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

Title
  • 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.

  • Calendars A calendar is available to help you manage important dates and events.

  • Issue Management You can track issues, submit bugs, and view fixes in real time.

  • Milestones You are able to set up alerts for events that require special attention.

  • Project Hierarchy You can organize a project by creating multiple levels of sub-projects for better organization.

  • Project Templates You can create a template from a current project for future use.

  • Project Timeline/Roadmap You can view the high level plan of a project, including key milestones, in chronological order.

  • Critical Path The software calculates the earliest and latest that each activity can start and finish to show the longest path to the end of the project.

  • Cross-Project Dependencies You can set dependencies that span across multiple projects.

  • Portfolio Management You can analyze, prioritize, and manage a list of projects in order to achieve specific business objectives.

  • Budget Reports You can create reports to view budgets on different elements of projects.

  • Client Reports You can create reports exclusively for clients.

  • Custom Reports You can generate customized reports based on the data within your projects.

  • Email Reports After running a report, you can email the results.

  • Executive Reports You can create reports exclusively for executives.

  • Expense Reports You can create reports to view expenses.

  • Report Exporting You can export/download reports into various file formats.

  • Resource Reports You can create reports to view current resources and resource allocation.

  • Task Reports You can create and customize reports around tasks.

  • Time Reports You can create reports to show the time allocated and/or spent on certain tasks or projects.

  • User Reports You can create and view reports on each user within your projects.

  • Custom Work Calendars You can customize the workdays and work hours for each resource.

  • Project Roles You can assign a user or resource a specific predefined role for different projects.

  • Role Permissions You can assign specific permissions to each predefined role that you create.

  • Events/Holidays You can adjust the resource calendar to account for company time off for special events or holidays.

  • Resource Calendar Views You can view your resource allocation on a calendar to get an overview of resource usage.

  • Resource Exceptions You can adjust the resource calendar to account for a resource or team member's time off.

  • Resource Load Chart You can get a real-time view of the workload and availability of each resource.

  • User Groups You can manage different users by adding them to specific groups.

  • User Level Permissions You can set access and permissions on specific areas of your portfolios or projects based on user levels.

  • User Permissions The administrator can determine the level of user access within the project management software.

  • Comment on Tasks You can comment on individual tasks.

  • Custom Task Fields You can customize the fields related to a task, like the status, to fit within your workflow.

  • Dependencies You can set dependencies (finish to start, finish to finish, start to start, start to finish) to indicate that a task relies on the status of a separate task to be performed.

  • Import Tasks You can import tasks in bulk to avoid manually creating individual tasks.

  • Multi-User Assigning You can assign multiple users to one task.

  • Sub-Tasks/Hierarchy You can create sub-tasks and a task hierarchy to manage the smaller tasks that make up a larger task.

  • Task Duration You can set the length of time it will take to complete a task from start to finish.

  • Task Notifications You can receive notifications about the status and progress of a task.

  • Task Templates You can save time by creating templates for common tasks for later use.

  • Task Work Hours You can set the amount of hours it will take to complete a task.

  • Recurring Tasks You can set a task to repeat at a specific time or date, if it occurs on a regular basis.

  • Automated Reporting You can choose to receive automated email reports to track the progress of projects.

  • Receive Progress Updates You can receive progress updates from resources via email.

  • Comments and Discussions Comments and discussions can integrate with email, either by default or as directed.

  • Create Tasks You can create new tasks from your email.

  • Provide Progress Updates A resource can provide progress updates on tasks through email.

  • Deadlines You can set deadlines on overall projects, sub-projects, and tasks.

  • Gantt Charts The software offers a Gantt chart to illustrate start and finish dates as well as the summary elements of projects.

  • Virtual Assigning You can assign a task to a temporary resource as a placeholder to help determine resource needs for upcoming tasks.

  • Email/Ticket The software company has an email or ticket system dedicated to support.

  • Live Chat You can contact the software company for support through live chat.

  • Phone You can contact the software company by phone to get support.

  • Social Media You can contact the software company with questions through social media websites.

  • Activity Stream The software has a stream of recent activities, usually located in the dashboard.

  • Discussions You can collaborate with other team members using a designated discussion area.

  • Notifications Notifications for important updates are automatically sent to resources, like being assigned a new task or removed from a task.

  • Private Messages You can send private messages to other users through the software.

  • Sharable Notes Team members can create and share notes within a project.

  • White Boards/Wikis You can create a document within the software used for brainstorming and collaborating in real time.

  • Additional Languages The software is available in other languages besides English.

  • Custom Branding You can customize the look and feel by changing colors and/or adding a company logo.

  • Customizable Dashboard You can customize the display and layout of your dashboard.

  • Customizable Workspace You can customize the display and layout of your work areas.

  • Attach Files to Tasks You can attach files directly to a task.

  • File Comments You can comment directly on an uploaded file.

  • Multi-File Upload You can upload multiple files to the software at the same time.

  • Storage Space You receive storage space as part of your package.

  • Third-Party File Storage You can store files by integrating with a third-party application.

  • File Organization You can organize files within a central file storage location.

  • Version Control Multiple users may edit files simultaneously, with each version being tracked and saved.

  • Application Programming Interface (API) The software has an application programming interface.

  • Backups You can back up all of your stored data.

  • Export CSV/Excel You can export CSV and Microsoft Excel files.

  • Import CSV/Excel You can import CSV and Microsoft Excel files.

  • Microsoft Project You can import and/or export files by integrating with Microsoft Project.

  • Help Articles A set of detailed articles is available to help you learn and understand the software.

  • User Guide A user guide is available to help you learn and understand the software.

  • Video Tutorials Video tutorials are available to help you learn and understand the software.

  • Webinars Webinars are available to help you learn and understand the software.

  • Android App You can download a native Android application of the software.

  • iPad App You can download a native iPad application of the software.

  • iPhone App You can download a native iPhone application of the software.

  • Mobile Website You can access a dedicated mobile version of the website on your smartphone.

  • Box The software can integrate with Box.

  • Dropbox The software can integrate with Dropbox.

  • Google Apps The software can integrate with Google Apps.

  • iCal The software can integrate with iCal.

  • Microsoft Office The software can integrate with Microsoft Office.

  • MS Outlook The software can integrate with Microsoft Outlook.

  • Salesforce The software can integrate with Salesforce.

  • Time Tracking Users are able to track and log time on a given task.

  • Time Approvals A manager can approve tracked time submitted by a resource.

  • Time Clock You can start and stop a built-in clock to accurately track your time on a task.

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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