Is it time for your team to move away from tracking tasks on paper or sticky notes? There’s a smorgasbord of project management tools to choose from, but Smartsheet and Jira are some of the most popular apps for large teams.
Both solutions streamline project planning and task management, but their setup and functionalities aren’t quite the same.
So, which option—Smartsheet vs. Jira—is best suited to your team’s work?
In this guide, we’ll look at what each project management software option brings to the table, their most compelling features, and how they stack up side by side. We’ll also share a not-so-secret tool for streamlining your team’s tasks, projects, chats, and templates in one place. ✨
- What Is Smartsheet?
- What Is Jira?
- Smartsheet vs. Jira: Features Compared
- Jira vs. Smartsheet on Reddit
- Meet ClickUp—the Best Alternative to Smartsheet vs. Jira
What Is Smartsheet?
Smartsheet is a versatile project management tool that combines the familiarity of Excel with the power of a SaaS project management (PM) platform. It might sound like a database or spreadsheet solution, but it’s actually an enterprise-level project management platform designed to scale.
This project management software supports real-time collaboration and an impressive array of dashboards, Gantt charts, automation features, and issue-tracking software to track tasks.
Smartsheet is very data-focused, so it’s ideal for teams that manage a lot of data. But even if that isn’t you, there’s a lot to love about this cloud-based PM tool.
1. Views, workflows, and dashboards—oh my!
Smartsheet comes with robust tools and templates for managing people, projects, resources, and big ideas in one place. Your projects display in grid view by default, but you’re free to switch over to Gantt chart, chart, or calendar views to take a look from another angle.
Smartsheet comes with custom forms for data collection that feed into your sheets in real-time, which is perfect if you’re a data-centered project manager.
In addition, the project management software allows for internal or external collaboration, so it’s a good fit for working side-by-side with clients, contractors, or external partners. The system also includes proofing tools that make creative reviews a cinch and time-tracking reports for invoicing or to better manage resources internally (or externally).
2. Project and portfolio management (PPM)
Smartsheet’s PPM setup supports planning, alignment, implementation, and scaling. It uses real-time data to spot inefficiencies in your team’s workflow and projects so you can reduce manual work and spend your energy on things that actually move the needle.
Not only that, but Smartsheet PPM helps you standardize and improve processes through real-time data triage, so if you’re obsessed with efficiency, this resource management feature is a must-have. It doesn’t hurt that Smartsheet also comes with both templated and customizable workflow automations out of the box.
Even if you’re tracking projects on paper right now, there’s a good chance your team already uses various tools. But there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater—just set up a Smartsheet integration with the tools your team is already using.
Smartsheet project management solutions integrates with plenty of other apps, including:
- Google Workspace
- Microsoft 365 and Teams
- Power BI
- Adobe Creative Cloud
If your team is always on the go, Smartsheet also has a mobile app for iOS and Android.
Oh, and if you need something more customized, Smartsheet allows you to build a totally personalized no-code app.📱
4. Approvals and asset storage
Smartsheet might seem like a data-centric platform (and it definitely is), but it also has features designed for marketers and creative teams. Build out your strategy in Smartsheet and align it with quantified metrics from your key performance indicators (KPIs) to see your big goals and real-time performance at once.
Budgets make marketing go ’round, so use Smartsheet to forecast schedules, resources, and more with real-time data.
There’s no need to flip between your project management software and cloud storage app, either. Smartsheet stores large assets in various formats, including 3D renderings and 8K videos.
Smartsheet’s ease of use makes it simple to upload, share, and collaborate on files with your team. The Smartsheet proofing tool keeps track of where your assets are and whether they’re approved yet—no more waiting in graphic design limbo.
5. Strategic transformation
Need to make some serious changes? Smartsheet has your back. Its strategic transformation setup supports complete company overhauls, from process management and intelligent workflows to data connectors and operational strategies.
- Pro: $7/month per user for up to 10 users, billed annually
- Business: $25/month per user for unlimited users, billed annually
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
What Is Jira?
Software juggernaut Atlassian owns Jira, one of the biggest project management tools for software development and agile teams. Unlike Smartsheet, which fits with almost any type of work, Jira is built for software development from the ground up.
If you’re leading a creative team, it probably doesn’t make sense to use Jira software, but if you’re in charge of a technical DevOps team, this is the clear winner in the showdown between Smartsheet vs Jira.
Jira might be more niche, but it’s also part of the Atlassian ecosystem. If you need additional functionalities or features, you can easily add on other products as needed, like Confluence or Open DevOps.
Jira is a shoo-in for development teams thanks to its agile-first setup, templates, drag-and-drop automation tools, and more.
1. Plan, track, release, and report in one place
Plug in your big, audacious goals to create user stories, track issues, and assign tasks to your team. Display your projects in timeline, board, or Gantt chart view for complete project visibility.
If you’re tracking different software versions, Jira logs all versions by start date, release date, and description. This is a lifesaver if you’re managing multiple releases at once and need a high-level view of each project’s status.
Craving a little more data? Pop over to Jira’s real-time data visualizations in timeline or Kanban board view. Out of the box, Jira comes with technical reports like sprint reports, burndown charts, and control charts. You can even pull reports by user and software version to see how efficiently your team works.
But hey, if you need something more customized, Jira gets it. It allows you to build a custom dashboard that only displays the most important data in one place. 📊
Jira has so many integrations that we can’t even list them all here. That’s because the integrations come through the impressively vast Atlassian marketplace. Find integrations from categories like customer relationship management, macros, email, monitoring, and more.
Popular integrations include Miro, Figma, and GitLab, so if you need to connect your PM solution with your technical tools, Jira is a great fit.
Jira automation handles many finicky tasks for you, like sending notifications or kicking off workflows.
No code is required: Choose from Jira’s premade automation triggers or customize one of your own. If you aren’t sure where to start, Jira will recommend triggers based on your account setup and history.
Its automations are great for building user workload reports for better resource management—so you can automatically assign or delegate work across the team. Your project planning efficiency can definitely improve when you automate workflows with its project management solutions.
Jira comes loaded with templates designed to get your projects up and going. Most of its templates are for work management, but Jira also offers templates for service management, software development, and even marketing and design.
There’s no need to design a project from scratch. Use a template to quickly set up projects in a Kanban board format or a Scrum board for DevOps issue tracking—the world is your oyster.
- Standard: $8.15/month per user for 10 users
- Premium: $16/month per user for 10 users
- Enterprise Plan: Contact for pricing
Smartsheet vs. Jira: Features Compared
Smartsheet and Jira have the firepower to handle projects for enterprises and small businesses. However, there are a lot of differences between these two platforms, and deciding on the right option ultimately comes down to your business’s needs.
1. Use case
Smartsheet claims it can work well for IT teams, but it wasn’t designed for development or IT like Jira was. Jira can work for nontechnical teams, but you won’t really get your money’s worth (and you’ll probably confuse the folks over in marketing with unnecessarily complicated project management solutions).
Smartsheet, however, works well for a wider variety of use cases. If you plan on switching your entire organization to a single project management solution, Smartsheet is more versatile and has a shorter learning curve.
Winner: Smartsheet for versatility; Jira for software teams
Need to save time? Both Jira and Smartsheet offer templates. Jira offers around 40 templates that focus mostly on project formatting. Smartsheet, on the other hand, offers templates in multiple languages and has over 190 templates in English for everything from pop quizzes to product roadmaps to email campaigns. It’s the better option if you want templates for various uses.
3. Automation and AI
Both Jira and Smartsheet come with drag-and-drop workflow automation tools. But in the face-off between Jira vs. Smartsheet, it remains to be seen which reigns supreme when it comes to AI.
Smartsheet is currently beta-testing AI for formula creation, chart creation, and a live AI assistant. It isn’t available to everyone right now, although they plan to release it soon.
Right now, Jira offers AI in the form of virtual agents to take the load off team members working in customer support roles. But there’s more to come: Sign up for the waitlist to be one of the first to test out its Atlassian Intelligence AI, which promises to generate content, take care of meeting notes and summaries, and answer all your questions about a project.
Winner: Too soon to tell
4. Digital asset management
Digital asset management (DAM) is a must-have for keeping your organization’s files in one tidy, organized digital space. Unfortunately, Jira doesn’t offer DAM at all—you have to get another Atlassian product, Brandfolder, for this.
Smartsheet does offer DAM, which makes it a cinch to organize, secure, and share documents either internally or with external partners. Don’t worry; it also comes with robust permissions features to keep your information under lock and key.
Jira and Smartsheet aren’t too far off in their pricing. Jira is $1.15 more per user (for 10 users) on its standard plan. However, Jira is cheaper at $16 per user for Premium, while Smartsheet charges $25 per user for its Business tier.
Fortunately, both Smartsheet and Jira offer free versions, so you can try them before you buy.
Winner: Jira for basic features; Smartsheet for higher-tier accounts
Jira vs. Smartsheet on Reddit
As you can see, there’s no clear winner in the debate between Smartsheet and Jira. We consulted the good people of Reddit to evaluate which project management tool is better for different applications.
Some users are diehard Jira fans: “As someone who has used Asana, Trello, MS Project, and Smartsheet, I can not imagine being as productive without the simplicity and accountability I associate with Jira,” said one.
However, other users felt Jira didn’t quite fit their needs. One user said, “It’s been a while since our tool search, but I seem to remember we decided Jira was a bit of a sledgehammer to our fly problem. It just wasn’t a good match. We tried a whole host of tools. Now, Smartsheet + Teams has been game-changing.”
Another user said Jira implementation was too complex and that “tools like Trello and Smartsheet are more versatile and better suited for smaller teams that need to move quickly.”
Meet ClickUp—the Best Alternative to Smartsheet vs. Jira
Smartsheet and Jira each have their pros and cons. One is better for developers, while another is more generic. But who says you have to choose between a hyper-specialized and an uber-generic platform? 👀
Go with ClickUp instead. We’re the universe’s favorite project management tool for task management, goal setting, team collaboration, templates, and much more.
Not only that, but our 100% customizable platform offers niche-specific help to all kinds of teams, so you get the benefit of an all-in-one platform and deep expertise.
Manage people, tasks, projects, and budgets in the same place
Why separate your PM tool from your daily work? ClickUp Project Management organizes your projects, helps you set goals, and tracks all communications. Everything is in the same place, so there’s no need to dig around for information. Simply plug in your data, visualize your workflows, and do more in a single platform.
Track everything in a clear Table view
ClickUp Table view is a time-saving, no-code database for budgeting, inventory tracking, contact management, and more. Choose from our ready-made form fields or create Custom Fields to record just about anything.
Its simple drag-and-drop functionality makes ClickUp’s Table view that much easier to overview data or arrange rows for things like budget tracking or time tracking.
Get an AI assist
Both Smartsheet and Jira have limited AI capabilities. But ClickUp AI is the world’s only job-specific AI assistant that has the power to handle your daily workload.
Trust ClickUp AI to catch typos, write emails, create scripts, generate agendas and … just about anything else, really. ClickUp AI lives in your projects, tasks, and templates to speed up your workday and so you can focus your energy on meaningful to-dos.
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7/month per user
- Business: $12/month per user
- Business Plus: $19/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
- ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace member per month
ClickUp: User-Friendly Agile Project Management
Look, there’s no clear winner in the tug-of-war between Jira vs. Smartsheet. They each have their pros and cons. It comes down to your workflow and needs.
The good news is that you don’t have to settle. Elevate your team’s productivity with a platform that’s both versatile and specialized. ClickUp is an all-in-one project management solution that meets you at the intersection of simplicity and functionality.
See the difference for yourself: Create a ClickUp Workspace now for free.