Table of Contents
    Home / Definitions / Smartsheet
    Productivity 5 min read

    Founded in 2005, Smartsheet is a leading cloud-based project management solution that offers robust features, workflows, and automations to help teams of all sizes communicate clearly about projects and tasks. Learn more about Smartsheet, how it works, and its benefits in this guide.


    Portions of this definition originally appeared on TechRepublic and are excerpted here with permission.


    What Is Smartsheet?

    Smartsheet is software-as-a-service (SaaS) project management software that is popular with many users across several industries due to its familiar spreadsheet-like interface. It offers hundreds of prebuilt templates, making it an easy-to-use option for those with limited technical skills. Smartsheet Logo

    This combination of user-friendliness, templates, and other platform features allows project managers to easily organize, visualize, and share project information, such as objectives, workflows, and reports. Smartsheet also simplifies scheduling, assigning, and task tracking from anywhere via mobile or desktop applications.

    Directly compare Smartsheet vs ClickUp here.

    What Are the Main Features of Smartsheet?

    Smartsheet offers features that allow users to quickly and easily create or import a project and track its progress. These features are designed around deadline-driven tasks and collaboration.

    Data importing and adjusting

    For existing project data, users can mitigate manual input and redundancy by importing project data through Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, or Trello. Once imported, users can adjust the project data as needed to properly align it before exploring other features.

    Column types and row tools

    Similar to a standard spreadsheet where information can be recorded, Smartsheet offers a sheet where account administrators can record project details.

    In a sheet, both columns and rows offer additional functionality aside from just labeling items and columns for project-specific details. There are several column types; contact list, date, dropdown, checkbox, symbols, and system data can be determined depending on a project’s parameters and needs.

    And rows offer additional tools, such as attachments, comments, proof, reminders, and a lock to keep project tasks and goals clear and easy to understand.

    Prebuilt templates

    Smartsheet offers over 350 prebuilt templates for workflows in professional services, retail, entertainment, construction, and IT projects. Templates allow users to avoid manual input and redundancy, enabling them to set up projects quickly and easily.

    Views

    In Smartsheet, users can utilize three different view types to organize and review project data. These view types help them to work through tasks more effectively.

    • Gantt View allows users to visualize and track project tasks, deadlines, progress, and dependencies through a Gantt chart.
    • Card View is similar to a kanban-style board and enables users to prioritize tasks and manage task progress.
    • Calendar View allows users to view project tasks and monitor their progress over time through a standard calendar visualization.

    These view types offer varying ways to consolidate and visualize project tasks and progress, allowing users to more easily understand project objectives.

    Collaboration tools

    Smartsheet enables consistent communication and collaboration between the project team and other key stakeholders via features that allow users to assign tasks, notify stakeholders, and tag others. In addition to being able to share and comment on sheets, users can make use of dashboard buttons such as the following:

    • File enables sheet management, allowing users to create, save, modify, share, and view sheets according to project parameters and needs.
    • Automation allows users to build and automate frequent or critical workflows from scratch or via a template.
    • Forms let users build and configure branded surveys for stakeholders, colleagues, clients, and contractors to streamline essential data collection.

    Other features

    Smartsheet also offers several other notable features:

    • Control Center offers a centralized view for sheets, reports, and dashboards, providing administrators with increased visibility and control over activity and workflows.
    • Dynamic View is useful when sharing granular data with internal and external stakeholders, as it automatically adjusts data according to the process life cycle and can be configured to edit privileges for process owners.
    • Data Shuttle consolidates critical business data related to enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and data warehousing into Smartsheet projects.

    What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Smartsheet?

    Smartsheet offers several benefits and advantages to users. Its user-friendly interface, abundance of project and automation templates, and clean graphical user interface (GUI) with helpful descriptions provide an easy-to-use platform that enables faster project management. Smartsheet also supports streamlined onboarding and training for new users.

    Beyond its usability benefits, Smartsheet also offers access to feature and platform documentation. This access to troubleshooting and robust business resources is especially useful for integrations, consulting, and managed services.

    However, Smartsheet does come with a few drawbacks to note. Several capabilities are locked behind paid add-on features. For example, premium support is only available as an add-on for Business and Enterprise clients.

    Additionally, the Pro plan lacks most of the security features available on Enterprise plans, so teams that require additional security support will either need to upgrade or integrate security tools that meet their needs.

    Smartsheet Alternatives and Competitors

    Read next: Best Project Management Software