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 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.
JIRA Work Management is a project management app that provides a shared space for collaboration and project tracking. It boasts big names like eBay, Spotify, and Airbnb as clients. It has a range of tools, views, and templates to plan and monitor cross-functional projects.
Users can create Kanban-style boards to manage and monitor tasks, visualize project schedules in timeline view, choose from a range of customizable templates to kickstart project planning, work smarter and faster with workflow automation, and use a drag-and-drop form builder for work requests and more.
Jira Work Management is included free with every Jira Software license. There is also a standalone free version for teams of up to 10. Paid versions start at $5 per user per month, but this fee reduces as your user numbers increase.
Zoho Projects is a comprehensive project management tool designed to streamline projects and enhance collaboration. Offering a user-friendly interface, it enables efficient planning, tracking, and execution of projects through task management, time tracking, and document collaboration.
It has an embarrassment of task management tools - like work breakdown structures, Gantt charts, dependency tracking, recurring tasks… and lots more. There are also customizable workflows and automation capabilities to accelerate project progress - plus automatic notifications to keep collaborators on track. Reporting and analytics support confident, data-based decision-making.
Zoho Projects is free for up to two projects, then $5 per user per month for their premium tier, going up to $10 for the enterprise tier.
MeisterTask is a project management platform with collaborative tools for task management, timeline visualization, and resource allocation. It promotes transparency and communication within teams by providing a centralized space for project-related discussions and document sharing. It also features customizable project boards and templates to suit various project types and workflows. Its integration capabilities include other Meister tools and third-party applications like Slack, ZenDesk, Trello, and Zapier.MeisterTasks is free for up to three projects, then offers three paid tiers - from £10 per user per month.
Project Server is a Microsoft enterprise project management solution. It’s designed for managing projects, resources, and portfolios from an on-premise deployment. It provides a centralized platform for project portfolio management, allowing users to prioritize and allocate resources effectively. Project Server helps team members collaborate through features like task tracking, document sharing, social capabilities, and reporting tools.
With a focus on scalability, it accommodates large and complex projects, providing a comprehensive solution for project managers overseeing multiple initiatives simultaneously. Additionally, Project Server integrates with other Microsoft applications and offers advanced analytics for better decision-making.
Scoro is an all-in-one work management platform designed to streamline and centralize project and business operations. It combines features for project management, CRM, billing, and collaboration.
It is specifically designed for professional service businesses - like agencies and consultancies - allowing users can manage tasks, track time, and schedule projects with ease. The CRM functionality helps in maintaining client relationships and sales pipelines. There are also includes financial tools for budgeting, invoicing, and expense tracking, allowing businesses to maintain a holistic view of their operations. Plus integrations with tools like Xero, Quickbooks, Hubspot, and Zapier.
Scoro pricing requires a minimum of 5 users and starts at £19 per user per month for their ‘essential’ tier, going up to £47 per user per month for their ‘pro’ package. You can also request a custom quote for their ‘ultimate’ tier.
Workzone is a project management and collaboration platform. It offers project tracking through Gantt charts, task lists, and customizable project dashboards, providing visibility into project progress and deadlines. Workzone also has collaboration features like document sharing, team messaging, and file storage.
The project dashboard provides a big-picture view of where all projects stand across different departments, clients, and campaigns. Plus, project templates are a huge timesaver, helping PMs plot projects forward or backward from a deadline.
Workzone bills itself as the ideal project management software for marketing, agency, and operations teams of 5+ users. Pricing starts at $200/month.
Teamwork is a comprehensive project management and collaboration platform - designed for confidently and competently managing client work. It helps service businesses deliver work on time and budget, and understand profitability all in one platform.
Teamwork offers a range of features, including task management, Gantt charts, time tracking, and document collaboration. The platform emphasizes real-time communication and transparency, providing team members with a centralized space for discussions, file sharing, and updates. It also offers reporting and analytics tools to help teams gain insights into project performance.
Teamwork offers a free version for teams up to five people. For larger teams, pricing ranges from £6 to £20 per user per month. Minimum user numbers apply.
Parallax is a resource planning and forecasting tool for agencies and development studios, designed to increase resource utilization. It includes functionality for forecasting, capacity planning, resource management, project financials, and predictive operations intelligence.
Data visualization tools let you quickly see your team’s capacity and allocate resources to current and future projects. And auto-generated resource plans help streamline allocation. Executive summaries of all active projects help you track budget, schedules, and progress in real time.
Pricing is on request.
Taiga is an open-source project management tool, designed for multi-functional Agile teams. It provides a collaborative and flexible environment for managing tasks, user stories, sprints, and backlogs. Taiga supports various project management methodologies, including Scrum and Kanban, and offers features such as customizable workflows, burndown charts, and sprint planning tools.
It has integrated chat and discussion forums to help collaboration throughout the project lifecycle, and a complete set of reporting tools including team and individual performance dashboards.
Taiga Cloud Basic is free - yes, really - for unlimited users and unlimited projects. There’s also a paid version if you want to add premium support.
Celoxis is a versatile project management software designed to facilitate efficient project planning, tracking, and collaboration. It includes features for task and resource management, budgeting, time tracking, revenue forecasting, and reporting - and has highly customizable workflows to fit specific project requirements.
Celoxis offers Gantt charts and advanced scheduling capabilities for visualizing project timelines and dependencies. You can also collaborate in Celoxis through document sharing, discussions, and email integration.
Pricing depends on whether you opt for cloud-based or on-premise deployment - you need to contact Celoxis to find out more.
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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