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Trello vs Asana? It’s a question that gets asked often by managers. Both are top-rated project management software that help you manage your teams and projects so that everyone stays on top, and things stay on track. To help you decide which one to choose,
Trello vs Asana?
It’s a question that gets asked often by managers. Both are top-rated project management software that help you manage your teams and projects so that everyone stays on top, and things stay on track.
To help you decide which one to choose, we tested them both thoroughly for our own teams. We went through their features, noted down feedback from our employees – and came up with this Trello vs Asana review guide where we’ll be covering everything we’ve learned.
Trello was established in 2014 and has grown to be one of the top rated project management tools designed to help you organize your team projects so that you and everyone else can see who’s doing what, what still needs to be done, and what needs to be prioritized.
With a visual aesthetic that looks a lot like a digital whiteboard/Kanban board (it essentially is just a board), Trello wants to make team collaboration fun and rewarding. It comes with a “Trello board” that consists of lists and cards, as well as tons of other features.
Asana is a few years older than Trello, having been founded in 2008. Like Trello, it’s a task management/project management tool that’s designed to help teams stay focused and organized, and manage projects.
Another visually appealing app, your whole team can see at a glance their tasks, goals and projects. You can create tasks, tag team members, share files, leave comments, add deadlines – and more.
Trello is ideal for teams with a handful of tasks. Due to the way it works, it’s not especially useful for teams with hundreds of tasks. This is because it’s designed in such a way that more cards are added each time a task is created. The more cards you have, the more headaches you will have as you sift through them all.
Other than that, it’s great for teams who have a small number of tasks to complete, and who are otherwise struggling to stay organized (and for whom a bit of visual organization wouldn’t go amiss).
Asana excels for remote teams who need help managing tasks and staying on track, and who want their project management tools to come with more capabilities.
It’s especially useful if you have team members working in different parts of the world and in different time zones for whom communication and collaboration is usually an issue. You can use Asana to bring everyone together and thereby create a seamless workflow.
Naturally, neither Trello or Asana is 100% perfect and both have their pros and cons. To find out more about whether or not either tool is for you, let’s dig a little deeper into their core features.
What’s a kanban?
It’s just a card that moves from left to right. It’s a highly visual project management method that lets you see at a glance each stage in a project, as well as how the tasks and subtasks are interconnected. The whole idea is that productivity is improved.
While not as well-known as Trello’s board, Asana offers a Kanban board that does what it needs to do – it lets you see how well your team is progressing. You can use it to map out workflows, spot dead-ends and know exactly whether or not your team is on track.
Unlike Trello, though, Asana doesn’t just focus on the Kanban method. You can use it, but you don’t have to. It’s simply one of a number of project management frameworks that the tool provides.
As mentioned earlier, Trello essentially is a kanban/whiteboard. In fact, the board is the only layout it offers. As a result, Trello is arguably well-suited to the Kanban method because they’ve put all their eggs into this basket.
What we like about Trello’s boards is you can create multiple boards for each project. Or, you can create a single board dedicated to various activities. Each board can thus contain all the lists you want.
We also like how easy it is to set up lists for different tasks, as well as lists that can be named according to how time-sensitive they are, and how urgent they are. Ultimately, you can use Trello’s boards to create workflows with lists, which themselves are stage-based containers of your whole team’s tasks.
Then, as you go along, you can simply add more tasks.
Another major thumbs up is the fact that Trello’s boards are so easy to set up. Before you begin, Trello walks you through everything you need to do, and the user interface is very intuitive.
We like Asana’s k-boards – but we like Trello’s better. This is just down to the fact that Trello is a whiteboard that has no other style, and therefore the team has worked hard on creating the best around. It’s the best Kanban setup we’ve seen.
Asana, on the other hand, offers different frameworks and layouts, of which Kanban is just one. Moreover, Asana’s board is actually vertical – which we’re not sure works so well!
Subtasks are one of the core features in any project management tool. Sometimes called dependencies, they let you break down bigger tasks into smaller ones so that each team member knows exactly what needs to be done.
Asana actually only lets you have a single assignee – but it does at least let you break tasks down into subtasks. These are ideal for repeatable processes whenever more people, deadlines and stages are involved.
For example, let’s say you’re creating a new blog post in Asana. You can then add subtasks such as first draft, editing, proofreading, adding images and – lastly – uploading the blog.
This is all really easy to do in Asana, and you can also add different assignees to each subtask so that everyone knows a) what they need to do and b) when they need to do it.
On the other hand, one of the temptations with using Asana for subtasks is that it’s very easy to create many layers of subtasks to the point where it’s all gone a bit out of hand. This is simply down to the fact that Asana’s capabilities are so huge.
A subtask feature does kinda exist in Trello but it works differently to Asana and it’s not actually called a subtask. Instead, you’re limited to using the checklist element. This allows you to list a task’s dependencies, before linking them so that you and your team can jump back and forth between tasks – or “dependencies”.
To create dependencies/subtasks in Trello, you need to store your task in a Trello card, before storing its dependencies in a checklist on said card. It’s a tad more complicated than the simple subtask feature in Asana, and you can also create both subtasks and prerequisites. Doing so will require two separate checklists and more linked cards.
Also, Trello doesn’t let you mark subtasks between cards, which will definitely irk some users.
Asana is the definite winner when it comes to creating subtasks because it has a specific subtasks – or dependencies – feature, whereas Trello does not.
Project management software calendars make it easier to track tasks, deadlines, milestones and so on.
Asana’s Calendar is simple enough to use, thanks to drag and drop that lets you easily move tasks to different dates.
However, where Asana really comes into its own with its Calendar feature is that it also has a Timeline feature that complements it.
Asana’s Calendar and Timeline are definitely different and should be used for different ends. But because they both work as project views, you can easily switch between them and use them both to track your deadlines and workflow, make quick changes to your schedule and understand more about how on-track your projects are.
Trello’s Calendar is available as a Power-Up, which means it’s essentially not available for free. It allows you to display cards with deadlines in either a weekly or monthly view.
Visually, it looks great, and we also like the fact that the feature comes with drag and drop that allows you to place your card easily onto the calendar, and then shift it around when things change. To see a completed task, you just need to mark the due dates as complete, and you can add both start dates and due dates, as well as more checklist items.
It’s really easy to switch to the Calendar view tool, and all you need to do is head to the “views switcher” at the top left corner of your board, before selecting Calendar.
We think this round is a tie. Both Asana and Trello’s calendar offerings are pretty much what you want from a project management tool, both look great and both are easy to use.
Both Trello and Asana have their strengths and work really well as project management tools. But to help you gain a more rounded view of them both, we decided to look at their weaknesses.
Trello’s biggest strength is also – rather oddly – its undoing at times. We’re talking about the card-based system/ board, which is its only layout. Yes, it works brilliantly at times, but once your tasks start to mushroom, the card-based approach simply doesn’t work.
Because cards turn into more cards into more cards … until you’ve simply got too many on your hands.
This could also be a weakness of Asana’s too in theory, but the major difference is that Asana doesn’t just go for a card-based approach. Instead, Asana offers different approaches.
On the other hand, Trello at least lets you assign tasks to multiple members whereas Asana only lets you assign tasks to just one member. Moreover, Asana has a rather lengthy learning curve and process-oriented projects may be hard to pull off.
This is because Asana requires numerous custom fields, as well as recreating projects from scratch each time. Creating new tasks all the time may not go down too well with some users.
Both Asana and Trello offer free versions of their software, and they look like this:
After that, pricing for both softwares is fairly straightforward. Let’s take a closer look:
Premium (price is per user per month)
Business (price is per user each month)
On the face of it, Trello works out cheaper than Asana, especially if you get billed annually and don’t leave money on the table.
But the problems for Trello become apparent when you start comparing their Business Class plan with Asana’s Premium Plan. This is simply because Asana’s Business Plan, while it costs slightly more, gives you more bang for your buck.
Granted, Trello offers several power-ups, but unless these are giving you extra firepower than Asana isn’t, we would swerve
Moreover, many power-ups aren’t even free and require an extra fee.
Then there’s Asana’s Business Plan, which doesn’t have a Trello equivalent. However, it offers pretty much everything you need for an extra $15.
Is it worth it?
Asana’s Business Plan definitely offers a number of cool and useful features, including a workload view, time tracking, advanced integration and portfolios. We really like it as a project manager subscription plan.
On the other hand, if all you want is the best k-board, settling for Trello and its less complicated pricing structure might be the smarter idea here.
That all said, we highly recommend that, whichever tool you choose, you give it a go for free first with the free plan. As a free Trello user, you get access to unlimited lists, cards and boards, but you do get limited to 10MB per file attachment. You also get one power up per board, however, which is a bonus.
As a free Asana user, you get access to kanban boards, task lists and calendars, and the number of users is 15.
Asana comes out as the top dog in our comparison review – but it’s really still up to you to make your own choice. After all, comparing project management options should be a unique process, and you’ll have your own things to weigh up.
However, we just found Asana to be more versatile and bigger in scope. Trello has awesome functionality and its k-boards are exceptional, but when it comes to things like subtasks/dependencies, tracking options and flexible task management, we have to go with Asana.
It’s also super user friendly, its gantt chart feature is excellent and ease of use is top notch. Using Trello is easy too, however, so let’s check …
Trello is still a very good task management tool, and lots of teams around the world are happy to use it.
That said, Trello doesn’t focus on projects as much as Asana does, and instead strips things down to the bare bones – boards, lists and cards – so that you can manage your task workflow better.
As such, it’s great for small, remote teams who don’t have a ton of projects to complete, but who enjoy a creative and highly visual way of staying on track.
Because Asana offers more features than Trello, it’s suited to bigger marketing and sales teams, product teams, finance teams and more. If you’ve got a big, sprawling team with lots going on in terms of projects and tasks, Asana is able to handle your workload and improve your internal collaboration.
You can also use Asana to boost accountability, communication and meet deadlines.
Project management is always easier when we choose the right project management software. Asana and Trello are both solid options, but while Trello definitely goes kanban/whiteboards better, Asana offers a great suite of features at a really attractive price.
There are still reasons to use Trello too, of course, so the next step is for you to decide which one suits your team best, before checking out the free version.