Trello vs. Smartsheet Comparison - 2023 (2023)

Trello and Smartsheet are two widely-used project management tools that enable users to organize, plan and collaborate on projects with teams or individuals. Freelancers, small businesses, and enterprise teams all use project management software like Trello or Smartsheet to keep track of tasks, assign responsibilities, and measure progress within their businesses. Both platforms can also be used for non-business tasks, including family event planning, budgeting, daily scheduling, and home improvement projects.

Trello is a Kanban-style project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help users organize tasks. It’s ideal for managing the smaller projects associated with agile methodologies. Trello has several features, such as pre-built templates, team collaboration tools, custom boards, and more, making collaborating easier on projects. You can get started with Trello for free today.

Smartsheet is a flexible cloud-based spreadsheet project management tool. It has a more traditional approach to task and project management, creating sheets and rows that help users track their tasks and resources. Smartsheet is great for larger projects with multiple teams or stakeholders involved. It also has advanced automated workflows, which allow users to create custom rules for their tasks. Right now, you can try Smartsheet free of charge.

Trello vs. Smartsheet Comparison - 2023 (1)

Trello and Smartsheet Compared to the Best Project Management Software

After carefully researching and testing numerous different tools, we narrowed it down to the six best project management tools. Both Trello and Smartsheet made our top list, but others out there may be better suited for your exact needs. is the best project management software for most. It’s free and easy for individuals to use, and it has powerful AI, automation, and customizability features for large teams. You can sign up with for free today.

ClickUp is the best remote work platform. Its straightforward interface makes it easy for teams to collaborate on projects from anywhere. You can start using ClickUp for free right now.

Teamwork is the best for client services businesses. Agencies, consultants, and freelancers alike use it to help manage their client’s projects. You can set up a Teamwork account for free anytime.

(Video) Top 7 Project Management Tools In 2023 - Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs Clickup vs Smartsheet!

Trello Compared to Smartsheet

Trello and Smartsheet are both solid project management tools, and each does its job well and can be used for various projects. The key difference between the two is that Trello follows a Kanban-style approach, while Smartsheet relies on spreadsheets to organize tasks and resources. Trello is better for small projects and agile methodologies, while Smartsheet is best for larger teams and complex workflows.

Trello Highlights

Trello is well-known for its ease of use, which makes it great for many small businesses and freelancers. Users can manage teams and track task progress through movable and customizable cards, boards, and lists. Using Trello’s pre-built templates, you can quickly set up a project and collaborate with team members or clients.

Even without Trello’s pre-built templates, users can easily create and customize their own boards to fit their needs. Trello also offers team collaboration tools, such as comments and file sharing, which make it easy for groups to work together on projects.

Trello’s free plan is one of the best on the market, but its paid plans give even more visualization options. Calendars, timelines, and advanced filters are available with the paid plans, as well as additional storage and security options.

Smartsheet Highlights

Smartsheet is popular for its spreadsheet-style approach to project management. The intuitive interface makes organizing tasks and resources easy, making it great for larger projects with multiple stakeholders or teams. Smartsheet also offers advanced automation capabilities so that users can create custom rules for their tasks and activities.

In addition to task tracking, Smartsheet has advanced Gantt chart capabilities, which give powerful visual insights into project progress. Smartsheet’s paid plans offer advanced reporting, business intelligence features, and larger file storage limits.

Companies that rely heavily on spreadsheets for their projects, budgeting, and forecasting will find Smartsheet to be the better choice. Since it consolidates all of their data into one easy-to-understand format, it makes making decisions and tracking progress much easier. And with automation and BI tools, spotting potential issues and taking corrective actions is easy.

(Video) Trello vs SmartSheet - Which One Is Better?

Trello vs. Smartsheet: Pros and Cons

Like any tool, neither Trello nor Smartsheet is perfect, and some businesses will prefer one over the other, while others may find a balance between the two. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when choosing between Trello and Smartsheet.

Where Trello Shines

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Good Visual Overview: Trello’s main strength is its Kanban-style boards, which give a clear visual overview of tasks and resources. Just about anyone can figure out how to use it, meaning you won’t have to spend valuable time and resources training staff. Without digging too much, management can also see progress at a glance.

Flexible Project Customization: Because Trello is so flexible, you can customize it for any type of project or team workflow. You can add images and files to tasks, tag members in comments, and assign tasks with ease. For example, a web development team can use Trello to organize tasks by user story and track progress as they go.

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Reliable Notifications: Trello’s in-app, desktop, mobile, and newsfeed notifications ensure everyone is in the loop. Users can customize notifications to focus on only the items and events that are important to them, making it easier to stay on top of tasks without being overwhelmed by unnecessary information. With a reliable notification system, Trello helps users ensure they never miss a deadline. And if your team uses Slack, you can even integrate your Trello boards with it and receive notifications there.

Straightforward Pricing: Trello’s free plan is enough for small projects and teams. For more advanced features, its paid plans are among the best in terms of value for money. Either way, the costs are easy to understand, meaning budgeting for the tool is painless.

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Intuitive Mobile App: Most project management tools offer mobile app support, but Trello takes it to the next level. Its app is well-designed and easy to use, so even those who are not tech-savvy can quickly get up and running on their phones. Its drag-and-drop features translate nicely to the mobile interface—moving cards around, tracking progress, and creating new items are easy from anywhere.

Where Trello Needs Improvement

No Task Dependencies: Trello doesn’t support task dependencies, which means that it’s not suitable for larger projects that involve a lot of planning and collaboration. You can use checklists and labels to indicate dependencies, but it’s not as intuitive or efficient as having an integrated feature.

(Video) Smartsheet vs Trello | Which one Is the Best?

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Confusing Comment Threads: With Trello, each comment is a standalone item, which makes it difficult to follow a full conversation thread. The lack of comment threads can be especially problematic for companies that rely heavily on them for communication. Without an easy-to-follow conversation flow, teams will have to spend more time finding the right information and getting up to speed with each task.

Limited Views: Some project management software offers multiple views of the same board, such as a list or timeline view. Trello has a few preset views, but the options are limited compared to other tools. Teams that need a higher degree of customizability will have to look elsewhere.

Lacks Budget Management and Client Portals: Trello is a great tool for collaborating on tasks and tracking progress, but it lacks features like budget management and client portals. Teams that need to bill clients or keep track of expenses can keep track of these things in Trello, but they will still need to manually input their data.

Where Smartsheet Shines

Permission-Based Team Collaboration: Smartsheet’s permission-based team collaboration makes it easy to assign tasks, share files, and create interactive checklists. You can also restrict access to specific sheets or rows of data, which is great for anyone who needs to secure sensitive information.

Ease of Adding Tasks and Dependencies: Smartsheet makes it easy to add tasks and dependencies right from the sheet. You can also view them in Gantt chart form for a more visual representation of how tasks are related. And if you’re using Smartsheet’s mobile app, you can even update progress on the go.

Simple Database and SaaS Integrations: Smartsheet’s database and SaaS integrations make it easy to import information or data from Salesforce, QuickBooks, and other popular business software. If your business relies heavily on these tools, Smartsheet can help you combine all the data in one convenient place.

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Custom Reporting: Smartsheet’s reporting features make it easy to generate custom reports that can be published in PDF or Excel format. This is great for keeping stakeholders informed, as well as tracking progress on a project over time and reporting profitability. You can also publish your content online and adjust the resources available based on who’s viewing it.

(Video) Monday vs Smartsheet (Better PM tool in 2023?)

Concept Familiarity: Since Smartsheet is built on a spreadsheet-like interface, it’s easy to learn and use for most people. Utilizing a tool that is already familiar to the team saves organizations time and effort in onboarding new employees. It enables them to start working from day one without going through training or orientation sessions.

Where Smartsheet Needs Improvement

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Potentially Clunky User Interface: Although familiar, Smartsheet’s user interface needs improvement. In some ways, it feels like a clone of Microsoft Office, making it hard for some organizations to justify the additional cost. Spreadsheets also tend to be clunky, which can make it difficult to navigate quickly compared to other drag-and-drop applications. If you find spreadsheets unsettling, Smartsheet is not for you.

Limited Native Integrations: Its supported integrations are helpful, but there aren’t many of them. Smartsheet users can integrate anything using Zapier (a paid third-party tool), but it’s not a native feature. Paying more and spending time setting up integrations can be prohibitive in some cases.

No Free Plan: Smartsheet has a 14-day free trial, but there’s no option for a basic free plan. Especially compared to other project management tools on our top list, this could be seen as a drawback.

Add-Ons Required for Resource Management and Time Tracking: Resource management and time tracking are essential for companies that work with remote teams or bill clients hourly. Unfortunately, these features aren’t included in the basic plan and require additional add-ons.

The Last Word on Trello Compared to Smartsheet

Trello and Smartsheet are two of the most popular project management tools available today. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, so weighing your options carefully before deciding which one is right for your team is important.

Trello is great for tracking tasks and its user interface is intuitive and easy to use. It also offers a free plan, so it’s an ideal choice for smaller teams on a tight budget. Smartsheet resembles a spreadsheet more than a traditional project management tool, meaning it’s a familiar option for many teams. However, most project management tools were developed specifically to get away from spreadsheets, and as a result, Smartsheet can be clunky and slow to use.

(Video) Free Trello Vs Paid Trello | Project Management Software Plan Comparison (2023)

Both Trello and Smartsheet are solid choices for individuals, but larger businesses with multiple complex tasks and operations need to consider the number of integrations and customizable features when choosing a tool. To learn more about other project management tools available, check out our comprehensive comparison guide.


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 is Trello so popular? ›

Why is Trello so popular? Trello is so popular because, unlike other productivity tools like Asana or Monday, Trello lets users visually organize all their tasks in a way that makes sense to them and is easy for others on the team to understand what exactly needs to be done.

Does Trello integrate with Smartsheet? ›

Smartsheet + Trello Integrations

Zapier lets you send info between Smartsheet and Trello automatically—no code required. Triggers when a new attachment is added to a row. automatically do this! Adds one or more attachments to a specific card.

Why is Asana better than Smartsheet? ›

In short, Smartsheet offers many of the same features as Asana and is indeed a powerful application. However, Asana provides a better user interface, more robust project management features, and more accessible collaboration capabilities.

What are the limitations in Smartsheet? ›

Sheet maximums:

Rows: 20,000. Columns: 400. Cells: 500,000. Characters in a cell: 4,000.

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.

Do big companies use Trello? ›

3569 companies reportedly use Trello in their tech stacks, including Udemy, CRED, and StackShare.

What is the future of Trello? ›

Soon, Trello will adapt to fit any part of a project's life cycle. New ways of viewing information in Trello will empower teams to visualize work in different ways at different stages. Teams will get brand new perspectives on their work depending on how they choose to view information.

Can Smartsheet do kanban? ›

Smartsheet is an online work execution platform with a robust Kanban view that enables project managers to easily visualize and collaborate on workflows.

Can Smartsheet be used for project management? ›

Regardless of the size or complexity of your project, Smartsheet provides a real-time view of tasks across entire projects. That's why companies around the world rely on Smartsheet as their project management tool.

Does Trello have a spreadsheet view? ›

The SpreadsheetWeb Power-Up for Trello brings real-time spreadsheet calculations to your Trello cards. Use card data to trigger spreadsheet calculations. Populate custom fields in your card with calculation results. Over 450 Excel formulas supported.

Who is Smartsheet competition? ›

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

What is better than Smartsheet? ›

Top Smartsheet Alternatives
  • Microsoft Project Online.
  • Wrike.
  • Planview AdaptiveWork.
  • Zoho Projects.
  • Clarity PPM.
  • Workfront.
  • ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management.

Do people like Smartsheet? ›

A User-Friendly and Effective Project Management Tool

Overall, my experience with Smartsheet has been very positive. It is a user-friendly and effective tool for project management and collaboration, and I would recommend it to others.

Why is Smartsheet slow? ›

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.

What can Smartsheet do that Excel can t? ›

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.

How many companies use Smartsheet? ›

The companies using Smartsheet are most often found in United States and in the Information Technology and Services industry. Smartsheet is most often used by companies with 50-200 employees and 1M-10M dollars in revenue.
Who uses Smartsheet?
CompanyThe North Face, Inc.
Company Size>10000
27 more rows

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.

Does Microsoft use Smartsheet? ›

Smartsheet seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office 365. This is a great example of how (the) interoperability of ... Smartsheet and Microsoft reduces complexity and helps our joint customers work smarter.

Which company uses Smartsheet? ›

Companies using SmartSheet for Collaboration include: Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a Netherlands based Automotive organisation with 281595 employees and revenues of $169.95 billion, The Home Depot, a United States based Retail organisation with 490600 employees and revenues of $151.16 billion, ...

Are there issues with Trello? ›

Trello is currently experiencing partial slowness and unavailability to execute card changes across multiple boards within Trello.

Is Trello good for managing multiple projects? ›

Trello is an intuitive way to organize tasks and manage your projects—regardless of how many you're working on at one time. Using Trello, you can: Add relevant resources (like attachments, conversations, and more) to cards. Centralize comments, status updates, and all project conversations on cards.

What is Trello competitor? ›

Top 10 Alternatives to Trello

Smartsheet. Asana. ClickUp. Basecamp.

Is Trello owned by Google? ›

Trello is a web-based, kanban-style, list-making application and is developed by Trello Enterprise, a subsidiary of Atlassian. Created in 2011 by Fog Creek Software, it was spun out to form the basis of a separate company in New York City in 2014 and sold to Atlassian in January 2017.

Is Trello the best project management tool? ›

Trello is considered to be one of the most powerful project management tools that are used for an individual as well as group Project Management. Its salient features such as boards, cards, and power-ups help one to organize, administer, and integrate the project.

Who are the target customers of Trello? ›

Trello is used by Freelancers, Small Startups, and Small Businesses that only utilize kanban and do not require strong project management capabilities. It can support the needs of small engineering teams as well.

Is Trello discontinued? ›

Trello itself is here to stay, but you might want to check the exact wording in your notification!

Is Trello a security risk? ›

Trello provides a secure experience for customers by keeping their security systems up to date with the best practices. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an information security standard that organizations must adhere to when handling credit card and debit card information.

Do Trello boards expire? ›

How long before a Trello board invite link expires? They do expire. I've had it happen many times, and have has to update the links.

Why is Smartsheet good for project management? ›

Smartsheet powers a modern way of managing projects by focusing on the work people do – regardless of the type, methodology, or process. Support hybrid work using a flexible platform that drives better communication, collaboration, and processes that scale, all built to empower individuals and teams.

Can Smartsheet be used for agile? ›

Take Control of Your Agile Projects with Smartsheet

From simple task management and project planning to complex resource and portfolio management, Smartsheet helps you improve collaboration and increase work velocity -- empowering you to get more done.

How many workflows can you have in Smartsheet? ›

Each sheet can have up to 150 workflows. Each workflow can have up to 100 blocks. This includes the Trigger, Condition, and Action blocks.

Does Smartsheet do Gantt charts? ›

Gantt View is one of the four ways to view your sheet in Smartsheet and offers a visual timeline of your work. Gantt charts are a staple in traditional waterfall project management but can be used anytime you want a visual representation of your schedule and the relationships between tasks.

Can you create a workflow in Smartsheet? ›

With Smartsheet, you can quickly create workflows to automate the repetitive, manual tasks that dominate your day. Get started with guided workflow templates to quickly and easily set up your first automation to collect updates, track due dates, and more.

What is the Microsoft equivalent to Smartsheet? ›

Microsoft Project

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.

Does Trello have flow charts? ›

Track your work in progress over time

You can change the date range for your Cumulative Flow Diagram or switch lists on and off to focus on the information important to you. You can also install the Corrello Power-up to get your Cumulative Flow Diagrams displayed directly within Trello.

Can you add Excel in Trello? ›

Importing CSV, Excel and Google Sheets data to Trello

Excel files saved as XLSX can be opened and imported. To import from Google Sheets you will need to save your file as a CSV file from google sheets, which can then be opened and imported.

Can you pull reports from Trello? ›

With Blue Cat Reports you can pull any data you could reasonably want from Trello. There are no limitations on the Boards you select to report on. Reports can include Cards and Checklist Items from multiple Boards easily. Then configure the data you want to see from them.

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.

Does Google have something like Smartsheet? ›

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.

Who is Smartsheet owned by? ›

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.

How do you get the best out of Smartsheet? ›

10 tips and tricks to enhance your workflow in Resource Management by Smartsheet
  1. Save and share the schedule image from the Project Brief. ...
  2. Add hyperlinks in Project Description. ...
  3. Quickly sketch out new project phases and assignments. ...
  4. Add descriptions and tasks to Work Items. ...
  5. Add a Work Item without assigning a Person.

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.

What is Smartsheet not good for? ›

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.

Is it easy to use Smartsheet? ›

Increase Productivity Across Your Organization

Smartsheet is an easy-to-use, online task management software, that will enable your company to be more productive than ever.

Why did you choose Smartsheet over these alternative product? ›

Because of its flexibility, Smartsheet is great for marketing, IT, HR, and pretty much any business department. With Smartsheet, each project task is saved as a line in the spreadsheet, and you can build in due dates, add notes, attach images and documents, and construct a hierarchy of tasks.

Who should use Smartsheet? ›

Smartsheet project management software offers a range of benefits for large retail and FMCG companies, and IT PMO departments, who continually need to manage multiple projects.

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.

What can replace Trello with? ›

The Best Trello Alternatives of 2023
  • Best for Power Users: Airtable.
  • Best for Teams:
  • Best for Customization: ClickUp.
  • Best for Simple Projects: Todoist.
  • Best for Microsoft Users: Microsoft Planner.
  • Best for Ease of Use: Notion.
  • Best for Integrations: Confluence.
  • Best for Customer Support: Teamwork.
Jan 22, 2023

Is Smartsheet a kanban? ›

Smartsheet is an online work execution platform with a robust Kanban view that enables project managers to easily visualize and collaborate on workflows.

What does Smartsheet do that Excel Cannot? ›

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.

Does Microsoft have something like Smartsheet? ›

Microsoft Project

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.


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