Aha is a slick project management and collaboration tool that’s geared toward product development and marketing. There are versions of it pitched at both areas, but they aren’t different in terms of functionality. It isn’t cheap, but it offers plenty, and in this Aha review, we’ll look at whether its quality and features justify the hefty price tag.
It has strong philosophical principles, with the “responsive method” featuring prominently throughout its website. Plenty of big clients trust Aha with their business, too. It has a page with more than 100 testimonials from customers such as Red Hat, Siemens and LinkedIn.
We were impressed with what we saw, finding many useful features and options for customization. If you can afford Aha, it should be on your radar because it has one of the strongest feature sets around and no real weaknesses.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Long free trial
- No sales harassment
- Excellent security & privacy features
- Strong marketing & sales features
- Excellent support
- Does almost everything
- Marketing jargon won’t be for everyone
Alternatives for Aha!
Aha comes in two flavors: Aha for Marketing and Aha for Product, both of which have separate areas on its website. They include each other’s features, though, so you don’t need to worry too much about which to pick. It’s more a question of focus.
Aha has its own terminology to describe how its projects are structured. Individual items, often called “tasks” in other software, are referred to as “features.” A “features board” contains features, divided into “releases,” each of which has its own column.
If you don’t like Aha’s lingo, you can alter it. You can rename seven of its labels for different types of features and call them whatever you like. That’s a useful customization option and not one we’ve seen elsewhere, unless you count open source software like Redmine (read our Redmine review).
Aha’s features board is similar to the task view on other platforms. It includes features, displayed as cards, that can be altered as needed.
Features can be dragged from column to column, as well as moved up and down within columns, if you want to prioritize them that way. They’re further divided into color-coded categories.
There’s a column for unscheduled features on the right and you can add more categories as you need. You can convert it into a simple three column kanban board if you want, too. That isn’t what Aha is geared toward, so if that’s all you need, read our Asana review for a simpler alternative. If you like it, our Asana beginner’s guide will help you get off to a good start.
Each feature in Aha can be given a to-do list, which is how you add subtasks. You can comment on them, assign them to someone, attach files and categorize them in various ways. There are so many ways to do so, in fact, that it gets confusing.
A feature can be given a type, a status, a goal, tags, an initiative and an Aha score. All of those can be customized, and you can add new fields from the settings menu. The customization goes beyond just setting colors and text — several platforms offer that — and lets you add custom buttons for transitioning from one status to another.
That means you can set your interface up to reflect your commonly-used workflows and make it easy to make the same kinds of changes. Doing so can also help new users understand what they should be doing next.
It’ll take work and knowledge of the platform to take advantage of features like that, but the scope is there to tweak it to do what your business needs. If you’re into customization, have a look at our Podio review. Podio lets you create your own templates to get things working how you want.
In addition to the regular tabbed views, there’s a drop-down menu that shows you views that relate to what you’re looking at. They include a selection of charts and tables that you can access with one click. That’s a good way to visualize your project in alternative ways without having to set anything up yourself.
Aha’s Advanced Features
The “Aha score” is a points-based system made up of marks out of 10 for various subcategories. We weren’t sold on it at first, but then we realized it can be adjusted, so you can pick the categories. You can use Aha as a way to grade and rank anything from team members to, well, project management software.
You can use Aha’s calendar view to see what you have coming up in the current month or week. There’s also a Gantt view, which gives you a timeline-based view of how tasks fit together. You can drag arrows between items to create dependencies and move things to rearrange your schedule.
In addition to managing the details of projects you can get a high level overview. Aha has a strategic view that shows you your overall plan.
As you’d expect, there’s plenty for marketing people who will appreciate Aha’s “personas” and “competitors,” which allow you to define your typical audience as well as your competition. There’s a lot of scope to define goals and plan things to get your marketing and development teams on the same page.
Aha integrates with many platforms including Trello, Asana, Dropbox and Slack. There are over 30 available and, because Zapier is one of them, you can access data from a lot more. You can also import data directly from many of them or from a .csv file.
If you’re considering using Trello, read our Trello beginner’s guide to learn more about it.
Aha Account Settings
Some of Aha’s features are hidden in its account settings. You can invite new users from there, for example. During your trial, you can add as many people as you like, but they’ll have to be paid for after the trial’s done. You only have to pay for people who can make active changes, though, and can have as many viewers as you want on its Enterprise tier.
There’s an activity log to keep tabs on who has done what. That’s useful if you have auditing requirements, too, because you’ll have records of everything. Take a look at our ProWorkflow review to learn about another platform with strong auditing features.
As for team communication, you can use “broadcasts” to add messages at the top of every user’s screen. Aha doesn’t have integrated real-time chat, though. If you want to use a platform that does communication well, read our Basecamp review.
Aha includes capacity planning and time tracking. You have to enable them in the settings if you want to use them. If you’re looking to keep a close eye on the financial side of things, you can read about another good option in our Mavenlink review.
You can upload a custom logo and another logo to go on .pdf files, too. There aren’t many visual customization options outside of that, though. Take a look at our Taskworld review if you want a tool that lets you add custom backgrounds.
Aha doesn’t impose file size or storage space limits, but we were advised by support that it isn’t a file sharing tool and that using an external service was more typical. That being the case, a browse through our best online storage for teams article might be useful.
There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, too, so you can use Aha wherever you are.
Aha has so many features, we barely had space to discuss them all. We were tempted to knock marks off for having too many, but we didn’t. We did knock points off for the lack of communication tools, but that still leaves Aha with an excellent score.
Aha! Features Overview
- Dependency management
- Free Trial: 30 days
- Ticket-based support
- Live chat: No
- Phone support: No
Aha is easy to get started with and signing up takes just a few minutes. You’re given the option to invite colleagues, then asked how you want to get started. Most applications funnel you through an introductory process or just throw you in at the deep end, so it’s refreshing to be offered a choice.
You can talk to an expert or get support from the beginning, as well as watch a video explaining the basics. To get started with the app, you can start from scratch or choose a pre-populated demo project. Items in the demo give you a grounding in Aha’s basics and help teach you about its features.
We elected to work through its tutorial, which takes a step-by-step approach to showing you what to do. At one point, we were told to add more columns by “scrolling to the right,” which didn’t appear to be correct. We could figure out how to do it — by clicking the add column button — but it was a surprising error given Aha’s price.
The tutorial vanished after that, too, so we weren’t able to complete all the steps, though tips did appear later as we browsed the tool.
Our first impressions of using it were that everything worked well. It looks functional rather than attractive, but its interface succeeds in conveying plenty of information. There are a lot of controls, but the interface is responsive, and you can play around to figure things out without having to worry about it going wrong.
There are a lot of sections and it’s confusing trying to figure out how they fit together, especially at first. That said, you can customize everything, so even if you don’t like the approach Aha takes, you can adjust it to work how you need.
In addition to renaming everything, you can choose which navigation elements are shown, so you can streamline it by getting rid of everything you don’t want. If you spend time with Aha, you can make it much more focused.
If you want a product with an interface that makes complexity seem easy, take a look at our best-in-class project management tool in our monday.com review.
There’s a lot of business speak and marketing language in Aha, which some will relish and others will find off-putting, but you can pivot the tool away from it if it isn’t to your taste.
Its website oozes quality and is something of a reviewer’s dream, providing us with all the information we look for and making it easy to look things up. There were times we wanted to know how to do something, but we could find what we needed by searching its knowledgebase.
We found that Aha worked well, but it wasn’t quite the slick, error-free product the price led us to hope for. It’s still good, though, and individual components work well, despite the overall structure taking time to figure out. It gets a good score here.
- Contact Only
- Monthly, per user, billed annually.
- Monthly, per user, billed annually.
- Monthly, per user, billed annually.
Aha gets plenty right, but it comes at a cost, with Aha’s pricing ranging from $59-$149 per user per month (and that’s with the 20 percent discount for paying annually). It’s the most expensive platform we’ve looked at.
On its Enterprise and Enterprise+ plans, you only have to pay for contributors and product owners. You can have as many viewers and reviewers as you like, so think about that when deciding which level to go for. It’s possible Enterprise might be a better value for you than the Premium tier.
If you’re looking for something cheaper, you can’t do much better than Freedcamp (read our Freedcamp review), but almost everything in our project management software reviews is cheaper than Aha.
Aha offers a 30-day free trial with no card required, so you have plenty of time to test everything and make a decision.
It comes in two flavors: one for product development and one for marketing. You need to pick one when signing up, but you can try either if you change your mind later. Because you can switch between their features, you don’t need to lose sleep over which to pick.
Aha is too pricey to score well here, but you do get what you pay for. It’s a high quality platform.
Security & Privacy
Aha has a comprehensive set of security and privacy features, including everything we look for in this area. The security section of its website left us terrified on any would-be criminal’s behalf.
It uses SSL to protect your login session, encrypts data in-transit with AES 128-bit and uses AES 256-bit for data at-rest on its servers.
As for certifications, it has the strongest selection we’ve seen in project management tools. It has three types of SOC certification, ISO certifications and a handful more.
It complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the General Data Protection Regulation, which you can read more about in our GDPR article.
Additionally, it offers two-factor authentication, which gives you an added layer of security if your password gets compromised. Read our what is two-factor authentication article for more about it. You can also use single sign-on via SAML 2.0 or Google.
It has anti-corruption, anti-bribery and even anti-slavery practices in place. You can’t send its staff a gift without going through a strict process. If you’re concerned about your competitors paying for a look at your information, Aha is a good choice.
The data centers are protected 24 hours a day by trained guards, who, though it doesn’t say so, we picture as being well-armed.
Those on its Enterprise+ plan can take advantage of IP access control, too, which will ruin the day of many would-be hackers. Read our article on website security for more about the measures you can take to prevent cybercrime.
We give Aha top marks here and consider it the best in class for security and privacy. It covers every base and goes further than we would expect on every point we check.
Service & Support
If you get stuck and want to get in touch with Aha, your first option is a simple contact form, which is accessible throughout the application and lets you send a query easily. There’s also a email address if you prefer to contact the company directly.
Its support promises to get back to most questions within an hour, and when we put that to the test, with a question about storage space, it responded in just 25 minutes, proving it’s as good as its word. Its answer was detailed and helpful, too, going beyond a simple answer to our query.
We were disappointed that its prominent “talk with an expert” button only led to the contact form, rather than giving us a live chat option, but with support this fast that isn’t such a big issue. If you prefer live chat, though, take a look at our Wrike review.
If you prefer helping yourself, Aha’s support site has a large selection of help materials for you. There are dozens of searchable articles in its knowledgebase and it has a good range of video how-tos. Detailed release notes let you know about new features, too.
Its community page allows you to ask questions. Not all of them get a response, though. There’s also an ideas portal, so you can let Aha’s team know if you have suggestions. You can vote on other people’s ideas, too.
There’s a page showing the uptime and status of Aha’s services, as well, which is useful to know.
Aha scores well here because its team responds quickly and accurately and it makes an excellent selection of support materials available.
Aha is a premium product with a price to match, but it gets many things right. It feels like something you’ve paid good money for.
It has outstanding security and privacy features and has gone the extra mile to keep your data safe. If you want to use a service with a comprehensive selection of certifications, you won’t find many better choices than Aha.
The interface is strong, too, and though its complexity and jargon take getting used to, you can tune everything to get it working just how you want.
It isn’t as focused on the nitty gritty of task management as other tools, but does a fantastic job of letting you plan things on different levels and seeing how they fit together. If you just want to focus on task management, the extra costs aren’t worth it, but if you value having people share a top down vision of your project then it could be ideal.
We’d recommend checking out its trial to make sure it’s a good fit before committing because its differentiating features cater to a particular audience. Those who don’t need them will be able to find a better fit for less in our list of the best project management software.
If you’ve tried Aha, please share your thoughts on it in the comments below. Thanks for reading.