Ever heard of Asana?
I bet you did; it’s been over two years in the middle of a pandemic AND we all needed project management software for teams to balance workloads while keeping track of each task.
It is also likely you even used it. Maybe you weren’t satisfied? Maybe you were?
Maybe you just want an agile project management tool, and Asana is at the top of your list?
Way too wide a range of options, way too little time?
In this article, I will provide you with a list of products that go by the best project management platforms as alternatives to Asana. We’ll talk about:
- How each collaboration tool performs, their essential features, and how much they cost,
- How they compare to Asana in several aspects,
- How was former Asana users’ and other customers’ experience based on G2, Capterra, and Product Hunt reviews, and
- How you can implement each of the project management apps for different use cases.
What is Asana?
Asana is an online project management software designed for all types and sizes of business; a typical “one-size-fits-all” tool for agile teams—in the last few years, especially for remote teams. While it is among the favorite tools for tracking project progress, it also has a user-friendly and intuitive interface that Asana users thrive using.
Among Asana’s key features are project plans, custom fields, Gantt charts, file sharing, resource management, customizable workflows, to-do lists, customizable templates, and many other features through third-party integrations like Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft—all to boost collaboration among team members throughout an entire project.
Also, keep in mind that Asana has both iOS and Android applications that are ready for you to download on their respective platforms.
Asana offers 30-day free trial, three different plans, one of which is a freemium, and two premium plans.
- Basic Plan – free up to 15 users, unlimited core features, limited project views, and basic reporting
- Premium Plan – $10,99 month per user (billed annually), unlimited core features, four project views
- Business Plan – $24,99 month per user (billed annually), unlimited core features, project and portfolio views
“I love the way that Asana creates space for meaningful, asynchronous collaboration around work right where the work is being completed. I love the way we’ve been able to systematize our processes – and especially our communication.”
“The search feature is no Google; if you forget the name of the task, you’ll spend a lot of unnecessary time manually looking for it. You can’t search comments or descriptions, only task names. Any user can change the due dates, projects, and assignees at any given point, making it impossible to figure out who isn’t doing their work and to what degree. My biggest pet peeve is the notifications. You either receive none or 50. I’ve missed countless assignments because someone tagged me in the comments but not the description. There’s no automation / conditional logic to make our lives easier when we create tasks. Under “My Task” you have to automatically assign things to “do today,” “do next week,” “do later.” I’ve used this software numerous times at different companies, and I feel I still don’t know it.”
Why you need an Asana Alternative
You might be the biggest Asana user (even a fan) or just a casual enjoyed of the Asana team’s work, but like any other software, Asana has some problems that make people feel like they need an alternative.
Here are five of them:
1- It has a steep learning curve 🤖
Asana has so many robust features.
Essentially, this abundance makes people decide that they want to work with Asana. But such an intricate and complex design might turn into a problem when it is time to onboard the users to the so-called simple user interface. It gets ugly.
It’s not like Asana does not use onboarding modals or tooltips for a good onboarding experience, either.
They just use it all at the wrong times, and the learning phase doesn’t get much easier as such.
2- Not as good for individual users or big teams 🤝🏻
There are certain times that project teams, marketing teams, or any other creative teams that might need to use Asana go down to one member in total. Been there, done that.
That’s exactly when Asana stops being helpful.
It is already a complex project management software as is, and when you take away the team collaboration feature, it is no help whatsoever. In fact, it can even be a hindrance, according to the reviewers who are also single users.
This is the same for when teams get way too big. Not only is there the steep learning curve problem, but also the fact that the per-user per month system is going to cost you.
3- Good features locked behind expensive plans 🤑
Like most freemiums out there, Asana’s free plan doesn’t do much for the all-in-one solution statement. A lot of the key features like certain project templates, custom fields, custom workflows, and reporting features are available after purchasing a premium or a business plan.
Though most of the essential features for project teams are still okay to use with a basic plan, a team of more than two people would definitely need other key project management features.
Unlimited tasks or unlimited projects are only available after purchasing premium, and having unlimited users doesn’t seem to be an option—which is a pretty big downside for an efficient project management software.
4- Certain vital core elements don’t function properly 🚩
Most reviewers have two main concerns regarding Asana.
One, the notification system is a mess. Every single notification, no matter the importance, is either emailed in big batches or not delivered at all. No in-between, whatsoever.
The other problem is the in-app search. Since most users tend to create complex projects and often need to go back to specific parts on the project dashboard, it is one of the key features.
Yet it doesn’t function properly. It is only possible to search project or task names and the other info in the comments sections or a description aren’t searchable at all.
5- Unfortunately (for some), it isn’t an open-source software
As a close source software, Asana doesn’t give you the rights to modify it however you see fit.
While this might not bother some users, I know that one specific part of users prefers using an open-source project planning platform to make the most of it. Also, it provides them with a more secure tool for project management, which totally makes sense since you’ll be able to manage your own private data on-premises as well.
Even though Asana is safe to use, if you want to feel safer and more secure when keeping project schedules in track, you might want to give a chance to an open-source project management alternative of Asana.
All in all, Asana needs an alternative. Thankfully, we got quite a few for you.
Top Asana Alternatives
Here are the top 9 alternatives to Asana:
We’ll go over each tool, compare it to Asana, and talk about the use cases they’d best fit in.
So, without further ado, let’s start.
What if I told you there is a project management platform that has everything Asana has, from its intuitive user interface to high-performing functionalities, plus a simpler setup, more ease of use, and about the exact same pricing?
monday.com is a beautiful project, portfolio & program management, and productivity tool with 40+ integrations and is the biggest Asana competitor as a productivity tool. They are currently working with Coca-Cola, Hulu, Canva, and HubSpot to make their project management and collaboration processes easier and smoother.
Unlike most easy-to-use tools, monday.com doesn’t ignore an appealing and clean interface. Unlike most visually pleasing tools, monday.com doesn’t overlook functionality. That’s one of the reasons why monday.com became an award-winning platform that offers a wide range of services that boost team productivity as a powerful project management tool for project managers.
What’s more is that monday.com doesn’t come at an insane price for a task management tool with a broad range of features.
With monday.com as your project management tool, you can:
- plan, strategize, and deliver the project of your choice in a flash via the pre-built task templates—which can be customized as well
- visualize your project with colorful Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendar views to track the project progress and manage the whole process with ease
- reshape and monitor your task dependencies, task lists, task milestones, and many more throughout the project lifecycle
- make use of all kinds of customizable dashboards by turning insights into data that will serve as your guide for your future business plans
- oversee your team’s workload to assign resources accordingly, thanks to real-time data
- use popular integrations to take your project to the next level
- create an ultimate plan with ease, thanks to team collaboration, time management, collaboration management, document and file management, and useful project insight
- allow automatic task assignment for task creation and subtasks with milestones to follow business objectives while checking overall progress
- reach ongoing tasks on time, send instant messages through message boards, and allow collaborative file sharing via its mobile project management app even when you are on the road to make a solid foundation for seamless communication
- and make use of the key features of monday.com while adding custom items to your project
And if these robust project management features STILL don’t make monday.com the best Asana alternative, offering unlimited users even on its basic plan should make it without any doubt BECAUSE not many project management tool for teams let you make the most of their services by not purchasing premium features.
monday.com has 5 different plans, one of which is a free plan with 2 seats. The rest of the plans on annual billing cost:
- Individual – free, 2 seats
- Basic – $8 seat/month
- Standard – $10 seat/month
- Pro – $16 seat/month
- Enterprise – custom quote
“I like that monday.com works like Excel (but just so much better) so it’s easy for everyone to understand on their first time trying it. Plus, I love all the automations. It helps me be on tracked with my tasks and distributing tasks among my team members in a more efficient way. I can see their workload and am notified when any tasks are delayed.”
“Anything I have ever disliked about Monday.com was either user error or an update improved it. They are constantly adding new feature enhancements.”
Nifty is a consistent favorite amongst former Asana users. Famously easy to use with a strong feature and experience overlap, Asana users take full advantage of Nifty’s importer to get started quickly.
Nifty brings out the best in teams with their simple-yet-powerful solution which offers all of the project management features you’d expect with some collaboration experiences you might not – such as built-in direct messaging, interactive embeds, and two-way Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Nifty’s project roadmaps serve as product releases, status updates, client deliverables, content calendars, and more. Milestones in the “Roadmap” reflect progress in real-time as tasks are completed to automate reporting proactively.
Nifty is definitely an affordable and dynamic Asana replacement that has several collaboration features, including a team chat, to enable team members to give each other project updates at all times.
Nifty offers a free plan as well as a 14-day free trial on their subscription plans.
- Starter – $5 user/month (annually)
- Pro – $10 user/month (annually)
- Business – $16/user/month (annually)
“So simple to use, but still powerful and organized. My team hates using project management tools, and yet they’ve loved using Nifty, even if some of them only visit their My Work section. It was important to get team buy-in, and Nifty has helped us do just that.”
“I wish there were more options around metrics-based reports, though they indicate that this is in their product roadmap.”
SmartSheet is a tool for project management that might sound like a dream for project managers that still miss MS Excel.
Some of us really didn’t see the benefit in abandoning spreadsheets. Well, people, this is your time to shine.
Because SmartSheet is an efficient project management software that is easy to use, easy to implement, and fueled with the endless versatility of Microsoft Excel for the lovers of Microsoft Excel—helping SmartSheet deviate from Asana to a noticeable extent.
Some of the features that SmartSheet offers are team collaboration, workflow automation, content management, process management at scale, secure request management, integrations, streamlined business apps, governance and administration, intelligent workflows, resource management, and digital asset management. All of these crucial features help you work smarter and deliver tasks on time without spending any time on recurring tasks. God save the automations!
Otherwise, if using a spreadsheet isn’t your team’s forté, SmartSheet might have an even higher learning curve than Asana. Be warned.
SmartSheet has a 30-day free trial and three different plans for different types and sizes of businesses.
- Pro – $7 per month per user (min. 1, up to 25 users)
- Business – $25 per month per user (min. 3 users)
- Enterprise – custom quote
“I enjoy how powerful it is and how adaptable it is as an information management tool. Its automated workflows and form inputs extend its capabilities much beyond those of Excel. It has the appearance of a spreadsheet, but you can also make dashboards and graphs of the data for display and overview. Options to share with other users and the ability to make adjustments as needed are also useful, with dropdowns and so on.”
“Scheduling certain tasks is a bit clumsy, and very difficult to edit. For example, I set up an email to be sent weekly with an Excel export of one of the Smartsheets. If I want to edit the schedule, I can do this easily. But if I want to edit the recipient list, I cannot. Instead, I have to delete the scheduled export and set up a new one with the now-desired recipients.”
Wrike is the best gun in the arsenal for project managers leading agile work processes with its intuitive interface.
It is quite the flexible and scalable option with its many views from Kanban boards to Gantt charts, other features like task lists and time tracking to move teams faster on the project timeplan, project updates, project strategy, and ultimate plan.
Wrike involves many capabilities and makes work easier by offering visibility during the project period, accelerating approvals and creating a space that actually allows real-time collaboration with a wide range of collaborative features.
What makes Wrike a more powerful project management tool than Asana in this sense is how it delivers a relatively better learning phase—despite the broad range of features that it offers. Thus, it’s possible to state that making use of Wrike’s intuitive user interface makes it easy to navigate between sections, such as real-time reports, to get project insight.
Wrike has a free plan as well as three other plans and a 14-day free trial.
- Professional Plan – $9.80 user/month
- Business Plan – $24.80 user/month
- Enterprise Plan – custom quote
“What I liked best about this tool was how quickly you can get going, even with deploying quite rapidly to solve the needs of an entire creative team at my organization. I was able to get the tool going and perform some pretty complex workflow automation in a brief period.”
“Some automation features can a bit challenging to implement without Wrike support, as each team might need specific customizations. For example, automated emails to ping late tasks, etc.”
As their tagline goes, ClickUp is the “one app to replace them all.”
For certain use cases, of course.
ClickUp is easily one of the most popular project management tools out there today. And it owes its popularity not just to the super fun TikToks they share but also to its all-in-one model that features note taking, time tracking, task assigning, and a ton of customization.
Aside from these, ClickUp is famous for the extra materials that help you when onboarding, including on-demand demos, live and recorded webinars, ClickUp’s YouTube channel, its support docs, and even a platform that includes free lessons with certificates that you can earn after taking exams, called ClickUp University. Moreover, it offers 24/7 live support agents and ClickUp consultants who are ready to give you one-on-one training.
Though it sounds nice and all, this all-in-one design might hinder the ease of use for users who are not used to complex tools. Still, ClickUp is a better option than Asana since it’s an easy to use and highly capable task management tool for quick learners and it has a great mobile app with which you can manage an entire project with ease’ according to former Asana users.
ClickUp has a free plan along with four other plans. The prices for these plans when billed yearly are:
- Unlimited – $5 per member/per month
- Business – $12 per member/per month
- Business Plus – $19 per member/per month
- Enterprise – custom quote
“I like the fact that it is easy to use, customizable, and cost-effective. I also like the fact that as it is a pretty young tool, a community is helping and supporting, and there is an option to offer new features and extensions needed for us as a user. My team and I started working with CU and slowly extended the use to the rest of the departments in our company. We have adopted CU successfully, and it is widely used also with our suppliers, agencies, etc.”
“It’s sometimes a little TOO customizable. But if you keep this in mind and avoid going down a rabbit hole, it’s fantastic. I dislike that the google docs and sheets embed doesn’t show a preview in the desktop app, but I realize this might be out of their control; the embeds show perfectly within the browser app.”
6- Citrix Podio
How much less steep the learning curve would be if you gave users a user-friendly interface with which they were already familiar?
Citrix Podio looks and feels like Facebook in its old days, and it is way more customizable and intuitive than you think. Originally it promises to be an all-in-one tool, but even without all that, Citrix Podio is worth the money.
Different from Asana tasks in terms of views, Podio tasks can help you see things from a different point of view. For example, if you’re looking to keep every item in order and make it a collaborative effort, teams can use task comments to give feedback and enhance an entire project process by viewing history changes, which make it easy for members to see and revert any change that is performed.
In other words, Podio is the perfect option for those who want a more sophisticated and customizable version of Trello.
Plus, it has all the integrations you need, from Google apps to Zendesk and Evernote, with helpful document editing features.
Citrix Podio Pricing
Citrix Podio has a free plan for up to 5 employees, and the three other plans are:
- Basic – $7.20 (unlimited external users)
- Plus – $11.20 (unlimited external users)
- Premium – $19.20 (unlimited external users)
Citrix Podio Reviews
“I love that everything is housed in 1 place. I like being able to send SMS msgs directly from the lead/prospect. Keeping track of our mailing marketing dollars is a snap with Podio. I love that we’re able to link it with Zapiers, so it adds appts to our calendars and pulls info from other places automatically.”
“Doesn’t get updated as much as I’d like to. There are some visual changes that would make this the best CRM.”
I don’t know what you would think of it, but when Kanban boards are mentioned, I get a sudden image in my head…
…of Trello‘s iconic user interface.
Now, quite a lot of tools marketing themselves as easy to use and implement is something we are familiar with. But in the end, it’s Trello that truly excels at this widely overused promise.
The best thing about Trello though, is the fact that anyone could use it.
You could be working on unlimited projects, such as a creative project with your marketing team, a new product with your product team, a sprint with an agile team, or you could be all alone planning your day-to-day items on team calendars.
To be able to visualize your own project pipeline, Trello can vouch for its boards that help you separate each task and subtask to make the process a ton easier when it comes to tracking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ONLY talking about Kanban boards. It has several views that resemble workspaces, boards, dashboards, tables, calendars, maps, and timelines. However, it’s important to mention that all the views except for boards are limited to users that purchase the last two paid plans.
Trello got you in any case, though.
One problem is the same thing that makes Trello so good: It’s no ClickUp or Asana in complexity and high functionality—at least not without its premium features that are called Power-ups. But for teams looking for a simple solution with a simple user interface, it might be the best online project management software out there.
Trello has a free plan as well as three other paid plans. When billed annually, the prices are:
- Standard Plan – $5 per user/per month
- Premium Plan – $10 per user/per month
- Enterprise Plan – $17.50 per user/per month
“I like that Trello is a platform where I can organize ideas and turn them into tasks to manage my projects professionally. Its simple interface makes everything look nice and clean and gives me the productivity boost to finish my assignments. That said, I think the kanban boards are the perfect way for me to arrange my projects and prioritize them depending on the importance of each lesson because I can easily visualize them and know how to get my work started every day.”
“The free plan is a bit limited compared to the premium plan, but it’s understandable, they give you a taste of Trello, and you decide whether or not to pay for it. Although I must add that it is productive to use only the free option, if you want something more it is also easy to pay for it, the price is quite affordable.”
Scoro is a powerful project management tool for teams and businesses (mostly corporate or close to corporate) that have to deal with clients, invoices, billing, contacts, budgets, and client projects often.
Being a comprehensive task management tool as both a project management software and a CRM, Scoro has an incredibly long and advanced features list and a surprisingly nice-looking interface.
Scoro helps businesses in cases involving time management, project management, sales and CRM, finances, reporting, dashboards, and integrations. This end-to-end solution might be a perfect competitor when it comes to some essential features, such as file sharing, Gantt charts, automations, and many more.
Moreover, it has killer plans that include several standout features you might make use of. For example, it guarantees enterprise-grade security, activity logs, role-based access control, on-demand knowledge base, customizable workflows, custom roles, custom statuses, automated billing, and many more features that will surely aid you in the process of tracking sales goals and current tasks.
Still, it has its faults: Certain parts of the UI are not as intuitive as any online project management software in 2022 is meant to be, and the hands-on onboarding with the Scoro team is a bit pricey.
Scoro has a rather expensive pricing for its plans but also offers a 14-day free trial.
- Essential – $26 per user/month (minimum 5 users)
- Standard – $37 per user/month (minimum 5 users)
- Pro – $63 per user/month (minimum 5 users)
- Ultimate – custom quote
“Everything is in one location, it is extremely simple to install, and it allows you to manage all projects from beginning to end, including budgets, projects, payments, and so on. This enables for more dynamic activity management and saves time by eliminating the need to alter a job. The alert features are quite handy for remembering activities or events that you have already planned in the calendar. Invoice tracking is done in such a way that it provides me with a comprehensive view of all I need to know. We were able to simplify our finance and project management procedures as a consequence of Scoro.”
“The performance of mobile apps is really poor in comparison to its other versions, and the pricing mechanism of this software is undeniably pricey. It has not been greatly strengthened as a budget management and billing software, and it can be stated that one of its main disadvantages is the cost of using the tool, because it contains several unbalanced costs that are added as the number of features implemented increases, and because there is a lack of guidance and information that is not supplied when the service is received. I also want the platform’s overall look to be customised in terms of sources, colors, design, and so on.”
Jira, a product of Atlassian, is a powerful project management tool that can be of great help when you need to break down both projects and tasks into small manageable pieces.
From scrum boards to roadmaps, Jira is similar to Asana as it also includes many robust features; yet, it differs from Asana projects in terms of the main task panel. You can change the elements of each project you have on your plate, including access, workflows, and 3000+ integrations.
Let me fill you in on some more details regarding Jira’s capabilities. Its user limit per site is 35,000 as long as you subscribe to one of the paid plans. Then, you get to reach to your own backlog, an agile reporting system, automations, a project archive, advanced permissions, and a mobile application.
Moreover, Jira has a secret component that your developers might get really excited: DevOps. With DevOps, you can check the development status, perform issue tracking, and get a better view of your tools.
Jira has a free plan that you can use, alongside with 3 paid plans. When billed monthly, the prices on average are like below:
- Standard Plan – $7.75 per user/per month (up to 10 users)
- Premium Plan – $15.25 per user/per month
- Enterprise Plan – custom quote
“Jira is perhaps a great tool that serves the Agile teams. With my team, I can clearly track all issues/incidents and the progress of the project. Tasks can be divided easily and hours can be logged effectively. We use the dashboard to check our tasks and discuss updates. The integration of Jira tasks with tempo timesheets is seemless and the integration with SQL server is also great. I use my tableau desktop to mark progress of the Jira tasks and present to the higher management. All in all, a great comprehensive product.”
“Jira can occasionally be challenging to use as there is a significant learning curve and a complex user interface which may frustrate new users and make it challenging for them to begin using it. At times, It can be slow and buggy, which is something else I don’t like about it as it makes it challenging to complete tasks and can result in decreased productivity.”
Asana is a robust task management software that offers classical task management features.
At the end of the day, it might be a perfect project management software for teams that find it fit for them; that’s the case with all software out there.
Finding a powerful project management tool with a broad range of features for you and your business, teams, and even specific projects matters since that’s how great projects come to life.
Hopefully, your projects will find their way into the world through one of the worthy competitors of Asana above, which are project management alternatives that can track time, give project insight for a better project strategy, advance your ultimate plan, track project regardless of the project size, exchange messages, act as bridges between employees and managers, create project portfolios with project tags, track employee activity throughout an entire project, and boost both team collaboration and team productivity with a broad range of features which involve simpler features for project teams, such as uncluttered user interfaces, document management features, in-built time tracking tools, unlimited users, unlimited tasks, and many more classical task management features that help you and your team manage an entire project without any hassle.
Tons of writing, right?
Just make sure to check the article for the long story-short version.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use Asana?
Asana is a great tool for small or free trial teams looking for quick implementation and an intuitive user interface.
How much does Asana cost?
Asana has a free version as well as three other plans, the Premium plan costs $10.99 user/month, the Business plan comes for the price of $24.99 user/month, and the Enterprise pricing is custom.
What are the top alternatives to Asana?
Among the top alternatives to Asana are monday.com, ClickUp, Trello, SmartSheet, Scoro, and Wrike.