Smartsheet: Review of a unique Project Management software

Smartsheet is a Project Management Saas software (Software As A Service) developed by a SAAS company, of course! The stated goal is simple : the management of a company’s collaborations – no matter the type – and all on one single platform.

Normally, it is used for planning, tracking, expiry monitoring, file sharing and managing various tasks. It looks a bit like the Excel spreadsheet, that’s why it is named Smartsheet.

Getting started

When you use it for the very first time, you will immediately notice that the Smartsheet interface is “simple”. As mentioned earlier, it vaguely resembles the interface of Excel or an online spreadsheet. The idea is that, in each “sheet” there are “smart” detailed lines for distributing tasks or having a global view of a big project.

You can match the tasks to be performed with a date (Smartsheet will create a “calendar view”), a priority, a person or even an emergency.

Smartsheet’s logo
Smartsheet’s logo

The updates are automatic and are based on the progressive filling of the “sheets”. You can store the e-mail addresses of all the people linked to the project so that everyone can fill out their respective sheets and be alerted of each update. It also means that once you’ve updated a spreadsheet, the other sheets attached to it will also be automatically updated. With Smartsheet, you can upload Microsoft Office files or documents from Google drive.

Smartsheet is available on mobile (Android and iPhone) and can only be downloaded upon payment as there is no free version.

Smartsheet is available on mobile and in Cloud in Saas mode
Smartsheet is available on mobile and in Cloud in Saas mode

More information about smartsheet here.

Smartsheet’s main features

  • Gantt chart: to visualize tasks in a Gantt that can be modified as we want
  • Calendar mode showing all activities in progress: planning, search function, reminders, etc.
  • card mode: to give a more visual side to the interface
  • sending part or the whole sheet to a team member
  • sharing, exchanging spreadsheets (access permissions can be set), and linking between cells
  • Notification Center and Activity Log
  • search with filters
  • Resources and Task Management
  • critical path
  • reports for each sheet and publication (editable or not)
  • dashboard: real-time display of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with graphs
  • alerts and automated actions
  • upload files from Google drive, One Drive, Dropbox or via local
  • export by e-mail
  • API (Application Programming Interface)
The Smartsheet dashboard with its graphs
The Smartsheet dashboard with its graphs

First step on Smartsheet

Using Smartsheet is very easy. You only need to know the basics and this software will have no more secrets for you.

The sheet

As the name implies, Smartsheet is grounded on a “sheet” and your entire project will be based on this “smart” sheet.

The famous sheet mode of Smartsheet
The famous sheet mode of Smartsheet

To create a sheet, you have to follow these steps:

  1. Press the “Add Another Sheet” button
  2. On the right, click on “Create” and then choose the type of element you want to create
  3. Choose a name, (not more than 50 characters) then press “OK”

By default, the sheet will be super basic, but you can customize it by adding various columns depending on your task.

Lines and columns

Lines and hierarchies are the essential elements in a sheet. This part stores all information: customer information, tasks, orders etc. They are also needed to hold additional information such as attachments (images, etc.) or comments.

Columns will help you manage your files. It distinguishes Action Indicators, dates, contact lists, etc. Smartsheet also includes formulas and these are crucial for doing calculations and research.

The rest of the Interface

For the rest of the Smartsheet interface, you have the following:

  • “Project”: necessary to activate the functions of the Gantt chart
  • “Kanban”: gives everything you need to start a Kanban project
  • “Task list”: it contains the name of each task, the dates, the task managers, the tasks performed and the various comments
  • “Form sheet”: to receive information from other participants
  • “Report”: for the creation of balance sheets
Smartsheet in Kanban mode or, in other words, in card mode
Smartsheet in Kanban mode, aka Card mode

Advantages and disadvantages of Smartsheet

Advantages

  • exchange and sharing is possible
  • available on mobile
  • well-thought-out dashboard
  • card mode

Disadvantages

  • no free version
  • no automatic backup
  • still requires a time of adaptation

My opinion on Smartsheet

Personally, I think that Smartsheet is a revolution as of Project Management software. Although it requires a time of handling, we can easily find our landmarks and we realize that the distribution of sheets, rows and columns of the interface is a good idea.

Highly customizable and visual, we can perhaps complain only about his Windows 95 side which, well, brings him an authentic stamp. Anyway, that’s my point of view. For the rest, whether you are a team of 5 or 50 people, Smartsheet will allow you to play easily with KPIs, deadlines and deliveries while always having a global view of your project (s). Actually, I think he’s doing a better job than Redmine In this regard. Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I’m sure!

>See here: Project Management Software: your Ultimate Updated Guide

>See also: Redmine, Review of a popular free Project Management software

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