the most crucial information from multiple sheets into a single report in just a few clicks or taps. In doing so, you can identify trends and potential bottlenecks to continuously improve. You can also publish and share your reports with team members, departments, stakeholders, or anyone else who should be in the loop. You can even use Smartsheet’s activity log to see who is accessing reports and when they’re doing it so you know who’s seen what. One standout feature of Smartsheet’s reports is that they’re bi-directional—if someone makes a change on the report, it’s updated in real-time back to the attached sheets. And reports update in real-time when someone updates the attached sheets. So, you never have to worry about outdated information again.
Data Security: As an enterprise-grade solution, Smartsheet uses top-of-the-line data protection standards to keep your team, your data, and your business secure with a Fort Knox-style gusto. It offers dozens of security features, including two-factor authentication, single sign-on (SSO), granular user access controls, secure data centers, AES 256-bit at-rest encryption, and more to prevent unauthorized access. Smartsheet is also HIPAA, GDPR, ISO, SOC, ITAR, and FERPA compliant so you can rest easy knowing you don’t have to worry about privacy and security compliance.
Robust Automation Tools: Most project management tools come with basic automation features but Smartsheet outshines most of them with an incredibly comprehensive set of integrations, connectors, intelligent workflows, and automation tools. Despite its power, setting up basic automations takes just a few minutes thanks to Smartsheet’s drag-and-drop automation builder. It uses basic logic, conditional paths, and triggers, allowing you to create even the most advanced workflows you can imagine.
Extended Functionality: Besides basic project management, you can add resource management, digital asset management, and portfolio management capabilities that will give rise to project budgeting, time tracking, advanced reports and analytics, and forecasting tools, among others. However, these features aren’t baked into Smartsheet’s plans—they’re an add-on that have an additional price tag. But it’s nice to know that the platform expands to match your needs rather than making you buy another tool to grow your business.
Customization and Flexibility: One of Smartsheet’s claims to fame is flexibility. Much like a spreadsheet, you can manipulate your sheets into just about anything, from project management and inventory management to budget tracking, expense categorization, campaign tracking, and more. You can use it in hundreds of different ways, which makes it a contender to replace other business tools you may be using for other functions or departments. You get unlimited custom fields, multiple views, and unlimited sheets. So, there are no limits to how you can use Smartsheet—compared to other project-management-only tools, it’s refreshingly versatile.
Take Advantage of Templates: When you want to be up and running quickly with Smartsheet, you can use one of the 350 templates that are part of the software. The template provides a basic structure for managing your project. You then can adjust the template as needed to perfectly fit your needs for a particular project. Smartsheet’s sprint planning template is one of the best available among project management software packages. We also named a few agile project plan templates from Smartsheet among the best available in the market.
Confusing For Beginners: Spreadsheets are something that the vast majority of us are familiar with. In theory, Smartsheet shouldn’t have a steep learning curve. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The interface isn’t very user-friendly, which can make it challenging to chart and analyze data. Unless you’re generating reports, there’s no real easy way to analyze the sheets at-a-glance. You’ll have to manually go through rows and columns, which is tough to do at scale.
Limited Activity Log: Smartsheet’s activity log allows users and admins to track common actions, like who has viewed what, what’s been shared, and more. However, this log is a bit limited compared to other project management tools on the market today. You can’t really just get a quick glance at what’s happened since you last logged in. Sometimes it can be time-consuming to get an answer. For example, to see a full history of a particular cell, you’d need to navigate to that cell, right-click, and then find the history from there.
Not Ideal for Certain PM Methodologies: Agile teams that want to use Kanban boards and other hybrid project management methodologies will struggle with Smartsheet. The software just doesn’t offer that type of functionality. Everything is spreadsheet-based. Even though you can change the view to a calendar or something else, most of what you’re doing will rely on conditional formatting within a particular sheet.
Higher Prices: At first glance, Smartsheet seems pretty affordable. Plans start at just $7 per user per month. However, when you take a closer look at these packages, you’ll find Smartsheet to be a bit expensive compared to other project management tools on the market today. And they require a minimum of three users on any plan, so you’ll be paying more that you have to if you only need a platform for one or two users.
Odd Autosave Feature: For some reason, Smartsheet does not autosave your changes or update the page to reflect edits in real time. This issue admittedly won’t be a big deal to everyone, but we find it to be incredibly annoying. Most cloud-based software packages save your changes in real time, so it’s a feature we’ve come to take for granted. Smartsheet requires you to click a Save button and a Refresh button after you make changes. You can go into the Settings window of Smartsheet to set up autosave once a minute or when you leave a sheet, so you can sort of work around the problem. (However, we believe you shouldn’t have to.)
Smartsheet Pricing and Options
Smartsheet has pretty streamlined pricing. There are just three simple tiers, with each successive plan offering more features than the last. There’s also a separate package called Smartsheet Advance that includes everything on the Enterprise plan, plus all the extra add-ons you’d have to pay for on the Enterprise or Business tiers.
- Pro — $7 per user per month
- Business — $25 per user per month
- Enterprise — Custom pricing
- Smartsheet Advance — Contact sales for cost
One big thing for the bargain hunters out there to be aware of: Smartsheet requires a minimum of three users on any plan. So, keep that in mind if you have your eye on either the Pro or Business tiers, especially if you’re wary of your budget.
So, in reality, the starting price for Pro is really $21 per month and $75 for Business.
You can see how some of the features break down by plan below.
At first glance, they’re pretty similar, with just the Pro plan having limitations on the number of sheets and widgets you can use.
However, as you drill down into advanced features like conditional form logic, custom branding, integrations, and security features, you’ll really start to see what you’re paying for with the Business and Enterprise plans.
The Standard Business plan is a viable option for smaller businesses and simple projects. It comes with all of the Smartsheet core features at a reasonable price point. Business plans require a minimum of three licenses.
Once you hit the Business level, you’ll benefit from unlimited free users. So, you don’t necessarily need a license for every team member. But it’s worth noting that free users can’t create sheets, reports, or dashboards. They can only view or edit those items that have been shared with them by licensed users.
Overall, the Business package is solid. It does fall a bit short compared to other project management tools at the same price point in terms of value. But it’s still loaded with features, and we can recommend it with confidence for businesses that prefer spreadsheet-style project management.
The Enterprise plan comes with everything in the Business plan plus unlimited sheets, single sign-on, enterprise access controls, directory integrations, chargeback reports, user merge, and the ability to send emails from your domain email addresses.
With the Enterprise plan, you’re definitely getting an upgrade from the Standard Business package. But the plan still lacks some of the tools that really take enterprise project management to the next level.
Some key power features like specialized and separate encryption keys and automation bridges are only available as paid add-ons to the Business or Enterprise plans. The Smartsheet Advanced package is the only way to get all of these without paying à la carte. There are three additional tiers to that: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Note the only way you can upgrade to Smartsheet Advanced is with an Enterprise plan. Even though we don’t know the actual prices, it’s safe to assume the plans will be expensive.
Most Enterprise packages from other project management software providers include a similar feature set for free, which is why we think Smartsheet is slightly overpriced. To truly get the most out of the software, you’ll need the top-of-the-line package.
10,000ft by Smartsheet
To be clear, 10,000ft by Smartsheet is not a project management tool. But we definitely recommend it for businesses that want to fill the gaps with features not offered in a traditional Smartsheet plan.
10,000ft by Smartsheet is a resource management platform. Since resource management and project management go hand-in-hand, it’s worth considering.
The software is designed to simplify resource allocation and improve the accuracy of project planning. It even offers tools for time tracking, budgeting, forecasting, dynamic reporting, and more.
For organizations managing projects at scale with Smartsheet, 10,000ft by Smartsheet essentially becomes a must-have.
It’s a bummer that these features aren’t included with any of the other Smartsheet packages. However, other project management tools on the market don’t tend to offer these, either. So you can usually expect to pay extra for resource management tools, regardless of the project management software you’re using.
Overall, we strongly recommend 10,000ft by Smartsheet if you’re using one of their project management tools—especially for businesses on the Enterprise and Advanced plans.
Reviews of the Best Project Management Software
Smartsheet is one of the most powerful spreadsheet-style tools for project management on the market today. It’s built for teams of all sizes and comes with plenty of capabilities. With that said, Smartsheet does have some limitations. Test it out with a 30-day free trial before you commit. This will help you decide if Smartsheet is right for your needs.
Check out our top picks of the best project management tools to see some popular Smartsheet alternatives. There, you’ll get a good sense of what else is on the market and how Smartsheet compares with other popular options.
What is better than Smartsheet? ›
- Microsoft Project Online.
- Planview AdaptiveWork.
- Zoho Projects.
- Clarity PPM.
- ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management.
Smartsheet has flexible views to display data including grid, card (Kanban), Gantt, and calendar, empowering teams to work together with agility, speed, and accountability. Excel is limited to a grid view, which makes it difficult to plan, track, and report on key workflows.What's so great about Smartsheet? ›
Smartsheet is the only platform that can scale from a single project to end-to-end work management, connecting business on a no-code, cloud-based platform where anyone can create the solution they need — backed by the control and security IT requires.Does Microsoft have something like Smartsheet? ›
MS Project is a strong Smartsheet alternative thanks to its project planning capabilities. But these features are general, and the tool doesn't offer many industry-specific solutions. That means a construction team or software team might find it lacking in their specific planning and reporting needs.
Smartsheet Inc (NYSE:SMAR)
The company was founded by W. Eric Browne, Maria Colacurcio, John D. Creason, and Brent R. Frei in 2005 and is headquartered in Bellevue, WA.
Other important factors to consider when researching alternatives to Smartsheet include user interface and tasks. We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Smartsheet, including ClickUp, Asana, Wrike, and monday.com.What is Google's equivalent to Smartsheets? ›
One of the more simple Smartsheet alternatives is Google Sheets. It's a free spreadsheet tool by Google with various uses such as data management and even project management. Google Sheets was built with the same concept as Excel, but it's simpler and has a cleaner interface.How many companies use Smartsheet? ›
Who uses Smartsheet?
|Company||The North Face, Inc.|
Smartsheet and Excel are powerful tools in their own rights, but they have different primary functions. If you're looking for a project management tool, then Smartsheet will likely be more useful than Excel. However, start with Excel if you need a powerful data visualization and analysis tool.What is the most powerful spreadsheet program? ›
Microsoft makes sure to bring the best out of a spreadsheet program. When I say Excel is the most powerful of all – I mean it. Excel can process up to 10,48,576 rows and 16,384 columns in a single sheet. That makes 17,179,869,184 cells!
Can Excel pull data from Smartsheet? ›
The Smartsheet Live Data Connector provides industry-standard connectivity via ODBC to the third-party apps you use most, such as Tableau, Excel, QlikView / Qlik Sense, Tibco Spotfire, and more. This allows you to deliver powerful data visibility and insights with your Smartsheet data via the tools you already use.What is the best way to learn Smartsheet? ›
The Smartsheet Learning Center is a free resource accessible to anyone interested in learning about Smartsheet features and how they work. With written and video resources available for you on-demand, this is your best resource for getting quick answers on how to use new and existing capabilities and resources.How many people use Smartsheet? ›
Smartsheet ended the year with 1,100 employees, having added roughly 300 over the course of FY 2019; it has over four million users and over 800,000 paid license users. The company is now present in 75% of the Fortune 500.How is Smartsheet different from Google Sheets? ›
Google Sheets is the spreadsheet app available on Google Workspace, or standalone, with a free plan for personal use and accessible via mobile apps for iOS and Android. Smartsheet is an online project management and collaboration tool.Is Smartsheet better than SharePoint? ›
Reviewers felt that Smartsheet meets the needs of their business better than Microsoft SharePoint. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Smartsheet is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Smartsheet over Microsoft SharePoint.Is Monday com better than Smartsheet? ›
monday.com is better for project management than Smartsheet, although both services are great. With monday.com, you will find more features, slightly more customer support options, and plans that start at $6 per user, per month, which is a full dollar less costly than Smartsheet's starting price.Does Google have a Smartsheet? ›
Smartsheet allows you to collaboratively collect and track lists, names, addresses, and other information. Smartsheet Merge gives you the power to quickly merge that data into a custom Google Doc template to create multiple Google documents or PDFs.Is Smartsheet blocked in China? ›
@youngdonkey Smartsheet is not blocked in China, we are using it daily, only affect with Chinese users who want to reset their password or back to company account login.How does Smartsheet make money? ›
The company makes the bulk of its money from subscriptions, which involves individuals or enterprise customers playing annual fees to access the service. "Subscription revenue primarily consists of fees from customers for access to our cloud-based platform.How much cash does Smartsheet have? ›
Compare SMAR With Other Stocks.
|Smartsheet Annual Cash on Hand (Millions of US $)|
Is Smartsheet better than trello? ›
Trello head-to-head feature comparison. Smartsheet is an online work execution platform that outperforms Trello in scalability, reporting, support, and security. With its familiar spreadsheet-like interface and flexible views, Smartsheet enables you to better track, manage, and collaborate on projects of all sizes.Why use Smartsheets over Google Sheets? ›
As a paid tool, Smartsheet offers more advanced features and capabilities such as workflow automation, Gantt view, and powerful integrations. Additionally, Smartsheet has more robust security and data management features, while Google Sheets is more focused on basic spreadsheet functionality.Is Google Smartsheet free? ›
Smartsheet is the platform for dynamic work, allowing teams to collaborate together in real-time from a single source of truth. As a free user, you can view, edit, and update work that has been shared with you. However, you cannot create new work in Smartsheet without a license.Can Google Sheets pull data from Smartsheet? ›
Integrations and Add-ons
TIP: You can also import data from or or export data to Google Sheets. For more information, see Import Files to Create New Sheets or Export a Sheet or Report.
Smartsheet is much easier to use for Project Managemen than the classic Microsoft Project software I was originally trained on. It allows people to manage work with the intelligence of a project scheduling tool, but with an easy to understand and use spreadsheet interface.How long has Smartsheets been around? ›
Our story. Since our founding in 2005, Smartsheet has enabled individuals and teams to become high achievers.Is Smartsheet part of Microsoft teams? ›
With the Smartsheet for Microsoft Teams integration enabled, Smartsheet and Teams customers can add Smartsheet sheets, dashboards, and reports as 'Tabs' within a Team channel, helping their teams bring conversations together with a current view of projects, while providing a central location where teams can work more ...Is Excel becoming obsolete? ›
Excel isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, it has become more important than ever, as it is now central to the workflow for many and used alongside other data tools such as Power BI and Tableau, and ERP systems such as SAP and Salesforce.Should I learn Smartsheet? ›
Smartsheet's flexibility makes it powerful project management tool for teams in marketing, IT, business operations and many others. While fairly intuitive to set up and use, project managers can get the most value from Smartsheet by investing time in training and tutorials.How long is Smartsheet free? ›
Before purchasing a subscription to Smartsheet, you can start a free 30-day trial to see if the application is a good fit for you.
Does Warren Buffett use spreadsheets? ›
Each investor is looking for stocks or assets that are clearly undervalued. They want to avoid assets that require large amounts of mathematical aptitude to understand. Buffett, in particular, has a desire to avoid situations that require a detailed spreadsheet to analyze. In some respects, this is an edge in itself.What is the easiest spreadsheet program? ›
Online LibreOffice Calc or Apache OpenOffice Calc. may be all you need if you need a basic spreadsheet for simple data entry and calculations. If you need more advanced features, such as pivot tables or macros, you may want to consider Microsoft Excel.Is there a better program than Excel? ›
LibreOffice is an open source Excel alternative that has been derived from the original Openoffice.org, just like Apache Open Office. And it's not just Excel, LibreOffice is an alternative to the whole Microsoft Office application.
Use a VLOOKUP formula to automatically bring in associated content based on criteria in your sheet. For example, bring in someone's role using their name as the criteria. You can use VLOOKUP to look up a value from a table in another sheet.Can Smartsheet be used as a database? ›
All in all, both Airtable and Smartsheet are fantastic spreadsheet-database tools. They're both great platforms for storing and organizing information, helping teams collaborate more effectively, streamlining workflows and internal processes, and saving lots of time, energy, and manual work along the way.Does Smartsheet have analytics? ›
Visual project dashboards
Real-time analytics help you accurately visualize performance across the project portfolio, identify potential red flags early on, and address conflicts before they become actual issues.
In regards to languages, you can use C#, Java, Node. js, Python, and Ruby with the Smartsheet API. Here's the Smartsheet API 2.0 Documentation, and the Developers Portal.How do people use Smartsheet? ›
The Smartsheet platform allows you to collaborate, manage, and report on work in real time, automate workflows, and deploy new processes at scale. Smartsheet is more than a productivity or task app, it's the end-to-end work execution platform with the proven power to help your organization achieve more.Is it hard to get job at Smartsheet? ›
Is it hard to get hired at Smartsheet? Glassdoor users rated their interview experience at Smartsheet as 45.0% positive with a difficulty rating score of 2.92 out of 5 (where 5 is the highest level of difficulty).Can two people work in Smartsheet at the same time? ›
When multiple people are working on the same sheet, you'll always be aware. Here's what you'll see in Smartsheet so that you know who you're working with and whether they've made changes: Active Faces (next to the Sharing button).
Do companies prefer Excel or Google Sheets? ›
Compared to Google sheets, Excel is a not favorable application for collaboration. Google sheets are the preferred application for collaboration. Excel is a superior product in the case of statistical analysis and visualization. If you want to perform any analysis, you have to do it manually.Does Smartsheet allow tabs like Excel? ›
With the Smartsheet for Microsoft Teams integration enabled, Smartsheet and Teams customers can add Smartsheet sheets, dashboards, and reports as 'Tabs' within a Team channel, helping their teams bring conversations together with a current view of projects, while providing a central location where teams can work more ...Is Smartsheet a US company? ›
Smartsheet Inc. is an American publicly-listed company that develops and markets the Smartsheet application. As of 2022, it had over 2,600 employees, and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington The company was founded in the summer of 2005, shortly after co-founder Brent Frei sold his prior company, Onyx Software.What are the 5 disadvantages of spreadsheet? ›
- Lack of collaboration. ...
- Vulnerable to costly human errors. ...
- Manual process. ...
- Unable to make quick decisions about your deals. ...
- Lack of version control. ...
- Dependant on one person. ...
- Unfit for remote working. ...
- Time consuming.
If you're experiencing issues with a specific sheet not loading or saving as expected, Smartsheet may be timing out because it's processing significant amounts of data. This behavior most commonly occurs in the following situations: The sheet is approaching Smartsheet size limits.Is Smartsheet hard to use? ›
Smartsheet is much easier to use for Project Managemen than the classic Microsoft Project software I was originally trained on. It allows people to manage work with the intelligence of a project scheduling tool, but with an easy to understand and use spreadsheet interface.What is better than a spreadsheet? ›
One of the best Excel alternatives that you can find right now in the market is Apache OpenOffice. It is a free and open-source suite of different tools and software that assist different businesses, professionals, and companies in their daily activities.
The most powerful feature of a spreadsheet is that it automatically recalculates the result of mathematical formulas if the source data changes.Why is Smartsheet better than Google Sheets? ›
Smartsheet is a project management and collaboration tool at its core, while Google Sheets is a spreadsheet app much like Microsoft Excel. The answer is yes, Smartsheet is better — but only if you're looking for a project/task management and collaboration tool.Why do people use Smartsheet? ›
Smartsheet lets you plan, track, automate, and report on projects, with everything you need in one place. Everyone involved can see exactly what needs to be done to keep a project on track. And with an overview of all projects, you can instantly see the health of your business and reliably predict results.
When should you not use a spreadsheet? ›
- Time and labor. Even with formulas, spreadsheets take a process and a keen eye to manage. ...
- Critical errors. Spreadsheets have a strong tendency to allow accounting errors. ...
- No automation. ...
- Security flaws. ...
- Compliance complications.
- Lack of storage space. Paper documents can take up a significant amount of space, and the quantity of paper will increase day by day. ...
- Security issues. ...
- Prone to damage. ...
- Document transportation. ...
- Editing problems. ...
- High costs. ...
- Limit communication and collaboration.
- Advantage: Organizing Data. ...
- Disadvantage: User Bias. ...
- Advantage: Streamlines Calculations. ...
- Disadvantage: Learning the Syntax Takes Skill. ...
- Advantage: Multiple User Access. ...
- Disadvantage: Lack of Security.
Other important factors to consider when researching alternatives to Smartsheet include user interface and tasks. We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Smartsheet, including ClickUp, Asana, Wrike, and monday.com.How long does it take to complete the Smartsheet certification? ›
It is expected to take two to four hours to complete. The exam is open book, meaning users can access the Help Center and Community while taking the test for additional information. Solution Certification is a four-hour timed exam where a user will create a solution from given base sheets that we provide.Can Smartsheet pull data from Excel? ›
PLANS. For more information about plan types and included capabilities, see the Smartsheet Plans page. You can import an existing Microsoft Excel file, Microsoft Project project, Google Spreadsheet, or Atlassian Trello board to create a new sheet in Smartsheet. Import will always create a new sheet.