Asana is one of the friendliest project management tools. With its cute celebrations and attractive design, it goes further than most tools in making organization enjoyable. There’s plenty to like about it, but its competitors have much to offer, too. In this article, we’re going to see what the best Asana alternatives bring to the table.
Best Asana Alternatives of 2020
What Asana Does For You
Asana does a great job of making work less of a chore. It has a good selection of views that let you arrange tasks in different ways. It allows you to coordinate with team members and share files. If you want to get around its 100MB attachment limit, though, take a look at our cloud storage articles.
We like Asana, but there are many project management tools out there with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Many of Asana’s features are only available on its paid plans, so you might prefer a tool that gives you more for free. Not all the tools we cover here have free plans, but they all have free trials, so you can investigate them for nothing.
If Asana’s light-hearted approach isn’t for you, take a look at something more business-focused, such as monday.com, Wrike or Aha. If you want something simpler, Trello and Todoist are good options. Let’s start with the all-around best, though.
1. Best Asana Alternative: monday.com
monday.com is our favorite project management tool, sitting proudly at the top of our best project management software list. If you want to compare it to Asana directly, read our monday.com vs. Asana comparison.
monday.com has an excellent interface that, like Asana’s, is well-designed and accessible. That said, it goes further on usability than Asana. Though Asana uses animation to be fun, monday.com uses it to help guide you around its controls, many of which change to indicate what happens when you click them.
It also gives you a high degree of control over your tasks. You can add and adjust the fields that each one contains. It’s a flexible system that needs restraint to use well, but allows you to set things up just how you want them.
Fortunately, monday.com includes many templates to help you. It does a good job of showing you what each one does, too, which takes the guesswork out of choosing.
In addition to two-factor authentication, it has several security settings, allowing you to set the balance between safety and ease of use. It uses strong, 256-bit encryption to protect you from cybercrime.
It doesn’t have a free plan, but its $25-per-month starting price includes five users, which is excellent value. You can try it for free for 14 days, without providing credit card information, which we recommend doing.
It does well on support, too, with a contact form, large knowledgebase and webinars to help you learn the platform. Its four-minute response to our question was one of the fastest we’ve experienced.
- Excellent interface
- Fast support
- Versatile structure
- No free plan
- No subtasks or dependencies
- Limited cosmetic options
If you want to keep things simple, Trello does a great job of letting you plan things via a single, straightforward view. It’s based around a kanban board. If you aren’t familiar with that read our how to use a kanban board guide.
You create tasks, which are sorted into named columns. You move the tasks from left to right as work gets done. It’s quick but effective. We’ve compared it directly to Asana before in our Trello vs. Asana article.
Though simple, it has excellent “power-ups,” which let you bring its level of functionality up to that of more advanced tools. Of particular note is the “butler” power-up, which allows you to automate common tasks and assign them to a button.
Trello also integrates with several platforms, including other project management platforms, such as Asana and Jira, which you can read about in our Jira review and compare to Asana in our Asana vs. Jira article.
In addition to organizing your tasks, you can use Trello to create public boards showing anything from restaurant menus to event seating plans.
Though simple, Trello has excellent support, with guides galore, a knowledgebase, an active community and direct support if you need it.
Trello has strong security, too, including two-factor authentication and domain-restricted invites. It also encrypts data in transit and at rest. Read our description of encryption for more about that.
Trello has an excellent free plan that was featured in our list of the best free project management software. Its paid plans start at $3.75 per month for individuals or $9.99 per month for each team member, so it isn’t too expensive. Paid plans give you multiple power-ups, extra customization features and lift the usage limits on the “butler” power-up.
- Simple & focused
- Versatile power-up system
- Excellent free version
- Limited without power-ups
- One view by default
- Usage limits on free plans
If your team is having too much fun with Asana and you want them to knuckle down, Wrike is a great choice. It has a professional feel to it and is one of the best-quality project management tools. We placed it at the top of our list of the best project management tools for small business.
Like Asana, it has dependency management, enabling you to react to delays and bottlenecks. Unlike Asana it doesn’t have animated flying animals to distract you. If you want your team focused on business, Wrike will help you.
It has several views, such as a list and board view. It has a calendar and Gantt chart, too. Our how to use a Gantt chart article talks more about those.
Wrike has a learning curve, but its support is excellent, with its three-minute response to our question being the joint-fastest we’ve experienced, along with Basecamp, which you can read about in our Basecamp review.
To help you get started, Wrike includes a lot of templates, so you can get set up straight away. They cover various things, too, such as event management and product launch.
Wrike includes plenty of integrations with other tools, including Slack, Microsoft Outlook and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Wrike has some of the best security features. In addition to two-factor authentication, Enterprise users can set their own network access policies and password controls. If you’re having trouble with passwords, read our best password manager guide.
Wrike has a free plan, and paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month. In addition to running in the browser, it’s available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
- Professional, quality feel
- Dependency management
- Excellent security options
- Has a learning curve
- Tricky navigation
- Expensive top-tier plans
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a project management tool, turn instead to task management. There are lots of apps to help you get organized with a minimum of fuss. Todoist is one of our favorites.
It’s popular and boasts that over a billion tasks have been ticked off by its users. It’s one of the heavyweights of the task management world and is excellent at its core features.
You can create tasks, give them due dates, assign them to people and tick them off as you finish them. It’s simple and effective. It more additional features, but you don’t need more than the basics to make it work.
You can attach files to tasks, too, but if you want to share files online, it might be better to use a dedicated solution, such as one of those found in our best cloud storage article.
Todoist is a quick, responsive application that offers plenty of help and support, including a starter project to get you acquainted with it. It integrates with services such as Zapier and Google Calendar and has a selection of color schemes.
Todoist has a quick support team that responded to our question in just under an hour. There’s also a user guide and an FAQ to help you out if you get stuck. There are templates to help you get started, too.
Todoist has a good, usable free plan. Its Premium version costs $29 per year. You can try the paid features on a two week free trial, but you need to enter your credit card details.
There are versions for most platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux, as well as wearable versions, browser extensions and email plugins. Take a closer look in our Todoist review.
- Easy to use
- Motivating karma system
- Card needed for trial
- Annual payments only
Aha is a high-quality project management tool, but because it’s one of the more expensive platforms, it isn’t for those on a tight budget. There’s a lot of business and marketing talk on its website and it’ll appeal to those who take their work seriously.
It has a professional, no-frills look that contrasts with Asana’s friendly style. It’s packed with features and is a great way to track tasks as they move toward completion. The items in its system are confusingly referred to as “features,” but you can change that. Aha is customizable.
You can add all sorts of information to items and create buttons that handle status switches automatically. If you’re always moving something from production to staging, for example, you can create a button to do that.
Compared to a kanban board, that means standard operations are spelled out for you on each item and the details of your workflow are built into the system.
You can tune its interface to show as much or as little as you like and rename things to reflect your workflow. It’s worth taking a close look at its settings, though, because some of its features, such as inviting other users, are found there.
In addition to its activity log, you can use its capacity planning and time tracking features to keep a close eye on the details of your projects.
It has a fearsome selection of security features, which include strong encryption, comprehensive certifications and IP access control for those on its Enterprise plan. It takes online security seriously.
All those features mean it can be tricky to figure out at first, but there’s a huge amount of information on its website and hands-on support is available. There’s a knowledgebase, video how-to articles and a community where you can ask questions. Its support team got back to us in just 25 minutes when we asked a question.
It isn’t the cheapest platform, though, with its Premium plan costing $59 per user per month. That said, you may be able to get a better deal if you talk to its sales team. There’s also a long, free 30-day trial, and you don’t need a credit card to sign up.
Aha has a marketing version and product development version, but you can flip between the two and they share features, so you aren’t missing out on anything if you pick either one.
If you’re looking for something to improve your business and don’t mind spending, take a look at our Aha review.
- Great at encapsulating workflows
- Excellent service and support
There are a few other tools worth looking at that aren’t quite as closely matched as the ones we’ve just seen. Let’s go through them.
Mavenlink is a business-focused project management tool. It has lots of financial features to help you take care of your bottom line.
It has several views. There’s an activity view, time tracker, Gantt chart and a time and expenses view. If you want to track how long particular tasks take and figure out what they cost you, Mavenlink is the tool for you.
It starts at $19.99 per month for five users. There is a 10 day trial if you want to check it out, with no credit card required.
If you’re focused on managing cashflows, Mavenlink could be a good fit. Read more about it in our Mavenlink review.
LeanKit takes kanban to the next level, with its boards split into multiple sections for different teams to work with. It is expensive and looks dated, but it’s surprisingly accessible once you start using it.
It’s great for managers who want to manage multiple teams. Everyone can focus on their own work while staying aware of the big picture. Each of its cards has its own mini-kanban board, giving you subtasks and allowing people to break down the work they’ve been assigned.
LeanKit starts at $19 per user per month and has a 30-day, credit card-free trial. It isn’t cheap, but it’s good for managing teams large enough to be split into sections. Read our LeanKit review for more details.
Podio is more serious-looking than Asana, but it has a straightforward structure, with no subtasks or dependencies to confuse your plans.
It has a clear interface and gives you guidance when needed. You get tight control over what items consist of and can rename fields so that they contain the information you need. Its calculation feature lets you tally data stored in other fields, too.
Podio encrypts your data using AES 256-bit encryption. If you want to know more about keeping your data private, read our how to protect your privacy guide.
Podio has a free plan that lets you have up to five people on your team, and its paid plans start at $9 per user per month. Take a closer look in our Podio review.
The tools here do things differently than Asana. Trello is simpler, and its straightforward kanban approach lets you handle tasks quickly and easily. monday.com is more advanced, with various features to help you. Todoist keeps things as basic as can be, but it has extras if you need them.
Aha has even more features, if you’re prepared to pay for them, and Wrike brings a more professional feel than Asana.
As we’ve seen, Asana is a useful tool, but its rivals have plenty to offer too. Hopefully, you found something worth checking out in our list.
If you’ve tried any of the tools here, or have better ones to suggest, please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.