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ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Which Is Better For Project Management?

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Which Is Better For Project Management?

Last Updated on September 24, 2022 by DMEditor

Having a decent project management platform is key if you want to manage a project – whether it’s a creative project or a new business venture. In addition, you need to have a platform that will enable collaborative working, especially now that many people choose to work remotely. So the question is, when it comes to ClickUp vs Smartsheet, which one is best for project management?

I’ll give you my opinion in just a moment, and then we’ll go into the main differences, and then we’ll go into each one in more detail.

I’ve been both a contributor and a manager in creative projects, so I understand the need to make certain processes easier: the more time you can save on admin tasks, the better! I’ll let you know what I think about each one, and answer some frequently asked questions, too.

The Bottom Line Up Front

Okay, here’s what I’m thinking: I can see the flexibility of Smartsheet and how that would appeal to bigger companies, but I much prefer the experience of using ClickUp.

ClickUp is brighter and easier to navigate, and it offers more options in terms of communicating with team members. I can imagine that working using ClickUp will make you feel more in touch with your team, whereas Smartsheet is plain and doesn’t allow you to create voice notes, for example. These small details can make a big difference to user experience.

However, Smartsheet does offer some flexibility for larger companies wanting to design a platform that works for their business, which is great.

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – The Main Difference

There are a few big differences between ClickUp and Smartsheet:

  • ClickUp is a bit easier to navigate, whereas Smartsheet requires a bit more help to get used to
  • ClickUp’s interface is a bit brighter, whereas Smartsheet’s interface is a little plainer
  • ClickUp offers more chances to communicate including voice notes, screen sharing, and Whiteboards, whereas Smartsheet is more limited
  • ClickUp allows you to create docs in the platform, whereas Smartsheet does not
  • ClickUp is more fixed, whereas Smartsheet has a lot of creative options for larger companies
  • ClickUp offers a free plan, whereas Smartsheet does not (but it does have a free trial)

What Is ClickUp?

ClickUp is a project management tool, designed to make online collaboration much more accessible. Users can bring other apps (including Google Drive, Zoom, and Slack) under one umbrella, making it simple to track tasks and keep an eye on team members’ progress.

ClickUp has a free plan, and it’s suitable for any sized team wanting to get organized.

What Is Smartsheet?

Smartsheet is a project management platform, offering task management, project tracking, calendars, document sharing, and other services.

Smartsheet has a free trial, so potential users can check out the platform before committing to it. I’d recommend it for any sized team wanting to better manage complex projects, but I think it’s particularly well suited to larger businesses wanting a customizable platform.

ClickUp – The Main Features

Here’s what I think about the main features of ClickUp.

UX

User experience is essential to me: I hate using clunky, cluttered apps. Luckily, ClickUp is pretty clean and simple.

Everything you need is on the dashboard, including quick access to apps like Google Drive, Google Chrome, and Google Calendar. You can easily view your task list, ordered by the due date, and see tasks you’ve completed and delegated. Plus, you can pin sections to your ‘favorites’ bar on the left-hand side, making it easier to see the areas of ClickUp you use regularly.

It’s also very easy to get going. You don’t need to pay to use ClickUp, so it takes moments to get going.

Task Management

It’s easy to add tasks on ClickUp. You can choose a location for the task, assign it to yourself or a colleague, type a description (including checklists and subtasks), and set a due date.

What I like about ClickUp is that you can add Dependencies. Sometimes, with a particularly complex project, you end up waiting around for other tasks to be completed first. ClickUp allows for this, and you can add ‘Waiting On’ tasks, ‘Blocking’ Tasks, and ‘Related’ Tasks.

You can also set watchers, which means the created task will pop up on other people’s dashboards. This means you can flag up tasks for managers or editors to keep an eye on, thus delegating the responsibility and sharing the load more easily.

Adding tags to tasks makes it easier to view, at a glance, what needs to be done. This is good if you’re running many tasks at once.

Calendar and Scheduling

From your dashboard, you can quickly access the calendar to see any upcoming deadlines or Zoom calls:

You can also view your Agenda, which will quickly bring up any tasks that are due urgently.

I also like that you can set recurring tasks. This saves a lot of time and hassle if you want to set up repeat tasks or events (like weekly calls).

Communication

comments

I like the speed of communication using ClickUp. You can easily add comments to tasks and projects, and you can tag people to grab their attention next time they log in. At any time you can share documents, share links, and set up Chats for specific groups of people.

Plus, you can quickly and easily record voice clips, sending them to specific people or adding them to Chats or tasks. This makes it much easier if you have a lot to say! Task organization feels more collaborative with ClickUp. You can view tasks in list or board form, or you can make the most of their Whiteboard feature, which I find engaging and useful.

You can permit other people to add to Whiteboards, and it’s really easy to use (although I have to admit that some of the features, like drawing arrows to link ideas, are a bit buggy at times). You can add images, links, drawings, and text, and you can add tasks to give your team members a visual idea of how you’ll complete a project.

Goals

Setting goals is pretty easy to do in ClickUp:

Goals can be broken up into stages, in either task targets, number targets, monetary targets, and more. These can be shared with anyone on the team and can be viewed from your dashboard, helping everyone to keep on track. Seeing your progress is motivating, and it helps to be able to break up tasks into chunks.

Notes and Docs

I also enjoy how easy it is to create documents using ClickUp’s simple word processor:

Docs can be shared with anyone, added to tasks, and given a header image and logo.

I was impressed by how easily you can edit these documents, including font, page width, adding subtitles, and more. ClickUp aims to make it easier to complete projects without having to open several apps at once, and I think document creation is the perfect example of how this can save time.

Smartsheet – The Main Features

Here’s what I thought about my time with Smartsheet.

UX

I like how easy it is to get started on Smartsheet. The setup process is really simple, and it launches you right into the platform:

Once you’re in, you can see a basic overview of your current project.

I like how clean the interface is, but I have to say, it is a bit less visually appealing than ClickUp. It’s easy to navigate, but the lack of color makes it seem a little too plain.

Task Management

What is it like to organize and manage tasks on Smartsheet? The answer is: it’s a mixed bag. As the name of the platform suggests, Smartsheet is going to work well for people who enjoy spreadsheets. Projects can be viewed in either grid, Gannt, card, or calendar view.

I find that none of the views are particularly exciting to look at, and it does lack the Whiteboard feature that I enjoyed in ClickUp. However, it does make it so easy to see your current tasks, and the color coding makes it simple to understand the stage of each task.

Creating a new task, however, wasn’t the easiest to figure out on Smartsheet. Essentially you have to add a new line and type in the title of the task there. You can add attachments, proofs, and comments to each task, and this is simple enough. What I found more tricky to figure out is how to simply add new tasks and subtasks: it’s not made clear, which is a disadvantage.

Calendar and Scheduling

You can set deadlines for each task, tagging other team members, and these are color-coded depending on the progress made. Clicking on ‘Calendar View’ will bring up the calendar, showing everybody’s tasks. It’s pretty easy to navigate, which is good.

Communication

You can communicate with team members by leaving comments on specific tasks and tagging staff members. This is pretty easy to do.

Plus, you can’t record voice messages or do a screen capture, which is a shame.

Goals

You can’t set goals in the same visually appealing way that ClickUp offers. Tasks can be broken down into mini tasks with deadlines attached, but it doesn’t show your progress as clearly as ClickUp.

Extra Features

You can easily import files into Smartsheet, including PDFs. However, you can’t create detailed documents in the same way as ClickUp.

Smartsheet does offer some features that ClickUp doesn’t. For example, they have a Brand Assets feature, allowing you to easily grab brand images and search through them quickly using metadata.

They also offer intelligent workflows using their Bridge application, allowing you to build complex workflows without needing to know code. This will only apply to specific industries, for example, if you’re running an eCommerce store and you want to set up email marketing to run by itself.

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Integrations

Integrations are vital for both platforms. Let’s see how they stack up:

ClickUp

ClickUp has some pretty good integrations. These include:

  • Slack
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Outlook
  • Google Calendar
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Zoom
  • Google Chrome
  • Zendesk
  • Zapier

The integration with Google, Slack, and Zoom stands out to me. Having all these tools under one roof can make things much easier, especially if you manage a team.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet also has some impressive integrations, including:

  • Google Docs
  • Slack
  • Outlook
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Drive
  • Zapier

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Customer Support

Sometimes things go wrong, and you may need support as quickly as possible. But how do ClickUp and Smartsheet compare in terms of their customer support and advice?

ClickUp

ClickUp is great in terms of customer support. You can access the help center and video tutorials or interact with the ClickUp community at any time by clicking the question mark on your dashboard.

The support itself is done via web chat. They’re pretty responsive and helpful, which is great.

Smartsheet

I do like the customer support offered by Smartsheet. The Learning Center is incredibly useful, and you’ll unlock more immediate customer support if you choose a higher price tier. The basic plan offers email support, and they’re pretty responsive.

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Pricing

Lastly, how do both services compare in terms of pricing? Let’s check it out.

ClickUp

There are a few price plans on ClickUp, including a Free plan:

Free – $0 per month per member

  • 100MB Storage
  • Unlimited Free Plan Members
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Collaborative Docs
  • Whiteboards
  • Real-Time Chat
  • Email in ClickUp
  • Kanban Boards
  • Sprint Management
  • Native Time Tracking
  • In-App Video Recording

Unlimited – $5 per month per member

  • Everything in Free
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Integrations
  • Unlimited Dashboards
  • Guests with Permissions
  • Unlimited Gannt Charts
  • Unlimited Custom Fields
  • Teams (User Groups)
  • Goals & Portfolios
  • Form View
  • Resource Management
  • Agile Reporting

Business – $12 per month per member

  • Everything in Unlimited
  • Google SSO
  • Unlimited Teams
  • Custom Exporting
  • Advanced Public Sharing
  • Advanced Automations
  • Advanced Dashboard Features
  • Advanced Time Tracking
  • Granular Time Estimates
  • Workload Management
  • Timelines & Mind Maps
  • Goal Folders

Business Plan – Price on Request per month per member

  • Everything in Business
  • Team Sharing
  • Custom Role Creation
  • Custom Permissions
  • Custom Capacity in Workload
  • Increased Automation & API
  • Admin Training Webinar
  • Priority Support

Enterprise – Price on Request per month per member

  • Everything in Business Plus
  • White Labeling
  • Advanced Permissions
  • Enterprise API
  • Unlimited Custom Roles
  • MSA & HIPAA Available
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Live Onboarding Training
  • Dedicated Success Manager
  • Access to Managed Services

The Free plan allows you to check out the platform, and it offers a surprising amount of access to features. However, it does have a pretty small storage limit of 100MB. This won’t last long if you’re dealing with video, audio, and images.

Having said that, the next price tier unlocks unlimited storage and it’s only $5 per month per member, so if you do enjoy using ClickUp, you can keep going with it and it’s not too expensive for what you get.

You can find out more on their pricing page.

Smartsheet

There are 3 pricing plans available for Smartsheet:

Pro – $7 per user per month

  • Unlimited sheets
  • Unlimited viewers
  • Up to 10 editors (but need a paid license to edit)
  • Gannt, Grid, Card, and Calendar view
  • Dashboards, reports, and forms
  • 20 GB attachment storage
  • 250 automation per month
  • Integrations
  • Help and learning center, community, and email support

Business – $25 per user per month

  • Everything in the Pro plan
  • Unlimited editors
  • User, group, and license management
  • Baselines
  • Forms with conditional logic
  • Publish sheets, reports, and dashboards
  • 1 TB attachment storage
  • Brandfolder, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, and PowerBI integrations
  • Activity log
  • Document builder
  • Proofing
  • Access to Smartsheet University training
  • Access to Standard and Professional Support

Enterprise – price on request

  • Everything in the Business plan
  • Single sign-on/SAMIL
  • Directory integration and account discovery
  • Enterprise plan manager
  • WorkApps
  • Work Insights
  • Unlimited attachment storage
  • Chargeback reports
  • DocuSign integration
  • Domain validation
  • Custom email domains
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Access to Smartsheet Advance
  • Manage processes at sale

The pricing is decent, but I do think that Smartsheet is better suited to larger businesses with more complex needs. You can try it for free by checking out their pricing page.

ClickUp vs Smartsheet – Alternatives To Try

Not keen on either of them? Let’s check out some alternatives:

  • Notion– this is an easy-to-use platform, and it can be used to manage creative projects as well as keep track of personal projects. They have a free student plan, so it makes for an excellent place to keep your study notes. You can find out more in our ClickUp vs Notion comparison.
  • Evernote – Evernote is designed to create detailed, helpful notes, and allows you to share them with others. It’s a good idea for creative projects, with some decent scheduling tools available. You can find out more in our Notion vs Evernote comparison.
  • Monday.com – this is a great platform for project management, task management, and software development. There’s a lot to offer here, and you can find out more details in our Monday.com review.

monday

FAQs

Question: Does ClickUp or Smartsheet have mobile apps?

Answer: Yes! Both have apps, which offer a simple overview of tasks and deadlines.

Question: Is it easy to cancel ClickUp and Smartsheet?

Answer: Yes, both make it simple to cancel by clicking on the ‘Account’ page. Plus, neither require card details to sign up for the free plan or free trial.

Question: Are there any notable companies using either ClickUp or Smartsheet?

Answer: Yes. Smartsheet has some famous companies or organizations using its services, from HP to McLaren Formula 1 Racing Team to the English Institute of Sports. ClickUp has some notable users too, including Wake Forest University, Vida Health, and New Reach Marketing.

My Final Thoughts

I preferred my experience with ClickUp. It feels more modern, easy to navigate, and more ‘instant’. I can immediately send voice notes or create a quick document on the platform, and I think it would work well in creative industries, where everybody can quickly add ideas to a project.

However, I can see the appeal of using Spreadsheet. It has some more complex tools that would be suitable for larger projects and businesses.

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