Managing a business and it’s workflow can be a challenging task. You’ve got to simultaneously chart a course forward while reflecting on past performance, data, and current initiatives. This is especially true for someone in a project manager role.
While staying on top of a lot of moving parts is in the job description, a project manager’s life can be made a lot less stressful by creating a strong tech stack of project management and productivity tools. By aligning work and communication on one or a few tools, you can drastically increase your own efficiency and the speed at which the larger team can execute. There are a wide range of software suites out there for you to choose from, and picking the right one can be a daunting task — each company is different and adopting the wrong one can leave you with a whole host of functions you don’t need and several areas you still need to improve.
One of the original project management tools was Asana. The concept came to life while the founders were working at Facebook trying to improve the productivity of employees. And the founder’s past at Facebook made Asana a natural choice for other companies to adopt — they trusted these successful entrepreneurs to provide a quality product. Currently, the tool is free for up to 15 users, and priced starting at $9.99 per user/month for the more advanced version.
Over the years, the software has been streamlined and improved upon, but other tools have since been released that have more comprehensive and different features. So if you’re an Asana user and looking to switch up your software, or you’re just in the market for a tool and want to learn more, we’ve rounded up some of the best Asana alternatives.
This tool is one of the older apps on the list, but it’s here for good reason. The primary draw of Basecamp is that it’s a totally web based solution for managing your projects. This means that so long as your team members have access to a web browser, they can pitch into whatever aspect of the project they are responsible for. It’s also specifically designed for service businesses, enabling them to give clients access to project information to cut down on unnecessary back-and-forth. This is a good example of an alternative to Asana that would appeal to a niche company, as Asana is generally considered more of a serious team based platform.
The drawback of this client focused, free flowing style is that it lacks a real depth of features, and you don’t have access to the kind of customization that a more robust platform would offer. Add to that the fixed price tag of $99 a month (up to 100 GB of storage) which offers limited flexibility for smaller businesses, and you can start to see some of the drawbacks of the platform.
Hive is a project management tool that works off of “tasks” as a building block, the same way Asana does. Hive’s interface is extremely user-friendly, and boasts a first-of-its-kind email integration which sends messages directly from Gmail and Outlook to Hive (which Asana does not have).
The tool also has several features that Asana doesn’t have, including data import, customizable templates, and custom forms. So, if you’re going to be manipulating data or customizing content, Hive is probably your better bet. However, Asana is free for teams of up to 15, while Hive starts at $12 per month per user — freelancers or teams with a low budget might find that Asana fits their price point better.
So, if you’re interested in taking your projects to the next level, be sure to partake in Hive’s 14 day free trial — you can get the hang of the tool and decide whether it has the right functionalities for you and your team.
Monday.com, formerly dapulse, is a lightweight, visual project management tool that is easy to implement across a team. To get started with the tool, you simply make an account, pick a template, and fill the template in with tasks and projects. The basic version starts at around $8 a month per user, and provides unlimited board views and unlimited free viewers on your project.
While Monday.com has a few features that Asana doesn’t, including data import, event tracking and file transfer, the tool lacks some necessary project management aspects, like the ability to have multiple projects, milestone tracking, or take project notes.
This tool is another popular choice for businesses looking for a different perspective on project management. Like Basecamp, Trello is a web based platform that offers users a more flexible and collaborative approach to managing projects. Managers can establish workflows and individual projects in the Kanban style — a task visualization method that involves a three-step workflow.
The advantage of this is that it’s easy for new members to quickly throw themselves into a Trello project because more of the information is displayed visually, but the tool lacks advanced project view features and functionalities including document management and project reports. So if you wanted to change the format of your project, or customize and display your data meaningfully, that would be tricky.
Ultimately for smaller, creative businesses (or freelancers) looking for an Asana alternative this a solid choice, but we wouldn’t recommend this for large companies.
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management alternative to Asana used to track, assign and filter tasks in the workplace. The app is cloud-based, and used by teams ranging in size. In addition to the spreadsheet view, Smartsheet also offers Gantt, file sharing, and workplace automation. Smartsheet offers a few capabilities that Asana does not, including time tracking, resource management and budgeting.
However, Smartsheet does not offer a central communication hub, which could make it harder for larger teams to use or integrate fully into their workflow. Smartsheet also does not offer a free version of their tool — the individual user license starts at $14.
Related: The Top Wrike Alternatives
Wrike, a project management tool designed to organize and oversee project workflow, is another alternative to Asana. Wrike helps you plan, streamline and track progress as an individual and team, and is free for up to 5 users. After that, the pricing starts at $9.80 per user/month.
Compared to Asana, Wrike is a very comprehensive tool with tons of helpful functionalities. Wrike has Gantt view, task dependencies and resource management, which Asana does not have. However, Asana’s visually appealing interface and ease of use make it ideal for creative teams.
Do you have any other favorite project management tools that we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments below.