What is Smartsheet? – Explained
Smartsheet is an online project management solution that aims to be the modern alternative to traditional project management tools like Microsoft Project. Smartsheet focuses more on the collaborative aspects of project management, while traditional tools tend to focus more on schedules and tasks. This doesn’t mean you can’t manage tasks and schedules in Smartsheet; can do it. This means that collaboration functionality is built into Smartsheet and readily available for use with your schedules and tasks, whereas if you use Microsoft Project to manage a project, you have to use other means of collaboration.
Smartsheet is a web app, which means you don’t have to install any software on your computer to use it. Everything you need is online, so you can access it from anywhere: work, home, or on the road on your smartphone or tablet.
What does Smartsheet do?
Smartsheet uses spreadsheets, known as sheets, as the foundation of everything it does, but the difference between Smartsheet and spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is that Smartsheet has all sorts of built-in collaboration functionality.
Beyond the standard spreadsheet functionality, here’s what you can do with Smartsheet:
Collaborate: You can invite other project team members to collaborate on a sheet, which means they can view or edit the sheet. Set alerts: You can set notifications and reminders for tasks within the sheet. Attach files: You can attach files to the global sheet or to a row (or task) on the sheet. The files are stored on Smartsheet servers and are empty when you or your collaborators connect to Smartsheet and view the sheet. Have discussions: You can set up discussions for the project as a whole or for specific tasks. These threads are stored within the sheet. Request updates: You can request updates from collaborators on the progress of their assigned tasks from the sheet. Configure web forms: This allows you to configure feedback or survey forms and have the answers that users give automatically filled in on a sheet. Publish the sheet: You can make the sheet available through an external URL for anyone to view.
Get started with Smartsheet
Smartsheet offers you a free 30-day trial to try out its features, and you have a couple of ways to sign up:
With your email address: Just go to www.smartsheet.com, enter your email address, and click Try Smartsheet for free. You receive an email from Smartsheet, asking you to confirm your email address. Click the Confirm Email button and Smartsheet will load in your browser and prompt you to set up a password. After that, Smartsheet signs you in and you’re done. With Google: If you have a Google account, you can sign in to Smartsheet with your Google account, bypassing the confirmation email and password setup; your Google account credentials are what you use to sign in. Just click or sign in to Google on the Smartsheet home page, and Smartsheet will ask for permission to access your Google account. Click Accept and Smartsheet will immediately sign you in after accepting the Terms of Service.
As part of the free trial, you can use Smartsheet as a single user would, and you can set up up to ten sheets. The only thing you can’t do with the free trial is publish web forms because only paying users can have public URLs.
When you’re trying out Smartsheet, you can switch from the single-user plan to the team plan to try out additional features like reporting, user management, and resource management. See below for more information on the team plan.
How much does Smartsheet cost?
If you like Smartsheet and want to continue using it after your trial expires, you can sign in to Smartsheet and click the Upgrade button at the top of your browser window. You have three plans to choose from:
Basic: This plan costs $14 per month (if you pay annually) and gives you a single user license. You would have that license and be the “owner” of the sheets. You can have an unlimited number of “collaborators”. This option is really for the self-employed project manager. You can set up to ten sheets for your projects and store up to 3GB of documents online. Team: This plan is for a small team of project managers who must be able to create their own sheets to manage their own projects. The cost is $13 per user, but you must have at least three users, so your cost will be at least $39 per month (when paid annually). Each user can set up 50 sheets and store up to 15 GB of documents. In addition to the basic plan features, you can also get reporting, user and resource management, and priority support from Smartsheet. Enterprise: This plan is for the large organization that has 25 or more project managers. Includes unlimited sheets and storage, plus all the features of the other plans. There is no fixed cost; you need to contact Smartsheet to discuss custom pricing.