For a cloud and web-based tool to track projects, tasks, lists, team members, and more, Smartsheet.com offers extensive and flexible functionality.
Whether you’re considering trying it out or have already signed up for a free trial, getting the most out of the tool means knowing what it can do for you and your team. Let’s see how to use Smartsheet for beginners.
What is Smartsheet?
If you’ve used apps like Asana, Monday.com, or similar project management software before, Smartsheet is comparable in purpose, structure, and functionality. You can use it alone or collaborate with others, create dashboards for quick access to items, and take advantage of multiple views like Kanban, calendar, and grid.
Smartsheet also provides automated workflows, quick-start templates, helpful reports, custom forms, and integrations with other apps to streamline your processes.
The best way to get started with Smartsheet is to create or import a project, sheet, or to-do list that you want to track. We will then introduce you to the functionalities of each tool.
Smartsheet Tutorial for Beginners
Create, import or use a template
Select the Solution Center icon (plus sign) in the left navigation. You will then see options at the top left of the screen to create and import.
To choose To create, and you have eight options for Grid, Project, Cards, Task List, Form, Report, and Dashboard/Portal. Select the type of element you want to create, give it a name and choose To create.
To choose import if you have a project plan or task sheet elsewhere that you would like to start with. Choose Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, or Atlassian Trello. Then follow the prompts to import the item.
If you want to start with a template or set of templates, choose Explore all solutionsselect an industry or use the Research box to find something specific.
Select a model or set to view additional information. Then, to use a template, select the Use button.
For a set of templates, select Learn more for more details on what’s included and to download the bundle.
Use the project wizard
If this is a new project you want to start with, you can also use the project wizard. This gives you a head start on project setup.
In the Solution Center To select project assistant. Give your project a name, enter two tasks to start with, and add two subtasks for task #1.
You will then see the Grid view layout for your new project with the tasks and subtasks you entered.
Tracking your project in Smartsheet is easy with built-in project management tools like the Gantt view.
It has slots for Task, Duration, Start, End, Predecessors, Assigned To, Percent Complete, Status, and Comments on the left side. On the right side is your Gantt chart.
You can add baselines and show or hide the critical path using the icons in the top right.
Select the equipment icon to open project settings. Then adjust dependency settings, timeline display, and resource management.
Task List Features
The to-do list contains exactly what you need to track your tasks from start to finish.
Enter the task name, due date, recipient, and status. Use the Done column to mark completed tasks and the Comments section for notes.
If you like the Kanban method of project management, you can use card design, either for you or for your team.
You’ll start with pathways for Uncategorized, Backlog, Planning, In Progress, and Completed. However, you can modify these labels to suit your project.
Use plus signs to add cards to swimlanes. Your cards can include a checklist of subtasks, attachments, comments, quizzes, and reminders. You can also edit a card’s subtasks in a larger view by selecting the icon Edit icon (pencil).
Choose between a compact or full view of your maps and adjust map view settings with the equipment icon in the upper right.
Do you use apps like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to track items? If so, the grid layout is for you. It looks like a spreadsheet with columns, rows, and cells.
Creating a custom form is a useful feature for all types of projects. With Smartsheet, you can easily design your form and adjust its settings.
Add and remove form elements with the section on the left. Then select a form field to adjust its particular settings on the right. For example, you can make a field required, include a label or help text, use validation, and add logic.
Adjust form settings for theme and branding, security, form submission, and emails for submissions.
Create an online report, summary report, or both. Select the sheet or project and add the columns. You can add filters, sort and group columns, and include a summary at the top.
When you create a Smartsheet dashboard, you can see a snapshot of your project, check active items, view a useful chart, or view metrics.
Give your dashboard a name, then choose the widgets you want to use. You will see a nice selection of widgets on the right and just select one to add it.
Once you have the widgets on your dashboard, you can adjust their settings. Depending on the widget type, you can add and style a title and choose an action when someone clicks on the widget.
Smartsheet provides an easy way to navigate the app and use the tools.
On the left side, you have the main navigation for Home, Notifications, Explore, Recents, Favorites, Business Apps, and Solution Center. When you sign in to Smartsheet, select where you want to start.
At the bottom, select the To help the icon (question mark) for help or the icon account icon to adjust your profile and settings.
Right side tools
On the right side are the tools. You’ll see them onscreen for every item you use, like a project, task list, or cards. The exceptions are the dashboard and the report.
When you select a tool, a sidebar appears containing the corresponding items. It contains conversations, attachments, quizzes, update requests, posts, activity log, and summary.
The actions available in the sidebar depend on the tool. For example, you can view all threads, unread threads, or comments by sheet or row. For attachments, you can preview the file, download it, rename it, or add a description.
At the top of each item you have additional tools. On the left side, you can save, print, undo or redo an action. Right next to it, you can switch views, which is pretty handy. Switch between Grid, Gantt, Map, or Calendar views.
You will also see font and formatting buttons similar to those you see in Microsoft Word. This allows you to change the font style, size or color, change the alignment, format as currency, etc.
Additional Smartsheet Features and Options
Once you’ve learned the basics of using Smartsheet, take a look at these additional features and options.
To exchange: In addition to real-time chats and collaboration tools, you can adjust sharing and permission settings for your team. Use the To share at the top right to see your options.
integrations– Connect Smartsheet to apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, OneDrive, Jira, and more. To see your options, go to Solution CenterChoose Explore all solutionsand select See more accessories in the Plugins section.
Automated workflows: Automate tasks in your project or sheet by selecting a trigger and an action. You can automate things like notifications, approval requests, save a date, or lock rows. Select the Automating tab above the top toolbar.
You can also create a workspace, use conditional formatting, and learn about features to create a web or mobile app for your business.
Smartsheet is a robust and comprehensive tool for managing projects of all sizes. Be sure to check the prices of their subscription plans to find the best one for you.
For similar tools, learn how to use Todoist’s Kanban tool or how to be productive with Trello.
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