Using smartsheet as an editing tool for writing tasks

06/13/21
Answered - Pending Review

I used smartsheet to write copy for one-page fact sheets for several different topics. It enabled me to see different people's versions of the same copy block by giving each of them their own column. Then I reviewed, picked and poked through their versions and created a 'best of' version.

I got untenable pushback that this is not a efficient method for generating say 10 paragraphs of narrative for a fact sheet or a proposal.

Does anyone have experience in using smartsheet instead of google docs to iteratively write and edit documents? [Not keep track of a google doc, but actually create the content in the smartsheet itself.]

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Answers

  • Hi @Bev Kehoe

    While Smartsheet is a collaborative tool, it may not be the most ideal platform to use for text-editing as that is not one of its core functionalities.

    You could use one row per person (or multiple rows per person) with each cell in the row being a different paragraph, then use the Document Builder function to generate a document from the final product. If you re-structure your document to be in rows versus columns, this could also enable you to either use a Form for the initial submission or send an Update Request when you want to ask for changes.

    Or, you could potentially look into uploading PDFs with the text and use Proofing in Smartsheet to suggest updates.

    If neither of these work for your purposes, a tool like Google Docs may actually be a better platform to achieve your goal. Then you can either link out to the documents from a hyperlink in a cell or through a widget on a Dashboard.

    I hope that helps!

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

  • Bev KehoeBev Kehoe ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for your answer!

    Perhaps you didn't understand: I have one paragraph per row that is the core document. There is a column that describes what row is: Header, Subheader, Intro, Body, Conclusion, Call to Action.Then each person has a column that they can either comment on, edit or entirely rewrite the paragraph.

    When the document is complete, it can move to Word for formatting.

    If you think this would work for you to continue this thread, I could share a skeleton smartsheet to illustrate.

    Do you work for smartsheet or somewhere else?

  • Hi @Bev Kehoe

    Yes, I work for Smartsheet. Based on what you’re describing, the current system you have is the most efficient way you could do this using a Smartsheet sheet, instead of using a platform designed for editing text documents.

    If your collaborators are finding working within a grid difficult for generating a text document, you may have reached the limit of what Smartsheet can provide. I'd be interested to see if other members of our Community have additional suggestions, or you may want to reach out to Smartsheet Consulting (see here).

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

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