Smartsheet and Jira are two popular work management solutions that are frequently ranked as some of the best project management solutions. While these tools have some overlap, they were designed with fundamentally different audiences in mind. In this guide, we compare Smartsheet vs. Jira to help you make the best choice for your business.
- Smartsheet vs. Jira: Comparison table
- Smartsheet and Jira pricing
- Feature comparison: Smartsheet vs. Jira
- Smartsheet pros and cons
- Jira pros and cons
- Should your organization use Smartsheet or Jira?
Smartsheet vs. Jira: Comparison table
|Project views||Grid, Gantt, Card, Calendar||Calendar, Board, List, Timeline|
|Bug and issue tracking||No||Yes|
|Reporting and analytics||Yes||Yes|
|Integrations||96 integrations||500+ integrations and 3,000+ extensions|
|Free trial||30 days||7 days|
|Forever free plan||Yes||Yes|
|Pricing||Starts at $7 per user per month||Starts at $7.75 per user per month|
Smartsheet and Jira pricing
Smartsheet and Jira offer various pricing tiers to suit different needs. Each platform offers a forever free entry level plan, as well as free trials for the more advanced plans. Smartsheet’s free trial is 30 days long, and Jira’s is 7 days long. The available pricing plans are as follows:
- Free: $0 for 1 user and up to 2 editors.
- Pro: $7 per user per month when billed annually, or $9 per user per month when billed monthly.
- Business: $25 per user per month when billed annually, or $32 per user per month when billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
- Free: $0 for up to 10 users.
- Standard: $7.75 per user per month when billed monthly, or $790 annually for 1-10 users.
- Premium: $15.25 per user per month when billed monthly and $1,525 annually for 1-10 users.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
Feature comparison: Smartsheet vs. Jira
Smartsheet offers four project views: Grid, Gantt, Card and Calendar. Grid view (Figure A) is the classic option based on the traditional spreadsheet, while Card view is Smartsheet’s version of a Kanban board. One nice thing about Smartsheet is that it doesn’t limit popular views like Gantt charts to higher tier paid plans. All four project views are available on all plans, including the forever free one.
Jira offers multiple project views, including Kanban, calendar and list. It also offers a feature called Roadmaps, which includes a timeline (Gantt chart) view. The Advanced Roadmaps feature (Figure B) offers even more robust charts and functionality. Jira’s list view is the closest dupe for Smartsheet’s grid view, but it’s not exactly the same. If grid view is essential for your project, then you’ll have to invest in a paid add-on or seek out Jira alternatives.
In Smartsheet, you can assign tasks to yourself or other people, set due dates, attach files and receive notifications. It also allows you to comment on tasks and tag other members in the comments, although it doesn’t offer built-in chat or video messaging like some other Smartsheet alternatives. Smartsheet also offers the ability to build automated workflows to cut down on repetitive work (Figure C).
You can do many of the same things in Jira, including assigning tasks and setting due dates. You can also attach files and screenshots to issues and manage your notification preferences. You can add, edit and delete comments in Jira, though there is no built-in chat messaging tool either. The no-code automation engine also makes it possible to create automated workflows with just a few clicks.
Bug and issue tracking
Since Jira is designed specifically for software development teams, which means that it includes features specifically for bug and issue tracking (Figure D). Users can create an issue, assign it to a project, select the issue type and add a summary and description. After the bugs are captured, they can be prioritized by urgency and assigned to a team member. Jira will automatically update the ticket as work progresses.
Smartsheet has over a couple templates for bug and issue tracking, but it doesn’t offer the same level of functionality that Jira does. This reflects the fact that Smartsheet is more of a general purpose small business project management software than a tool specifically designed for software development teams.
Reporting and analytics
Smartsheet offers multiple reporting templates (Figure E), as well as the ability to create and share custom reports. Visual project dashboards capture the most important metrics in a centralized place. Smartsheet’s reporting can also be used to forecast business growth. It also provides resource management that helps people accurately track time and make forecasts.
Jira also offers reporting tools for every step of the process, from planning to sprinting to shipping. Choose from multiple reporting templates, including some that are specifically tailored to agile, Scrum and Kanban methodologies. It also offers templates to help with forecasting, such as time tracking and user workload reports. The dashboards are easily customizable and capture all of the most essential figures in one place.
Smartsheet pros and cons
Pros of Smartsheet
- Spreadsheet-based design will be familiar to many.
- Over 350 project templates available.
- Excellent security protocols.
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics.
- Lots of documentation and training resources.
- Highly customizable interface.
Cons of Smartsheet
- Free account only supports one user.
- Spreadsheet-based design feels outdated compared to other kanban-style apps.
- No auto saving changes or loading project updates in real time.
- Must upgrade to Business plan for time tracking and resource management.
Jira pros and cons
- Unique roadmap feature displays a bird’s eye view of projects.
- Enterprise-grade security solutions.
- IT-specific features such as issue tracking.
- Seamless syncing with other Atlassian products.
- More than 3,000 extensions.
- Free plan supports up to 10 users.
- Can be complex for new users to learn.
- Customization can be time-consuming to set up.
- Free trial is only 7 days long.
- Could use more collaboration features and project views.
To compare Smartsheet and Jira, we consulted product documentation, user reviews and community resource forums. We considered factors such as pricing, interface design, ease of use and integrations, as well as features such as project views, task management, team collaboration and project templates.
Should your organization use Smartsheet or Jira?
While there is some overlap between Smartsheet and Jira, ultimately they were designed with different audiences in mind. Smartsheet is more of a general purpose task and project management software that is based on a classic spreadsheet design. While it does include some agile and issue tracking templates, it isn’t really meant for software development specifically.
On the other hand, Jira was intentionally designed to be used by software development teams and includes many specialized features to cater to their unique needs. This makes it a great choice for development teams but less useful for teams looking for either small business or enterprise project management software.
There’s also an integration available to connect the two tools together and keep everyone on the same page. In other words, your development teams can use Jira for issue tracking, and the rest of the company can use Smartsheet for project management.
If neither Smartsheet nor Jira sounds right for your needs, check out our list of the top project management software for 2023.
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