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Smartsheet Review

Smartsheet is flexible enough to get you as far as your imagination will take you. With a spreadsheet-driven theme, working in Smartsheet just feels natural. Try It Now

Raymond Althof

Raymond Althof

Project Management Software Expert

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Updated: May 21, 2014

The Good

Fast and efficient workflow:

Working in Smartsheet is simple and fast. That is an effective combination when it comes to project management. Creating a sheet is straightforward and can be done in a variety of ways. Once you are in a sheet, you can create as many columns as you like. Each column can be a text field, contact list, dropdown list, checkbox, or symbol. In short, they are whatever you want them to be, which is powerful.

Unlimited flexibility and customizations:

The application is beautiful and the functionality is smooth. You can customize the look with colors and a logo. It is easy to navigate and you can organize all of your sheets using folders or workspaces.

Affordable and extremely scalable:

With recent updates to Smartsheet's price structure, things have gotten a little confusing. Still, you will find that pricing is reasonable and very scalable. What is great about Smartsheet is that they never try to lock you in and hold you hostage. You can upgrade and downgrade very easily at any time, without any help. The only time Smartsheet has to get involved with your upgrade is if you want to get on an Enterprise plan.

Flexibility through Smartsheet API:

Introduced in March, 2013, Smarsheet's API gives your company the ability to build custom tools on top of the Smartsheet platform. For example, you could build dashboards or reports that integrate data from a number of systems and tools into a single view. Or you could integrate with maps to visualize addresses and locations. The API is easily accessible through Smartsheet's developer site, and detailed documentation is available to help your team get up to speed quickly.

Sharing single sheets is simple:

In one sense, sharing is great because it is easy to do (when you are in the sheet) and requires little effort on the part of the person receiving the sheet. However, you can only share one sheet at a time, and if you want to unshare a user, you have to do that one sheet at a time as well.

Great learning tools:

A great place to wrap your head around the capabilities of Smartsheet lies within the video list. You can also find a useful collection of articles and tutorials in the general help section of Smartsheet. If you are looking for more hands-on help, Smartsheet also offers live training webinars. It will take some time and effort, but digging into Smartsheet's features and capabilities is well worth your time.

Top-notch customer support:

Smartsheet has excellent support and they clearly care about their customers. They respond quickly, no matter what the outlet may be. You will find that the most efficient way to get help is through email.

Integrates well with Google Apps:

There are a variety of features that are built into Smartsheet allowing you to use Google Docs together with Smartsheet. The most useful feature is the ability to attach to Google Docs to Smartsheet. Additionally, you can link to a Smartsheet from Google Drive.

Powerful reporting features:

Reporting with Smartsheet is much more than just reporting. You can generate reports within Smartsheet on everything across any of your sheets. Not only can you generate reports, but you can also work within reports. This is what makes a report so powerful. You can bring together data from dozens of different sheets and work with the data in one central location. This is great for many different uses. For example, imagine you are managing a writing team. You may have 10 different sheets for 10 different writing projects. You may have 10 writers working in 10 different sheets, but only 2 editors. It will be a pain for your editors to have to go back and forth through the 10 sheets. Instead, you can create a report for the editors, and have them work from there. Everything they would want to do in the original sheet can be done from the report. The data is then updated on both the report and the original sheet. This also includes discussions and attachments.

Well-funded:

On December 1, 2012, Smartsheet received $26M in funding from Insight Venture Partners. With that kind of funding brought to an already thriving company, we expect some serious updates and improvements to be added. Seeing that Smartsheet is already very strong, that is dangerous for competitors.

The Bad

Sharing is difficult if you have lots of sheets:

If you create a lot of sheets, you will quickly find yourself frustrated with how Smartsheet handles sharing. In order to share a sheet, you have to be inside of the sheet you want to share. Then you have to click "Share" and go through a series of steps. It would be great if you could right-click a sheet from the home screen and share it right from there.

Does not integrate well with email:

The biggest downfall of using Smartsheet is the lack of email integration. This is an area where Smartsheet fails miserably compared to some of their competitors. Discussions on Smartsheet take place within a row of a sheet. You can click on any row and form a discussion on that row. From there, you are able to set up a variety of email options. You can set it so that users are notified when a discussion or comment takes place. This is helpful, but that is where it ends. There is no further emailing capabilities. There are two things that would drastically improve the functionality of email integration on Smartsheet. One would be the ability to send emails from within Smartsheet to specific users. From there, the second helpful feature would be the ability to reply to an email that is sent from Smartsheet. When you reply, the message should show up on the Smartsheet discussion. These features seem like no brainers, and it is surprising that they do not exist, given the fact that some of Smartsheet's competitors nail this functionality.

No time management tools:

Many project management solutions offer tools and features that help you track time. Not only for yourself, but for your team. This could be important for both billing purposes and tracking expenses. What is nice about Smartsheet is that you can create work-arounds for just about everything. This is one of those things. You can simply create a column for tracking time. The downfall, is that there is no built-in timer. This is not a huge loss, but something worth noting.

The Details

Details
Active Projects 10 - Unlimited
Contract Agreement Annual, Month to Month
Data Storage 3GB - Custom
Free Trial 30 days
Monthly Rate $14 - $39+
Number of Users 1 - Unlimited

Features

Financial Management

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  • Budgeting - You can set a project budget and measure an outcome against that budget.
  • Estimated and Actual Cost - You can estimate the cost of a work item or resource and then input the actual cost.
  • Expense Approval - Expense requests can be submitted by users and approved by managers.
  • Expense Tracking - You can track expenses for a project or work item.
  • Financial Indicators - You can view the financial health of a project in terms of budget.
  • Fixed Price Rates - You can set a fixed price rate on a work item, such as a task, to indicate the price of fixed cost items on a project.
  • Job Role Rates - You can set a rate for specific job roles to automatically calculate cost.
  • Revenue Tracking - You can track revenue for specific project and work items.

Project Management

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Reporting

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Resource Management

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Task Management

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Email Integration

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Scheduling

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Support

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Team Collaboration

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Customizations

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File Management

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Integration

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Learning Materials

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Mobile

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Third-Party Integration

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Time Management

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Pricing

Basic

Price: $14/month
Creators: 1
Collaborators: Unlimited
Sheets: 10
File Storage: 3GB

Advanced

Price: $25/month
Creators: 1
Collaborators: Unlimited
Sheets: 50
File Storage: 15GB

Team

Price: $39/month
Creators: 3
Collaborators: Unlimited
Sheets: 150+
File Storage: 45+GB

Enterprise

Price: Contact Company
Creators: Custom
Collaborators: Unlimited
Sheets: Unlimited
File Storage: Custom

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