Best Free and Paid Smartsheet Alternative Tools

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Like any project management tool, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So while Smartsheet may have some features your team needs, you may find it’s lacking in other areas, forcing you to find workarounds that slow down productivity and look for a workaround. different project.

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What is Smartsheet?

Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based tool with added features to help manage projects and resources. These spreadsheet-like features make it incredibly powerful for detailed budgeting and asset tracking. There are also built-in project management tools to facilitate team workflows.

SEE: Best project management software 2022 (TechRepublic)

Best Free Smartsheet Alternatives

Base camp

For small to medium sized teams, Basecamp can be a good free alternative to Smartsheet. While Basecamp’s premium tiers are available, the free version allows up to 20 users.

Basecamp is marketed as a highly collaborative project management solution, but it’s more of a centralized remote work hub – it lacks features like various project views like timelines or Gantt charts.

However, Basecamp makes up for these shortcomings with robust collaborative features that include group chat, message boards, and team scheduling. Basecamp also offers centralized file sharing options that can help teams move away from other third-party services to host files or documents.

Basecamp offers many features that project managers are looking for, such as to-do lists, each of which can be assigned to individuals or teams. Projects and tasks can all be divided into subcategories or phases as needed, with individual due dates for each.

An interesting and unique aspect of Basecamp that sets it apart from other Smartsheet alternatives is the ability to allow client access, which gives project managers a way to view certain milestones and other progress.

Basecamp Key Features:

  • Free up to 20 users
  • Strong communication and chat tools
  • Customer access, customizable
  • Ability to distribute tasks, projects and tasks between teams and individuals


Asana is another project management tool that offers a free version that might work for smaller teams. Asana’s free tier allows up to 15 users and has almost all the basic features of the premium tiers.

Asana has a sleek and clean dashboard interface that never feels cluttered or too busy. Projects can be viewed through a list view, board view, and calendar view. Asana also allows an unlimited number of projects, tasks, and subtasks; each can be assigned to teams or individuals with time tracking via integrations.

When it comes to free alternatives to Smartsheet, Asana has the most features. Although limited to only 15 users compared to Basecamp’s 20, it only lacks a few options compared to premium tiers; these include options for more advanced reporting as well as an additional timeline view from the dashboard.

Asana key features:

  • Free up to 15 users
  • Unlimited projects
  • Flexibility to divide projects into multiple phases or sub-tasks
  • Instantly switch between table, list and calendar views
  • User-friendly dashboard with an easy learning curve for new users


Jira is a solid alternative to Smartsheet for teams focused on software development. First a tracking tool, Jira is now a complete project management solution.

Focused on software development, Jira fits perfectly into agile and scrum workflows. Custom kanban and scrum boards can be created in Jira. Kanban and scrum boards will be instantly recognizable to software project managers and scrum masters.

Jira shines with its advanced agile reporting features included in the free version. There are also powerful bug tracking tools and other software development tools.

The cons of Jira are that the free version is limited to 10 users and automations are limited to a single project. However, for small teams focused on software development, it is a perfect alternative to Smartsheet.

Jira key features:

  • Agile support and robust scrum
  • Custom Kanban and scrum boards
  • Software development tools such as bug tracking
  • Advanced agile reporting features are included in the free version
  • Customizable workflows

air table

Airtable is a unique project management tool similar to Smartsheet in that it focuses on data. Airtable has a spreadsheet-like interface but adds a database for a single touch that opens up a lot of possibilities.

By combining these two features, project managers can create custom workflows and even application-like functions that are not possible with other project management tools. With these data tools, Airtable excels in visualizing project metrics such as budgets and asset allocation.

All of this comes with a level of complexity that creates a higher learning curve than other Smartsheet alternatives. But, Airtable does a good job of providing various templates for all popular project styles to help teams get up and running quickly.

Airtable also offers popular views such as grid, schedule, form, kanban, and gallery. So despite the data-intensive underpinnings, project managers can quickly view each project and glean actionable insights at a glance.

Airtable offers a free version, but it is only useful for individuals. Paid tiers start at $10 per seat per month.

Key Features of Airtable:

  • Spreadsheet and database functions combine for solid data management.
  • Create forms that directly feed data from ongoing projects
  • Powerful reporting, charting and data visualization tools
  • Group chat and communication tools


nTask is one of the most cost-effective Smartsheet alternatives. With monthly seats starting at just $3, it offers plenty of value. nTask has a strong focus on facilitating meetings by allowing minutes and other outcomes of those meetings to feed directly into their corresponding projects. This is a great feature for project managers dealing with a high volume of meetings that get out of hand and difficult to manage.

On the other hand, nTask lags behind in specific reporting features and lacks budgeting, time tracking, and resource management tools. For some this may not be necessary, but for others it is a deciding factor.

nTask key features:

  • Exceptional meeting tools that integrate with existing projects
  • One of the lowest per-seat costs of any project management software
  • Time-saving recurring task options


Hive is a powerful alternative to Smartsheet that still gives managers powerful analysis tools, but in a more traditional project management interface. Hive also incorporates powerful communication tools, such as an instant messaging system and the ability to receive real-time notifications of status changes.

Hive’s powerful analytics tools extend to budget tracking and management, with a suite of advanced tools equal to Smartsheet. Both time tracking and asset tracking are supported with advanced Hive tools.

Hive sits at the high end of paid Smartsheet alternatives, with monthly spots starting at $12. However, the features and tools justify the cost, and guests have free access to view the projects.

Main features of Hive:

  • Powerful analysis tools
  • Communication tools make Hive perfect for highly collaborative teams
  • Advanced tools for budgeting, time and resource management
  • Free access for guests to view all project data

Choosing Between These Smartsheet Alternatives

There are many new and established project management alternatives to Smartsheet on the market. As for the free alternatives, they will be mostly limited to small teams due to user restrictions. But, options like Asana still offer premium features at the free tier.

Paid alternatives to Smartsheet are plentiful, with Airtable being the closest spreadsheet-based offering. And solutions like Hive offer many of Smartsheet’s powerful data and analysis tools, but in a standard project management package.


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