Cloud-based Smartsheet helps manage projects

Smartsheet is a cloud-based collaboration tool for managing projects with internal and external teams.

Smartsheet is a cloud-based collaboration tool for managing projects with internal and external teams. Features include file sharing, project notes and discussions in context, reports across sheets, and real-time updates. The tool works with Google Apps, Salesforce's CRM system, and Box.

Starts at $15.95 per month for one user and unlimited collaborators (10 or 50 sheets and 3 or 5 GB storage). Team plans start at $49.95 per month for three users and unlimited collaborators (50 sheets per user and 15 GB of storage per user). Additional users on team plans are $9.95 per month. Enterprise plans and a free 30-day trial are also available. 

Privately held

Rodger Roeser, founder and president of The Eisen Agency, has been using Smartsheet for about two years. 

How do you use it?
It's so simple. You just go to the website and put in all client information you feel is necessary to track or monitor. You type it in just like you would type information into Excel.

It allows you to set timing of projects, update projects, attach files, and more.

I have not had any problems with it so I've had no reason to contact customer service. I assume I could call someone, but it's such a simple tool that I can't imagine what would go wrong. 

How does it serve your business needs?
Whether it is large or small business, clients want to see specifics of what the agency is doing, and Smartsheet makes tracking specific work progress so much easier. It allows us to showcase to clients exactly where any project is at any point.

I can input information like “updating copy on press release number six,” or “press release ready upon approval,” or whatever the task at hand is. It's automatically updated and everyone associated with that sheet gets an email saying there's been an update.

You can physically attach files to it, so the client can look at things and approve them or make changes. It's awesome.

Struggling to find files and versions can erode agency efficiency. Smartsheet eliminates that and allows the client to stay in the loop as all logistics are going through. 

From an agency perspective, it's also important that clients see activity because often they don't understand all of the work that goes into something. Smartsheet allows them see that with tremendous clarity.

It also allows us to enter reporter feedback, and we can use it as a call sheet for a specific program.

How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It's a standalone cloud-based product.

What are the main benefits?

It's easy to learn, easy to use, and it serves our needs.

It helps keep the client and the agency on the same page as to where money is being spent.

What are the main drawbacks?
If there is a drawback, I'm not aware of it. I suppose it could be prettier.  

What would you like to see improved / added? 
I can't think of anything.

Excel: spreadsheet software 

37Signals: provides web-based collaboration apps for managing projects, contacts, and group chat rooms.

LiquidPlanner: online software that includes scheduling, collaboration, time tracking, analysis, and reporting features.

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