Best Smartsheet Alternatives for 2021: Smartsheet Pros & Cons

Project management software is now the go-to tool for every project management team to be successful in all its endeavours. Its ease of use, wide array of features, intuitive capabilities, and automation help teams provide the kind of support their clients and stakeholders need. One of these types of software available in the market today is Smartsheet, an online collaboration tool that has the familiar spreadsheet-like user-interface, which is more than just a productivity app but also an execution platform to help organizations achieve more.

Smartsheet has a powerful and robust set of features that businesses can rely on for automating their processes and delivering outputs that meet specifications. What sets Smartsheet unique from the other software in the market is the way it turns the rows and columns of the spreadsheet into a hybrid that can be used for reporting, budgeting, task-tracking, and even resource management. This means that it makes spreadsheets a lot smarter and enables it to perform more processes than the traditional project management platform. And because everyone uses spreadsheets, using Smartsheet is easier and does not require a lot of training.

Smartsheet Uses

Smartsheet is a popular project management software of choice by many organizations because of its combination of enterprise-grade capabilities and security and an intuitive user interface.

  1. For collaboration. Teams and organizations need to share with each other materials necessary for the completion of their projects. Smartsheet lets them do this through its numerous features and capabilities which can be accessed by ‘collaborators’ even if they do not have a Smartsheet account. Members can report on what they are working on in real-time, manage their tasks, and automate their workflows.
  2. For security. Project management teams need their files, documents, and data to be kept secure from cyber theft and other crimes. Smartsheet understands this and provides its users with robust global security and administrative controls that enable them to audit ownership, access, and usage. Because of this, more than 75% of the Fortune 500 trust Smartsheet.
  3. For file storage. Teams also need to be able to share files and documents that are relevant to the projects they are working on. With Smartsheet, they can store these files without leaving the app or switching windows to use another software. It is also helpful to teams whose clients still use Microsoft Powerpoint or Word as these file formats can also be easily uploaded onto their Smartsheet account. The files can be uploaded to Smartsheet and can be shared with whoever in the team needs them.
  4. For reporting. Reporting is another important capability of Smartsheet that users can take advantage of. The reports of the software are very flexible and can be focused on the tasks per member, overdue tasks, and others. The reports can be easily sent through the app’s collaboration tools and can be set to recur. Aside from that, the reports can also be applied to multiple sheets at once.

Top 3 Smartsheet Alternative Software

The Cons or Disadvantages of Smartsheet

  1. It is pricey. Many project management software today offers monthly and annual pricing options, as well as free trial periods. This is the same for Smartsheet. However, it charges $14/month for its individual plans and $25/month for its business plans. This may be considered higher when compared to other apps.
  2. Lack of time tracking feature. One of the most important features of project management software is time tracking. Unfortunately, Smartsheet does not have this and relies on third-party integrations. On the brighter side, most other software of this type also does the same.
  3. No activity stream. One of the most common complaints that users have of Smartsheet is its lack of a practical activity stream. Users report having a hard time following user comments, additions, and edits because of the absence of a central communication hub. The sheet activity can only be seen on the sheet which is often not enough.
  4. Limited calendar view. The calendar view of Smartsheet is a notable feature. Unfortunately, its downside is that it cannot display all tasks or events but only a certain number at a time. The disadvantage of this is that users may not be able to see a full picture of their schedule if they have a full schedule. They would need to open another window.
  5. Not all Excel formulas work on Smartsheet. Unfortunately, many users report that not all of their favorite Excel formulas work on the software. This means that there is a learning curve for users to be able to work the same they do in Excel.

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The Pros or Advantages of Smartsheet

Smartsheet also has a long list of advantages that convince more teams to use it. The following are the top advantages of the software.

  1. Easy file attachment and commenting. Users can easily attach their files and documents onto any row of the sheet through its dedicated attachment column. Additionally, Smartsheet is compatible with numerous third-party integrations and supports various file types. There is also a comment column that users can use for commenting, as well as a reminders column for making reminders. The reminders are then sent out to the assignees in their respective rows.
  2. Availability of Gantt Charts. Gantt charts are helpful visual charts for showing who is working on specific tasks and when they did or are doing this. Users can easily enter dates to the sheets and choose ‘Gantt charts’ for one of the columns.
  3. Excellent card view. Not all project management software has the card view but most of them are already working on providing this to their users for the convenience it brings. Smartsheet has this card view and even allows users to import their Trello boards into card view which they can use in their Smartsheet.
  4. Easy user-interface. This is one of the most common comments from users, especially from those who are used to the spreadsheet. Smartsheet’s design is clean, simple, and professional.
  5. Efficient mobile apps. Smartsheet has amazing mobile app functionality. Users who are always on the go will definitely reap the benefits of its user-friendly app which allows full access to their sheets. It is designed to work both on iOS and Android devices.


There is numerous project management software in the market that may be more popular than Smartsheet. But that should not be a reason for users to skip trying it as it is competitive, reliable, and efficient.

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