Archive for the ‘office 2.0’ Category

Office 2.0: A new form of web 2.0 applications

Last time I have talked about web 2.0 and personal productivity tools: RescueTime and 140kit. Today I will share my experience with other web 2.0 personal productivity tool which is: Smartsheet.

Smartsheet is a web 2.0-based project management and crowdsourcing applications that allow users to create, organize and track any type of work. In addition, Smartsheet allows creator’s user to comprehensively involve contributors through publicly-accessible and secure environment.

Here is an overview of Smartsheet:

What people said about Smartsheet?

According to USA TODAY, couple of companies are developing online services that handle tasks people usually carry out with desktop applications like those in the popular productivity suite. And at the Office 2.0 Conference, set to start in San Francisco on Wednesday, many of those companies will show off their latest productivity products.

One company,, is launching an upgrade to its online collaboration software, which is built around a hosted spreadsheet. rather than just simulate  Excel in online form, the company is using familiar tools to make project management better.

What is the benefit of using office 2.o tools?

  • No need to download or install software.
  • Can run on thin clients with minimal hardware requirements.
  • Provide the ability for a group of people to share a document without the need to run their own server.
  • Office 2.0 tools are software as a service, there is no need to purchase or upgrade a software license.
  • Office 2.0 services are portable. Users can access their documents from almost any computer with a connection to the Internet, regardless of which operating system they use.
  • If the user’s computer fails, the documents are still safely stored on the remote server. Online service providers’ backup processes and overall stability will generally be superior to that of most home systems.

However, there are some issues with office 2.0 tools compared with classic office programs :

  • Access requires connectivity: if the remote server or network is unavailable, the content will also be unavailable.
  • There are speed and accessibility issues. Most of the available online office suites require a high speed Internet connection. That can be a problem for users who are limited by a slower connection to the Internet.
  • The number of features available is an issue. Online office suites lack the more advanced features available on their offline counterparts.
  • There may be a subscription charge to use the service. In that case, in the long run, the ongoing subscription cost may be more expensive than purchasing offline software upfront.
  • The user has no control over the version of the software used. If the software is changed the user is forced to use the changed version, even if the changed version is less suited to the user.
  • The user is reliant on the service provider for security and privacy of their documents.

Personally.. I was looking for a free program to do Gantt chart that required for the university assignment, and as always there are programs that run on Windows not on Mac or vice versa. Eventually and After couple of google pages, I found Smartsheet which turned out to be exactly I am looking for

Now, I will talk about my experiences with Smartsheet:

1- signed up via my gmail account:

 2- chose template named: Project Management (with Gantt and Dependencies):

3- within 20 minutes, I have created Gantt Chart to illustrates a group assignment schedule. I haven’t used all column, I have just used Task name, Start date, End date, Duration and Assigned To.

4- After that, I have shared the chart with the assignment group members by adding their emails, so they can edit, add and so on. The good thing is, all changes made is saved in history.

5- Last feature I will talk about today is, the ability to save offline copy of the chart as a PDF file.

So .. What is your opinion about Smartsheet and “office 2.0” in general?

and please share any web-based applications that you used for your academic or work life ?