If you’re picking a project management tool, you’re spoiled for choice, with many platforms vying for your attention as people flock to the cloud. In this article, we’ll compare two of the best tools out there as we look at monday.com vs. Asana.
Both are popular, with Asana having a testimonial page full of high-profile customers, including NASA and The New York Times. monday.com is also doing well, with over 50,000 teams using it, including clients such as Carlsberg, Philips and the Discovery Channel.
In our roundup of the best project management software, monday.com came out on top, making it the heavy favorite. We talk more about its many good points in our monday.com review. Asana is also a strong competitor that we at Cloudwards.net rate highly, though. Read more about it in our Asana review.
Setting Up a Fight: monday.com vs. Asana
monday.com and Asana are user-friendly tools. They’re well-designed, with excellent interfaces that make navigating a cinch and don’t stand in the way of getting things done.
We’ll run a fine-tooth comb over them to see how they compare in several key areas. First, we’ll look at features to see which offers the most in terms of functionality. Then, we’ll look at price to see which is going to cost you more.
We’re going to compare them on ease of use, which should be interesting because usability is a key selling point for both platforms. Lastly, we’ll get more technical and see how they compare when it comes to protecting your privacy and keeping your business data secure.
Whichever competitor wins the most rounds takes the crown, unless it’s a tie, in which case it will have to be a points decision.
If you want to see how Asana compares to a more business-focused tool, read our Wrike vs. Asana comparison.
The first thing you’ll look at when considering a new tool is its features because they’ll be what make the difference when it comes down to it. You want to make real-world tasks easier to organize and help communication happen more efficiently.
You may get lucky and find that something time-consuming and costly can be automated. If that’s the case, then big savings are on the table. monday.com and Asana have plenty to offer, so we’ll need to look carefully to see which you should pick.
There are several ways to view tasks in monday.com, with a kanban view and activity log available on all plans. On higher tier plans, you get its timeline, calendar and map views. If all you need is a kanban view, take a look at our Trello beginner’s guide to learn about a platform focused on that.
monday.com organizes your tasks on boards, which contain grouped items. You can define groups, which enables you to choose how your project is structured.
monday.com is a flexible platform that allows you to customize all its fields and use them for different things. You can have multiple fields of the same type, too. It gives you the building blocks, then lets you do what you want with them.There’s plenty of scope for being creative and building a system that matches your needs.
You get 5GB of storage on its Basic plan, 50GB on its Standard offering and unlimited storage on higher tiers. Take a look at our best online storage for teams article if you have a lot of files to share online.
You get plenty of integrations with monday.com, including Slack, Trello, Dropbox and Zapier. The latter can be used to access data from many third-party applications and is a great way to share your data between online services.
monday.com offers help setting up custom integrations if you get in touch with it directly. Developers can use its API to extend it as needed. It also comes in mobile flavors, allowing you to use it on the go.
Asana arranges tasks in a list view or a kanban view, both of which are easy to use and let you organize tasks by dragging them and modifying them as needed.
You can expand your tasks into subtasks and define relationships between them with dependencies, which is a feature monday.com lacks.
As you tick off tasks you occasionally get a treat, with an animated creature flying across your screen. Everyone loves these celebrations, and we can see them triggering a little friendly office competition. If you want your team battling to be first to see the unicorn, Asana is the tool for you.
With unlimited storage space, you don’t have to worry about running out, but there is a file-size limit of 100MB. Like monday.com, Asana has mobile applications, so you can tick tasks off wherever you are. It also offers an API, should you want to extend it.
Round One Thoughts
monday.com takes a tasks-only approach, with no subtasks or dependencies. It claims the absence of subtasks is a feature because they’re bad design, and if something needs to be a subtask, it may just as well be created as a task. That’s an interesting philosophy and arguably makes monday.com a more focused tool.
Asana has subtasks and dependency management, as well as unlimited storage space, which is great to have, especially on its free tier.
Though some might feel less is more, we think Asana takes this round. With dependency management and unlimited storage, regardless of the plan you use, it takes first blood and leaves the champ playing catch up.
We all have a budget to work with and cheap beats expensive any day of the week. Fortunately, neither of these tools will break the bank. They both have free trials, and Asana offers a free tier.
Few business owners will be put off either of these tools by the cost, but if a decision can’t be made based on other things, price may be the deciding factor. Let’s see which offers the best value for money.
If you’re looking for a platform that focuses more on the bottom line than usability, read our Mavenlink review. It’s a great tool for keeping tabs on the financial side of your projects.
monday.com’s pricing is a mixed bag. It doesn’t have a free offering, but its Basic plan is cheap as chips. You can get five team members signed up for just $25 per month. If there’s only one or two of you, it isn’t such good value.
Its two-week free trial lets you try most features, including much of what’s available on the Pro tier. You don’t need a card to sign up, either.
Though rolling its prices out in five-user chunks makes it expensive for very small teams, monday.com is an excellent value aside from that.
Asana has a free tier and three tiers above that, which get progressively more expensive. Up to 15 users can use its free tier, which offers many features and works well as a simple task list. It’s also great for planning personal projects.
The inexpensive Premium tier rolls out most of its core features and removes the limit on team size. Beyond that, its more expensive tiers provide advanced admin and security features. It isn’t an expensive tool, especially when you consider the money it saves you in terms of meetings and paperwork.
Round Two Thoughts
You can try either of them out for free, but Asana has a free tier and monday.com makes you sign up for its free trial. Asana offers a trial of its Premium features, too. You don’t need a credit card for either, so you don’t need to worry about cancellation, though you might need to hunt around Asana’s sign up forms to find the option not to enter a card.
monday.com can be a great value if your team is the right size, but Asana will be cheaper for smaller teams. Asana’s free tier is also a clear plus here.
monday.com gets cheaper as you go up the pricing scale, though, with its Enterprise tier looking especially good value compared to many other platforms, including Asana, which doesn’t disclose its exact prices, but its Business tier is almost as expensive as monday.com’s Enterprise plan.
Overall, we have to hand this round to Asana. monday.com can be a great value, but Asana is good value or free, so it gets in front.
Asana wins this round, with monday.com taking a unicorn horn in the eye. That’s two up for Asana, but monday.com seems more angry than beaten. The next round is going to be a belter.
3. Ease of Use
We’ve got a real fight on our hands here. monday.com and Asana are two of the friendliest platforms around, but things aren’t looking so heartwarming as they square up against each other in this round.
Both tools will view this area as a key strength and neither will want to lose. Each scored top marks in this category in our reviews. Separating them won’t be easy, so let’s look at which of them is the easiest to use.
monday.com has an excellent interface with a clear, high-quality design. As we said in an earlier review, it’s a usability master class with everything working as intended. It has a tablet-friendly look. Though many similar designs feel oversimplified, monday.com gets the balance right, offering plenty of functionality while not feeling dumbed down.
Its feature set isn’t simple, but monday.com makes it easy to understand and helps you every step of the way, with a layout that makes sense and controls that invite you to play with the features and never punish you for doing so.
There are several templates to help you get started. It also gives you plenty of guidance on which one to pick, unlike many platforms that leave you to guess which is a good fit.
It offers a lot of help, too, with things like webinars allowing you to get advice from its support team.
Asana is nice to look at, with soft colors and good use of white space. In addition to being attractive, it does a good job of guiding your eye toward the things it needs you to see, making it intuitive to use. Its interface rarely leaves you wondering what to do next. The design will appeal to many, and using it is pleasant.
Like monday.com, Asana has several templates that can help you get up and running quickly. Looking through them can help you figure everything out, even if you plan to start your own project from scratch.
Asana eases you in with a well-designed tour, which shows you many of its features and teaches you the basics of the platform. Another good place to look when getting started with it is our Asana beginner’s guide.
You’ll rarely find yourself getting stuck in Asana, but if you do, you can figure out what to do next with the help of its large selection of tutorials and help pages.
Round Three Thoughts
monday.com is hard to beat when it comes to usability, but so is Asana. Because we’re here to split hairs, something has to give.
Both tools are a joy to use, and they’re among the best choices around if you’re worried about your team’s less technical members. You could stick a chimp in front of Asana and it’d probably be able to get something done.
monday.com is slicker and more sophisticated, but we think the simian would prefer Asana.
While Asana is easy to use, monday.com is a pleasure to work with. The subtle touches in its interface do a great job of helping you to use it correctly. We’re giving the nod to monday.com because you can’t go wrong with it when it comes to usability and it feels like it does a better job of guiding you without being intrusive.
That leaves Asana narrowly in the lead as we go into the final round. Both contenders are looking tired, but there can only be one winner.
4. Security & Privacy
We’re moving on to more technical ground as we head into the security and privacy round. In addition to being useful and usable, project management software needs to keep your business data private and safe.
If you’re interested in learning more about staying safe online, read our cybercrime article for a look at the dangers out there.
monday.com and Asana use Amazon Web Services, but there are several differences between them when you look at the details. Let’s look at monday.com first and see how well it does at protecting your data.
monday.com offers a lot when it comes to security and privacy. It has SOC 2 and ISO certifications and it’s compliant with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the General Data Protection Regulation.
It gives users several useful options, such as domain-restricted sign-ups, SAML and Google-based authentication and password policy settings. It also has auditing capabilities on its Enterprise tier, which is handy, particularly if you’re in a business where everything needs to be tracked.
It has two-factor authentication, too, which you can read more about in our what is two-factor authentication article.
It uses strong encryption, with TLS v1.2 protecting data in-transit and AES 256-bit protecting data at-rest. Data is backed up hourly, so it’s safe and secure with monday.com.
Asana doesn’t do much wrong. Data in transit is secured by TLS v1.1 encryption. Asana offers bug bounties, so the community can help look for vulnerabilities, which means its security is always being put to the test.
If you want to improve your awareness of security, read some of our online security articles.
Asana is covered by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and the GDPR. It also offers full data deletion, though if you’re outside the EU, you’ll need to be an Enterprise-level client to use that feature. It has SOC 2 certification, as well.
Asana gives you uptime information and lets you know about issues on its status page. It also lets you export your data from the platform at any time.
There are a few useful settings available to users, such as password strength options, as well as login via Google and SAML to give your account extra protection. If you’re looking to improve your password security, take a look at our best password manager article for tips.
There’s a good selection of features here, but we’re not sure it can match monday.com in this area.
Round Four Thoughts
monday.com finishes well and starts to show its under-the-hood quality. Both platforms have looks, charisma and style, but monday.com has a clear edge when things get more technical.
With monday.com using AES 256-bit encryption for data storage and its TLS v1.2 winning over Asana’s TLS v1.1 for data in-transit, it has the stronger encryption. It also has two-factor authentication on all plans. We prefer its security options, too.
If you want to set up two-factor authentication yourself, take a look at our best 2FA apps article for the latest software that can help you do so.
With its stronger selection of security features, monday.com finishes the fight with a flurry of punches.
5. Final Thoughts
At two rounds apiece, this match comes down to a points verdict. Our final decision is easy, though. Asana nudged ahead on features and price, but monday.com isn’t expensive and its feature set is perfect for what it is. It offers more in security and has a quality feel.
We think it shows its quality more as you shift from casual to business use. It wins the contest by doing more to differentiate itself in its winning rounds.
Both tools are easy to use and full-featured, and we’d recommend either to anyone looking to plan projects. Asana is more casual, while monday.com has more depth.
They have free trials if you want to check them out and compare them yourself. Asana also has a free tier, making it a good tool for students or individuals who want to use it as a basic planning tool.
If you’ve taken either tool for a spin, we’re keen to hear your experiences. Please let us know about them in the comments. Thanks for reading.