Is Smartsheet the right tool for you?
We’ll help you determine that in this in-depth review.
Read on for a comprehensive Smartsheet review to help you decide if it suits your project needs or not. We’ll also give you five great Smartsheet alternatives in case it doesn’t meet your requirements.
This Smartsheet Review Contains:
(Click on the links to jump to a particular section)
- What Is Smartsheet?
- Key Smartsheet Features
- Smartsheet’s 4 Serious Drawbacks
- 5 Great Smartsheet Alternatives
(includes key features, pros and cons, pricing, and user ratings)
Let’s begin our Smartsheet review!
What Is Smartsheet?
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management software that helps you manage, track, and plan multiple projects in real-time. It offers you tons of features such as project reporting and tracking timelines to help you stay on top of your project developments.
Key Smartsheet features
Most Smartsheet reviews are incomplete without an overview of Smartsheet’s essential features.
So, here are a few Smartsheet features that facilitate effective project management:
1. Organization and collaboration
Smartsheet helps your team collaborate effortlessly with its advanced organizational capabilities. Each file, note, and task is stored in one centralized location, making it easy for Smartsheet users to keep up with project developments.
A Smartsheet user can easily access this information and collaborate with other assignees to get their work done in no time. This collaboration platform also allows assignees to share PDFs, presentations, and images to make collaboration easier.
2. Reporting and analytics
The Smartsheet software comes with powerful Smartsheet forms and reports to monitor project developments. Every report gives you a snapshot of your current project status and how things are progressing.
As each report condenses tons of data into understandable bite-sized chunks, you won’t have to conduct too many project update meetings. See which task is due soon, what tasks are unassigned, and where you’re falling behind in the process.
3. Powerful automation
Smartsheet can automate workflows to minimize project hiccups.
For example, set up an automated workflow to trigger reminders whenever you complete a project stage. This will automatically inform your team that they have to work on the next phase of a project.
Not only does this save you tons of time, but it also guards against employee oversight. As the tool automatically starts the process, there’s less scope for human error.
A Smartsheet user won’t have to worry about their data security. The tool employs state-of-the-art data protection to always keep your work private.
With features like single sign-on and two-factor authentication, you’ll have everything you need to prevent security breaches.
This spreadsheet app even lets you customize the access rights of collaborators to ensure that only the right people access the right sections of your workplace.
Smartsheet has seamless integrations with various apps, like file sharing and social networking, to boost your workflow management capabilities.
Some of its popular integrations include:
- Microsoft Office apps like Microsoft Excel
- A Google app like Google Docs and Google Drive
- Salesforce CRM
- Appsheet app
If that wasn’t enough, you can add your own integration to the Smartsheet software using its Open API.
4 Serious Drawbacks Of Smartsheet
All the best Smartsheet reviews thoroughly analyze Smartsheet’s drawbacks, which is precisely what we’ll be doing here.
While the Smartsheet software is a capable project management solution, it’s far from perfect. Here are a few major drawbacks you’ll face if you have a Smartsheet account:
1. Not user-friendly
Smartsheet is sorta like a colorful Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet.
And that’s where the problem starts!
Smartsheet’s spreadsheet-based interface makes it incredibly confusing to work with. As all your data is charted out across detail-heavy multiple sheets, taking stock of things can be difficult.
There’s no easy way to skim through data instantly to identify any changes or updates. You’re forced to carefully go through rows and columns in multiple sheets to determine what’s going on.
Come on, do you really want to wrap your head around this?
Or would you rather work with an alternative like ClickUp with this view?
2. Can’t streamline work execution
As the Smartsheet app doesn’t come with a dedicated activity log like other task management tools, you’ll find it hard to keep up with project updates and deliverables. There’s no way to instantly identify if someone has made a comment or needs your help.
As everything is spreadsheet-based, you’ll have to be persistent and rely on conditional formatting to get anything done!
3. Limited calendar view
While Smartsheet’s calendar view adds some scheduling functionality, it’s very limited. It can only display a certain number of tasks/events at a particular time. This forces you to open multiple sheets or tabs to get a big-picture view of your upcoming schedule.
4. Smartsheet pricing
Even though the Smartsheet app comes with a 30-day free trial with no credit card required, the Smartsheet pricing options aren’t very attractive.
Smartsheet pricing plans start with a basic individual plan at $14/month, while their basic business app plan starts at $25/month per user. The Smartsheet cost also goes up when you opt for advanced versions of these plans.
This makes the Smartsheet pricing structure costly for both individuals and larger organizations. After all, there are way better tools for free!
5 Great Smartsheet Alternatives
Here are five powerful Smartsheet alternatives that have all the features you need to fulfill your project management requirements:
ClickUp is the world’s leading project management software.
Used by 100,000+ teams from a small business like startups to giants like Google, Airbnb, and Nike, this powerful tool is one of the highest-rated tools on the market today.
With ClickUp’s productivity and collaboration features, you’ll have everything you need to manage your projects effectively:
(click on the links for a more detailed look at each one)
- Collaboration Detection: work together with your remote workers or in-house team in real-time
- Docs: create a detailed knowledge base for your organization
- Reports: get an in-depth look at how your company and team is doing
- Native Time Tracking: monitor your virtual employee’s work and boost their productivity
- Dependencies: a great feature that helps your team attempt tasks in the right order
- Priorities: prioritize tasks based on their urgency
- Lists: create task lists for better project management
- Powerful iOS and Android mobile apps: stay productive on the move with ClickUp’s robust mobile app
Here’s a closer look at some of the features that make ClickUp the perfect Smartsheet alternative:
Your project management tool needs to adapt to your team’s preferences, not the other way around.
Different divisions in your company may prefer different kinds of tools. For example, your software development team may want an Agile interface, while your marketing team may want a checklist-based tool.
With ClickUp, you won’t have to use different tools for multiple projects or divisions.
This project management solution adapts to your needs to give you Multiple Views to keep your teams satisfied.
Here’s a closer look at these views:
1) Required Task Views
ClickUp gives you two required task views to handle two common task management approaches:
This is a great view for employees who like viewing their projects and tasks in a GTD-style to-do list. If you want to work with a checklist, this is the view for you.
2) Box view
ClickUp’s Box view was built for project managers.
It gives them a high-level overview of what’s going on in their organization. As tasks are sorted by assignee, managers can keep track of everyone’s tasks and assignments easily.
Unlike the Smartsheet app (which forces you to dig deep to find out what’s going on), ClickUp gives you all the information you need in seconds!
ClickUp’s Calendar view blows Smartsheet out of the water. It’s incredibly useful for project planning, scheduling, and managing your resources in seconds.
For added customizability, the software lets you customize how you view your calendar. Toggle between:
- Days: this shows you all the scheduled tasks on a given date
- 4-Days: view all the tasks scheduled over a rolling four day period
- Week: view your weekly schedule and move tasks around as needed
- Monthly: take a birds-eye view of your company and its monthly activities
This way, no matter what your project planning or resource management requirements are, ClickUp can handle it. You’re not forced to compromise and settle for a confusing calendar spread out over multiple tabs!
4) Me Mode
ClickUp’s Me Mode is the best way to stay focused on your assigned tasks and deliverables. This great feature only shows tasks assigned to you, creating the perfect focus mode.
With it, you won’t be distracted by other people’s tasks and projects ever again!
You can also choose to view tasks where you have:
- Assigned comments
- Assigned subtasks
- Assigned checklist items
Do people forget to take action on comments?
ClickUp’s Assigned Comments feature is the perfect way to notify a team member of something important instantly. It lets you convert a comment into a task and quickly assign it to someone (or even yourself).
ClickUp notifies them of this, and they can even mark the task as resolved when they’re finished. This feature alone makes ClickUp the best Smartsheet and Airtable alternative!
C) Gantt Chart
Tracking your project’s progress in Smartsheet isn’t easy.
However, in ClickUp, it’s a piece of cake.
ClickUp comes with in-built Gantt Charts for powerful visual overviews of your project timelines. All it takes is a quick glance at your Gantt chart to determine if your project is on track or not. In case it isn’t, you can quickly make scheduling changes to get things back in shape.
ClickUp’s Gantt Charts feature can also automate tons of processes:
- The Gantt chart can automatically readjust task dependencies when you make scheduling changes
- It can calculate your project’s progress percentage based on completed tasks/total tasks
- The Gantt chart can compare your current progress vs. your expected progress
- It can calculate your critical path to determine the most important tasks for a project’s completion
Most work management apps only allow internal team members into your project spaces for security reasons.
If only team members have access, you’re limiting your chances of a data security breach, right?
But what if you want to include external collaborators in your project planning session?
What do you do then?
Do you risk your privacy or leave them out?
With ClickUp, you won’t have to choose.
This collaboration tool gives you Customizable Access Rights to include clients and freelancers in your projects. You can customize their access level, like only giving them view access or allowing them to edit projects as well.
To protect your company’s privacy, collaborators only have access to the project you’ve added them to; they won’t be able to access anything else on your tool.
Most project management apps give you a standard set of statuses for multiple projects.
However, is it really possible for your content projects to have the same statuses as your web development projects?
That’s why ClickUp gives you fully Customizable Statuses for all your projects.
You get to customize each project’s status to accurately reflect the stage it’s in. You’re no longer limited to a generic project status like “Open,” “In Progress”, or “Closed”. Instead, get as detailed as you want!
With these detailed statuses, your team will have no difficulty identifying what stage a project is in and carrying on with their work.
Wish you could keep track of everything assigned to you in one, simple space?
ClickUp’s Inbox is your go-to place to track your tasks, reminders, and notifications. It consolidates your past, current, and future work into one easily accessible tab.
As everything assigned to you is stored here, you won’t be confused about your duties.
So the next time someone asks you if you know what to do, glance at your Inbox and say:
With ClickUp’s Profiles feature, managers can keep track of what their team has on their plate.
They can view:
- The tasks they’ve finished
- The tasks they’re working on
- The tasks they’re scheduled to work on
A leadership team or manager can even reschedule their team member’s tasks and deliverables from their profiles. It’s a super-easy way for them to manage their team’s workload and stay in the loop.
- Intuitive interface to help maximize productivity and ease of use
- Customize your dashboard with various analytics and graphs like Velocity, Cumulative Flow, Burnup, and Burndown charts
- Excellent support for any Agile or Scrum workflow
- Can collaborate with virtual team members in real-time
- ClickUp’s Docs is a great feature for creating a project plan and other documents
- 50+ preset Automations to automate repetitive tasks in your workflow
- Powerful progress tracking features
- Create beautiful web forms with the Form view
- Can create a work template for quicker work execution
- Native time tracking helps track the time your projects and tasks take
- Visualize your Agile team’s activity log during each day with the Pulse feature
- Powerful integrations with apps like Salesforce, Google Sheet, Slack, and Dropbox
- Feature-rich free version
- Round the clock customer support
- No white labeling support
- Can’t export a dashboard
- We can’t think of anything else. But feel free to sign up for the free version and tell us what you don’t like! We like nothing better than feedback!
Check out ClickUp’s product roadmap here to see what’s in store.
ClickUp has three pricing options.
- Free Forever: unlimited projects and members + 100MB of cloud storage space
- Unlimited ($5/month per user): unlimited projects and members + unlimited number of integrations + advanced reporting
- Business ($9/month per user): unlimited projects and members + two-factor authentication + Google single sign-on
- G2: 4.7/5 (1,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)
Asana is a popular project management and collaboration tool that’s used extensively today. With a friendly user-interface and tons of integrations, Asana is one of the best Smartsheet alternatives.
- Powerful visual project overviews
- Tons of integrations with file sharing and social networking apps
- Allows you to share files for better task collaboration
- Can create custom reports using a Google spreadsheet
- Drag and drop functionality
- Integrates with Salesforce
- Can collaborate with team members in real-time
- The platform has good dependency management
- Can’t assign comments
- Can’t customize project status
- No built-in time tracking functionality
- Limited free version
- Can’t add multiple assignees to a task
The Asana platform has four options to choose from:
- A basic free variant
- A Premium plan ($10.99/month per user) for smaller teams
- A Business app ($24.99/month per user) for loads of features
- An Enterprise plan (price on request)
- G2: 4.3/5 (6500+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (8000+ reviews)
Here’s a closer look at why this cloud-based application is a great Smartsheet alternative:
- Convenient drag-and-drop interface
- Can create highly customizable “cards” for projects
- Tons of power-ups for added functionality
- Simple collaboration structure
- Powerful mobile app for iOS and Android devices
- Good collaboration features
- Simple learning curve
- Doesn’t support complex task management
- No reporting capabilities
- Only one type of view: board
- Can’t add multiple assignees to a project
The Trello platform has three options:
- A Free plan for small teams
- A Business plan($9.99/month per user) for large teams
- An Enterprise plan ($17.50/month per user) for larger teams
- G2: 4.3/5 (10000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (10000+ reviews)
Wrike is another powerful project management software. Its enterprise-level features have made it a popular choice among project managers worldwide.
Here’s why it’s a good Smartsheet alternative:
- Enterprise-level project management capabilities
- Powerful analytics to report on projects
- Real-time data collaboration
- Unique three-pane dashboard
- In-built time tracking
- Tons of integrations with file sharing and social networking apps
- Good customer support
- The user interface is complicated with a steep learning curve
- The mobile app lacks the functionality of the desktop version
- Cannot assign comments to team members
Wrike has three variants to choose from:
- Free: for teams of up to five members
- Professional variant ($9.80/month per user): for organizations up to 15 members
- Business app ($24.80/month per user): for organizations up to 200 members with advanced features
Wrike also offers you a limited free trial for their Professional variant with no credit card required.
- G2: 4.2/5 (1000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.2/5 (1500+ reviews)
Workzone is a popular project management tool that’s been around since 2000. Its simple project management capabilities make it a great Smartsheet alternative.
- Simple process management capabilities
- User-friendly UI
- Good collaboration features
- Powerful reporting
- Simple learning curve for new users
- Software with tons of customizability
- Good customer support
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android need work
- Limited project views
- Can’t assign comments
- This app has no free version
Workzone has three different account types:
- Team plan ($24/month per user): for 100GB of cloud storage for uploads
- Professional plan ($34/month per user): for 150GB of cloud storage for uploads + additional features
- Enterprise plan ($43/month per user): for 200GB of cloud storage + single-sign-on and API Access
Workzone offers you a 14-day free trial with no credit card needed.
- G2: 4.3/5 (30+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (120+ reviews)
Smartsheet certainly ticks off some boxes, but it isn’t an all-in-one project management solution for your company.
With its confusing spreadsheet format and costly Smartsheet pricing plan, it definitely isn’t the best tool available today.
And while you have other options, ClickUp is clearly the best project management and collaboration platform for your company.
From creating a project plan to analyzing team performance with a real-time activity log, ClickUp offers a wide variety of amazing features that suit varying project needs.
So why not sign up for the free version today and experience it yourself?
In the meantime, check out these handy tips and tricks to maximize productivity immediately.