Using Smartsheet: A Beginner’s Tutorial

For a cloud and web-based tool for tracking projects, tasks, lists, team members and more, offers comprehensive and flexible functions.

If you’re considering giving it a try or already signed up for a free trial, you need to know what it can do for you and your team to get the most out of the tool. Let’s dive into using Smartsheet for beginners who are just getting started.

What is Smartsheet?

If you have ever used applications like Asana, or similar project management software, Smartsheet is similar in purpose, structure, and features. You can use it alone or collaborate with others, create dashboards for quick access to items, and enjoy multiple views like Kanban, Calendar, and Grid.

Smartsheet also offers automated workflows, quick start templates, helpful reports, custom forms, and integrations with other applications to streamline your processes.

The best way to start using Smartsheet is to create or import a project, worksheet, or list of tasks that you want to track. We will then walk you through the features of each tool.

Create, import or use a template

Select the Solution Center icon (plus sign) in the left navigation. You will then see options for Create and Import at the top left of the screen.

To elect To create, and you have eight options for Grid, Project, Maps, To Do List, Form, Report and Dashboard/Portal. Select the type of item you want to create, give it a name and choose To create

To elect Import if you have a project plan or task sheet elsewhere that you want to start with. Choose Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, or Atlassian Trello. Then follow the prompts to import the item.

To start with a template or template set, choose Browse all solutionsselect an industry or use the To search box to find something specific.

Select a template or set to see additional information. Then to use a templateselect the To use knob.

Select for a template set Learn more to get full details of what’s included and download the set.

Use the project assistant

If it’s a new project you want to start with, you can also use the Project Assistant. This gives you a head start when setting up the project.

In the Solution Centerselect project assistent† Name your project, enter two tasks to start, 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.

Project Features

Tracking your project in Smartsheet is easy with built-in project management tools like the Gantt view.

You have spots for the task, duration, start, finish, predecessors, assigned to, percentage complete, status and comments on the left. On the right, you will see your Gantt chart.

You can add baselines and show or hide the critical path using the icons at the top right.

Select the acceleration icon to open the project settings. Then adjust the dependency settings, timeline view, and resource management.

To Do List Features

The task list contains exactly what you need to keep track of your tasks from start to finish.

Enter the task name, due date, assignee, and status. Use the Done column to mark tasks as completed and the Notes section for notes.

Maps Features

If you like the Kanban method of project management, you can use the Maps layout both for yourself and your team.

You start with jobs for Uncategorized, Backlog, Planning, In Progress and Complete. However, you can change these labels on a project-by-project basis.

Use the plus signs to add cards to the lanes. Your cards can include a checklist of subtasks, file attachments, comments, evidence, and reminders. You can also edit the subtasks on a card in a larger view by using the . to select edit icon (pencil).

Choose between a compact or full view of your cards and adjust the Card View settings with the acceleration icon at the top right.

Grid Features

Do you use applications like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for tracking items? If yes, then the grid layout is for you. It looks like a spreadsheet with columns, rows and cells.

Form Features

Create a custom form is a useful feature for all kinds of projects. With Smartsheet you can design your form and adjust the settings easily.

Add and remove form elements using the section on the left. Then select a form field to adjust the specific settings on the right. For example, you can make a field required, include a label or help text, use validation, and add logic.

Customize form settings for theme and brand, security, form submission, and submission emails.

Report functions

Create a driving 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.

Dashboard Features

By creating a Smartsheet dashboard, you can see a snapshot of your project, check active items, view a helpful graph or view statistics.

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 simply 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 a title and styles and choose an action for when someone clicks on the widget.

Smartsheet Navigation, Layout and Tools

Smartsheet provides an easy way to navigate through the application and use its tools.

Navigation on the left

On the left you have the main navigation for Home, Notifications, Browse, Recents, Favorites, WorkApps and the Solution Center. When you log in to Smartsheet, you select where you want to start.

Select at the bottom of the Help out icon (question mark) icon for help or the Account icon to customize your profile and settings.

Tools on the right

On the right are tools. You’ll see it on the screen for every item you use, such as a project, to-do list, or cards. Exceptions are the Dashboard and Report.

When you select a tool, a sidebar is displayed with its items. You have conversations, attachments, proofs, update requests, publish, activity log and summary.

The available actions in the sidebar depend on the tool. As an example, you can view all conversations, unread or comments by sheet or row. For attachments, you can preview the file, download it, rename it, or add a description.

Top Toolbar

At the top of each item you have additional tools. On the left you can save, print, undo or redo an action. Right next to it, you can change your view, which is quite handy. Switch between Grid, Gantt, Map, or Calendar views.

You’ll also see font and formatting buttons similar to what you see in Microsoft Word† Allows you to change font style, size, color, change alignment, format as currency, and more.

Additional Smartsheet features and options

Once you’ve learned the basics of using Smartsheet, check out these additional features and options.

Parts: Along with the real-time conversations and Collaborative Tools, you can adjust the sharing and permission settings for your team. Use the Part button at the top right to view your options.

Integrations: Connect Smartsheet to apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, OneDrive, Jira and more. To view your options, go to the Solution Centerchoose Browse all solutionsand select View more add-ons in the Add-ons section.

Automated WorkflowsAutomate tasks for your project or worksheet by selecting a trigger and action. You can automate things like notifications, approval requests, capturing a date, or locking rows. Select the Automation tab above the top toolbar.

You can also create a workspace, use conditional formatting, and check out functionality to create a web or mobile app for your business.

Smartsheet is a comprehensive, robust tool for managing projects of all sizes. Be sure to check them out subscription subscription prices for the best fit for you.

For similar tools, see how to: use the Todoist Kanban tool or how? be productive with Trello

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