Smartsheet is considered to be an upgraded version of Excel. You can use it on any browser instead of downloading an app locally, subscribe to a monthly subscription, and scale up and down as needed, and on top of that, it has some powerful collaboration features.
In this Smartsheet review, we’ll see what makes it a better option than Excel and Google Sheets in greater detail. We’ll analyze its best features that can help improve your ability to manage and organize projects effectively.
Let's dive in!
Smartsheet review 2023: Is Smartsheet any good?
This Smartsheet project management review has found that Smartsheet is a scalable, secure, and flexible enterprise collaboration platform. It empowers users with a dynamic work platform to coordinate, execute, and automate their work, all within a single enterprise-grade environment. But, there's much more to this tool.
Users can access the cloud-based app from any browser and from any device, including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari, whether they're using macOS or Windows. Smartsheet is also very versatile and can be customized for any industry and department, with use cases including project planning, project budgeting, resource management, CRM, and more.
All in all, it's a fantastic alternative to even the best spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, but also project management platforms like Asana and Wrike. The best part is that although it's a heavyweight software solution, it still has a relatively small learning curve.
Smartsheet can also be an excellent productivity tool as it lets team members collaborate and communicate easily from one central place. With the use of advanced workflows, users can automate repetitive tasks and focus on more important work. For these reasons, Smartsheet has landed on our list of 20 best productivity tools, along with tools like Slack and ClickUp.
Smartsheet pricing plans
First of all, how much does Smartsheet cost? Let’s first review Smartsheet prices:
How much does Smartsheet cost for nonprofits?
Smartsheet offers discounts on annual plans to eligible nonprofit organizations. Eligible organizations must have current, valid 501c(3) status in the United States or equivalent status in other countries. Get in touch with sales if you have any questions.
Are there any Smartsheet coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
We did the research, and it seems there are no Smartsheet coupon codes or discount vouchers at this time.
Smartsheet free vs paid: what’s the difference?
Unfortunately, Smartsheet doesn’t have a free plan, only a free 30-day trial. In terms of pricing plans, there are four subscription levels, including Pro, Business, Enterprise, and Advance. Let’s look at the monthly plans more closely:
Pro plan: this plan supports a maximum of 10 users and unlimited viewers. It’s the ideal plan for people and teams that want to track, share, and manage projects with unlimited viewers. You’ll also get unlimited sheets, Gantt charts and Calendar view, 250 automations per month, templates, 20 GB of storage, and more.
Business plan: this plan supports a minimum of 3 users. It includes everything from Pro, plus unlimited editors, forms with conditional logic, 1 TB of storage, unlimited automations, and integration with Brandfolder, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, and PowerBI.
Enterprise plan: this plan is geared toward organizations that run processes at scale. It opens the door to features like advanced security, unlimited storage, integration with DocuSign, 24/7 phone support, free access to Smartsheet University, a dedicated account manager, and WorkApps.
Advance plan: this plan extends the full potential of the platform with premium features for project, program, and process management at scale. Some features include secure request management, data and application integrations, intelligent workflows, and enterprise-class governance and administration capabilities.
Smartsheet overview: what is Smartsheet & what is Smartsheet used for?
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-style project management software solution for businesses managing multiple projects simultaneously with numerous moving parts. Some users call it "Excel on steroids" because it offers a great deal of individual editing capability. Best of all, it can live within a web browser, making collaboration much easier. Businesses of all sizes and across all industries can benefit from using the software.
It has a good selection of robust automation tools, many integration options, and communication and collaboration features. Overall, as a very flexible and customizable work management tool, Smartsheet can be a top-notch solution for project management, inventory management, budget tracking, expense categorization, campaign tracking, and more.
With the templates feature, you can start a project from a premade template that's already populated with the data you need to track. There are project templates and automation templates, which can greatly reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks.
The integration functionality lets you connect Smartsheet with other tools you and your team love to use, such as Slack, Outlook, Teams, and Google Workspace. And if you want to view your projects from different angles, you certainly can, as Smartsheet supports multiple views, including grid, Gantt, calendar, and card view.
Users who often take work on the go will be happy to hear there's a mobile app for Android and iOS that has almost all the functionality of the browser version.
You don’t even have to jump to a paid subscription immediately. There’s a free 30-day trial where you can test every feature of the software. Additionally, you can watch a demo to get a feel for its capabilities. All you would need is to sign up with a work email address.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, such as a powerful content management and intranet solution, consider SharePoint. In fact, we have a great article on SharePoint vs Smartsheet that you can check out and determine which one is a better fit for you.
Smartsheet features list
The main features of Smartsheet are:
Collaboration tools and sharing
Smartsheet integrates with 100+ third-party apps, so you don't have to jump from one app to another. Depending on your plan, you'll get access to a different set of integrations.
For instance, the Pro plan lets you integrate Smartsheet with Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, and Dropbox. Business plan users get every integration from the Pro plan, plus Brandfolder, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, and PowerBI.
If you're subscribed to the Enterprise plan, you'll be able to connect with DocuSign. It's also possible to connect Smartsheet to thousands of other apps via Zapier.
When you start out with Smarthseet, you can start from a blank sheet or choose a template. Smartsheet offers a range of pre-built templates that are fully customizable so that you can jump-start your work.
Templates are arranged by category, including General Management, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Product Development, Projects, Sales, and more. Basically, you can find a premade template for anything, from Client Creative Briefs and Project Budgets to Event Planning and Sales Pipeline by Rep.
There's a wide selection of templates for Projects, like Agile Projects with Gantt, Project with Resource Management, Project Launch Plan, and more. Smartsheet would suggest useful add-ons for each project category. Templates are available on all plans.
Smartsheet has a drag-and-drop automation builder that lets you build automated workflows with ease. You can build automation from scratch or create a workflow from a premade template. There are templates for reminding someone on a specific date, approving requests, sending notifications and reminders, and more.
The automations work on basic logic, conditional statements, and triggers. You can automate things like alerts and notifications, reminders, approval requests, assignments, etc. Although automations can sometimes get tricky fast, Smartsheet makes it easier to make sense of them. As you’re building your automation, it will appear as a flow chart where you’ll be able to clearly see all the "if" and "then" statements that you want to create.
In plain terms, automations work on the concept, "When X happens, do Y automatically." For example, you can set an automation that says, “When rows are added or changed, alert the project manager.”
Users of the Pro plan get 250 automations per month, while the users of the Business and Enterprise plans get unlimited automations.
Dashboards are visual representations of your data that communicate the overall health of your business. They give you the right information at the right time to help you make better business decisions.
Dashboards are easy to build and customizable with widgets. Different types of widgets let you add metrics, charts, reports, and images to the dashboard. Users of the Pro plan can add as many as ten widgets, while the Business and Enterprise users have unlimited widgets.
Only Licensed Owners and Admins can create or edit a dashboard and add widgets to it. In order for a user to view a dashboard, they must have Viewer permission.
Similar to how you get different views in tools like Asana and Monday.com, Smartsheet also lets you see and work with your data in different ways. There are four views, including Grid view, Gantt view, Card view, and Calendar view.
Grid view, as the name suggests, displays your data in a spreadsheet manner.
Gantt view shows everything in a timeline and how tasks fit together. You can always change to a Card view if you need a more visual way to organize, prioritize, and assign your tasks.
The Card view resembles a Kanban board where you can drag and drop cards from one stage to another.
A calendar view is also handy if you want to look at which dates need attention.
Depending on how you use it, Smartsheet can be a project and task management platform, as it comes complete with various views like Gantt charts and Card view, in addition to collaboration features, reports, and automation. It's a suitable solution for managing all kinds of projects, including waterfall projects, agile projects, product launches, sprint planning, event planning, and more.
Smartsheet comes with all the project management tools that let you manage anything from simple tasks to complex projects on one platform. You can create projects and break them down into tasks. You can associate tasks with a department, assign them to people, add due dates and categories, add completion status, divide them into subtasks, and more.
You can visualize your tasks in multiple different views, including Grid, Kanban, Gantt chart, and Calendar view. The software lets you attach files from Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and more so that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, you can streamline different work processes and reduce the number of meetings by sending automated updates and approval requests.
The software lets you create dependencies between tasks and set up recurring tasks to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. And if you don't want to fill in the details in the spreadsheets yourself, you can always use a template. Time tracking is available as an add-on as part of the resource management functionality.
Smartsheet uses rows to build a hierarchy. To create a hierarchy on your sheet, you should indent rows. Once you indent a row, that row will become a child of the row above it, called the parent row.
Collaboration tools and sharing
Smartsheet has a good deal of collaboration tools. You can share items individually or share workspaces. You can communicate via comments on tasks and add attachments. You can intake information with dynamic forms and automate alerts, reminders, and requests.
The Conversations feature lets you and your team manage and track critical communication in real-time. Conversations can be recorded at the row level, the sheet level, or the workspace level. You can mention team members, and they can reply to @mentions from their email. Everyone with access to the sheet can follow along, view, or reply to comments.
With the Sharing options, the software makes it easy to set different permission levels to control which user has access to what information. You can share sheets and reports with internal and external stakeholders. There are four permission levels: Owner, Admin, Editor, and Viewer. You can even share Smartsheet items with users who don't have an account.
With the Reports feature, you can consolidate data from multiple sheets into a single overview. For example, you can consolidate key tasks and milestones into a high-level overview for stakeholders. You can even build a row report from rows and columns on a sheet or a sheet summary report from the sheet summary fields. Once you create a report, you can easily share it with other users or export it to Excel, PDF, or Google Sheets.
Forms is another neat feature that makes it easy to collect data from all of your stakeholders and save it into your sheet from where you can take action. This feature can come in handy for things like request management, event registration, collecting customer feedback, gathering product orders, and more.
Smartsheet has a smart mobile app for iOS and Android that supports work on the go. With the app, you can access real-time data no matter where you are. The app lets you add photos from your smartphone, view attachments, update requests, submit approvals, and more. You can also collaborate on sheets, check notifications and dashboards, and view your project timeline.
WorkApps is a non-code platform for building intuitive web and mobile apps to streamline your business and simplify collaboration. The platform is included in the Enterprise plan. With WorkApps, you can build customized apps directly from sheets, forms, reports, dashboards, and from external content like files, web links, videos, or slideshows, all without writing a single line of code. You can assign different end-user roles for all the stakeholders who will have access to the app.
Resource management (add-on)
Smartsheet doesn’t come with built-in resource management, but there’s a Resource Management add-on you can include in your monthly subscription for an additional fee.
The add-on includes a Product budgeting functionality that lets you see planned versus hours spent to prevent a project from going over budget. There’s also a Portfolio management functionality included if you want to schedule projects based on team capacity. The Time Tracking feature allows team members to submit their hours.
The Connectors feature lets you synchronize data across critical business systems. It's not included in any of the plans, but it can be added to your monthly subscription as a paid add-on.
The add-on enables you to automate routine workflows between Smartsheet and third-party systems, integrate data across your digital enterprise, and collaborate on that data in real-time.
You'll be able to easily connect to enterprise systems such as Jira, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics or upload data from an external system with a flat file using Smartsheet Data Shuttle.
Bridge: Intelligent workflows (add-on)
The Bridge feature lets you automate business processes across systems to increase accuracy and efficiency so that you and your team can spend more time coming up with innovative solutions.
It’s available as a paid add-on for Enterprise plan users. You can automate multi-step, cross-platform processes like adding new leads in CRM tools, getting updates on shipment statuses, and sending customized emails to individual users from marketing campaigns.
Brandfolder is a paid digital asset management platform you can add to your Pro, Business, or Enterprise plan. The platform helps marketers and creatives work together, so they deliver high-velocity, impactful brand experiences with unparalleled efficiency and speed.
Smartsheet pros and cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Smartsheet:
Let's start with Smartsheet's biggest advantage - its customization and flexibility. You can use the app for just about anything, from project management and budget tracking to campaign tracking and inventory management.
In fact, Smartsheet is so capable that you can use it to manage your data and tasks across multiple departments, eliminating the need to have your data scattered across different platforms. In terms of customization, you get unlimited custom fields, unlimited sheets, different views, and more.
Another one of Smartsheet's perks is its extended functionality. The platform can be expanded if your needs are more complex. For an added fee, you can add functions like resource management, digital asset management, and portfolio management that will open the door to functionalities like time tracking, project budgeting, forecasting tools, and advanced reports and analytics.
If we compare Smartsheet with other project management tools, we can see that Smartsheet has more robust automation features. You'll find intelligent workflows, connectors, a set of integrations, and more.
The best thing is that despite the robustness of the automation tools, setting up automations is quite simple thanks to the drag-and-drop automation builder that lets you build automation with a few clicks. Using basic logic, conditional paths, and triggers, you can create any type of workflow your business needs to reduce repetitive work.
Speaking of reducing repetitive work, Smartsheet has a good selection of pre-built project templates and automation templates. You can simply choose your template and customize it with your data; you’ll create a project or automation in a few minutes.
Smartsheet is a very powerful software, but its UI looks very outdated. The software has a steep learning curve, so be ready to invest some time in onboarding your team.
Another downside is that you need to purchase separate add-ons for time tracking, budgeting, and resource management.
Although Smartsheet lets you view your data in Kanban boards, if you prefer working with an agile methodology, you're better off with a tool that does Kanban and Scrum boards better, like Asana or Jira. Smartsheet's strength is its spreadsheet view.
Smartsheet also doesn't have an autosave function. The software doesn't autosave your changes in real-time; instead, you have to click on the Save button after you make a change. This might be an issue for users who are used to the autosave function of other spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets.
And if you care about security features, you might be disappointed to hear that all the more advanced security features are reserved for users of the Enterprise plan.
Smartsheet complaints & praise (Smartsheet reviews from real customers)
Positive reviews of Smartsheet say how easy it is to use the platform and keep all team information and projects well organized.
Many users also appreciate Smartsheet’s collaboration features as they make it simple for everyone to stay on the same page.
Other users praise the app’s automation capabilities, saying how easily they are able to create workflows and alerts to effectively and efficiently collaborate with team members. Users say these customizable automations and workflows have been invaluable to them over the years, saving them a great deal of time and energy, particularly on large-scale, international projects.
A few user reviews comment on how Smartsheet is intuitively designed to be user-friendly. They like the ease of creating, organizing, and sharing information with sheets, dashboards, project timelines, schedules, and reports. They’re fans of the customizable access levels that provide flexibility to assign the appropriate level of access to various stakeholders.
Several users go on to comment how Smartsheet has almost all the features of Microsoft Excel, but it is even more powerful. They like the interactive reports feature that's easy to understand and present to other members.
Another common praise is related to the Forms feature that helps users create a Form without writing a single line of code.
Some user reviews mention that Smartsheet's best feature is that it gives you open spaces where you can create, use, modify, and run features in any way you want.
Many users say they migrated to Smartsheet as Smartsheet had a familiar user interface to Microsoft Excel. They wanted a tool that the team was already familiar with, and Smartsheet fit the bill perfectly.
Negative Smartsheet reviews are less common, but there are a few online. Some people believe that Smartsheet fails to adequately explain its benefits (or drawbacks) to complete beginner users.
Others complain about the ease of use, saying it may take some time to become familiar with the app and its various shortcut icons.
Onboarding clients can also be time-consuming, according to some users, and notifications can be difficult to send to customers without accounts.
Review of Smartsheet support
Smartsheet has several levels of support to help users learn how the software works, fix issues, and mitigate risks.
Online web support: available to all users. It includes self-service help, a customer support portal, and learning resources.
Smartsheet community: the Community forum is where you can connect with fellow users and exchange tips and tricks for using the software. It’s available to all users.
Learning center: the learning center includes self-service help and bite-sized learning materials. It’s available to all users and contains all kinds of learning resources, including help articles, tutorials, and webinars.
Standard support: Standard Support is available to Enterprise users. It includes 24/7 phone and web chat support. It also comes with access to Smartsheet University eLearning resources.
Professional support: Professional support is available as a paid add-on for Business and Enterprise users. It gives you access to the Smartsheet University eLearning resources, one-on-one coaching, and 24/7 phone support.
Technical account manager: Business and Enterprise users can pay for a dedicated account manager that will handle specific client needs. The Technical Account Manager will be your single point of contact for escalations and incident management.
Smartsheet University: Smartsheet University is a service for self-paced e-learning and live instruction. Users can earn credentials to verify their expertise. If you’re an Enterprise user, the Smartsheet University e-learning materials will be included in your monthly subscription. All other users can buy the service as an add-on. Through Smartsheet University, you can watch onboarding videos, attend instructor-led classes, and get certified as a product expert.
Professional services: Professional services include services like business process optimization, discovery workshops, consulting services for custom solutions, and more. It's available as a paid add-on for Business and Enterprise users.
Is Smartsheet worth it? Our conclusion
The question still remains: is Smartsheet worth it?
Our answer is that Smartsheet is a fantastic tool for keeping track of your project management tasks and responsibilities. With Smartsheet, you can quickly see what tasks need to be completed, their due date, and who is responsible for each job. This makes it easy to delegate tasks and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page.
In addition, Smartsheet comes with several features that allow you to communicate with your team more effectively. For example, you can use its built-in chat function to have real-time conversations with other users about specific projects or topics. You can also share files through Smartsheet's secure file-sharing feature so everybody can access the most up-to-date versions of essential documents.
The advanced automation features help you automate repetitive processes by either creating your own automation from scratch or choosing from pre-made automation from the template library.
And not to mention the optional add-ons you can add toward your monthly subscription if you’re a larger organization with more complex needs. Some of these add-ons include Resource Management, Intelligent Workflows, and Digital Asset Management.
To conclude, Smartsheet is a suitable option for businesses that have an existing experience with spreadsheet-based project management tools, as they’ll have an easier time with onboarding the system. You should also use Smartsheet if you feel that traditional options like Excel and Google Sheets are too limited for your needs.
However, if you prefer a visual-style project management solution that specializes in Kanban boards, Gantt charts, or timeline views, you’re better off with Smartsheet alternatives such as Asana, Jira, or Monday.com.
Our final Smartsheet rating