Smartsheet is scaling and climbing ranks quickly. But does it really fulfill all requirements of handling large projects? With an experience of more than a decade in ProofHub as the marketing manager, I did my homework to arrive at the top 10 alternatives to Smartsheet.
10 Best Smartsheet alternatives list
1. ProofHub – Best for project management and team collaboration
2. Workzone – Best for basic task management
3. Google Sheets – Best spreadsheet software
4. Microsoft Project – Best for schedule management
5. Taiga.io – Best for agile project management
6. Planview LeanKit – Best for Kanban project management
7. Scoro – Best business management software
8. MindManager – Best for creative project ideation and planning
9. Nutcache – Best for time and budget tracking
10 Celoxis – Best for project portfolio management
Are you spending countless hours finding your way through complex formulas, tracking deadlines, or ineffective collaboration?
We’ve all been there, feeling overwhelmed by the limitations of Smartsheet and craving a better solution. Imagine a world where project management is a breeze, where teams collaborate seamlessly, and where your productivity soars to new heights.
Well, the good news is that there are Smartsheet alternatives that will revolutionize the way you work. If you are currently using Smartsheet as the PM tool in your team and looking for alternatives, hooray! You are at the right place.
I did extensive research to find the top alternatives to Smartsheet and presented them in the article in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- What is Smartsheet?
- Why there may be a need to look for alternatives?
- 10 Best Smartsheet alternatives and its competitors
What is Smartsheet?
Smartsheet is an online project management tool that looks similar to spreadsheets. This tool is a service application that helps to streamline tasks and simplify project tracking and collaboration.
Smartsheet offers businesses an innovative solution to collaborate on projects and processes. It effectively combines the ease of a spreadsheet with visual timeline management, collaborative file sharing, discussions, and automated workflow capabilities.
Simply put, Smartsheet combines Microsoft Excel, Project, and Access. The first time I used Smartsheet, I thought I was using Excel sheets with graphs and charts that had bright colors.
Why there may be a need to look for alternatives?
Although Smartsheet has ‘smart’ in its name, users want project management tools that are actually smarter!
I researched and read top reviews on different platforms and analyzed the top reasons that forced the need for an alternative.
1. Overwhelming features – With too many features, users are bound to get confused, especially the first-timers.
One drawback of Smartsheet is that it can be overwhelming to navigate for first-time users. While the platform offers a range of features, it can take some time to get familiar with all of them. – Sardorbek M.
2. Confusing user interface – You want a user-friendly interface for comfort while using the app. However, users have complained about Smartsheet having a complex user interface that creates confusion.
I don’t like the confused jumbled look of things. There’s a lot going on and it’s difficult to navigate thru things sometimes. – Jessica A.
3. Lack of automation – Project management tools should minimize repetitive tasks in order to save time. However, Smartsheet makes it a hassle for users by forcing them to invite the same people again and again!
When we create a new workbook we constantly have to invite the same people over and over again to view this new sheet. It would be nice if you could just add in the users you want to view the entire account as an option instead of having to invite them to every sheet individually. – Aaron M
4. Steep learning curve – There is a very steep learning curve, especially for 1st-time users. With overwhelming features, it is literally difficult for users to get used to the software quickly.
Sometimes I don’t think Smartsheet is the easiest. It can be a little hard to gain a quick overview, especially with no experience. – Anne-Louise P.
5. Poor customer support – With a confusing interface Smartsheet should have had a strong and quick customer support team. However, they let us down there too.
Sometimes, Smartsheet is Dumbsheet. I get a bit annoyed with our Smartsheet support team. – Savannah S.
It becomes imperative here, for obvious reasons to look for Smartsheet alternatives. But where do you start?
I know how difficult it is to source project management tools. That is the reason I did the hard work (homework😉) for you. Using my experience and valuable input from my team, I reviewed top tools and made a list that will help you in choosing the right tool for your team.
So whether you are currently using Smartsheet or not, you will be able to explore options for ‘smart’ project management in this article.
10 Best Smartsheet alternatives and its competitors
ProofHub is an easy-to-use, all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool that helps you to plan, communicate, execute, and monitor projects efficiently – all in one place.
ProofHub is better than Smartsheet in many ways (that we will be exploring moving forward) mainly because ProofHub covers all the biggest cons of Smartsheet. Unlike Smartsheet, ProofHub boasts a comprehensive project management solution with essential features for task management, time tracking, proofing, reporting, and more.
Make a quick comparison, and you will find, that the user interface is friendly with a simple learning curve, and effective customer support.
Further, 79.2% of users claim they will recommend the use of ProofHub, as compared to 76% for Smartsheet. This shows that ProofHub has a higher satisfied user base and is more popular.
➡️ Eliminate the need for multiple tools
ProofHub is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool. Unlike Smartsheet which focuses primarily on data organization and spreadsheets, ProofHub offers features ranging from task management and instant communication to time tracking.
With ProofHub you can simply eliminate the need to switch between multiple apps and complete all your management activities on a single platform.
➡️ Centralized platform for collaboration and communication
Powerful collaboration and quick communication bring your team on the same page, so you can rest assured that the project will be completed on time.
You can boost the productivity of your team by effectively sharing ideas, communicating, and collaborating on the centralized platform.
➡️ Organize your work
Task management becomes easier with ProofHub. You can create tasks, delegate tasks effectively, manage deadlines, and monitor progress. You can visualize workflows, manage workloads effectively and ensure the timely completion of tasks. However, Smartsheet has limited features and does not provide much flexibility when it comes to task management.
Further, ProofHub provides you with multiple task list views. This allows you to get the overall idea of project progression in a view that is convenient to you.
➡️ Customizable workflow
With custom fields, you can modify your workflow as per the specific needs of your project. This helps your team to effectively plan tasks and execute them. Smartsheet is highly primitive when it comes to customization.
Creating custom workflows, setting templates, and personalizing the platform to match your team members’ preferences sets ProofHub apart. You will see a huge boost in the efficiency of your team which will help you in finishing projects successfully.
When it comes to recurring tasks, ProofHub lets you create repetitive tasks that have a fixed interval. You can set automatic reminders, notifications, and even deadlines for these recurring tasks. This eliminates the hassles surrounding task repetition.
➡️ Transparent & access control
Transparency is an integral part of building a successful team. ProofHub provides built-in chats, ensuring your team members can coordinate effectively. Discussions, comments, @mentions, and sharing files are all possible on the same platform.
You have complete control to modify the permissions/roles of any user. This comes in handy to ensure that different users get to view only the important things that are directly related to them.
Also, you can assign tasks to multiple team members. This helps your team to effectively manage workload, minimize chances of the blame game, and eliminate any chances of delay.
➡️ Reporting at its best
While Smartsheet offers an activity log and customizable dashboards with dynamic data and metrics, ProofHub takes reporting to the next level. With ProofHub, you can create a wide range of customizable reports effortlessly.
From burn-up charts for tracking task progress to detailed lists of open and overdue tasks, ProofHub provides visual reports based on labels and assignees.
With additional workflow task reports, time reports, workload reports, roadmap timeline reports, and project progress reports, ProofHub empowers teams to easily track progress, identify areas for improvement, and stay on top of projects with unparalleled clarity and efficiency.
➡️ Value for money
Of course, the primary point of discussion is always based on money! You do not want to invest resources in a tool that does not solve the primary purpose of simplifying project management.
Smartsheet is outright costly in comparison to ProofHub. This is because ProofHub offers you flat pricing. This comes in handy when you are scaling your business. You can add as many users as you want without any additional charges. Hence, ProofHub is best suited for businesses of all sizes.
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Complete control over tasks and team
- Simple learning curve
- Online proofing
- Announcement feature can be used for recognition and appreciation
- Quick response from customer support
- Flat rate pricing
- Notifications are sometimes overwhelming.
- Built-in client invoicing is not available.
With flat pricing, you can effectively have infinite team members! Your entire organization can use this tool without any significant impact on the budget.
The essential plan is priced at $45 per month (billed annually) while the ultimate control plan is priced at $89 per month (billed annually).
“The best part is the custom fields that aid in prioritizing tasks. Furthermore, with ProofHub, it is simple to follow a roadmap, stay up to date on tasks that are lined up, communicate with teams, and execute ideas together seamlessly. Keeping track of the success of social media initiatives on a regular basis is also made easier with ProofHub’s reporting.” – G2 review
“One of the most impressive things in the software is its kanban boards. We have created team-specific workflows, and everyone just loves moving the tasks through stages.” – Capterra review
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Workzone is almost similar to Smartsheet, but what I liked about Workzone is that you do not get the “Excel sheet” feeling too much. Workzone is best suited for basic project management for small teams. This tool perfectly fits a diverse team with varying experiences.
- Powerful collaboration features for ensuring your team members are all on the same page.
- Effective analysis using automated reports helps in identifying the area that requires improvement.
- Transparent workflow with dependencies for quickly identifying bottlenecks and eliminating delays.
- Quick response from the support team.
- Customization options are available.
- A vast number of project templates.
- Comments are not available.
- Mobile application is not up to the mark.
- Hourly tracker not streamlined.
The basic plan costs $24 per user per month, while the enterprise plan costs $43 per user per month. For a tool that offers only simple and basic project management features, the prices are too high.
“It is also very versatile and is able to mesh with many different types of businesses or teams. This is definitely a great plus for businesses who wish to deploy Workzone across different departments.” – Capterra review
3. Google sheets
With Google Sheets, you can create, edit, and collaborate wherever you are. Google Sheets has a suite of productivity apps that let you create documents and keep them in Google Drive.
However, Google Sheets are basically for simple planning. If you are using Excel at the moment, then Google Sheets is just a necessary upgrade!
- Multiple users can work on the same spreadsheet, further using a single login on multiple devices simultaneously is also possible.
- Real-time sync and data updates ensure files are always up-to-date, immaterial of the device you are accessing.
- Audit logs and reports enable you to quickly revert to the previous version and review individual changes made by your team members.
- Automatic saving ensures no data is lost.
- Unmatched security for safe storage and sharing of confidential data.
- Accessible across devices of all sizes.
- This is spreadsheet software and is not designed specifically for project management.
- Cannot integrate two different domains, and requires a separate login.
- Built-in chat is not available.
The prices are for Google Workspace, which includes google sheets as well as a host of other apps.
The starter pack starts from $6 per user per month.
“I like the ease and layout of creating a spreadsheet with Google Sheets. I can share them seamlessly and have them on the go.” – Capterra review
Learn how to become a better Google Sheets Project Manager!
4. Microsoft Project
I find Microsoft Project highly useful for scheduling and portfolio management. Microsoft Project is in use for project management for decades now. So you can rest assured that this tool has weathered the storms.
However, the tool offers limited collaboration features in comparison to other project management tools.
- You can collaborate efficiently with team members using the web-based platform.
- Easily understandable Gantt chart for quickly communicating project details to team members.
- Multiple view options help in quickly identifying bottlenecks and rectifying them early.
- Built-in customizable templates.
- Quick response from the customer support team.
- The drag-and-drop feature makes it very easy to create and assign new tasks.
- The learning curve is steep.
- Overwhelming features may cause confusion to first-time users.
- Limited collaboration features.
The basic plan starts from $10 per user per month, while the premium plan costs around $55 per user per month.
This tool is highly priced for a small business, moreover, for the features offered by this tool, the prices are not justified.
User review“Navigating through the software and accessing various functionalities is a breeze, even for users with limited technical expertise. The ability to customize dashboards and reports according to my specific needs has greatly enhanced my productivity and decision-making capabilities.” – G2 review.
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Taiga is best suited for Agile project management tools. Agile developers, designers, and project managers use Taiga to monitor and fix issues by assigning a person to them.
However, the pricing is on the higher side, considering the cost that hosting is on the Taiga cloud.
- Effectively keep track of your test cases, bugs, and cloud data without hassles.
- Integrated bug/issue tracking with customization options on the basis of severity, types, and priority.
- Quick and effective onboarding for a head starts into agile project management!
- Import current projects from other tools.
- Simple and user-friendly interface.
- Built-in billing feature.
- No mobile app.
- The process of generating reports is a bit complex.
- The tool is slow when it comes to processing oversized cases.
The plan costs around $70 per month. You can add unlimited users. Also, there is a plan starting from $10 for teams working on Linux or Docker.
User review“It has very easy to use and very user-friendly. Also, It has a qualified help center and provides good quality.” – G2 review
Also known as Plan View Agile Place is a cloud-based visual management tool based on the Kanban-style platform. Like Smartsheet it has features that include a discussion board, project management, and collaboration tools.
What sets LeanKit apart is the private cloud feature and enhanced security administration.
- Create a strategy, and organize delivery plans using simple and intuitive Kanban boards.
- The tool not only provides you with Agile project management, but you can also effectively schedule tasks based on the waterfall methodology.
- Schedule and allocate your resources effectively by effectively comparing the demand to the capacity of your team.
- Individual users have to-do lists. So they can view their tasks with ease.
- Set dependencies between tasks to ensure steady project progression.
- Customizable templates as per individual project requirements.
- Report generation is not up to the mark.
- The dashboard is not optimized for a user-friendly experience.
- Occasional issues with budget management, as the currency transfer rates are not updated, and require manual updation.
There is just a single plan with complete functionalities. This starts at $20 per user per month. Large teams with many team members may have to shell out more to use this software.
“Kanban cards are easy to create in the dashboard, and we can intelligently assign tasks by issuing cards with details to individuals. Creating priority-based assignments and the visibility of assigned tasks and allocated resources to everyone is very helpful in innovative management through Planview AgilePlace.” – G2 review
I felt this tool is a comprehensive tool that helps you to manage a business effectively. The best part for me was the ability to send bills and quotes right from the app. This helps in saving a lot of time and the hassles of changing apps multiple times.
However, Scoro is not highly dynamic with very limited options for automation.
- Seamless workflow ensures steady project flow without any hindrance.
- Integration with other tools like Dropbox, Outlook, Mailchimp, etc. saves time and increases productivity.
- Get detailed insights about your team’s performance and therefore, make decisions with confidence.
- Flexible and quick set-up ensuring seamless project continuity.
- Best suited for tracking orders or quotes.
- Real-time overview and automated reports.
- Slightly long learning curve.
- Limited customization capabilities.
- Exporting Gantt charts is not possible.
The Essential plan starts from $26 per user per month. The Pro plan costs $63 per user per month.
I believe that the prices are slightly on the higher side for this tool.
“The software has completely changed our efficiency and allowed us to turn around quotes much faster. We know at just about any given time where our projects are from a cost perspective and where are margin will end up.” – Capterra review
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With MindManager, you can become more adept at brainstorming, managing, and planning projects with ease and speed. It keeps your team members aligned on the decisions that find if a project will meet goals and deadlines. MindManager is a powerful mind-mapping software to grow your business.
- Best suited for task managers for analyzing and delegating tasks effectively using the ideation sessions.
- Effective methodology for brainstorming to avoid overwhelming thought processes.
- Easily convert your maps into slides, so that you can effectively communicate with your team members with ease.
- Quick export option in a number of different formats.
- Simple integration with other essential apps like Drive, etc.
- Customizable options for different project ideas.
- Invoicing feature does not perform well.
- Learning curve is quite steep.
- Lags between syncing multiple devices.
The essential plan for an individual user costs $99 per year.
For teams, the plans start from $179 per year.
“The mind mapping and project management tool had an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, and it had a wide range of features that made it very versatile. My favorite feature was the ability to create visually appealing mind maps that helped me brainstorm and organize my ideas.” – G2 review
Nutcache brings the best of Agile to your business workflow. It provides your team with a solution for managing the entire project delivery. It has all the Agile features to manage your project seamlessly.
However, this tool is best suited for small businesses or individual users only.
- Timesheets for efficient time tracking that provides you with an overall understanding of the project advancement.
- Customizable dashboards quickly help users to adapt to the tool with ease.
- You have complete control over the flow of the project, and you can analyze multiple options before finalizing a particular idea.
- Quick set-up and initial configuration.
- Track multiple projects with ease.
- Share and collaborate effectively with clients.
- Customer support team is sometimes not quick and responsive.
- Mobile application is not up to the mark and is slow to respond.
- Reporting and summaries require intuitive and simple-to-use features.
The Pro plan starts from $12.5 per user per month. The Enterprise plan starts from $21.5 per user per month.
However, you can additional users only in blocks of 5. This may impact your budget when you are planning to scale your business.
User Review“It’s simple to get set up and then easy to invoice without any hassle. I also really appreciate the reporting functionality for my end-of-year accounting.” – Capterra review
I found Celoxis to be a powerful task-scheduling and portfolio management tool. For businesses, this tool helps you to manage complex projects by breaking them into smaller chunks.
However, the custom roles and access are not defined clearly. This leads to confusion resulting in a loss of productivity.
- Powerful dashboards and reports provide you with an all-around view of the project progression.
- Allocate resources based on the existing workload of your team members, thereby ensuring even distribution of workload.
- Customizable fields – currency, time, and even formulas, for effective working.
- Birds’ eye view of the overall workload of your team.
- Time tracking for quick invoicing and billing.
- Highly customizable and initiative dashboard.
- Reports are inflexible, and custom fields are not available during generating reports.
- Inability to limit resources that you do not want to use.
- Small bugs in scheduling tasks happen occasionally.
The plan starts from $22 per user per month. This is a bit pricing, for a tool that is cloud-based.
“Using this tool was easy and fast. It is great for monitoring hours and to keep track of all the work that is done.” – Capterra Review
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Our criteria for choosing the best Smartsheet alternatives
Below are the factors based on which I have selected the best alternatives for Smartsheet.
✅ Task management capabilities
Task management is a combination of multiple features. I look for a tool that offers me simplicity in assigning tasks, setting due dates, and dependencies. Further, different views such as Kanban, table, Gantt, and calendar views provide an added advantage to the overall value proposition.
For me, a good task management tool should be able to help me track project progress with ease and provide custom fields for the typical needs of various projects.
✅ Easy onboarding
When it come to selecting PM tools, I took into consideration, factors such as technical support, ease of onboarding, and training sessions provided. All these activities add value to the overall cost. Scalability and flexibility are all important factors that influence my choice in selecting the top alternatives.
✅ Collaboration and Communication
For me, a top project management software should provide efficient collaboration and communication features such as Chat, Discussion, comments, and sharing of ideas, notes, and files on the centralized platform that ensure timely completion of work and prevent delays. Built-in chats eliminate the need to switch between multiple applications, thereby ensuring efficient and quick communication.
✅ User feedback & reviews
I also considered looking into the comments, feedback, and reviews about the tool. This gives an exact idea of what other project managers are going through. Trusted sources like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice are the best places to look for real feedback and reviews.
Tips for choosing the right Smartsheet alternative
Now that you have come this far, let us conclude our exploring journey with some tips that will help you select the tool that you specifically want.
These are the tips I focus on when I am researching and reviewing other tools. Having a standard helps in simplifying the selection process and helps you in selecting the right tool.
👉 Identify your specific needs
Every team has a specific requirement. Just like all our fingers are not the same size, similarly, different teams have different requirements. Therefore, choose a tool that provides the features that you need the most. It is not necessary to own a tool that will provide you with many features, but you need to have that particular tool that fulfills your basic requirements.
👉 Assess scalability and flexibility
Your team is bound to grow, and the size of projects is also going to get more complex. Analyse if the tool will be able to grow along with your team. It is not wise to change your PM tool, as there are chances of loss in your team’s productivity. Check if the tool is customizable and adapts to your team.
👉 User-friendliness and ease of adoption
The tool that you choose should not have a steep learning curve. You do not want your team members to spend productive hours learning how to use the tool. Select a tool that can be easily adopted by your entire team.
👉 User reviews and recommendations
To understand the real experience of managers using a particular tool, you can read reviews on trusted websites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice. Even I spend a lot of time on these websites to understand how different tools are performing and how they are reacting to user feedback.
👉 Free trials and demos
This is a primary requirement – “First try, then pay”. Unless and until you are not completely satisfied with the functioning of the PM tool, do not make the next move. This may end up as a huge disaster down the road.
First of all, decide your budget, and evaluate the needs that you want the PM tool to meet. Depending on the features that you specifically want, you can start looking for options. I recommend you not to compare different tools on the basis of pricing alone. The features provided by different tools vary. Based on your team, look for a tool that fulfills the typical project management requirements.
Get started with ProofHub
In conclusion, if you’re in search of the ultimate Smartsheet alternative, look no further than ProofHub. From simplified task management and real-time collaboration to efficient communication channels and comprehensive reporting, ProofHub has it all.
ProofHub empowers you to keep everyone on the same page, ensuring seamless collaboration and boosting team productivity. No longer will you struggle with scattered information and disjointed communication. Instead, you’ll have a centralized hub where you can effortlessly manage tasks, share updates, and provide feedback.
Make the smart move by switching to ProofHub and unlock a world of possibilities for your projects and team. Book your Free Demo!
Is Smartsheet any good?
Smartsheet is to help people move quickly from ideas to action. It uses spreadsheets to streamline project management tasks and has many collaboration options.
What are the drawbacks of Smartsheets?
A major drawback of Smartsheet is that it runs slowly when storing large amounts of data, which is trouble for users.
Is there a free alternative to Smartsheet?
The Free alternative to Smartsheet is Google Sheets. This is very similar to Excel but with far more advanced features and a clean interface for data management.
Is Smartsheet better than Excel?
Yes, Smartsheet is better than Excel. This is because Smartsheet offers you multiple customizable views, cloud-sharing options, and collaboration features.
How long is Smartsheet free?
Smartsheet offers you a 30-day free trial.
Is Smartsheet Excel based?
Although visually, Smartsheet looks similar to Excel, Smartsheet offers you powerful features for work management, collaboration, accessibility, and integrations.
Is Smartsheet a PM tool?
Smartsheet provides a real-time view of the task progression. This tool is widely used by numerous companies for managing big and complex projects.