Smartsheet for Productivity
February 16, 2016

Smartsheet for Productivity

Meghan M. Prentiss | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Smartsheet

Smartsheet is being used by various programs across the agency. The software is used in diverse ways some use it for: tasks, assigning case loads for environmental health using reminders, to track programmatic processes at both high-level reporting and diving into the details of projects.
  • Smartsheet has been excellent for assigning tasks to teams. By entering my team member's contact information and a due date, I can easily set reminders to keep them on track and to notify me if anything is running behind.
  • Reports are an excellent way to pull information from multiple sheets. One of our teams uses this for each staff member to track their case load. Team leads are able to easily see the status of each assignment.
  • Smartsheet is easy to learn. We have staff ranging widely in age and technology use. The functionality of Smartsheet is like a mix of Excel and Google Docs with the additional perk of alerts and easy collaboration. We have found that anyone who has even basic experience with Excel can easily work in Smartsheet with a little extra guidance.
  • Conditional formatting automatically changes as a project is updated by you and/or your team. This makes it easy to identify where the project is on track and where it is falling behind with just a quick glance at your Gantt Chart or spreadsheet.
  • We have found that Excel and Google Docs "super users" get frustrated with some of the nuances of Smartsheet compared to their regular programs. Making sure that Smartsheet is not "just another tool" that our staff has to use, discussing the differences between Smartsheet and those programs, and explaining why we chose to use Smartsheet for a particular program, makes a huge difference in staff perception.
  • A lot of front end planning and organization is needed for some of the larger projects in Smartsheet. It is best to start small and play in the software so you can learn how everything works, before developing a robust program Gantt and reporting system.
  • Our organization has looked at expanding the use of Smartsheet to report consistently across our seven divisions. However, the dashboard functionality is not quite where we need it.
  • Increased employee efficiency - keeping them on task and reminded of when their project deadlines are.
  • Improved staff involvement - project tracking helps identify clear project deadlines and milestones for SMART objectives.
  • Provides additional professional development opportunities for staff to learn a project management tool.
I have used Microsoft Project, Basecamp, OmniPlan and Excel to organize projects. Smartsheet, by far, is my favorite. Although Smartsheet is not quite as detailed with Gantt charts as Microsoft Project and OmniPlan, it is much more user friendly. Smartsheet also has the capability to do similar functions that you find in Excel such as formulas, sorting, etc.

However, my favorite [thing about] Smartsheet is the collaboration features and real-time updates. Linking cells across sheets together, leaving comment threads, adding attachments, using Google Hangouts, entering a sheet at the same time as your teammates, and sending updates and reminders are just a few examples of how teams can work together. Collaborators don't even need a license - they can simply log in if you invite them! Lastly, Smartsheet has solutions for so many different kinds of projects that I have used it both at work and for my many volunteer projects for large project management, planning events, managing grants, developing/conducting surveys and more. This does not even include the additional platforms I have not tried such as employee hiring, budgeting, and document routing. There seems to be a template or solution for just about anything. You just have to get in there and play!
Very similar to other project management software, Smartsheet should be used for a program with a designated program/project coordinator or manager who has the time to set up the system, test it, possibly train their team on how to use it, and keep it up to date.

Smartsheet Feature Ratings

Task Management
Resource Management
Gantt Charts
Workflow Automation
Team Collaboration
Support for Agile Methodology
Support for Waterfall Methodology
Not Rated
Document Management
Email integration
Mobile Access
Timesheet Tracking
Change request and Case Management
Budget and Expense Management
Not Rated
Not Rated
Project & financial reporting
Integration with accounting software
Not Rated

Using Smartsheet

Smartsheet is very easy to learn. However, while I have been able to pick it easily, Microsoft Excel and Project super users that I have trained on Smartsheet get bogged down in the differences and can find it frustrating. Explaining the differences ahead of time and why Smartsheet is being chosen instead of a different software seems to counteract those reactions.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Developing a Gantt Chart - anyone can do it!
  • Setting up alerts by name and due date
  • Creating webforms
  • Using Smartsheet Labs to create graphs based on data - something more integrated would be very helpful.
  • Some of the formulas can be tricky if you are used to the standard Excel format.
  • Getting reports to look more presentable
  • Knowing that if you want a report to pull information from multiple sheets the columns need to be named the same. It sounds easy, but sometimes you don't realize this when you are first getting started in Smartsheet and have to go back and change column titles or be sure to include the different names in your report.