If you look at a ranking of the best project management software, you’ll quickly see that monday.com and Wrike both rate very highly. However, monday.com scores a lot better, and in this article we’re going to show you why by making the two duke it out in a Wrike vs monday.com battle.
At first glance, there seems to be little to differentiate Wrike from monday.com. The main views are lists and kanban boards, the pricing is comparable and both have a similar feature set. Look again, though, and you’ll see that the two divide sharply in a few key areas. In short, monday.com focuses strongly on overview and usability, while Wrike stands out for its reporting features.
- Overall, we recommend monday.com over Wrike, except in a handful of cases where Wrike offers a feature monday.com doesn’t.
- Wrike has a free plan — a really good one — while monday.com does not, making Wrike the automatic choice for people on a budget — although monday.com offers better value for money.
Besides this, there’s plenty more to compare, and we’ll be going through the major points over the rest of this article. However, if you’d like to delve into the details of either service, we recommend you check out our monday.com review and Wrike review.
Monday.com is very good; in fact, it’s our favorite project management tool out there. It’s priced well, has a ton of features and is super easy to use.
Wrike has a great free plan. In fact, we think it’s one of its most important draws as it’s almost a full suite of tools all by itself. We definitely recommend you check it out.
Monday.com is not free to use. It has a 14-day trial, but that’s it. Plans start at $8 per user per month when you pay annually, but the first plan worth mentioning is $10 per user per month on the annual plan.
Wrike vs monday.com: Which One Is Better?
As with most of these battles — like Trello vs Asana, say — we’ll go over the most important points over five rounds, according to the criteria in our project management reviews. We’ll declare a winner for each round (or a tie, in rare cases) and at the end declare an overall winner.
The first round is usually the longest as it’s where we go over the feature set each provider offers: think of it as the toolbox they give you. Both Wrike and monday.com offer a lot of functionality, but overall we’re going to give the round to monday.com. It just offers more than Wrike does, though Wrike is better for a specific type of user.
Task Management: Keeping an Eye on Things
The way you keep track of things is surprisingly similar for both pieces of project management software: you create a project, set a default view — you can choose from lists, tables, kanban boards or Gantt charts — and from there enter tasks, add team members, all that. It works pretty well, but there are some notable differences between monday.com and Wrike.
For one, monday.com seems to prefer that you use the list as the default, much like Asana does (read our Asana review). This is probably the way to go, as monday.com’s list does a good job of letting you enter tasks and add details to them like due dates, their priority and more.
Wrike, on the other hand, seems a bit more confused with what should be your default view. This is good because you feel less railroaded, but it’s bad because there isn’t one central place where you can add details.
For one, Wrike’s list view is split up into two sections, with the spreadsheet view (Wrike confusingly also calls it a “table” view) taking up about half and the rest going to the list.
This makes entering task details a bit of a chore — rather than working from an overview like the list, you need to instead add details through the back of each card. Because of this, we found ourselves defaulting to the kanban view a lot. It offers better oversight than the other two views, and is easier to manipulate, to boot.
This is no punishment: Wrike ranks among the best kanban-based project management tools because the board is so easy to use (read our Trello review for one of the few competitors that rank above it in this regard, as well as our Trello vs Wrike comparison). It even performs a little better than monday.com, as there the kanban board is primarily an overview tool and doesn’t allow much manipulation.
Last but not least, we have Gantt charts among the most common ways to keep track of tasks. Here, neither shines particularly brightly, and if you need a dependency chart first and foremost, you should check out our TeamGantt review or GanttProject review.
Monday.com calls its Gantt chart the timeline, and we like it well enough, except that it’s not always clear what’s dependent on what. It’ll do in a pinch, though, and at least it offers colors to differentiate tasks.
Wrike’s Gantt chart is a lot more drab, but also behaves more like it’s supposed to. However, dependencies aren’t marked visually, which is annoying. That said, it’s slightly better functionally, and you can also set dependencies for subtasks from the back of cards — something you can’t do with monday.com.
Project Management: the Bigger Picture
When it comes to the basics of task management, monday.com is our favorite tool, though Wrike handles Gantt charts slightly better. Monday.com is also better when it comes to managing multiple projects, though again, not by much.
Both Wrike and monday.com offer a dashboard, but while Wrike uses it mainly for navigation, monday.com shows you data from your projects at a glance. We like this feature more, mainly because it’s less drab, but also because we figure most managers will want to have an idea of where everybody is when they have a moment to catch their breath.
Wrike prefers to go old school when it comes to how it displays overview data, with a reports screen that offers an approach we’ll generously call “no-nonsense.” You can find a wealth of information on this screen, much more than monday.com offers, so we won’t knock it too much, but it could use a facelift.
As a last note, there’s another thing we prefer about Wrike, namely that it lets you put projects into folders, making the hierarchy between them much easier to determine. It’s a minor advantage, but it may be unmissable if you’re running a lot of smaller projects, like in an Agile team.
Wrike and Monday.com Integrations
We’ll finish off this section by discussing integrations. Both offer a few, though neither is a Trello or Jira, which are built around letting you plug in third-party applications. Oddly enough, though, Wrike offers a tiered system, where each successive pricing plan allows more integrations. We’ve not seen that before, and we’re not sure whether we like it.
Be that as it may, both monday.com and Wrike let you integrate their platforms with anything from Salesforce to the best cloud storage solutions. Monday.com’s list is a bit more extensive, but in the end you could always just use Zapier or IFTTT to implement a process that’s not on offer.
With one round in the bag for monday.com, let’s move on to pricing. In this round, monday.com collects another point. This is mainly because Wrike costs about the same as monday.com, despite having fewer features. Let’s first look at the pricing tables of both.
- Maximum users: 2, Kanban Board, & list
- Minimum users: 3, Price per user, Basic features
- Minimum users: 3, Price per user, Expanded features
- Minimum users: 3, Price per user, Advanced features
- Enterprise-level features.
- Maximum of 5 users. Basic features.
- Price is per user. Plans for 5, 10 and 15 users.
- Price is per user. No monthly option. Plans for 5 to 200 users.
- Plans for 5 to an unlimited number of users.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Wrike’s free plan is excellent and monday.com doesn’t even have one. If this were our roundup of the best free project management software, Wrike would beat monday.com straight out the gate (though it would lose to Asana, as you can read in our Wrike vs Asana comparison).
If we only compared Wrike’s free plan to monday.com’s Basic plan — which costs $8 per user per month on the annual plan — Wrike would still crush it. That’s because monday.com’s Basic plan is a bit of a lemon, offering very little in the way of features. For example, Jira offers a full suite for a dollar per user per month less; read all about it in our monday.com vs Jira article.
Small Business Pricing
However, if we compare paid plans, Wrike runs into trouble. For example, the Professional plan will set users back just under $10 per user per month when you pay annually, while monday.com charges $10 for the annual Standard plan (check out our article on monday.com pricing for more details).
The difference is that $10 with monday.com buys you a better project management tool. Wrike’s Professional plan is not bad, but it’s just a list, board and Gantt chart, while monday.com offers that and more.
The same problem comes up when we compare the next tier: monday.com’s Pro plan is $9 cheaper per user per month than Wrike’s Business plan, and it offers more for the price. While all Wrike offers at this tier is a calendar and two-factor authentication, monday.com comes with a bunch of high-level functions that Wrike can only dream of.
We couldn’t pin down either service on a hard price for their Enterprise plans and their security features, so we’ll leave it out of the discussion here.
Wrike and monday.com both include some storage space with their plans, though monday.com offers more. As such, if you need a lot of built-in room to place files, then monday.com is your best bet. That said, you can always integrate Google Drive or another like it to drastically up your quota (read our Google Drive review). The table below shows storage space for each plan.
Both monday.com and Wrike offer a 14-day free trial of their highest-tier plan, so Pro for monday.com and Business for Wrike. We recommend you check them both out before committing to either, as you have very little to lose. Even with monday.com being the better value for money, it could be that Wrike has a feature you just can’t live without.
We’re about to enter the third round, where we’ll discuss ease of use — and where monday.com will further increase its already considerable lead. While Wrike is easy to use, monday.com is just a bit smoother, plus it’s a lot more pleasant to look at. While we’re sure Wrike’s industrial approach to UI design has its fans, monday.com is a lot easier on the eyes.
Moving on, though, and we find issues run more than skin-deep. As we mentioned earlier, monday.com runs workflow mainly through the list, much like Asana does (read monday.com vs Asana). This makes life really easy: you add all the tasks that need doing, plus all their details, then tweak them around a bit in the calendar and kanban board views. It works really well.
Wrike shares much of this approach, but it always seems to add a small step. This isn’t too big a deal, but it can get a bit annoying if you constantly have to return to an overview screen just to get to the next task. Also, because it lacks color, task tracking becomes a bit of a pain as everything is just the same, usually drab palette.
However, Wrike does have two nifty little functions that monday.com could learn from: we really like how it organizes projects in folders, making it easier to keep track of large numbers of small projects. We wish more project management tools would allow you to link up dependencies as easily as Wrike does.
However, handy as all that is, it won’t win Wrike this round, and it goes to monday.com.
4. Service & Support
With three points to monday.com, Wrike has no chance to win this battle. However, it will rally a little in this fourth round and grab a point. This isn’t due to any spectacular advantage when it comes to customer service, though: it just offers support chat where monday.com doesn’t. Besides that, the services are pretty much the same.
If you run into trouble using either project management tool, you can consult an extensive knowledgebase, which will help you through any imaginable problem. We like how both use clear language (for the opposite, read our Jira review) and easy-to-follow steps to get you through a problem.
If, somehow, the knowledgebase fails, you can either go to the forums, which in both cases are filled to the brim with helpful people and staff. Otherwise, you can use a more formal method. You can submit a ticket or, in the case of Wrike, also chat with a rep. Usually, the reply will be a link to a relevant knowledgebase article, which should set you on your way.
5. Security & Privacy
Both Wrike and monday.com have the same security setup on the surface. Files are protected in transit using TLS and encrypted at rest using AES-256. So far, so good. The reason we prefer Wrike, though, is because it does all this in-house, with its own servers. Monday.com uses AWS, which has a poor track record, so the advantage goes to Wrike here.
With four points to two, monday.com is the clear winner of this battle. Although Wrike is far from bad — its free plan is just out of this world, and we like how you can organize larger projects — it just doesn’t offer the features or user-friendliness of monday.com.
What did you think of our battle? Is monday.com indeed the best, or did we do Wrike dirty? Are there hidden abilities to either that we missed out on? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.