Choosing a project management tool is a critical choice that will make a difference to your team’s effectiveness. There are lots of good tools out there, and though it can be hard to choose between them, the competition means there are plenty of strong options. We’re looking at two of our favorites in this Wrike vs Asana comparison.
They’re excellent platforms, so it should be a close contest. Let’s discuss how we’ll separate them.
Setting Up a Fight: Wrike vs Asana
Wrike is one of the strongest tools out there, narrowly taking second place in our last roundup of the best project management software. It’s professional-looking, with a broad feature set and tight security.
Asana is a friendly tool that we rated highly for usability, as you can read in our Asana review. Asana has clients such as NASA and The New York Times on its books, while Wrike has Google, Mars and Tiffany.
They’re top tools that have much to like about them, but when it comes down to it, you’re only going to be signing up with one. We’re going to put them through their paces today to see which deserves your dollars most.
We’ll focus on several of the key areas that make a difference when choosing a tool for your business, including features, which define what the software can do, and price, which we’d prefer to be less if all else is equal.
Ease of use is also important because features are no good if you can’t figure out how they work. We’ll look at security, too, because you don’t want your competitors hacking into your website and getting their greasy paws on your plans.
Let’s start with features to see which service offers the broadest range of functionality.
Features are critical when picking a project management tool. A feature that saves you time can be worth far more than the price of the service, so paying attention to what’s out there can make a big difference to your bottom line.
One reason project management tools are so effective is that they let people view key information as needed, without having to go through the trouble of calling a meeting. Everyone can access what’s there, within limits you set, and managers can get an overview of how everything in the project is going.
You can also make plans and easily check if they fit into everyone’s schedule. Should your schedule change, a good tool can help you update everything without having to descend into paperwork hell.
When it comes to Wrike vs. Asana, there isn’t much to separate them. Both scored 90 percent in this area in our reviews, so the first round is going to be close.
Wrike has a strong selection of features, beginning with its core task-based structure, which includes subtasks and dependency management. That way, you can see what needs to be finished at each step of the way.
A variety of views helps you see how things are going. There’s a blog-style stream, as well as a calendar. You can also create forms that let team members create tasks by filling them in.
Wrike allows you to upload files and comment on them. You can even leave comments at specific points in videos, making it a great choice if you’re working with them.
It has a report generator with a few presets, but also the scope to customize it to output what you need. It has time tracking and resource management features, too. You can see how much time is being spent and whether things are being done efficiently.
If you’re interested in using a platform with time tracking features, take a look at our FunctionFox review to learn about another service that offers them.
Wrike makes many integrations available, including Salesforce, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud and a few storage services. Storage space ranges from 2GB to 50GB depending on your plan, which is generous, but not as much as Asana, which gives you unlimited space.
If you want to use an external service, read our best online storage for teams article for a roundup of what’s out there.
Wrike has desktop apps for Windows and macOS, so if you prefer the snappiness and reliability of those to a browser based interface, you’re catered to. There are also mobile apps, so you can plan things on the train to work.
There isn’t a lot that it doesn’t do, making it a great choice for handling your projects. Asana has its work cut out.
Asana looks colorful and friendly, but it’s not short on features. As with Wrike, you can create tasks and subtasks, as well as dependencies that show how they fit together. Asana also has unlimited storage, with a generous 100MB file-size limit.
Asana organizes tasks in a list view or a kanban view, which allows you to drag tasks from column to column. There are calendar and timeline views, as well, so you can schedule everything easily.
It has plenty of integrations, including Zapier, which acts as an intermediary to many applications. You can also share data with Salesforce, Jira and Trello. Read our Trello beginner’s guide if you want to know more about it.
You can let your team know how the project is going by setting its status and generating reports. That’s good for keeping everyone on the same page.
Its browser version is complemented by mobile apps for Android and iOS, but, unlike Wrike, it doesn’t have a desktop application.
With unlimited storage being an obvious strong point, Asana’s colorful exterior doesn’t mean it’s short on features. It offers plenty, with full dependencies and several useful views for planning your projects.
Round One Thoughts
When it comes down to it, features are what you’re paying for with project management software. This round is a close call because Wrike and Asana are strong in this area.
With its time tracking and resource management though, we think Wrike has the edge. It seems like Wrike goes further and offers more depth in other areas, as well. Asana has unlimited storage space, though, which is a big plus.
Overall, Wrike edges out round one, but Asana looks confident heading into the next round.
2. Ease of Use
User-friendly software will help minimize your training costs by enabling people to get up to speed quickly. Ease of use is always valuable, but it gets more important as your team size increases, especially if you have a lot of users who aren’t confident with technology.
Asana is nicer to look at than Wrike and has fun features, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier to use. Though Wrike seems more complex, it’ll score well if it can deliver that complexity without being hampered by issues.
Big, feature-rich and intimidating to newcomers, Wrike has its work cut out in this area. Making complex features easy to use is the mark of a strong design team, though, and Wrike deserves credit for taking its wealth of features and spinning them into a usable interface.
It’s easy to create dependencies, which is good because that can sometimes be tricky on platforms that include the feature. If you want to see how tasks will affect one another, Wrike will help you do so.
If sorting your schedule and eliminating bottlenecks is the reason you’re looking for a project management tool, take a look at our TeamGantt review to learn about another platform that does it well.
Wrike’s navigation can be tricky and it’s easy to get lost when finding your feet. We found ourselves wondering how to do things when starting out. We were never stuck for long, but there’s a learning curve.
One way Wrike helps you get into it is through templates. They let you configure it for things such as product launch, project management or a helpdesk system. Looking through the templates can help you get a feel for how to set things up, even if you plan to go your own way later.
Overall, Wrike isn’t hard to use, but you’ll have to think about it from time to time and you’ll need to consult the help pages on occasion. Those are excellent, though, so that shouldn’t put you off using it.
Asana goes out of its way to make itself pleasant to use. Its celebrations are a big hit with us and we’re sure it will be in many workplaces around the world. Not every tool marks your successes by sending colorful animals flying across the screen.
Asana welcomes you with a good tour that shows you what’s there and how to use it. After that, like Wrike, it has many templates to help you get started.
It uses soft colors, and the interface is clear and largely self-explanatory. Because there isn’t a learning curve, it feels like it was designed with everyone in mind.
It’s not just about appearances, though. Asana’s excellent design makes figuring out what to do next a no-brainer. Most of it is self-explanatory, so you’ll rarely need its help pages when you want to try something new.
Round Two Thoughts
Wrike is a fantastic tool to use, but it can’t beat Asana for usability. Asana’s interface is simple and effective, with navigation that gets you where you want to go and controls that do what you expect and let you find what you need easily. Asana takes this round, leaving things level at one apiece.
If usability is a major selling point for you, take a look at our favorite project management tool in our monday.com review.
Pricing is always a factor, especially if you have a lot of people on your team. A tool that improves your workflow can be far more valuable than what you pay for it. If it saves you time, it’s saving you money, but it’s up to you to take advantage of its features and get as much value out of it as possible.
If you’re not fussed about price and want to see what a premium tool can offer, read our Aha review.
Asana and Wrike have free and inexpensive lower tiers, so what’s going to seperate them is what’s on offer at each level. Wrike’s top plans are pricier, but that won’t be a problem if they offer more. If not, then Asana will get the nod here.
Wrike’s free tier is good, but it has a restrictive team-size limit of five users. You can use it as a task list, though, which is a decent way to get a feel for it. The service also offers a 14-day trial if you want to try the features on its paid plans.
If you want to sign up for one of those, it costs $9.80 a month for up to 15 users, with the price increasing at each higher tier.
Lifetime plan $ 246.89/ month
$8888.00 one time payment,
Monthly price for 3 years of use
Asana also has a free plan, but you can use it for larger teams than Wrike, with a limit of 15 users. Beyond that, it has a Premium plan for $9.99 per month and a Business plan for $19.99. Its free plan is usable, allowing as many projects as you like, and is a great way to dip your toes into the water. You also get to try its premium features for a few days if you request a free trial.
Payments are usually by credit card, but it offers invoice purchasing to teams of 20 and above, allowing them to pay by bank transfer or check.
Most of its views are on the free trial, with its timeline, milestones and task dependencies becoming available at the Premium level. Proofing, enhanced integrations and security features are on higher tiers.
Round 3 Thoughts
Though Wrike’s top tier is the most expensive from the two platforms, the service has a free offering and two tiers that correspond closely to Asana on price. Asana’s tiers allow bigger team sizes, though, giving it the edge.
Though Wrike generally has a broader selection of features, Asana offers things at lower tiers. For example, proofing is offered at Asana’s Business tier, but Wrike doesn’t include it until its Marketers tier.
Wrike’s cheapest option is 19 cents less a month than Asana’s, but the next tier up is $5 cheaper with Asana. That just gets Asana’s nose in front.
It’s close, though. Because Asana is marginally cheaper and has one or two things on lower tiers that Wrike doesn’t, it wins round three. That said, Wrike is still looking strong heading into our final round.
If you’re on a budget, take a look at our Freedcamp review to see a service that offers plenty at a low price.
4. Security and Privacy
Security and privacy are important when using a project management tool. If you’re putting your business-critical data online, you need to be sure you can trust the service that manages it.
Fortunately, most project management software we look at includes features to reassure you in this area. They can include encryption, compliance with privacy regulations and features to help you control access to your account.
Wrike is the favorite in this area, having scored 94 percent for security and privacy in our Wrike review, but let’s see how it fares in a direct comparison with Asana.
Wrike has some of the best security features around. As well as two-factor authentication, which you can read about in our what is two-factor authentication guide, it has plenty of options for those on its top plans.
Its custom password settings let you make sure your team members choose strong passwords. Take a look at our best password managers article if keeping track of them all is proving to be a chore.
There’s a network access policy and range of access controls for file storage and invitations. It also takes full daily backups and uses servers in different locations to prevent data loss.
It has SOC and ISO certifications and a special data center for EU customers. It uses TLS 1.2 with AES 256-bit encryption for data transport and AES 256-bit for data storage too, so your data should be extra safe from cybercrime.
It’s compliant with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and its EU servers are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation. That sounds comprehensive to us.
Asana offers plenty of reassurance privacy-wise, and it’s compliant with the GDPR and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.
It isn’t too shabby on security, either, with TLS 1.1 encryption used for data transfer. It has SOC certification and participates in bug bounty programs, too, allowing experts to help look for problems and improve its security. Take a look at our website security article to learn how best to secure your own website.
Like Wrike, you get control over user password settings. You can choose your password strength criteria and require users to login using Google or SAML. You can also export your data if you want to get it off the platform, so you aren’t locked in.
Asana users don’t need to be too concerned about security, but Wrike looks stronger overall.
Round Four Thoughts
With Asana edging in front, Wrike went into the final round needing to give it everything. It delivered. Asana isn’t a slouch in this area, but though it ticks every box, Wrike goes further.
Asana is solid on security and privacy, but Wrike’s broader range of features sees it landing the heavier punches in this round. Wrike gets a clear win, with the bell ringing just as Asana’s knees start to look shaky.
Both these platforms are good for online security. For another tool that scores well in this area, take a look at our Smartsheet review.
5. The Verdict
At two rounds apiece, the decision goes to the wire. With wider margins of victory in its winning rounds, the referee lifts Wrike’s arm into the air and the crowd go bananas (feel free to do so in the comments section below).
Wrike has an excellent feature set and some of the best security options around. Asana’s light-hearted approach will appeal to many, and it’s worth considering (it’s your writer’s favorite tool for personal projects). For business use, though, Wrike wins.
Though Asana edged the price round, there isn’t much to choose between them and neither is expensive enough to be off-putting. Asana has the advantage in that it’s easier to get started with and those who want to use a platform more casually, without putting time into learning its advanced features, may prefer it.
Because they both have free tiers and free trials of their more expensive plans, there’s nothing to stop you from putting them to the test. You can be set up with either one and experimenting with their templates inside of half an hour, but mastering every feature will take longer.
If you’ve tried one, or both of these tools, we’d love to hear your opinion on them in the comments below. Thanks for reading.