As project management software have grown in terms of capabilities, so have these tools multiplied in number. You’ll have no shortage of project management software to choose from these days. Two options that are widely popular among small to medium companies, however, are Trello and Asana.
Trello and Asana offer similar features, especially since both platforms have easy-to-use interfaces and hassle-free upgrades for growing teams. To help you figure out which tool will better serve your team’s needs, we’ll be discussing Trello and Asana’s most important features. This way, you can determine which of these two leading project management tools will best serve your organization’s needs for hassle-free collaboration, workflow management, and analytics.
If you’re getting a little tired of Microsoft Excel’s limitations in planning and managing projects and team resources, now would be a great time to join the growing number of organizations that benefit from project management software. There’s no more need to worry about clunky, complicated legacy interfaces. Today’s project management tools are designed to be as intuitive as possible, in addition to being fully featured.
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Many PM tools can meet the top requirements businesses have for digital PM software, namely reliability, ease of use, and ease of integration. Trello and Asana, for instance, are two project management platforms that are starting to gain popularity among companies today. Due to their highly visual interfaces, cloud-based deployment, and hassle-free scalability, Trello and Asana rank among the top 15 of the project management technologies most used in the US.
However, as efficient as Trello and Asana are, are these two project management platforms evenly matched? By comparing their core and advanced features, we’ll help you determine if one software has the upper hand over the other.
Trello has proven its effectiveness in supporting easy collaboration, improving accountability across the team, and helping teams get projects done on time. Important Trello features include a simple, almost foolproof user interface for adding tasks and drag-and-drop capabilities for organizing tasks into boards.
Using Trello, managers can create boards to correspond with various projects. Cards can be created within boards to indicate individual tasks and checklists, and each card can be set with a due date to improve tracking. Likewise, images and other files can be attached to the cards to ease collaboration and ensure easy access for the team. The platform allows users to move tasks between boards to make it easier for managers to track overall project progress and identify bottlenecks.
In addition to these core features, Trello offers Power-Ups. Power-Ups are essentially native and third-party integrations that extend the capabilities of Trello boards. Some of Trello’s most popular Power-Ups include Dropbox, Evernote, GitHub, MailChimp, and Salesforce. These integrations ensure that Trello can easily fit into your existing software ecosystem.
An equally well-known project management software, Asana is designed with the flexibility and power to support even complex projects. The platform allows you to create projects through boards or lists, so you can map out the individual tasks and subtasks for each project as needed. Each task can be moved from one board to another for improved organization and productivity tracking.
Asana benefits for project management include five project views that you can choose from. You can view tasks in List or Board view or switch to a Timeline view that gives you a visualized layout with deadlines. You can also keep a closer look at status updates through the Progress view.
Integrations with software for business and productivity ensure that users don’t lose any time switching between applications. Plus, Asana apps for iOS and Android guarantee that tasks and projects are accessible wherever your team works.
Collaboration is an essential feature of the best project management tools. This feature ensures that teams can communicate and get all the information they need to do their jobs. These software solutions enable real-time collaboration, so teams can easily work together on tasks and projects. Collaboration is particularly important for interdependent tasks.
Trello and Asana have slightly different methodologies for allowing users to collaborate, but the two platforms share some common features. These two PM tools allow you to create teams for projects and add relevant users to these teams. Once they’re added to projects, members can start interacting with each other and get access to information uploaded to tasks.
Comments and files can be attached to tasks for discussion. Specific users can also be tagged so they’ll be notified of these comments. Notifications on Asana go to the platform’s built-in inbox so users can easily see them.
One aspect where Asana has the edge over Trello is in handling task dependencies. Once a task marked dependent on another task is marked done, the waiting users get notifications so they can get started on their work. Asana offers this feature out of the box, but the dependencies feature for Trello comes from Power-Ups, a paid upgrade.
Like most leading collaboration tools, Trello and Asana help teams collaborate more efficiently. However, these platforms don’t go beyond comments when it comes to facilitating communication between users. More advanced project management software like monday.com allows more comprehensive communication features, like the ability to directly call and email other users. You can easily sign up for monday.com free trial here.
Understandably, task management is a core feature of efficient project management software. This allows complex projects to be mapped out into smaller tasks that are easier to track. Hassle-free task management is one of the benefits of visual project management software like these.
Both Trello and Asana offer robust features in this aspect. Both tools allow managers to break down projects into single tasks, which can then be assigned to users. Users themselves can create and assign tasks as well. Moreover, both Trello and Asana allow users to mark tasks as done and move completed tasks to the appropriate boards.
However, despite their similarities, Trello and Asana also have their features for task management. For instance, Trello allows you to create checklists in cards. When in board view, you’ll be able to see how many items have been ticked off the checklist.
Similarly, Asana lets you create smaller subtasks within a task. Both checklist and subtask features come in handy for simplifying more complicated tasks and making sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Here’s where we’ll see some differences with Trello vs Asana. Each platform offers its methods for improving workflow management for teams. Streamlining the workflow ensures that your team can be as productive as possible.
For easier organization, Trello lets you group boards into Collections. Collections can come in handy for organizations with multiple departments or teams, teams that handle multiple projects, or complex projects that require more than one board. Trello also allows you to turn a board into a template. This way, you can quickly create multiple boards for similar projects. This makes it easier for your team to get started on their work.
Additionally, Trello streamlines workflows through Butler. Butler brings automation to Trello boards by performing simple tasks, like moving a card to the top of the board once its due date is up or creating an onboarding card whenever a new member joins the team. This automation can help teams become more productive.
Asana offers more features for overseeing your workflow and checking overall project progress. The platform has a Progress View that you can use to monitor milestones achieved and progress towards the final deadline. Asana also allows users to update a project’s status whenever needed through labels such as “on track,” “at risk,” or “off track.”
Asana’s Portfolios feature also makes it easier for project managers and objectives to follow the progress of multiple projects. Through Asana, you can create a Portfolio to view the status of all projects for a specific team or initiative. The information included on the Portfolio page include status, due date, and task progress.
Moreover, Asana also brings to the table a suite of Automation features. Through these, you can set rules with customized triggers and actions, like automatically assigning tasks to users when a task’s label changes. These rules help establish a clearer workflow.
Every team has finite resources—time and budget, for instance—and resource management and planning ensures that you can properly allocate these resources for maximum efficiency. On its own, Trello doesn’t have any feature that will help you track and allocate your team’s resources. However, you can remedy this by installing PowerUps that integrate Trello with a time tracker (you can read our guide on the basics of time tracking software and why this integration is important) and other tools for tracking costs.
On the other hand, Asana has some built-in features that will help you optimize your team’s capacity. For instance, Asana’s Workload feature gives you a visual snapshot of your team’s capacity. On the Workload page, you’ll see exactly how many tasks and subtasks are on each team member’s plate. You can also set up this feature to factor in work hours to get a more detailed picture.
Workload’s most important feature is that it lets you set the maximum amount of work each team member can handle in a week. If a team member goes over the threshold, his workload graph will turn red. This way, you can easily spot potential overwork issues that can derail a project’s progress.
While Asana is useful in this regard, more powerful project management tools like monday.com will allow you to track multiple resources on one page. For instance, monday.com allows you to create a board with columns that indicate availability and compensation for employees. This makes it easier for you to properly allocate your team’s resources.
Features for analytics and reporting ensure that you can get accurate numbers behind your team’s performance and make adjustments wherever needed. Unfortunately, reporting is something of a weak spot for both Trello and Asana.
Trello offers integrations with various Power Ups and browser extensions for generating the reports you need to track your team’s activities and performance. Both Trello and Asana also allow you to use a search function to look for relevant tasks or boards for reports. You can search for the information you need through keywords, due dates, or even assignees.
Asana can export data into CSV files or PDFs, but you can use browser extensions to format the data into reports that are more relevant and easier to understand.
If you’re looking for more extensive reporting and analytics features, you may be better off with a more robust PM tool like monday.com, which allows you to export the specific data you need into an Excel spreadsheet.
Project management 2020 statistics indicate business’ requirements for a PM tool that’s easy to use. Trello and Asana have been clearly designed with UI/UX as a priority.
Both platforms are easy to use, thanks to drag-and-drop functions for moving tasks or cards into the appropriate boards. The user interface is simple and intuitive, so teams can quickly get used to working on either Trello or Asana even without extensive training on how to use the applications. If you do need some help on figuring out how these platforms work, both readily provide support through how-to articles and quick-start guides.
Trello’s no-nonsense design may have a bit of an edge over Asana, which has some complicated features that can be confusing if you’re not familiar with project management tools.
Both Trello and Asana can be integrated with an extensive selection of applications and software. The platforms each have native support for several apps, as well.
For instance, Asana has created native integrations for Outlook, Slack, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Harvest, and Wufoo. On the other hand, Trello has also developed its Power Ups not only for functions like card aging, repeating cards, and card snoozing, but also for popular applications such as Evernote, Google Hangouts, Bitbucket Cloud, MailChimp, and Zendesk.
One slight disadvantage to using Trello is that the pricing plan you choose may limit your usage of Power Ups. The free version of Trello allows only one Power Up per board, but the Business Class and Enterprise editions offer Unlimited Power Ups.
Understandably, pricing is a make-or-break factor in choosing a project management software. Both Trello and Asana come with flexible pricing plans to accommodate businesses of all sizes and needs.
Trello currently offers three plans: Free, Business Class, and Enterprise. You can also contact Trello’s sales team if you have an organization of over 5000 users.
How much will Trello cost? You’ll be glad to know that the platform has a Free version you can use. The Free version offers unlimited Personal Boards, unlimited Cards, and unlimited Lists, 10 Team Boards, and 1 Power-Up per Board. You’ll also get to use the Butler tool for automation, though you’ll get only 50 Command runs per month.
Trello’s Business Class edition will cost you $9.99 per user per month, billed annually. Business Class offers Map View, Calendar View, unlimited team boards, board collections, 1,000 Command runs per team for Butler, advanced admin permissions, and member deactivation capabilities. You also get priority support.
Pricing for Trello’s Enterprise edition depends on the number of users, starting at $20.83 per user per month for 20 users. The Enterprise edition of Trello offers all the features of the Business Class package, plus the ability to control Power-Up use and set organization-wide permissions, attachment restrictions, and public board management. You get unlimited command runs for Butler as well.
Asana pricing plans
Asana offers four pricing plans for users: Basic, Premium, Business, and Enterprise. The Basic plan may be sufficient for teams that need basic project management, but the paid plans may be a better fit for you if you handle more complex projects or if you oversee multiple teams with more than 15 members.
This free Asana plan includes List, Board, and Calendar Views, integrations, plus the ability to assign users and due dates to tasks. Teams can have up to 15 members.
Asana’s Premium plan is available at $10.99 per user per month, billed annually. You can try this plan for free, and if you choose to, subscribe to the plan for $13.49, billed monthly. With the Premium plan, you get an additional Timeline view and the ability to use forms, advanced search, and custom fields for labeling tasks. You’ll also be able to set milestones and use an Admin Console for improved team management.
The Business plan provides the use of Portfolios and Workload, plus a custom rules builder. This plan also includes integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, in addition to Premium plan features. All these Business features of Asana cost $24.99 per user per month, billed annually.
Asana’s Enterprise plan includes all the features of the Business plan, plus data export and deletion, comprehensive security features, custom branding, and priority support. You can contact Asana’s sales team for pricing for the Enterprise plan.
This really boils down to your team’s size and needs. If you have a smaller team to manage, and you have simple requirements when it comes to project management software, your team will probably thrive with Trello’s Free edition. The fact that Trello’s Free version already comes with automation features is a big plus, especially since Asana’s Basic plan doesn’t enable automation capabilities.
If you handle larger teams and you need more robust capabilities like workload monitoring and Timeline views from your project management tool, you may want to upgrade to a paid project management plan.
It really depends on which features users prioritize in their project management software of choice. Managers who want a straightforward tool for organizing tasks will be happy with Trello’s intuitive design and affordable plans. Meanwhile, project managers who want a more detailed look at workflows for easier management will find Asana more suitable.
That said, both Trello and Asana are somewhat lacking in some areas, such as reporting and direct communication among team members. You may want to check out other platforms if you regularly use these functions for project management. monday.com features, for instance, include quick exports for the data you need to Excel files and direct calls and emails to team members even without additional integrations. You can easily sign up for monday.com free trial here.
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