Trello vs Asana: Comparing Features, Pricing and Shortcomings

Trello and Asana are project management solutions that allow team members to collaborate better and keep their projects organized.

We’ve compared Trello and Asana to emphasize key differences and the factors to take into account for a buying decision.

Product Overviews

The following are excerpts from our Trello and Asana reviews that summarize each solution:

Trello: Trello is a project management app designed to help individuals and teams collaborate better and keep their projects organized. All the details of a project are located in what Trello refers to as boards. Each board is categorized using lists, with each list including individual cards that have further details on a project, such as the team members involved, task checklists, discussions and comments.

One unique feature of Trello is its Power-Ups. Power-Ups turn each board into what Trello calls “living applications” by adding different features and integrations.

Asana: Asana is a project and task management solution for collaborating on every stage of a project. With tasks, workspaces, notes, tags and a dashboard that updates information in real time, Asana facilitates smart decision-making throughout a project’s workflow.

Work can be organized into shared projects as lists, and teams can create tasks within those projects for meetings, programs and initiatives. Teams can also assign permissions for each member and share project-related documents without having to use email.

How They Stack Up

Features

Trello: Trello’s approach to task and project management is visual. It uses boards that correspond to projects. Within boards, there are cards that represent individual tasks. Users can set up task lists and cards that can be assigned to specific team members. Think of Trello as a digital whiteboard with high-tech sticky notes.

Trello lets members discuss a project or task in real time. It keeps everybody informed through task assignments, an activity log, and email notifications. Members can easily be added to a board where they are free to vote on ideas contained in the cards.

Asana: Asana is heavily text-based — it offers a text-based list format — and allows users to create and assign tasks, schedule due dates or add recurring dates, upload or link to associated documents, write comments and add tags. In the text-based list format, users are given a blank page and lines — each line represents a different task. Asana has also launched a visual board layout option in addition to its list layout option.

Asana also lets users create custom fields where they can track anything they want. The collaboration tool lets team members post comments or questions directly to tasks so others can respond immediately. Additionally, this real-time communication cuts down on the need for time-consuming meetings and lets team managers see all their teams’ projects.

Bottom Line: Trello and Asana are both focused on allowing team members to collaborate better and keep their projects organized. However, depending on how companies represent information and data, the features might be different. One of the main differences is that Trello’s approach to task and project management is visual, while Asana’s approach is more text-based.

Benefits

Trello: Benefits Include:

  • Trello minimizes confusion around project assignments since teams are able to use boards and cards to organize tasks and track progress with specific performance lists.
  • Users can customize lists, i.e., they can follow metrics they are most interested in and use automated notifications to keep informed of all changes and alterations.
  • Entire teams can participate in important discussions, such as group meetings and one-to-one chat sessions. Team members can also send notes, share files of all formats and comment on individual tasks.
  • Team members can upload files straight from their Dropbox, Box or Google Drive accounts.

Asana: Benefits include:

  • Allowing users to add custom fields to projects and tasks, making it simple to track what’s important to them.
  • Once it’s set up, Asana eliminates the need for companies to use email and/or third-party applications for teams to communicate. For example, users automatically receive notifications in their inboxes when tasks are assigned or changes are made.
  • Real-time communication that allows quick responses from team members and minimizes the need for time-consuming meetings.
  • Regularly backing up data and storing it behind firewalls in secure data centers with restricted access.

Bottom Line: Trello is perfect for teams looking to virtually brainstorm ideas visually and display users’ thoughts in order. Larger teams or teams working on more complex projects would benefit more by using Asana. It has an intuitive interface for managing team workflows, and allows users to plan and manage projects online without the need for difficult-to-follow email threads.

Shortcomings

Trello: Trello doesn’t support hierarchies that show relationships between tasks and projects. Users have also reported that Trello could add more flexibility and customization for arranging cards, instead of just arranging them in a linear fashion. Trello is not well-suited to projects with hundreds of tasks because they’re not easy to visualize using boards.

In addition, Trello doesn’t have time tracking capabilities. However, it integrates with the Everhour add-on so companies can easily track the time employees spend on tasks and how long the tasks last.

Asana: Some users have complained that Asana can be slow to load tasks and workflows, which can affect productivity and it can be a bit bulky for users not working in teams. In addition, multiple people can’t be assigned to the same task with Asana. And since Asana is heavily text-based, it’s easy to inadvertently break structure, remove a task or change its naming.

As with Trello, Asana also doesn’t have way to track time. Asana also integrates with the Everhour add-on so users can track hours and estimate the duration of tasks.

Bottom Line: Trello is likely not a good fit for companies that have projects with hundreds of tasks while Asana is not well-suited for users not working in teams.

Pricing

Trello: Trello offers three payment options: Free, Business Class and Enterprise

  • Free – The free option offers unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and attachments as well as one Power-Up per board. Users can attach files up to 10 MB or link any file from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or OneDrive.
  • Business Class – The Business Class plan is $9.99 per user per month when paid annually. It includes everything in the free version plus unlimited Power-Ups and the ability to attach files up to 250 MB.
  • EnterpriseCosts for the Enterprise plan are tiered and vary based on the number of users. The first tier allows 100-300 users and is priced at $20.83 per user per month.  As you add more users, the price gets lower. The plan comes with all the features in Business Class, plus enhanced security and support, and personalized onboarding assistance.

Asana: Asana offers four payment options: Free, Premium, Business and Enterprise (Asana offers unlimited integrations with third-party apps in each of its plans.)

  • Free – The free tier supports up to 15 team members. It offers access to limited dashboards and search functions, but allows unlimited task projects and conversations.
  • Premium – The Premium plan costs $10.99 per user per month when billed annually. This tier adds features such as admin controls and single sign-on and it also removes restrictions on the use of dashboards and team size.
  • Business – The Business plan costs $24.99 per user, per month (billed annually) and has all of the features of the Premium plan, plus portfolios, custom rules builder, approvals and integration with Salesforce, Tableau and Power BI.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise plan offers more advanced administrative controls, custom branding and same-day support. This plan also includes added security and data protection features such as data deletion and cross-regional backups. Prices are available upon request.

Bottom Line: Both Asana and Trello offer competitive pricing. Small teams would benefit from the free plan of either provider. Asana’s free plan offers a bit more than Trello’s free plan, but caps users at 15. However, Asana offers unlimited integrations for all its plans. Trello’s free plan has no limit on users but only offers one integration.

Takeaways

Both Asana and Trello help teams stay organized and effectively collaborate on projects and tasks. Trello is great for small or midsize businesses while Asana is better suited for enterprise-level companies. Trello offers simple task lists and is easy to use, while Asana offers multiple options that enable companies to manage complex projects or tasks. Asana can easily cope with managing more people who are collaborating on bigger projects. Trello is good for small teams or a few employees.

Before purchasing a product, organizations should evaluate each tool to decide which best fits their needs.

If you’re entirely new to project management tools, take a look at our Project Management Definitive Guide. It offers a full overview of market trends, must-have features and common challenges to avoid.

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