If you've ever spent time using Microsoft Project, then Smartsheet will be immediately familiar. Like its more famous rival, Smartsheet's default view is a dual pane interface with a spreadsheet for tasks on one side, and a Gantt chart showing the project's workflow on the other. Just like Project, there are cells for adding comments, attaching files, and assigning start and end dates to tasks that are then reflected in the Gantt chart. There are also multiple views, such as card and calendar.
Smartsheet contains features common in web native services, such as @mentions to notify team members about important comments. However, its autosave function could use a little work, while its third-party apps are limited. And while we didn't miss it in apps such as Asana and Trello, it feels like Smartsheet would benefit from a real-time chat feature.
Smartsheet's Workspaces allow managers and teams to share items within a certain project, without handing outside parties access to everything. You may want, for example, to give a stakeholder access to certain reports, but not the task list. Meanwhile, a freelancer may need to see the task list, but doesn't need access to any reports or the project dashboard. You can also attach necessary files to a workspace, as well as leave comments for team members.
Highlight Changes and Cell History
There are two features that help users see changes that have been made to a project. The first is Highlight Changes, which is represented by the highlighter icon in the toolbar. Activate this feature, and Smartsheet will highlight in yellow (or whatever color you choose) all changes made to the project in the last hour. If every 60 minutes is too much, highlight Changes can be adjusted to show changes every few days, or from a specific date. Right-clicking on a cell also shows an option in the context menu called View Cell History, which displays in a pop-up window all of the changes made to that specific cell.
Wide Variety of Templates
Anyone new to project management, or who just needs to get a project up and running quickly, can use Smartsheet's Solution Center. This area has a variety of templates for different project types, such as a personal task list, annual tax prep, contact management, sales tracking, and more. The Solution Center is also where Smartsheet keeps its third-party add-ons for Google Drive, Power BI, Slack, and Salesforce. Smartsheet doesn't have as wide a variety of add-ons as other services do, and some common items are missing – this includes GitHub, and any CRM services that aren't Salesforce. Many popular options are available, although some of these add-ons require an additional cost.