Smartsheet is a cloud-based work execution platform that enables teams and organizations to manage projects, tasks, and processes in a collaborative and efficient manner. It provides a flexible and intuitive interface that combines the functionalities of spreadsheets, project management (PM) tools, and automation features.

While there’s no denying that Smartsheet is an excellent choice for some companies’ PM needs, there are a number of other useful alternatives that may potentially serve as a better choice for your business. So check out our Smartsheet alternative guide to find the solution you need.

Top 7 best Smartsheet alternatives

  • Trello: Best for cross collaboration and simple file-sharing
  • ClickUp: Best for managing teams and projects under one dashboard
  • Asana: Best for cloud-based collaboration
  • Wrike: Best for customization and preconfigured multi-purpose templates
  • Podio: Best for creating custom folders more efficiently
  • Teamwork: Best for task management and creating updates
  • Jira: Best for tracking multiple projects with ease

Trello: Best for cross collaboration and simple file-sharing


Pros

  • Visual organization
  • Flexibility and simplicity
  • Automation
  • Mobile accessibility

Cons

  • Lack of advanced features
  • Limited reporting and analytics

Boards and Lists: Trello’s core element is its “Boards” and “Lists,” which offer a visual and intuitive platform to organize tasks, projects, and ideas. Users can create boards for different projects and lists within boards to organize tasks and collaborate with team members.

Task Management: Trello enables users to create and manage tasks through “Cards.” These cards can be assigned to team members, given due dates, and moved across lists to track progress. Various views, including the Calendar Power-Up, offer a dynamic perspective on deadlines and project timelines.

Collaboration: The collaborative essence of Trello is brought to life as team members can comment on cards, attach files, and engage in discussions directly on the board. This fosters real-time communication and seamless teamwork, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Automation (via Butler): Trello’s automation feature, known as Butler, streamlines repetitive tasks and workflows. Users can set up rules, commands, and custom buttons to automate various actions, reducing manual effort and ensuring a smoother workflow. This way, Trello becomes a powerful tool to keep projects on track with less manual overhead.

Trello has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $5 per month, per user.

We chose Trello for its visual and intuitive interface. Trello’s visual board, list, and card system provide a clear and easy-to-understand representation of a company’s tasks and projects. This visual approach makes it simple to organize, track, and prioritize work, especially for individuals who prefer visual organization methods. Trello is also highly flexible and customizable to fit your specific workflow and PM needs.

Trello is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. It doesn’t require extensive training or technical expertise to get started. With its drag-and-drop functionality and straightforward features, companies can quickly adapt to the software and start managing tasks more effectively. Trello may vary depending on the complexity of the projects and specific requirements that are presented. However, if teams value visual organization, collaboration, flexibility, and an intuitive interface, this PM software can be an excellent choice for managing tasks and projects.

ClickUp: Best for managing teams and projects under one dashboard


Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Realtime chat option available

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Lacking project message board

Task Management: ClickUp provides powerful task management capabilities, allowing users to create, assign, and prioritize tasks. You can set due dates, add descriptions, attach files, and track progress on individual tasks.

Customizable Workflows: Users can customize workflows and create unique statuses and labels to fit their specific project needs. This feature allows for greater adaptability to different project types and teams.

File Sharing and Document Management: Users can attach files directly to tasks or use the Documents feature to manage files and collaborate on documents within the platform.

Time Management and Productivity Tools: ClickUp includes features like reminders, time tracking, and goal-setting to help users stay organized and focused on their work.

ClickUp has a free plan in place, and paid plans start at $7 per month, per user.

We chose ClickUp for its reliability and its position as one of the best PM tools on the market. Much of the software’s features included in its free plan serve as a good starting point for many small businesses. Should companies consider ClickUp’s tiered pricing and paid plans, they can expect additional tools and enhanced usability when upgrading.

ClickUp is one of the best available options for team management and project organization and allows businesses to get a better hold on managing various tasks, projects and teams all under one centralized hub. Users can share attachments and add comments to assigned tasks and documents to stay better organized, and managers can perform tasks such as creating schedules and calendars while providing actionable comments for their contributors. The list of features offered does come with a slight learning curve and while the software lacks some functionality when compared to the competition, ClickUp is still a solid option and one of the more affordable PM tools out there.

Asana: Best for cloud-based collaboration


Pros

  • Workflow customization
  • Integration with other tools
  • Automation

Cons

  • Complexity for simple tasks
  • Steep learning curve
  • Mobile app limitations
  • Costly

Task Management: Asana allows users to create tasks, assign them to team members, and set due dates. You can organize tasks into projects and prioritize them for better workflow management.

Collaboration and Communication: Asana facilitates team collaboration through features like task comments, file attachments, and @mentions, allowing team members to communicate and share updates in the context of specific tasks.

Automation: Asana provides automation capabilities, allowing users to create rules and workflows to automate repetitive tasks and streamline processes.

Integrations: Asana integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Slack, and more, enhancing collaboration and data synchronization.

Asana has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $10.99 per user, per month, billed annually.

We chose Asana for its user-friendliness and its comprehensive set of features that cover the entire PM lifecycle. From task creation and assignment, to progress tracking, communication, and reporting, Asana provides the tools small businesses need to effectively manage their projects and tasks.

Asana is a robust PM tool that offers numerous benefits for teams and individuals seeking to streamline their work processes. However, it’s essential to consider a company’s specific requirements and evaluate whether Asana aligns with its needs, preferences and budgetary constraints before adopting the software.

Wrike: Best for customization and preconfigured multi-purpose templates


Pros

  • Fully customizable workflows
  • Real-time updates and notifications
  • Integration capabilities

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Costly for small teams
  • Limited reporting capabilities
  • Dependency on Internet connectivity

Task Management: Wrike provides robust task management capabilities, allowing users to create, assign, and track tasks. You can set due dates, add descriptions, and attach files to tasks for better organization.

Collaboration and Communication: Wrike facilitates real-time collaboration through task comments, @mentions, and file attachments, promoting seamless communication among team members.

Custom Workflows: Wrike allows users to create custom workflows to suit their specific project needs and automate repetitive processes for increased efficiency.

Wrike has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $9.80 per user, per month, with a minimum of two users

We chose Wrike because it presents a comprehensive set of features for managing tasks, projects, and teams. It offers tools for task assignment, scheduling, progress tracking, collaboration, and reporting. Whether a team works on small projects or complex initiatives, Wrike can accommodate most PM needs.

Wrike is highly customizable and allows users to adapt the software to meet their specific needs. Teams can create custom task statuses, workflows, and dashboards that align with their way of working. This flexibility helps them tailor the software to meet the requirements set by their project managers. Wrike promotes effective collaboration and communication within teams by providing a centralized platform where team members can share files, comment on tasks, and have discussions. Real-time updates and notifications keep everyone informed and ensure seamless collaboration.

Podio: Best for creating custom folders more efficiently


Pros

  • Customizable
  • Mobile access
  • Effortless communication between teams
  • Workflow automation

Cons

  • User interface is difficult to navigate
  • Sharing projects can be difficult for beginners

Workspaces and Apps: Podio allows users to create customizable workspaces for specific projects, teams, or departments. Within each workspace, users can build custom apps to manage various aspects of their work, such as tasks, documents, calendars, contacts, and more.

Task Management: Users can create, assign, and track tasks within Podio. They can set due dates, add descriptions, attach files, and comment on tasks to ensure efficient collaboration and completion.

File Sharing and Document Management: Podio enables users to upload and share files within the platform. This facilitates centralized access to project-related documents and ensures everyone has the latest version.

Customization and Workflow Automation: One of Podio’s strengths is its flexibility and customization options. Users can tailor the platform to their specific needs and automate repetitive tasks using workflow automation features.

Unlimited free use for up to five people. Paid plans start at  $9 per employee, per month (billed monthly) or $7.20 per employee, per month (billed annually).

We chose Podio because it is highly customizable, and allows users to create tailored workspaces and apps to match a specific workflow. This level of flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of industries and project types. Podio also fosters a collaborative environment with features like task assignment, commenting, and social-style interactions. Team members can stay connected, share ideas, and work together effectively.

Podio is a cloud-based collaboration platform that facilitates PM, task tracking, and communication within teams and organizations. It provides a flexible and customizable environment where users can create workspaces and apps to manage various aspects of their work, such as tasks, documents, calendars, contacts, and more.

Teamwork: Best for task management and creating updates


Pros

  • Customizable workflows
  • Robust features and tool sets
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Customization complexity
  • Costly

Task Management: Teamwork allows you to create and assign tasks to team members, set due dates, prioritize tasks, and track progress. You can organize tasks into task lists or boards for better visualization.

File Sharing and Document Management: Users can upload and share files, documents, and other project-related assets directly within Teamwork. This ensures everyone has access to the latest files, avoiding version control issues.

Integrations: Teamwork integrates with various third-party applications, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, and more. These integrations enhance the platform’s capabilities and improve collaboration with other tools.

Team Collaboration: Teamwork offers multiple collaboration features, such as discussions, comments, and notifications. Team members can communicate and exchange ideas on tasks and projects within the platform.

Pricing starts at $12.50 per user, per month. A 30-day free trial is available.

We chose Teamwork because it is widely known for its intuitive and user-friendly interface. Its clean design and easy-to-navigate layout make it accessible to team members of all levels of technical expertise. The platform also allows users to tailor their project workflows, task lists, and project structures to meet their needs. This level of customization can help teams adapt the platform to fit different project types and industries.

Teamwork’s goal is to simplify PM processes, promote effective collaboration, and improve overall project outcomes. As a cloud-based solution, it allows team members to access project information from anywhere with an internet connection, making it suitable for distributed or remote teams.

Jira: Best for tracking multiple projects with ease


Pros

  • Comprehensive issue tracking
  • Customizable workflows
  • Reporting and analytics

Cons

  • Complexity and learning curve
  • Costly

Issue Tracking: Jira’s core functionality is its robust issue tracking system. It allows users to create, prioritize, assign, and track various types of issues, such as tasks, bugs, user stories, and more.

Customizable Workflows: Jira enables teams to create and customize workflows that reflect their unique development processes. Workflows define how issues move through different stages and statuses, making it adaptable to different project types.

Reporting and Dashboards: Jira offers a range of built-in reports and customizable dashboards. Users can generate reports on team performance, issue resolution times, burndown charts, and more.

Automation: Jira provides automation features that allow users to create custom rules to automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and save time.

Pricing starts at $7.75 per user, per month.

We chose Jira because its robust issue tracking system allows you to capture, prioritize, and manage different types of tasks, bugs, and user stories in one centralized location. This helps teams stay organized and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. Jira also offers detailed reporting and analytics, providing valuable insights into team performance, issue resolution times, and other key metrics. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions and identifying areas for improvement.

Jira is a popular PM and issue tracking tool developed by Atlassian. It is widely used by software development teams and various other industries to plan, track, and manage their work efficiently. Jira provides a comprehensive platform for teams to collaborate, organize tasks, and monitor project progress.

Benefits of using project management software

PM software helps keep all project-related information, tasks, documents, and communications in one centralized location, making it easy to access and share information with team members. PM software empowers teams to work more efficiently, collaborate effectively, and deliver successful projects within budget and on schedule. It also plays a crucial role in modern project management practices and is an essential tool for teams seeking to maximize their productivity and success.

What if these alternatives aren’t right for me?

You’ve been through the list and the Smartsheet alternative options aren’t meeting your needs? We have a couple of options for you to consider. First, check out our full Project Management Software Buyer’s Guide for a more comprehensive list. If you’re still not sure, maybe Looker is exactly what you need. You can get to their 30-day free trial by clicking below.

What are the pros and cons for using Smartsheet for project management? 

Smartsheet is a popular PM and collaboration tool that offers various features to help teams plan, execute, and track projects. Like any software, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, which will be explored below. 

Pros

User-friendly Interface: Smartsheet has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for team members to get started quickly with minimal training.

Flexible Project Management: The platform allows for versatile PM, including task lists, and other features that cater to different PM methodologies.

Collaboration and Communication: Smartsheet enables real-time collaboration among team members, facilitating better communication and coordination.

Automation and Workflows: The platform offers automation features that streamline repetitive tasks, saving time, and reducing manual errors.

Cons

Cost: Smartsheet’s pricing may be a concern for small teams or startups, as it can be relatively expensive compared to some other PM tools.

Learning Curve: While the interface is user-friendly, some advanced features might have a learning curve, especially for users new to project management software.

Limited Automation: While Smartsheet offers automation capabilities, some users might find the automation options limited compared to more specialized PM tools.

Resource Management: The resource management features in Smartsheet are not as robust as some other dedicated resource management tools, which could be a limitation for organizations with complex resource allocation needs.

How do I select the right Smartsheet alternative for my business?

Selecting the right Smartsheet alternative for your business involves a careful evaluation of your specific requirements, budget, and team’s preferences. When choosing an alternative you should first identify the key features and functionalities you need in a PM tool. Consider aspects such as task management, collaboration, reporting, resource allocation, and integration capabilities. Next, assess your business’s growth prospects and determine if the chosen alternative can scale as your projects and team grow. Finally, you should set a budget for the PM software. Different alternatives come with varying pricing structures, so consider the cost per user, additional features, and subscription plans.

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