Smartsheet’s “Spreadsheet On Steroids” is Killer Project Management App for SMBs

Smartsheet’s “Spreadsheet On Steroids” is Killer Project Management App for SMBsSmartsheet

“If you currently use a spreadsheet and email to manage projects, you (and your teams) will love Smartsheet.”



Smartsheet is an online project management and collaboration tool. It provides the ease of use of a familiar spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing and work automation features. This combination has made it a popular and highly functional business productivity app for small and large businesses alike.

Smartsheet allows you to turn an Excel spreadsheet, MS Project file, or Google Spreadsheet into a project you can track online. You can attach files, set alerts to notify you when dates come near, view in Gantt or calendar view, and include threaded discussions in each row of the project, allowing for complete team collaboration and continuous communication.

The web app is used by thousands of organizations of all sizes for managing all types of work across the organization including projects and tasks, operations, sales pipelines, contacts, events, marketing campaigns, HR processes, inventory tracking and more.

Smartsheet’s “Spreadsheet On Steroids” is Killer Project Management App for SMBs

Why Spreadsheets + Email = FAIL for Managing Work

With thousands of productivity apps on the market today, spreadsheets and email are still the most frequently used tools to plan and implement project work.

What’s good about spreadsheets? People use spreadsheets because they’re easy to use, can be set up to match the user’s needs, are perceptually free, and take no IT set up or approval to deploy.

What’s bad about spreadsheets? While spreadsheet usage is common, its use as a project or task tool begins to deteriorate as needs expand beyond the basics. Spreadsheets don’t remind you when things are overdue, they don’t enable rollup of work across differently organized sheets, and they do not produce graphical timelines, or elegantly integrate with work calendars. Spreadsheets do not house related files, documents and discussions with the project. And version control is difficult for projects with many moving parts or when you need to coordinate with lots of people, inside or outside your organization.

While there are thousands of purpose-built project management software apps, the most popular and widespread tools bridge the gap between “simple to use” and “complex functionality”, and are available in the “cloud” in a SaaS-based subscription model.

Enter Smartsheet.

Smartsheet is Ideal for Small Businesses Because:

  1. It’s easy to use. Smartsheet looks and feels like a spreadsheet, which is familiar to most business users. The tool “teaches itself” which is necessary in smaller organizations. Smartsheet has a familiar spreadsheet-like interface that is very intuitive for seasoned product managers and beginners alike. Users can drag and drop columns and rows, attach files or discussion threads to any task (row), set automated reminders, rollup work across projects in centralized reports and share online with others without IT involvement. The product also includes many tip sheets and demos for users to get helpful “how to” information. Instant productivity.
  2. Works with tools you already use. Smartsheet works seamlessly with the tools teams already use — such as email, calendars, and office tools such as Google Docs, Box.net or Salesforce. Smartsheet is consistently a Top App in the Google Apps Marketplace and selected as one of the favorites and Top Ten Google Apps for small business users. Users can access, update and share sheets from within existing toolsets such as Google Apps or Salesforce.com. For example, you can log in with your Google account credentials, sync with your Google Calendar, create new and/or attach Google Docs to any row in Smartsheet. The convenience of having these tools immediately work together saves users considerable time.
  3. Flexible so you can work how you want. With so many different types and levels of users, it’s critical that productivity tools work the way you want them to, without imposing pre-established workflow structures. Whether it’s marketing campaigns, client projects, sales pipelines, facilities management or HR processes, each individual can create sheets in Smartsheet that meet his/her own needs. Smartsheet also offers templates that jumpstart sheet creation.
  4. Works where you do. Smartsheet gives you ability to take your work projects with you. Because it’s web-based, it works across all operating systems and devices. That means you can access your projects on Smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry), tablets (iPad, Android), and any desktop or laptop you have.
  5. Low cost, no risk. After a 30-day free trial, Smartsheet plans start as low as $15.95/mo for individual users and scales to handle large enterprises. The model enables “creators” (creators have the ability to create new sheets – via import, from templates, or from scratch) to share their project sheets for free with an unlimited number of users who can edit and view the various sheets.

Smartsheet’s “Spreadsheet On Steroids” is Killer Project Management App for SMBs

Sharing sheets and collaborating with others inside and outside your organization is as easy as typing an email address and clicking a button.

Attaching files, notes and discussions on individual rows keeps all project info in one centralized place, accessible by team members.

Attaching files, notes and discussions on individual rows keeps all project info in one centralized place, accessible by team members.

Smartsheet’s “Spreadsheet On Steroids” is Killer Project Management App for SMBs

Display, overlay and print project status in calendar view or flip to Gantt Chart view to easily visualize projects. Drag and drop items to change dates.

Small business examples:

  • This supply chain/manufacturing company uses Smartsheet on the go. The owner explains why accessing Smartsheet on his iPad gives him a competitive advantage to have his project info at his fingertips while onsite with a client.
  • Watch a video of how an owner of a lumber mill uses Smartsheet for all aspects of his business, regardless if he’s in the forest or on the sawmill floor.
  • A Seattle-based web-marketing agency chose Smartsheet over Excel and MS Project to more efficiently collaborate, track and drive projects with clients.
  • This Toronto-based non-profit uses Smartsheet to keep its team, along with a large, widespread network of corporate partners, artists, volunteers and philanthropists — on the ‘same page.’

Getting Started

Most users, after watching a handful of videos, hit the ground running with Smartsheet. Here are few of the most watched videos on YouTube:

  • The Smarter Spreadsheet: This 1-minute video describes why Smartsheet is better than a spreadsheet for managing projects and tasks with teams.
  • Overview video: This brief 2-minute overview of Smartsheet covers the basics of how to organize, track, and collaborate on work projects.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkxXIDap4M0&feature=channel_video_title

  • Smartsheet 101: This video takes a more in-depth look at the unique features of Smartsheet. It shows step-by-step instructions on how to get started, collaborate with others and stay on top of your work.
  • Collaborating in Smartsheet: This video provides a closer look at how teams can collaborate and share project data, discussions, files, and so on.

Other resources:

 

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