When you think spreadsheet, you think Excel, well at least most people in business do. Such has been Microsoft’s hold on the top spot for data organization. However, in this day and age, there are many other options out there that exceed Excel while also providing the same functionality that users have grown to expect from a spreadsheet.
Picking Up Where Excel Falls Short
Though Excel has become standard for spreadsheet data tracking across the business and academic world, it has had some shortcomings. For one, Excel for business is expensive, especially when you consider some of the more advanced options now that are free or cost less than $10 per month.
Secondly, Excel doesn’t integrate well with all apps and programs. Just for example if you work on Mac, Excel is not made to work well with that system. Thirdly, in today’s highly collaborative business world, the need for project management and user input from multiple sources is a must now but Excel lacks such functionality.Once upon a time, Microsoft Office was the only show in town. That has completely changed and now you can download certain apps and programs for free that can do everything that Excel can do and then some. Here are 7:
#1: Smartsheet’s Spreadsheet plus Collaboration Tool
Smartsheet is one option that combines the features and functionality of an Excel spreadsheet with the collaboration interface of a project management program. The automated features included with this tool help streamline work and organize project details.
#2: Workzone’s Robust At-A-Glance Dashboard
One of the best options besides Excel is the Workzone project management tool. It comes equipped with Excel spreadsheet capabilities but also shows each and every project and client on the program dashboard. See the status of a project, what documents have been added, and who has been assigned to what task, all at a glance from the program interface.
#3: Microsoft Project through Office 365 Subscription
It’s hard to escape Microsoft’s stranglehold on spreadsheet building and data organization. Included in our list of the best options outside of Excel is Microsoft Project which comes with an Office 365 subscription. It combines actual Excel with a premium project management tool.
Of course, as is the case with Excel itself, the more skill you have with the program the better able you will be to utilize its many functions; otherwise the learning curve is a tad too steep for quick and easy adoption.
#4: Google Sheet – Google’s Alternative to Excel
It is almost exactly like Excel, except that it is made by Google, save some very important advanced features. Google Sheet is both a spreadsheet and a project management tool that allows for in-depth project collaboration and project tracking.
#5: Best Organization Tool for Small Business
Small businesses find Basecamp to be the nimblest of all project management tools. One of its best features is its real-time collaboration capabilities as well as its mobile app features. It comes with all of the functionality of a spreadsheet for primarily managing projects.
#6: Task Tracking Project Management Spreadsheet
Asana is a well-known project management tool. It comes with project tracking, a mobile app, it syncs to Google but it is limited in its spreadsheet functionality. You can use it to organize information, appointments, messages, and tasks, but it is by no means an Excel level spreadsheet; however it will keep you organized as an alternative.
#7: Project Tracking on a Spreadsheet
Lastly, Trello is also lacking in true spreadsheet functionality on par with Excel but it goes beyond when it comes to organizing and collaborating with a team. This program syncs up with all devices, has a project tracker, and allows input and collaboration from multiple outside sources.