Marketing Apps Roundup: Smartsheet for Law Firms

I was asked to speak on a panel recently about how my clients (marketing departments at law firms and law schools) are using Smartsheet. I've summarized a set of marketing use cases, but these are by no means exhaustive. Please share your use cases in the comments section :).

Excel on Steroids?

First I'll address a comment I hear a lot. "Isn't Smartsheet just Excel on Steroids"?

Well, sure, it can be if you only use the basic components. But Smartsheet has a lot of additional collaboration features, complex workflow functionality, and more integrations every month, it seems. They also have a no-fee-for-collaborators model, so you can invite as many users as you'd like to work with you without needing a license purchase.

USE CASE: Website User Acceptance Testing

Before a website is launched, there is a stage called User Acceptance Testing, or UAT (great description of UAT from Stanford, along with guides and process template). This is when the web team checks every page of the site to confirm it looks right (design), has the right information (content), and renders correctly on desktop, mobile devices, and multiple browsers (UI).

Websites can be hundreds if not thousands of pages, with several different team members that need to be brought in to review each page.

To get started, ask your web agency (don't have one yet? Here is a list of the web agencies law firms use most often) to export a list of URLs of the new site, then use this list as the foundation for your UAT sheet for tracking the status of each page.


A screenshot of how the law school at the University of Michigan managed the UAT process for a recent website.


Use colorful visual cues to give you status at a glance, and create tooltips so users know how to use each column.

Smartsheet screenshot of colorful column formats and column tooltips feature.

Make it easy to pull up task assignments by team member, or by any number of criteria, using Filters. They are super helpful as you sort through thousands of rows, and you can use complex conditional logic to create them.


Smartsheet filters can be created using conditional logic.
Workflows are another great feature that lets you use conditional logic to automate who gets notified (vi email) about what, and from what triggers. Read more about workflows here.
smartsheet workflows screenshot

USE CASE: Project Management

I sometimes use Smartsheet for project management instead of MS Project or other complex PM apps, especially when it is a project that includes multiple external partners. There are several views to choose from, and you can switch back and forth depending on your needs.

Screenshot of a Smartsheet dropdown menu showing several data views, including Grid, Gantt, Card, and Calendar views.

You can invite as many people as you want to collaborate on a project – remember, collaboration invitations have no cost associated with them. You can integrate with Slack and Teams channels too.

screenshot showing ability to integrate MS Teams and Slack into your Smartsheet application.

Pro Tip: For at-a-glance visual cues, I set up conditional formatting to automate color-coding by vendor.


A view of a Gantt chart showing use of color coding to quickly identify tasks by vendor.

USE CASE: Client Pitch Tracking

Practices use Smartsheet to track interactions with clients and document work won and lost. List the attorneys included in the pitch, track industry, and note types of work proposed. Attach a copy of the pitch and proposal materials for the archives.

Smartsheet column titles used for tracking law firm client proposals, including client number, matter number, date of pitch, industry, types of collateral used in the pitch, and type of legal work proposed.


Pro Tip: Integrate with your CRM to pull in client/matter #, relationship attorney, and other data. Smartsheet has already built connectors to Salesforce and MS Dynamics.

USE CASE: Content Management

I create Smartsheets for content projects all the time – whether it’s creating an annual report or rewriting 1000 bios for a rebrand, this is a great way to track the status of content that has to go through multiple approvals – attorneys, practices, and final proofing signoff.

Smartsheet screenshot showing sample process for creating a digital brochure.


I also use the Conversations feature to document who made what decisions.

screenshot of the conversations functionality in smartsheet.

Pro Tip: Integrate with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud to easily review, edit, and approve images, documents, and PDFs.


You can even collect feedback on video proofs; approvers can insert comments anywhere in the video file.

Video editing software application showing a frame of a woman speaking at a meeting.

Add comments to video files.

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