11 Best Smartsheet Alternatives [2020]: Smartsheet Competitors

By Ewen Finser | Project Management

Last Updated on

I’ll admit that when I first discovered Smartsheet I was blown away (and somewhat addicted).

As our business scaled up and our team grew, however, I quickly realized that we needed a more robust project management platform. We still use Smartsheet for specific projects and SOPs, but tie it all together with a pureplay project management tool.

The following platfroms were ALL tested by myself and our team, prior to settling on our #1 pick (see below).

1. Wrike

Summary: If you need to get your team together, collaborating in ONE virtual environement, Wrike provides the closest thing to a shared workspace. Third-party integrations are nice, but the magic of Wrike is that it all can be done in one app, one dashboard, and in real-time.

Wrike Advantages

  • An “all-in-one” workspace that stands alone as a unified workspace (consolidates your workspace)
  • Native document editor that updates in real-time for full collaboration
  • Unique “Wrike Proof” built-in mechanism for providing optimal feedback loops
  • Unique “Wrike Lock” to control access to restricted data & audit control
  • Scalable beyond SMB use cases
  • Customizable to your business needs
  • Built-in easy to configure Gantt charts
  • Fully featured 14-day Free Trial

Wrike Disadvantages

  • A tiny bit more cluttered, although this can be removed
  • Less focused on integrating with endless apps
  • 5 tier pricing system is a bit difficult to dicipher (although the sales team is great at matching needs to appropriate plans)
  • Payment requried beyond Free Trial period

Wrike Prices: Small teams can get started at $9.80 per user per month, $24.90 per user per month for the Business plan (ideal for 5-100 users), and then there are 3 additional “custom” pricing tiers that require talking to the Wrike sales team.

Further Reading:

2. TeamGantt

Summary: If your business runs on Gantt, TeamGantt is the preeminent full-suite Gantt project mangement software.

TeamGantt Advantages

  • Fully featured “Free Forever” plan for 1 project and up to 3 team members
  • Better Gannt-style workflows that are ready-to-go out of the box
  • Better user interface that is more refined than Smartsheet
  • Bulk discounts for more users end up scaling better than Smartsheet
  • Lower annual costs per user
  • All actions autosave

TeamGantt Disadvantages

  • Baseline prices are more expensive than Smartsheet (while providing additional functionality)
  • Only supports English language users (Smartsheet has 5+ different languages)
  • Limited high level board view

TeamGantt Prices: After the free tier, TeamGantt offers scalable plans (based on # of team members) starting at $39.50/month for the Standard Plan and $62.25/month for the Advanced Plan (includes additional features like baseline before/after comparisons, project history undo, custom templates, and more).

3. Nutcache

Summary: Nutcache is not your typical project management tool, melding traditional PM views with financial management, expense projections, and specialized versions for specific industries and use cases.

Nutcache Advantages

  • Unique budget management, tracking and projection dashboards (ideal for cost control and client billing)
  • Specialized builds available for Development teams, Creative & Marketing teams, and Freelancers.
  • Robust invoicing and project management system for Freelancers (integrates with all major payment software)
  • 14 daysfully featured Free Trial
  • Cheaper than Smartsheet per user (at each pricing tier)

Nutcache Disadvantages

  • Might be overkill for basic freelance management
  • No permanent free version (unlike Trello, Asana, etc…)

Nutcache Prices: Starts at $8.95 per month for the basic Freelancer plan (1 user), and actually goes DOWN to $6/month per user for the Pro account (beyond 1 user). The Enterprise price point is $12 per month per user. The Pro and Enterprise are effective across the specialized plans, too, regardless of what type of team you are.

Further Reading:

4. Asana

Summary: The free version of Asana is still among the most capable project management tools, flexible for agile style workflows (like Trello) or more traditional to-do list and timeline based projects. At a certain point you will want to scale up to the paid version, which adds a bit more functionality but not as much as other tools.

Asana Advantages

  • Intuitive and easy to use (no manual or wiki required)
  • Ideal for agile style waterfall project tracking
  • Integrates with many other tools and apps, including Slack for seamless notifications and Gsuite
  • Excellent real-time chat functionality on cards (almost no lag)
  • Easy to assign and delegate tasks
  • Robust free version
  • Actively avoids feature bloat

Asana Disadvantages

  • Somewhat limited functionality beyond waterfall cards, although they are adding more features
  • Paid version a bit underpowered comapred to peers
  • No per user cost structure (no price inflation as you scale)

Asana Prices: Asana starts off free (remarkably functional) and then scales with a $10.99 Premium Plan and a $24.99 Business Plan (more advanced integrations).

Further Reading:

5. Monday.com

Summary: Monday.com is a relatively new challenger (formerly known as Dapulse), aiming to provide an intuitive user interface and perhaps one of THE most satisfying task completition layouts.

Monday Advantages

  • Perhaps the most satisfying “checkbox” system for accomplishing tasks and building positive feedback loops
  • More visually appealing and intuitive than most Smartsheet dashboards
  • Integrates with many third-party applications and tools
  • Unlimited account projects (all tiers)
  • Significantly less expensive than Smartsheet team pricing tiers

Monday Disadvantages

  • Only a 14-day trial versus 30-day free trial with Smartsheet
  • Not natural built-in Gantt chart functionality
  • No individual account plan (like Smartsheet offers)

Monday Prices: Monthly plans start at $29/month for 5-person teams, $59/moth for 10-person teams, and $92/month for 15-person teams.

Further Reading:

6. ProWorkflow

Summary: ProWorkflow is another full-stack project management tool, boasting many integrations particularly on the accounting site of the house. ProWorkflow is particularly useful for larger teams as they scale.

ProWorkflow Advantages

  • Full project management software, not just a spreadsheet
  • 128bit encryption and SAS70 Type II compliant data centers (more robust than Smartsheet)
  • Capable of handling larger teams and even divisions of companies
  • Flexible API hook for in-depth custom integrations
  • Free client and customer access (no payment required)

ProWorkflow Disadvantages

  • Not spreadsheet based
  • No Gantt centric views natively

ProWorkflow Prices: ProWorkflow features a simple 3 tier pricing system. The Solo Plan starts at $10/month per user, then the Professional Plan goes to $20/month per user, and finally the Advanced Plan caps out at $30/month per user.

7. Trello

Summary: Simple to use and a base free version (fully functional) that integrates with everything and provides a satisfying waterfall project tracker.

Trello Advantages

  • Fully capable Free Plan to get started (ideal for small teams)
  • Easy to use & satisfying project / task card movement
  • Integrates with every major app and suite
  • Good comment based tagging system

Trello Disadvantages

  • Free version becomes unsustainable with over 10+ projects (boards) and multi-functional teams
  • Premium paid versions don’t add that much additional capability
  • Limited to 10MB attachements in free version
  • Integrates with everything, but doesn’t necessarily centralize the workplace

Trello Prices: FREE basic version (“free forever”), $9,99 per user per month Business Plan (enables attachments over 10MB), and Enterprise at $20.83 per user per month.

8. Basecamp

Summary: Basecamp is one of the pioneers in agile digital-first project management, with plenty of integrations and workflows to centralize a team around a “virtual desk space”.

Basecamp Advantages

  • Robust A-Z workspace to centralize ALL of your workflow
  • Super simple and transparent pricing strucutre, just $99 / month for unlimited users and no tiers
  • Long-standing quality reputation in the industry, not a fly-by-nite operation
  • Robust in-app file storage (no need to integrate with Gdocs or DropBox)
  • Capable in-app chat functionality (move over Slack!)
  • 30-day limited free trial
  • Long history and track record in the space, with a deep and avid community of users

Basecamp Disadvantages

  • Dashboards can get a bit cluttered if not setup thoughtfully
  • While Basecamp integrates with many third-party apps, they also have attempted to REPLACE others and don’t have the same seamless integrations (e.g. Slack, Dropbox, etc…)

Basecamp Prices: Basecamp 3 recently updated their pricing to $99 / month for UNLIMTED users and ALL of the features.

Further Reading:

9. Celoxis

Summary: Trying to move your organization towards a large multi-departmental objective? Celoxis has mastered the art of cross-platform and project integration, with multiple path dependencies to synchronize those large scale mission oriented projects.

Celoxis Advantages

  • Offers fully functional free trial
  • Supports cross-project dependencies
  • Resource management and allocation views and templates built-in
  • Microsoft Project synchronization and full compatibility
  • Offers Chinese, Arabic, and Russian language support
  • Live chat customer support

Celoxis Disadvantages

  • Not as approachable for the average user compared to Smartsheet
  • Starting price point is over 2X that of Smartsheet

Celoxis Prices: Celoxis starts at $25 / month per user for thier Cloud version, with a $450 on premise setup fee (per user / one time).

10. Mavenlink

Summary: Mavenlink is more than just a project management tool. It syncs relevant DATA to DECISIONS in a symbiotic project management view, going beyond basic task tracking. While Mavenlin integrates with many large-enterprise software suites, they also integrate with smaller players. Their enterprise pricing can pricey, but starts off at a surprisingly approachable $19 / month per user.

Mavenlink Advantages

  • Extra built-in data analytics functionality (beyond just project management)
  • Extensive project accounting features
  • Advanced Business Intelligence analysis and views
  • Hard and Soft resource allocation reports and views
  • Integrates with large-enterprise apps like Salesforce, Netsuite, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, and more…
  • For all the advanced features, starts off at just $19 per month / per user
  • A top rated project management platform on G2 Crowd
  • Specifically well-suited to Service businesses

Mavenlink Disadvantages

  • Lack of transparency for large-enterprise pricing (managed by a “sales team” with custom quotes)
  • Might not be flexible enough for small businesses or emerging business models

Mavenlink Prices: Mavenlink develops custom quotes for large enterprise, but otherwise charges $19 / month per user for their Teams Plan and $39 / month per user for their Professional Plan

11. Easy Project

Summary: Easy Project is a bit under the radar, but offers the best of Agile and Gannt methodologies, ideal for software project management and the SDLC process.

Easy Project Advantages

  • Integrates Agile principles with Gantt framework
  • Pre-established DevOps frameworks for project management and planning
  • “Delivery” focused project management framework
  • Supports WBS framework (unlimited hierarchies)
  • Supports critical path and multiple dependencies
  • Features Kanban boards prominently

Easy Project Disadvantages

  • Not as widely applicable beyond software, development, IT services and digital-first enterprises
  • No custom quote based pricing
  • Significantly less adoption than SmartSheet

Easy Project Prices: Easy Project starts at $8 per month / per user for the Essentials Plan, then $14 per month for the Business Plan, and finally $24 per month for the Platform Plan.

12. Microsoft Project

Summary: It’s not the sexiest project management solution, but Microsoft Project is a remarkably capable alternative worth taking a look at. Best of all, it integrates with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem so if you are a Microsoft organization, the benefits may be hard to pass up.

Microsoft Project Advantages

  • Integrates with Microsoft tools and software
  • Essentials Plan is $7/month, 50% less expensive than Smartsheet basic tier
  • Advanced custom fields capability
  • Advanced task dependencies
  • Advanced calendar integration

Microsoft Project Disadvantages

  • No specific Gannt features
  • No cross-project summary views
  • No cross-sheet search functionality

Microsoft Project Prices: Project 1 Plan starts at $10 per month per user, Project 3 Plan starting at $30 per month per user, and Project 5 Plan starting at $55 per month per user.

Further Reading:

So What’s the Best Alternative to Smartsheet?

After all this, what’s my overall pick? Here’s how I look at it:

About the Author

I blog about the tools I use every day because everyone hates hype-mongers. Don't be a hype-monger. I build web assets every day and I know the struggle with choosing the right tools. From SEO to website creation, to sales funnels tools, I've used them all and now I'm here to tell you about them.