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Smartsheet review

Rating 3.8/5
Starting price $7 per user per month
Key features
  • Automation.
  • Dashboards.
  • Reporting.
  • Collaboration.

In a market full of project management software, Smartsheet stands out by offering a unique spreadsheet-style interface and lots of customizable templates to serve teams of all sizes. This Smartsheet review dives into the platform’s offerings, evaluating them across multiple categories to help you determine if it’s indeed the right tool for you.

We’ve dissected Smartsheet to give you a comprehensive understanding of what to expect. However, if Smartsheet doesn’t align with your needs, we’ve got you covered with a few alternatives to make sure you identify a tool that suits you.

What is Smartsheet?

Smartsheet logo.
Image: Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a dynamic workspace that provides teams with the tools to manage projects, automate workflows, collaborate and create new solutions. It delivers a no-code tool for project management, which makes it flexible enough to cater to various industries, such as marketing, construction and software development.

Hands-on Smartsheet review results

Our hands-on review of Smartsheet put the tool to the test across its capabilities, cost, ease of use and quality of support.

Criteria Score
Features 4.6/5
Pricing 2.3/5
Ease of use 3.5/5
Service and support 3.8/5

Smartsheet pricing

Score: 2.3/5

Pricing plan Cost/month
(per user, billed monthly)
Cost/month
(per user, billed annually)
Free $0 $0
Pro $7 $9
Business $25 $32
Enterprise Contact for quote Contact for quote

Free

This plan costs $0 for 1 user and up to 2 editors and 2 sheets. Because of the limits on users and projects, this plan is best for light personal use and won’t suffice for larger teams.

Pro plan

Priced at $7 per user per month when billed annually, the Pro plan is aimed at teams that need project tracking and management features for unlimited viewers. This plan allows up to 10 editors and offers unlimited sheets and viewers. It includes 20 GB of attachment storage, 250 automations per month and email support.

Business plan

The Business plan is recommended for larger teams that need unlimited free editors and costs $25 per user per month when billed annually. It includes advanced features like baselines, forms with conditional logic, 1 TB of attachment storage and unlimited automations.

Enterprise plan

For organizations requiring enterprise-grade security and controls, Smartsheet offers an Enterprise plan whose pricing is available upon request. This plan includes all features of the Business plan, along with additional capabilities like single sign-on, directory integration and unlimited attachment storage.

Core Smartsheet features

Score: 4.6/5

Among all the features it offers, some of Smartsheet’s top features include automation, real-time collaboration, dashboards, reporting and project planning.

Automation

Smartsheet helps users save time and do away with tedious manual tasks through its no-code automation workflows. You can easily take advantage of pre-built automation workflow templates (Figure A) or build workflows from scratch.

Creating automated workflows in Smartsheet.
Figure A: Creating automated workflows in Smartsheet.

Real-time communication and content collaboration

Smartsheet keeps your team in sync by enabling you to work together (Figure B) seamlessly in real time. You can allow team members, clients and other stakeholders to review content without the need to give them sheet access. Plus, there’s no need for chats or threads outside Smartsheet, as conversations within Smartsheet are visible and convenient to improve decision-making.

Inviting collaborators in Smartsheet.
Figure B: Inviting collaborators in Smartsheet.

Dashboards

Smartsheet dashboards (Figure C) offer a real-time view for centralizing, organizing and presenting key information on a customizable canvas. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to customize dashboards without any coding.

A Smartsheet dashboard of my project.
Figure C: A Smartsheet dashboard of my project.

Reporting

The reporting (Figure D) feature in Smartsheet allows you to create detailed reports with just a few clicks. You can easily filter, group and sort data to generate insights that drive better decision-making.

My project’s task summary report.
Figure D: My project’s task summary report.

Project planning and scheduling

Smartsheet’s project capabilities encompass many tools like multiple views, apps like Google Drive, communication with stakeholders using comments and @mentions, and access and permission controls. These capabilities make Smartsheet a great choice not only for agile but also waterfall projects.

Smartsheet ease of use

Score: 3.5/5

Smartsheet’s onboarding process was straightforward, which involves giving your name, industry and role, detailing team size and specifying what areas you intend to use Smartsheet for. Naming your project and adding tasks and dashboards follows. Building a project may take some time compared to going right into a project through templates, and it may also introduce a slight learning curve. But after this, it’s a simple platform to use.

Smartsheet mobile app

Smartsheet’s apps on Android and iPadOs are attractive and highly intuitive, making it easy to stay on top of projects without feeling like you’re compromising when not working on desktop. The design and navigation is optimized for the small touch screens of tablets and smartphones. An offline mode is available so you can still collect data via forms without an internet connection, which is a nice perk. The app also makes it possible to upload photos, scan barcodes and add your current location for more context.

Smartsheet integrations

Smartsheet offers more than 100 pre-built native integrations to choose from, making it easy to connect your full business software stack. Some of the platforms that Smartsheet connects to include:

  • Dropbox.
  • Box.
  • Google Drive.
  • Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Gmail.
  • Outlook.
  • Salesforce.
  • Tableau.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud.

Smartsheet also supports a Zapier connection, which allows you to sync Smartsheet with more than 1,000 other apps, even if they don’t have a native integration. Bear in mind that you will need a Zapier account for this and that most businesses will need to select one of the paid plans in order to set up their “zaps” (connections).

Smartsheet security

Smartsheet offers many security features, depending on which plan you pay for. Pro accounts have an admin center that makes it easy to manage user permissions, license requests and accounting settings. Business accounts get group management and accounting discovery as well as the ability to schedule backups. The Enterprise project management plan comes with the most security features, including SAML-based single sign-on, director integrations, domain validation, user account provisioning and more. Smartsheet also offers several security add-ons such as event reporting and customer managed encryption key (CMEK).

Smartsheet customer service and support

Score: 3.8/5

Smartsheet has plenty of customer service and support options across its three paid plans.

Knowledge base and help center

Smartsheet offers a thorough knowledge base and helpful resources such as the Smartsheet community, training and Smartsheet University. These resources cover how-tos, best practices, videos, courses, webinars, certifications and badges.

Service channels

Smartsheet provides avenues like community forums, help articles and a portal for opening support tickets. While the options are varied, I noticed that live chat support is notably missing in the trial version, which could be a drawback for those who prefer real-time assistance.

Availability and responsiveness

Depending on the plan, Smartsheet offers 24/7 global phone support. It has a Standard and Professional Support package, which is available in the Enterprise plan and also available for purchase in the Business plan.

Smartsheet pros and cons

Pros Cons
Robust automation features. Limited resource management features.
Detailed dashboards. The Business plan is more expensive than similar tiers of similar tools.
Strong project planning capabilities. Limited time-tracking features.
Solid reporting tools. Limited service channels.

Best uses for Smartsheet

Smartsheet has a wide range of use cases, especially for users who are familiar with spreadsheets and seek more functionality.

Project management and task tracking

Smartsheet excels in project management and task tracking. With features like Gantt charts, real-time collaboration and dashboards, it excels in planning, executing and monitoring projects from start to finish.

Operations and day-to-day management

Smartsheet is highly effective for managing day-to-day operations. Its automation and reporting capabilities enable teams to align workflows, making it easier to manage daily tasks and longer-term goals.

Collaborative projects and teamwork

Since Smartsheet offers content collaboration features, it’s easier for a variety of teams and stakeholders, in general, to work together. They can share feedback and track the progress of projects in real-time.

Can I use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets instead of Smartsheet?

While Smartsheet might look like a spreadsheet, it was designed with a fundamentally different purpose in mind: project management. Spreadsheets are meant to tabulate data and run calculations, not manage projects. If you need to calculate complex formulas, Smartsheet can’t really support that to the same extent that Excel or Sheets will. But if you want to manage projects within a spreadsheet-like grid, Smartsheet offers many clever features that will seriously upgrade your project management from Excel or Sheets.

Smartsheet alternatives and competitors

Smartsheet Airtable Asana monday.com
Starting price $7/user/month $20/user/month $10.99/user/month $9/user/month
Core features Automation, content collaboration, dashboards, drag-and-drop cards, event reporting Spreadsheet-database hybrid, custom fields, views, data visualization, collaboration Task management, timeline, workspaces, reporting, automations Customization, multiple views, automations, Kanban and Gantt, dashboards
Ease of use Moderate User-friendly Highly Intuitive User-friendly
Customer service 24/7 support (for higher paid plans), email, phone Email, community forum, support bot Email, live chat, 24/7 support for paid tiers 24/7 support, email, live chat
Expert analysis Suited for spreadsheet-based project management Best for data management Great for task management Ideal for SMBs and startups

Airtable

Airtable logo.
Image: Airtable

Airtable is a versatile tool that blends spreadsheet and database functionalities. Its flexibility allows you to customize fields and views. While it may not offer the same level of automation as Smartsheet, Airtable thrives in data management and visualization. For more on how Airtable stacks up against Smartsheet, check out our Smartsheet vs Airtable article.

Asana

Asana logo.
Image: Asana

Aside from its project management capabilities, Asana stands out for its user-friendly interface. It offers a more intuitive experience compared to Smartsheet, particularly in task management. If you’re looking for a robust project management tool that’s not necessarily spreadsheet-based, Asana is worth considering.

monday.com

monday.com logo.
Image: monday.com

monday.com offers a high level of customization and a variety of views, making it a flexible tool for project management. While it may not offer the same depth of analysis as Smartsheet, monday.com excels in ease and flexibility, making it a strong choice for startups and SMBs. For more on how monday stacks up against Smartsheet, check out our Smartsheet vs. monday article.

Smartsheet review methodology

For a comprehensive Smartsheet review, we examined the software across pricing, core features, ease of use, customer service and expert analysis. Each of these five categories had subcategories that helped to score Smartsheet. The scores of each category were weighted and then added together to get a total out of a maximum score of five.

We used a 30-day free trial of Smartsheet for a first-hand experience of the tool’s capabilities. Through a project, we put Smartsheet’s features to the test and got an understanding of its strengths, weaknesses and use cases.


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