Smartsheet vs Excel : In-Depth Comparison

smartsheet vs excel

Smartsheet and Excel are two popular business applications. While Smartsheet is a project management software, Excel is a data analysis tool. If you’re using Excel for project management, you might be using the wrong tool for your business. Let us take a look at the detailed comparison of Smartsheet vs Excel to find out which is the best project management software for your business.


Smartsheet vs Excel

Here’s a step-by-step comparison of Smartsheet vs Excel



Smartsheet is a powerful project management software with a spreadsheet-like interface. It is meant to replace excel-based project management and provides many useful features such as Gantt charts, timelines, project reports, out-of-the-box. It would take a lot of time & effort to build these things in Excel.

Excel is a spreadsheet software to store, analyse and report data. You can easily automate its functions using macros and formulas. However, it is primarily a data analysis tool.



Smartsheet’s features are focused on project management:

  • Task Management
  • Contact Management
  • Document management
  • Version control
  • Discussion boards
  • Live chat
  • Email integration
  • Automated alerts & reminders
  • Project templates
  • User permission control
  • Resource Management
  • In-depth reporting
  • Gantt Charts
  • Web forms
  • Kanban View

Here’s the detailed list of features offered by Smartsheet.

Excel’s features are focused on data analysis:

  • Formulas
  • Pivot tables
  • File sharing
  • Macros
  • Collaborative authoring
  • and many more


Supported Platforms

Smartsheet is a cloud-based software that works well on all major web browsers in Windows, Linux and Mac. It also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Excel is available as a desktop application, or a cloud-based version as a part of Office 365. Its cloud-version works well on all major web browsers in Windows, Linux and Mac. It also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android.


Setup and Ease of Use

Smartsheet is a cloud-based software so it doesn’t require any setup. It is well-designed, and easy to use.

Excel doesn’t require any setup and anyone use it just by opening the desktop application, or signing into Office 365. Installing MS Office on your desktop might require IT assistance, however.

Both Smartsheet and Excel are well-documented and provide online videos for training.



Smartsheet offers a free trial, with paid plans starting from $14/user/month.

Excel desktop-version costs $129 and the cloud-version costs around $10/month for business-version and $100/year for home-version.



Smartsheet supports plenty of third-party integrations with popular business apps like Google Drive, Slack, Zapier and Dropbox.

Excel integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products such as Skype, One Drive, Office 365 and Outlook. However, it doesn’t provide third-party integrations.


Customer Support

Smartsheet provides customer support via online ticket submissions, phone and live chat. Excel also provides support via Microsoft’s technical forums.



There are plenty of alternatives to Smartsheet such as Freedcamp, Asana that offer similar features. Similarly, there are a few alternatives to Excel – like Libre Office, Open Office that are free. However, they are not as feature-rich or flexible as Excel.


Conclusion – Smartsheet vs Excel

Don’t use Excel to manage your projects. It’s a bad idea. Project management software like Smartsheet can simplify your work a lot. Many of the project management tools like Gantt charts, calendars, scheduler, etc that you build from scratch in Excel, are available out-of-the-box in Smartsheet. Also, Excel’s long-running macros and formulas will only freeze your laptop. Use a proper project management tool for your projects

About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan is the Founder of Ubiq, a business dashboard & reporting platform for small & medium businesses. Ubiq makes it easy to build business dashboards & reports for your business. Try it for free today!