Hey. What’s up, everybody? Today I want to talk about a sort of spreadsheet meets project management data collaboration tool, sort of said to do a bit of everything. It’s called Smartsheet. So in this Smartsheet review, I’m going to cover what the product is, what it can do for you, and what I like about it, and what I dislike about it. And basically try and reach a conclusion whether or not it’s actually worth using.
So look, what is Smartsheet? As I mentioned before, it’s a platform software as a service that basically allows you to create these things called sheets, and they’re supposed to be smart … hence the name Smartsheet. And a sheet, the ones I’ve been using working with a client of mine … they use Smartsheet a lot to sort of manage just about all the data they deal with on a regular basis. They’re using sort of spreadsheet formats. I think there might be some other ones, too … I’ll double check … but what I’ve been using is, yeah, the spreadsheet thing. So imagine like an Excel spreadsheet or a Google Sheets spreadsheet, but it’s set up through a sort of secure login area.
The whole point behind Smartsheet is, as far as I can tell, is that you’re supposed to be able to quite easily set up a sheet, and then have different people have different permissions, and you can edit things, and look at things. It’s sort of like a collaboration tool. So you know, let’s say you had a spreadsheet that would normally reside on one employee’s desktop in Excel. Well, you could move it onto Smartsheet, and everyone could collaborate through Smartsheet instead, so that’s really the main purpose behind it. I’ve been working with Smartsheet now for quite some time actually. Yeah, so it’s pretty cool really, actually. I’m just looking at the home page of Smartsheet here, basically just trying to see if I can pick out a few things that I haven’t mentioned about the product before I get into the sort of nitty-gritty.
So basically Smartsheet pitches itself as “less talk, more action. Organizations need a way to get work done, not just talk about it. Smartsheet is the best way to plan, track, automate, and report on work, enabling you to move from idea to impact — fast.” Yeah, really I mean, as I said, it’s just a platform for allowing multiple people to work on and collaborate on documents, sort of through a secure, I guess, staging area. There’s lots of different software like this available, but because I use Smartsheet on a regular basis, I did want to talk about it.
So look, what I’m going to do is not dwell too much on, I guess, the features of the product. It’s pretty easy to see what you can do. I would suggest just checking out the website, smartsheet.com, if you are interested in what the product can do. There’s automation work available. Forms are available, and I’ll talk a little bit more about those. Loads of different integrations, as well. So it’s pretty powerful. And as far as pricing goes, it’s actually pretty reasonably priced, as well. If I look at the pricing here, so there’s an individual tier, which is $14 per user per month; team, $15 per user per month; business, $25 per user per month. There’s different sort of benefits to each thing. I mean, obviously, the more you spend … the business plan does basically everything, whereas the individual plan you’ve got some limitations. You can’t do automated actions. You can’t see an activity log. So yeah, I would suggest checking out smartsheet.com/pricing to see the different options available.
But anyway, look, I don’t want to make this review too long, so what I’m going to do is just talk about the things I like and the things I don’t like about Smartsheet. The first thing I like is that it’s easy to work with. I mean, it is really quite straightforward just to set up sheets and do what you want with them. We’ve been using it in-house, like I said, with a client I’m working very closely with, and the whole team’s using it, including people who aren’t the most tech savvy, and they do a really good job in it. It’s great for setting up, I guess, the sorts of sheets that in the past … documents that in the past you would have had to, every time there was an update or change, you’d have to mail it around to the team, or you’d have to update it on a server somewhere and make sure you’d updated a new version and everything. This just does it easily for you.
It’s just smooth to work with really, Smartsheet. It’s nice and effective. There’s good pricing available, as well. Like I said, the pricing’s very reasonable. I mean, for $14 per user per month, you can have team sheets, which is pretty good. You get email support. Any plan you can have unlimited sharing. So what that means is, someone who you share a Smartsheet to, they’re not a paid user, but they can view and edit a selected sheet that you’ve shared with them, but they can’t make new ones and, obviously, they’re restricted in what they can do. But if you’re only using it occasionally, you might be able to get away with having your own plan, the individual one if it’s just you because you have to have three users or more for team, business, or enterprise. For a very reasonable price you could have a great little secure system for basically using Smartsheet and disseminating information to your team and allowing them to edit and view things.
Now another feature I really like about Smartsheet is the forms function. Smartsheet forms basically allow you to create forms that then pull data into sort of headed rows. So we’ve been using it to create registration forms for events, and then we wound up with a nice sheet that everyone can see that’s got all the registrations that have been, and then we can order that by the date they registered. You can do loads of customization with the forms. You can have ticks, fields, or check boxes, or mandatory fields, or whatever. Smartsheet for forms side of things, very, very effective, really good.
Another thing is that it’s secure, as well. I mean, obviously, security only goes as far as your password and everything. If you’re using crappy passwords, it’s not going to be as secure. But as a solution for collaborating on, I guess, important information, particularly sensitive information, I would certainly rather use Smartsheet than say Google Docs shared with other people. If you’re the sort of team leader, you’ve got the ability to lock people out, secure the access and all those kinds of things, as well.
Yeah, overall there are a lot of positives to Smartsheet. Really, the way I look at it is, in your business, if there’s any function you do where you’d like to be able to share data securely with other people, especially if it’s data on some spreadsheet-type format, then Smartsheet could be an excellent option for you. It’s reasonably priced, so definitely worth checking out.
Of course, there are negatives, as well. I do find it to be quite buggy sometimes, like you think you’ve saved something, and then you haven’t. As far as I’m aware, it doesn’t even do auto-saving, or at least I haven’t got it set up correctly. Run into issues sometimes where I think I’ve saved, and then I go to quit, and it say, “Oh, would you like to save this?” That’s a bit annoying.
It’s not the most fully-featured, at least on the tier I’m using. It really does work based on a spreadsheet-type stuff, or form creation. I’m not sure how well it would handle like Big Tic documents or anything like that. It seems pretty focused around sheets. I suppose that’s in the name, Smartsheet. I mean, we’ve had some … just to go back that [inaudible 00:09:00] point on the bugs … we’ve had some issues, like in-house, where no one’s been editing … as far as we’re aware … but the data’s been moved around, or things have changed slightly, and it’s created some frustrations for people. It’s not a bug-free platform. It also feels a little bit dated. It’s easy to use, but it’s kind of old-school feeling. There are slicker interfaces out there than this one.
But look, to conclude this Smartsheet review, overall I do like using it. It’s a great simple platform for creating sheets or documents, spreadsheets, and then sharing them with other people and allowing collaboration in a secure fashion. There’s scope for automations, and forms, and things like that, as well. Basically, whatever you were doing in the past with … I don’t want to say whatever, because there’s probably some stuff that you could do in Excel that you’d never ever want to do in anything other than Excel with really complex formulas and all that kind of stuff. But if you’re running sheets … let’s say you had a sheet that tracks registrations for an event like I’ve been using it for … and in the past that sheet would have set on someone’s computer, and they save drive, and they email it around about once a week or something like that. Well, much better to do it with Smartsheet.
If you’re an individual freelancer or business owner, and you don’t really work with many other people, you sort of do it all yourself, you’re probably not going to need this. You’d probably be able to get enough use or enough mileage out of Google, Google Sheets, and Google Docs, and the sharing functionalities in there. But certainly, if you’ve got a team you work with … like if you had a team of outsourcers you work with, if you had clients that you want to regularly share information in a sheet format to, all those kinds of things … well then, yes, Smartsheet has some potential for you.
Yes, Smartsheet, if you’ve got a need for secure access, and providing that access to that data to other people, and you wanted a convenient platform that’s affordable and has decent support, then yeah, give it a look. I mean, I’ve been using it now for about 12 months, and I like it. I’m not an expert on the platform. There are people who can do a lot more with Smartsheet than I can, but I do like it. It’s not perfect. There are some bugs. It feels a bit dated. It’s not as good a spreadsheet tool as Excel or anything like that, but it has some powerful features. It is very good for getting your data securely shared to other people, having the ability to lock down access, all that kind of things. So yeah, go check out Smartsheet. See what you think. You can try it for free. If you’ve used it yourself and have any thoughts, please leave them in the “Comments” below.
Value For Money
Smartsheet is a decent platform for secure document and spreadsheet creation, management and collaboration. It can feel a bit dated and clunky to use, but it is stable enough and offers some good features like embed forms for event registrations etc. Well worth checking out if you need a more secure and sturdy way of managing documents (especially spreadsheets) within a team.