Asana vs. Trello: Which Is the Best PaaS for Project Management?

Updated: Oct 18, 2021 / Article by: WHSR Guest

Digital performance tracking tools have gained immense popularity at the height of the pandemic. According to Statista, the number of employees in the US working from home for five or more days a week has gone up from 17% to 44% during the health crisis. Online monitoring, task management, performance tracking, and other tools have all played their part in helping remote work thrive.

However, even as employees return to the office, more companies are finding project management software to be a long-term gain rather than a short-term solution. Asana and Trello are two of the most popular task management apps used by companies and individuals.

Asana has over 1.3 million paid users while Trello celebrated a 50-million-user milestone back in 2019. The two tools are often compared — as they offer similar features and functionality. With that, there are also quite a few notable differences between the two programs. So, which is better: Asana or Trello?

Asana vs. Trello: The Basics

Asana is a platform-as-service (PaaS) tool that focuses on task management. The app uses tasks as primary work units and base for planning out and organizing the bigger picture. Trello, on the other hand, puts everything on cards. It is basically a digital Kanban board where you can attach sticky notes to get a visual representation of your projects.

Trello is rather simple and very straightforward in use. It works great with smaller teams — but if your company expands, you may find it limiting. Meanwhile, Asana comes with a substantial learning curve and may take some time to get used to. However, it also offers more functionality than Trello.

A Quick Look at Trello

Quick Look at Trello
Trello

Trello gives its users access to a digital Kanban board where teams can look at each board as a separate project. The columns identify the status through which the card is currently passing. All discussions, chats, and collaborations also take place within this card.

As you organize your Trello board by different stages of progress, you get to move each card from one column to another as its status changes. You can name each column with the status point that makes sense to you and your team. Some examples for column names are To Do, Priority, In Progress, In Review, and Done.

As progress is made on each task, you can move it to a column with a different status. Additionally, you can discuss details, add labels, and attach documents and descriptions within the card. In short, if you ever used a boat with sticky notes at your office to manage assignments, you will feel right at home with Trello.

A Quick Look at Asana

Quick Look at Asana
Asana

Asana is focused on projects. As you create a project, you can then divide it into sections and arrange tasks. Each task can then be further split into sub-tasks and you can add descriptions, comments, tags, and more.

After you’ve created a project, you can add tasks by simply clicking the plus button at the top. Click the task to add details to it. Doing so will let you see all the information about the task including a timeline of activities.

There are several ways in which you view your tasks: you can use List, Board, Timeline, or Calendar view. Comments and other notifications related to the task are all collected in a special tab that Asana calls “Inbox”.

Asana vs. Trello: Which Should You Choose?

1. Functionality and View Options

As a primarily Kanban-based app, Trello doesn’t feature any additional view options. All you have to work with is a traditional Kanban board. However, if you do want other view options, you can use third-party power-ups to get them onboard.

With Asana, you get a number of view options. However, the free version limits this to just List, Board and Calendar. Both apps come with helpful add-ons like assignees, due dates, comments, tags, and file attachments.

Summing it up: taking into account view options and the number of features onboard, Asana does offer more when compared to Trello.

2. Trello Pricing

Just like many other project management tools out there, Trello relies on the freemium pricing model.

You get a set of basic features for free — but if you want more functionality, you will need to pay.

Thus, Trello starts at free and goes up to $10 per member per month (if you pay annually) and

$12.50 per member per month (if you pay monthly). If you need support for more than a hundred users, go for the Enterprise plan. You can contact Trello’s sales team and they will customize the plan for your organization.

Note that Trello’s free plan is available for an unlimited number of users. You will only be charged once you need more features. If you decide to use Trello as your main task management software, you will probably want to opt for the paid version to get access to more features like bigger file attachments and more power-ups.

3. Asana Pricing

Asana also uses a freemium model. You don’t need to pay anything for a limited set of features — but you can only have 15 team members.

The app’s Premium plan is $10.99 per member per month (annual plan) and $13.49 per member per month (monthly plan). If you want to opt for the Business plan, get ready to pay $24.99 per member per month (annually) and $30.49 per member per month (monthly). The Enterprise plan is custom-made and you will need to get in touch with Asana’s sales team to discuss your needs and pricing.

It may look like you are paying more for Asana than Trello. However, you are getting more features with Asana’s free plan. Indeed, both tools offer good functionality for free and paid versions are reasonably priced.

4. Collaboration Options

Both Trello and Asana come with standard collaboration functionality like descriptions, assignees, due dates, tags, comments, and attachments. With Trello, you get to collaborate with an unlimited number of users — even when using a free plan. Trello also lets you upload up to 250MB file attachments (with an upgrade).

With Asana, you only get to work with 15 people on a free plan. Plus, your maximum limit for file attachments is 100MB – even on one of the higher paid plans. When you look at the details, Trello does offer more when it comes to collaborations compared to Asana.

Dependencies

Dependencies are an important feature when it comes to managing tasks. Here, Asana takes the lead.

Trello doesn’t come with any options for you to create dependencies between task cards.

With Asana, on the other hand, you can create dependencies and view them on your timeline. This can come in especially handy when you need to address conflicts between these dependencies. Note, however, that dependencies are not available in the free version of the app.

When it comes to dependencies, Asana is a clear better choice.

User Experience and Simplicity

Trello is all about keeping things simple. You can get started with the app in minutes. Plus, explaining it to a team will be exceptionally straightforward. Asana is more complicated — but, to be fair, it does offer more functionality. Both apps come with detailed manuals and also have very helpful user communities should you even need any help.

Conclusion: Which Is better – Asana or Trello?

Trello: Pros and Cons

Best things about Trello:

  • Easy to get started
  • Easy to explain
  • Add as many team members as you need for free
  • Clear visuals
  • Advanced filter options
  • No credit card needed to sign up

Trello limitations:

  • No way to import functionality from other apps
  • No data export options on a free plan
  • May be unsuitable for managing big software projects
  • No list view option
  • No commands for initiating quick completion of tasks

Asana: Pros and Cons

Best things about Asana:

  • Extensive functionality
  • Custom tags
  • Several view options
  • Option to view assigned tasks
  • Templates and filters
  • Lots of integrations

Asana limitations:

  • Free plan limited to 15 users
  • No option to add multiple assignees
  • Substantial learning curve
  • Not enough capabilities to be a full-fledged agile tool

Features Comparison

AsanaTrello
PriceFree: limited to 15 users with feature restrictions.
Paid Plans: start at $13.49 per month per user.
Free: unlimited users with feature restrictions.
Paid Plans: Start at $12.50 per user per month.
FeaturesKanban Boards, Calendar and Gantt view options, Access Controls, Project Portfolio.Kanban board + power-ups.
Best suitable forNon-technical teams: marketers, sales, customer support, etcFreelancers, companies, small engineering teams.
IntegrationsLots of available integrationsLots of available integrations
 

So, what project management software is the best fit for your company? Both Asana and Trello are good candidates.

As we’ve summarized above, Asana may prove to be a better option for non-technical teams while Trello can work well for smaller projects.

However, if you are working on a more complicated project, neither of these tools may be quite right. In this case, you may need to search for other options offering more advanced capabilities. You may even consider using a combination of tools (task management, time tracking and employee monitoring, digital tools for a small business, etc.) to achieve the best results.

Other helpful resources may include time management training for your team (learning how to organize emails efficiently, work-day planning options, focus techniques, and more).

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About the Author

Grace Morris is a tech and digital marketing enthusiast who loves to travel and is passionate about learning new emerging trends in digital media and the internet. Her interest in helping businesses leverage their digital authority has led her a career as a Digital Content Specialist in Traqq. Her next goals include writing a book and becoming an event speaker. 

About WHSR Guest

This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.