10-second breakdown:

SmartSheet prides itself on being one of the quickest options to keep your projects on schedule. If your company is tech-savvy the sheer amount of customizations you can do will blow you away.

SmartSheet is used in medium (51–1,000 employees) and enterprise companies (1000+ employees).

The good:

For those that are tech-savvy SmartSheet is like being a kid in a candy store, if you want it you can build it. Ultimate customization available for those who will put in the effort.

If you are unsure SmartSheet offers a free 30-day trial so you can see if this software is right for you. This trial allows you up to ten sheets and 3GB of storage space.

SmartSheet can do everything a spreadsheet can do and more! Easy project and document sharing among individuals and teams.

The bad:

Very complex, requires some learning on your part or previous knowledge of spreadsheets to fully utilize this software.

Doesn’t come with some features such as time tracking, but it does contains the ability for you to custom build one yourself.

How it works:

Most of SmartSheet’s core functionality is based around spreadsheets, if you spend a lot of time working on spreadsheets already you’ll find a familiar home here. Smartsheet doesn’t come with a few things out of the box like invoicing or time tracking but the beauty of being based on a spreadsheet is that you could easily build these yourself. In general, if you can do it on a spreadsheet you can absolutely build it in SmartSheet too.

Whenever you start a new sheet, you have the option to use one of the many existing templates or blaze your own trail with a brand new one. Whichever way you go, Smartsheet provides overlays that will go through what each feature is in detail. There’s always a tool-tip nearby to explain a feature you may not fully understand.

The spreadsheet occupies most of the screen, with a few buttons off to the left give you access to different views like Gantt charts and some different formatting options. Each different sheet is a new tab up top, and there’s a ribbon at the bottom showing attachments, who it’s shared with, and comments.

For a while that was about all Smartsheet had to offer, but recently they unveiled a large feature they call ‘Card View.’ This gives you a much more visual method of organizing your tasks and they gave it out to all SmartSheet users at no additional cost. Although it’s not quite as flexible as the tried and true spreadsheet view, Card View makes each task due a color-coded card that you can assign to team members, drag and drop in real time, attach documents and photos, and add due dates with the click of a mouse.

The only real downside to the spreadsheet system of management is there’s no single activity stream. If you want to see what your entire team has been up to, you need to go sheet to sheet and view each activity stream individually — there’s no one consolidated stream. In addition sharing sheets among team members is a bit of a pain, to share out a sheet you need to open it up then share it out from there, if you want to share 5 then you need to open all five and share one by one.

Pricing for Smartsheet ends up being a little cheaper then you might think at first glance. Your monthly rate will be based on the number of licensed users you have, but all collaborators are free. Collaborators can edit any sheet they’re invited into, their only limitation is they can’t create new sheets or reports. If you’re the only person in your department that needs the functionality to create a new report, the rest of your team could be free!

With that in mind, SmartSheet’s first plan is ‘Basic.’ It’s $10 per registered user when paid annually and there’s a minimum of only 1 user. Basic plan holders are given 10 sheets to work with and 50 GB of file storage. You get all of the basic functionality of the spreadsheets, Card View, Gantt charts and access to the mobile app. If you need help with the software they limit you to email support though. The only real drawback of this level is the lack of advanced reporting. You can’t pull data from multiple sheets and filter it like the other two plans can, just something to keep in mind!

The next step up is ‘Team,’ it comes with everything Basic offers but increases the number of sheets to 150 and the amount of storage is bumped up to 300 GB. Team costs $15 per registered user per month and requires a minimum of 3 users. With this plan, you get access to the advanced reporting basic lacks as well as other added conveniences like user roles, user groups and resource management. If you run into any issues, support is upgraded to both email and phone as well.

It’s not included standard, but SmartSheets offers a few add-ons you can opt for at this level and enterprise including single sign-on and live data connections with analytic tools including Tableau and Spotfire.

SmartSheet’s last offering is for ‘Enterprise,’ they don’t list prices or a minimum number of users — for specifics you’ll have to give their sales team a call. Enterprise bumps the number of sheets up to unlimited and the storage out to infinity and beyond. It comes with all of the features Basic and Teams did but tosses in the single sign in and live data connections standard. It also comes with a handy feature that can automatically add licensed users to your license when they create new sheets.

If you’re a spreadsheet aficionado looking for a new project management suite you can’t go wrong with SmartSheet. It comes packed with plenty of potential that you can modify in any way you like and sculpt your own custom masterpiece.

For complete rankings of all project management software, go here.

Like what you read? Give Jennifer Diaz a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.