24 Best Smartsheet Alternatives For 2020 (Free & Paid)
Smartsheet’s interface is familiar to users who spend a lot of time in Excel or spreadsheets. But once you add too many projects, you have an explosion of multi-layered sheets. And no one knows what to do next. Fortunately, this list of Smartsheet alternatives exists!
Though it’s similar to spreadsheets, there is still quite a learning curve for new Smartsheet users to fully take advantage of the software’s feature.
Why would you want a list of Smartsheet Alternatives?
Smartsheet’s interface is familiar to users who spend a lot of time in Excel or spreadsheets.
But once you add too many projects, you have an explosion of multi-layered sheets. And no one knows what to do next.
If your team isn’t confident with spreadsheets or would like a different feel for project management, then it’s time to look at Smartsheet alternatives.
Here are some Pros and Cons most people rank Smartsheet on:
Smartsheet Project Pros:
- Smartsheet adds power to the traditional spreadsheet, so if you love spreadsheets, you’re likely to love Smartsheet as well.
- You can combine formulas with standard project management features like Critical Path.
- Smartsheet can handle more than just project management – it’s designed as an “end-to-end work execution platform.”
- Multiple people can access and work on the same sheet at once.
Smartsheet Project Cons:
- Since Smartsheet is built to mimic a spreadsheet, its interface has limits, especially around effectively managing tasks and resources for more complex projects.
- It’s similar to a database where columns are fields and rows are records, so some formula capabilities are lacking compared to competitors.
- Many users complain about the level of support available and trouble onboarding new team members.
- Customization and integration options are somewhat limited.
Before you decide on a project management software, here are the top Smartsheet alternatives to help you find the best fit for your needs:
List of Smartsheet Alternatives
Best Smartsheet Alternatives
Spreadsheets still feel too much like Excel? Check out Workzone. Based outside Philadelphia, PA, Workzone has been a significant player in the project management SaaS world since 2002.
Pros: As a Smartsheet alternative, Workzone gives you project management the way it was meant to be, complete with excellent customer support. Workzone is easier to use than Smartsheet, and you get the benefit of growing up from spreadsheets.
Workzone provides unlimited support. Their comprehensive onboarding process ensures that everyone is trained and adopts the system quickly.
- Task dependencies
- Gantt charts
- Resource allocation
- Visual dashboard reporting
- Permissions for users to access projects, tasks, and files
Cons: Some users have complained that Workzone’s search function could be improved.
Review: “Workzone is a great option for agencies and marketing departments that have a lot of projects. When there are multiple people working on a project within a team, it is great to see the progress.” – TrustRadius
Asana is a popular project solution with a lot of name recognition behind it. Asana makes the list of Smartsheet alternatives because they are both heavily funded by venture capital.
Pros: Like Smartsheet, Asana has many features to help you keep track of your projects at a glance. Key features include progress reports, color-coded tasks, feature boards for managing tasks, a mobile app, and the ability to add tasks by email and sync to Google Calendar or iCal.
Cons: Moving from Smartsheet to Asana, users may feel that Asana lacks some of the more powerful features of Smartsheet. It’s usually too simple as your team grows and changes. A drawback of Asana is having to rely on adding modules and plugins for extra functionality –- making it difficult to scale.
Pricing: Free – $24.99/user/month; Enterprise quoted privately
Trello helps companies of any size track the status of tasks and projects using an intuitive system of “boards” that takes no time for new team members to get up to speed.
Pros: This web-based software allows users to invite outside members (e.g., vendors or clients) to view or collaborate on specific boards, and users can also print their boards to PDF for future reference. Information is synced up across all devices, and users can increase productivity by using “Power-Ups” to integrate with other services.
Cons: Although great for keeping track of tasks, Trello has limited functionalities when it comes to project management and is a poor choice for project managers concerned with estimates, budgets, and dependencies. It also lacks the reporting features of a more powerful tool like Workzone.
Pricing: Free – $20.83/user/month
Control your whole creative project management workflow in one place with Scoro.
Pros: Scoro’s allows you to have your CRM and project management tasks all in one place. The software combines time tracking, billing, quoting, and invoicing so it is suitable for client work as well.
Cons: Compared to stand-alone project management solutions or dedicated CRM systems, “comprehensive” solutions like Scoro aren’t as robust and falls short of tracking projects like they should be tracked. It’s merely trying to do too many things at once.
Wrike is an end-to-end solution that takes your projects from initial request to tracking work progress to reporting results. It’s designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises.
Pros: Wrike offers integration with many popular tools and apps. Users can collaborate via mobile app and customize their dashboards to increase productivity. They have instituted boards, cards, Gantt Charts, and timelines so your team members can work how they want.
Cons: Since Wrike is so customizable, it can be hard to learn and onboard new employees. It was originally designed as a document sharing solution that later transitioned to project management, so it’s stuck with a hard-to-navigate folder-based system.
Pricing: Free – $36.40 per user per month, Enterprise plan quoted
Basecamp has been the longstanding project management solution with over 100,000 paying customers. It’s designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses, and groups within large organizations. Basecamp makes the list of Smartsheet alternatives because it is a bit simpler but keeps your teams on task.
Pros: This cloud-based application allows team members to collaborate in real-time both on desktop and via mobile app. It helps centralize project management and team communication so that the entire team can have clear visibility into projects. Basecamp offers access control and creates backups to Google Drive or Dropbox.
Cons: Basecamp’s features are quite standard, so they may not have unique features that meet specific needs. It also lacks recurring tasks or to-do lists, which are common in many other project management tools.
Pricing: Personal is free, Business is $99/month for unlimited users
7. Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project has been used for decades in project management. It’s still popular today with Project Management Professionals and large organizations that have formal Project Management Offices. Microsoft Project makes the list of Smartsheet alternatives because it is widely available to existing Microsoft users.
Pros: MS Project likely has all of the functions you need. Now it’s available as a simple cloud-based Office 365 subscription that allows users to access the software via desktop or mobile app and collaborate in real-time. It includes time and resource tracking as well as reporting functionalities with built-in customizable templates.
Cons: For most users, getting up and running with the software could take quite a bit of learning time. All the bells and whistles may be useful for highly complex projects; however, they might become a distraction for smaller projects and make adoption difficult.
Pricing: $12.80 – $70.40/user/month for cloud-based solutions, and $769 – $1,719 for on-premise solutions, with project servers quoted individually.
JIRA, by Atlassian, is a project management tool built for software development teams. It’s designed to support the Agile process during which teams plan, develop, test, and release software early and often. Check out our complete list of JIRA alternatives here.
Pros: Users can use one of their out-of-the-box workflows or create their own. JIRA integrates with more than a thousand add-ons and the ability to integrate with hundreds of other tools to help teams increase productivity. Jira can create great reports for both roadmapping and agile project management. It also has issue-tracking and prioritization capability.
Cons: Some users find JIRA’s interface clunky at times, and certain functionalities confusing. If your team isn’t technical or doesn’t need to do a lot of bug-tracking and issue-tracking, then JIRA likely won’t be the right choice. It has a set of rules all its own that may be difficult to learn.
Pricing: Free – $14/user/month
Redbooth is an easy-to-use online task and project management tool designed to help teams improve productivity.
Pros: Similar to Smartsheet, the software allows users to generate interactive timelines (Gantt charts.) Redbooth has clean simplicity and intuitive design, but it also offers assignable subtasks, productivity reports, and more.
Cons: Some users find the app’s customization capability to be slightly limited, and the software doesn’t allow the mass upload of tasks from Excel (which could make for a painful transition if you’re currently tracking projects on a spreadsheet.)
Targetprocess is a project management tool designed for visualizing and managing Agile projects according to Scrum, Kanban, or a custom approach.
Pros: Targetprocess’ card layout and visualization allow for more tasks in timelines and milestones. It has one of the most extensive free plans on the market, is easy to use, and is known for having exceptional customer support.
Cons: Some users find the user interface overly complicated, and it often takes a while for team members to get up to speed. Targetprocess isn’t the most powerful program, nor is it the most beautiful.
Pricing: $20/user/month, with Enterprise level pricing quoted privately
11. Excel Online
Microsoft Office 365 offers a pared-down version of their offline equivalent (MS Excel) with which teams can track projects and visualize timelines. Of course Excel makes the list of Smartsheet alternatives. After all, would Smartsheet exist without Excel as recognizable as it is?
Pros: If you’re currently happy using spreadsheets to manage your projects and just want something accessible from anywhere and easier to share with others, this could be the right option for you.
Cons: Even though tracking projects on a spreadsheet may sound like a convenient option, there are significant limitations. Excel doesn’t have features specifically designed for project management, such as real-time collaboration, extensive track changes, and customer support – and it’s not ideal for tracking complex projects that involve multiple dependencies, resources, and milestones.
Pricing: Free for Microsoft Office 365 users
Check out this article: Why Project Management Software Beats Excel
12. Google Sheets
Very similar to Excel, Google Sheets can be used to track simple projects and visualize basic timelines. Google Sheets makes the list of Smartsheet alternatives because its a spreadsheet! If Smartsheet is too complex for you, then keep your work in the cloud and try Google Sheets.
Pros: It’s suitable for collaboration and version control because multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, and the changes are saved automatically. If you want to stick with spreadsheets yet move to the cloud, this software could be the right option.
Cons: Google Sheet is a spreadsheet software and not designed for project management. It has similar limitations as MS Excel when it comes to tracking projects and managing resources. If you’re managing a lot of projects or even just one complex project, you will likely struggle with this tool.
Pricing: Free with a Google Account
Freedcamp’s vision is to make the majority of its project management features available to all free of charge.
Pros: Their paid features are available to nonprofits, teachers, and students at no charge. Users can use Freedcamp to track tasks, milestones, discussions, and more.
Cons: Freedcamp doesn’t support Gantt charts, and a task can only be assigned to one person even if multiple team members are working on it. Some users find the interface not very intuitive, so it may take some getting used to.
14. Zoho Projects
It’s the project management software from Zoho, a brand that provides a variety of software to enable businesses to operate online.
Pros: You can plan your projects, assign tasks, communicate with your team, stay on top of important updates, and view detailed progress reports. Like Smartsheet, it also offers integration with many popular tools to help increase productivity. Unlike many similar services, you can add unlimited users on all plans at no extra cost.
Cons: Zoho Projects takes a while to learn, and it doesn’t allow you to set apart billable vs. non-billable hours in the Timesheet Calendar view. The Zoho ecosystem is large, and that comes at the cost of usability. Don’t expect this tool to have the ease of use of many other project management tools.
15. CollabNet VersionOne
VersionOne merged with Collabnet in 2017 and was recently purchased by the TPG Group. The software is still operating as CollabNet VersionOne, and it still offers a work management suite complete with project management software.
Pros: With a more specific clientele in mind than Smartsheet, it’s designed to support methodologies such as the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), Enterprise Scrum, Kanban, DAD, LeSS, or a Hybrid approach. It integrates with a variety of team and enterprise tools to help increase productivity.
Cons: Since this software is designed to address the complexity of a variety of software development models, it could take team members some time to get up to speed and take advantage of all the features and functionalities.
Podio is designed for small, growing companies to run their entire businesses and innovative teams in enterprises to manage their communications.
Pros: As part of Citrix, Podio is known for its stability (99.99% uptime) and security standard. Its ability to export information to spreadsheets allows users to conduct further analysis. It also offers more social features, like peer recognition and sharing.
Cons: Some users find Podia’s all-in-one interface to be slightly hard to navigate. Podio lacks an al-projects dashboard or portfolio view to get a handle on all active projects.
Pricing: Free to Premium Plans. Basic plan for $9/user/month; Plus plan for $14/user/month; Premium plan for $24/user/month.
Headquartered in Ireland, Teamwork boasts a full suite of productivity tools, including help desk software, a sales CRM, and project management software.
Pros: Teamwork helps teams increase productivity and improve collaboration with features such as tasks, task lists, time tracking, file uploads, and messages to streamline day-to-day work.
Users like the versatility and reliability of the system. It also allows users to export an entire database to a MySQL file.
Cons: The chart feature is somewhat basic in Teamwork, so you may need to use other software to help enhance data visualization and reporting. Suffering from being an “all-in-one” solution, Teamwork may be too complex for small teams new to project management.
Pricing: Small Office plan for $44.92/month, Professional plan for $136.58, Business plan for $228.25/month, Enterprise plan quoted
ProjectManager.com is a comprehensive project management tool that supports features similar to those of Smartsheet, such as Gantt Charts, resource and task tracking, real-time dashboards, team collaboration, and mobile apps.
Pros: Most users find this software user-friendly and effective in helping keep various projects and teams organized. ProjectManager.com supports both Waterfall and Agile project methodologies. The software helps you manage progress, track time, collaborate, and report on how things are going.
Cons: The software’s integration with MS Project is limited, and users also have few options to customize columns in lists. Some users complain about a lack of customization, especially for reports and alerts. There have also been some complaints about the software being slow.
Pricing: $15-$25 /user/month
Assembla is a code and task management tool for teams building innovative software. It’s popular among video game, mobile app, and design robot developers.
Pros: If your focus is on software development projects, this solution may be an excellent choice. It enables you to manage projects using Scrum, Gantt, Kanban, Waterfall, and SAFe methodologies. Assembla offers a lot of security to help keep your source code safe.
Cons: This software is designed for a specific market – if you’re not in software development, it’s likely not the solution for you. Users have complained about an outdated user interface and a lack of support.
Pricing: $9.17–$30 /user/month but only sold in packs of 5
Mavenlink is a project management tool designed for professional service businesses, especially in the marketing, advertising, public relations, architecture, engineering, IT services, management consulting and education.
Pros: Its project plan templates allow users to create tasks, checklists, schedules, budgets, dependencies, and role-based resource assignments. It’s the most-installed project management app in the Google Apps Marketplace.
Cons: Like many project management tools, there is a slight learning curve, especially for users who are not familiar with project management software. Some users also find the ability to customize limited.
Pricing: $19 – $39/user/month with Premier and Enterprise packages privately quoted
Intervals by Pelago helps small to mid-seized teams run projects within scope and budget. It’s commonly used by PR, marketing, SEO, and SEM agencies as well as web developers, designers, software companies, consultants, and IT services.
Pros: It has robust project management features similar to Smartsheet, including time tracking, task management, reporting, workflow, and more. It also offers timesheet and invoicing functionalities.
Cons: Some users find Intervals’ scheduling capability limiting, so you may need to use additional employee scheduling software. The software is also more expensive than many of its competitors.
Pricing: $59-$299/month depending on the number of active projects and storage requirements
22. iMeet® Central
iMeet® Central is a project management software designed for marketers, agencies as well as enterprise teams.
Pros: For marketers and agencies, the software offers project and campaign management, branded workplace for client teams, and project-specific workspace for collaboration with vendors and freelancers.
Cons: Some users find the software challenging to navigate, so it may take team members a while to be able to take advantage of all the functionalities.
Celoxis is an integrated and collaborative web-based platform with a wide range of functionalities for managing projects, finances, resources, and business processes online.
Pros: Celoxis offers an all-in-one solution, including managing projects, tasks, collaboration, risks, issues, resources, timesheets, and profits. It’s an enterprise solution that is great for large, complex projects and organizations.
Cons: Being an all-in-one enterprise solution means that Celoxis has a pretty steep learning curve. Some users find Celoxis’ interface complex and not intuitive to use, which may require additional training and onboarding time for team members. It may be too much for smaller teams and projects.
Pricing: $25/user/month for the cloud solution, while the on-premise solution costs a one-time fee of $450/user.
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform where users can securely store, organize, share, and access information. Sharepoint makes the list for Smartsheet alternatives because of its strong integration to Microsoft Office and its document storage abilities.
Pros: As part of the Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint works well with Windows and other MS applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. SharePoint also integrates with existing Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) and apps like DocuSign and syncs files and folders to OneDrive.
Cons: This software is only compatible with the Windows operating system, which could pose a challenge if team members are running a variety of OS on their computers. It is designed as a document management system rather than a project management system, and is lacking much of the functionality project teams will need.
As you can see, there are many Smartsheet alternatives to choose from to help you efficiently manage your projects.
Make sure you understand your specific needs, so you can select one that best suits your priorities and budget.
Does your team need a powerful project management tool that the whole team can use? Workzone may be just the ticket…
Does your team need a powerful project management tool that the whole team can use? Workzone may be just the ticket…