No longer sweet on Smartsheet? Plenty of PMs start looking at Smartsheet alternatives after realizing it doesn't serve their needs. That search can be overwhelming - but we're here to help.
As project managers, it can be frustrating to work on a project without the right tools to help you and your team. This includes having a reliable project management platform that suits your unique use-case.
Smartsheet is a popular digital project management solution for businesses, with a range of customization offers for every size and industry. But does that necessarily mean it's suitable for everyone?
In this article, we look at why Smartsheet might not be the best solution for your business, and what to look for when reviewing other tools. We've also compiled a comprehensive overview of the 10 top Smartsheet alternatives for you and your organization to answer your resource and project management needs.
Smartsheet supports companies in managing work, tasks, and overall project progress. However, there are a few issues users have experienced while reviewing this tool:
One of the essential features of project management is having a time tracker. Unfortunately, Smartsheet still requires an add-on to track your team members' time automatically, otherwise they will have to fill in their timesheet manually. And everyone knows what an uphill battle that can be!
Collaboration is one of the main project management tasks expected from a team to ensure project progress. Users have cited that a lack of permission settings to share bulk sheets makes it harder to collaborate using Smartsheet, compared to other platforms.
One Capterra reviewer, an Analyst based in the US, writes that it is confusing to work on shared documents in Smartsheet, especially when multiple people are editing a document at once:
"You have to save your changes, then have everyone refresh the page - otherwise changes get overwritten or go unnoticed."
With even free tools like Google Sheets offering a better collaborative workspace experience than this, it's understandable that some users become disillusioned with Smartsheet.
Reporting and document management are key features of project management software, especially for complex projects.
Smartsheet offers only five reports for individual accounts, and customers on paid plans have encountered restricted functionality for the report summaries. Users cite frustrations - often to the point where they will give up and return to using a different software for their reports.
David, a Business Operations Manager reviewing Smartsheet on Capterra, states that:
"PowerBI does a much better job at dashboarding and reporting. Our org has decided to use PowerBI as our main reporting tool"
Amber, a Global Marketing Manager, concurs:
"I have reverted back to Excel and other reports already set up in Salesforce."
Smartsheet is currently one of the more expensive options for managing projects with advanced project management features such as an activity log and document builder. While the limited Pro plan starts at $7 per user/month when billed yearly (or $9 per user/month if billed monthly), the Business plan is a steep $25 per person per month billed yearly, or up to $32 per person if you pay each month.
The high price tag attached to some of these key management functions can be one of the factors driving businesses to look at Smartsheet alternatives that offer more affordable pricing for the features they need.
As Account Executive Paul put it in his Capterra review:
"It feels like there are cheaper alternatives in the marketplace that do the job just as well."
Keeping an eye on these key factors helps you to consider the best Smartsheet alternative software perfect for your team:
Are the basic project management features available aligned with the existing systems you have? Are there advanced features you can use and take advantage of? Be sure to check on third-party integrations, and if the platform supports unlimited projects.
Project and resource management platforms should be able to secure all your project data, so you have easy access to everything you need to organize projects. File sharing features and an easy-to-use interface also help improve productivity within your project teams.
Does the free plan come with enough functional features for your needs? If you choose a paid plan, is the amount per user/month worth it in the long run, or is it costing you more than you have allocated? Will this software support your business when you're handling multiple projects and larger teams in the future? Check on software that provides workspace access to unlimited users to maximize value for money.
Onboarding and set-up of new software can be a headache. When the features are not newbie-friendly and can take a while to understand and apply, be sure that customer support is accessible 24/7 for your concerns.
Resource planning and managing projects is a breeze with one of the best Smartsheet alternatives on the market. Runn is used by businesses of all sizes - from single-digit teams to workforces thousands strong - providing a comprehensive solution to keep resources and projects on track.
With Runn's resource management features like the People Planner, you can quickly identify your team's capacity, utilization, and schedule, and allocate assignments at the click of a button.
Capacity planning features help you scope out future project timelines, making sure that your organization only commits to work it has the capacity to deliver. Unpredictable workloads and unexpected overtime will be consigned to the past!
You can sign up for a free trial for 5 projects, with unlimited users. The Runn Pro Plan is only $10 per user/per month if billed monthly, or $8 per user/per month if billed annually.
Microsoft Project is an excellent Smartsheet alternative for your new project management system and existing business plan solutions.
MS Project offers a resource engagements feature to help lock in your staffing, visual heatmaps to identify underutilized or overworked resources, and a variety of project views to improve your project delivery timeline effortlessly.
Plans start at $10 per user/month with a free one-month trial.
Basecamp is an excellent Smartsheet alternative for organizations requiring project team collaboration. It has key features like one page-dashboards and Campfire group chats that support team accountability and reinforce collaborative communication.
Its all-access account helps align different departments and clients, allowing for smoother progress tracking with fewer meetings.
Basecamp pricing is $15 per user/month, billed only for employees, while clients and guests are free of charge.
Monday.com is another popular project management tool. It has a ton of options for customizable workflows depending on your team's tasks and processes - from the nitty-gritty of daily task management, to templates for basic capacity planning.
Monday.com touts itself as a comprehensive "Work OS", meaning it can do a lot. But most of the set-up is left to the user, and it may ultimately be too generalized for some organizations.
Monday.com's free version accommodates 2 users, while its basic and standard plans are priced at $8 and $10 per user per month, respectively.
Project Gantt charts are a classic and effective way to plot your project schedules. If your organization is a fan of this method for visualising timelines, Teamgantt is a good Smartsheet alternative for you.
With Teamgantt, organizations can turn their Gantt charts into Kanban boards, lists of items, or a plotted calendar. Its drag-and-drop feature and project health report make Teamgantt easy to use and accessible for any team.
The paid version is $19 per manager, with collaborators using the account for free. The pro plan is $49 per manager per month, while the enterprise plan is $99 per manager per month.
Hub Planner is a Smartsheet alternative that focuses on resource management, with helpful features to help monitor your team's schedule. It features automated leave management, which integrates with the task schedule, so project managers will never lose track of their staff reporting and run the risk of being understaffed.
Hub Planner costs start at $7 per user monthly for the Plug & Play plan.
Kantata is a popular Smartsheet alternative for professional services firms in need of a PSA platform. It provides access to all project data in one platform to help create practical project strategies and forecasts. This project planning tool supports teams by enabling you to assign the right people to priority tasks at the right time.
Kantata offers a free trial, and paid plans start at $19 per user/month.
For Agile and Scrum teams that live in Kanban boards and need backlog management features, ProjectManager might be a good solution. It is a project management tool designed to help teams improve productivity and businesses oversee project progress.
ProjectManager is versatile, with helpful progress reports, portfolio management features, time tracking, critical path analysis, and Gantt chart features giving you many options for how you monitor your projects.
The team plan costs $13 per user monthly, while the business plan starts at $24 per user/month.
Assign and track tasks with flexibility to accommodate your organization's growing needs. A popular choice for expanding teams looking for an alternative to Smartsheet project management, nTask helps manage tasks efficiently.
Its multiple assignees are notified in real-time to prevent miscommunication, and progress meters allow team members to update task status and label priority type.
nTask has a 7-day free trial, and then costs $3 monthly for the Premium and $8 monthly for the Business plan.
Popular workflow automation for sales agencies, digital studios, advertising organizations, and other service businesses within the marketing sector. Wrike is a Smartsheet alternative that uses different tools and integrations to spark progress and support efficient workflows.
Automated work requests and 400+ integrations help teams who are trying execute events, launches, campaigns, and increase demand generation.
Teams can start to enjoy Wrike at $9.80 per user/month.
From software development teams to management consultancies, digital agencies to architecture firms, and game development studios to construction companies - if your business deals in projects, finding the right project management tool is essential to managing the pipeline without being overwhelmed.
And, ultimately, the best project management software for your company is the one that fulfils all your needs, without adding to your workload.
Although Smartsheet offers good features for project managers to work on the resource and project planning process, many users have found that it's just not right for their situation.
As one of the best Smartsheet alternatives, Runn puts serious resource management and capacity planning power in your hands. And it does all this without breaking your budget.
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