I remember the first time I tried Asana in 2014. It was a simple project management tool, easy to use, and had fancy unicorns flying all over.
Since then, Asana has added several features and capabilities. It's made Asana a popular project management software with several thousand teams quickly adopting it. However, there are some reasons why you might want to look for an Asana alternative.
Before we jump in and look at the top alternatives to Asana, let’s look at its limitations.
5 reasons why you should look for an Asana alternative
1. Lack of Hierarchical View
Asana has subtasks, but you can’t view them in a hierarchical order. This makes it extremely difficult if you want to view all the tasks and subtasks in one single view.
2. Unfriendly Pricing
Sure, you can use Asana for free. However, the free Asana version has heavy limitations in terms of its capabilities. And when you choose to upgrade to use some of the premium capabilities, you’re likely to burn a hole in your pocket with their steep pricing plans. For example, to set up dependencies between task items, you’ll have to upgrade to their premium plan!
Asana’s premium version starts at $13.49 per user per month and goes all the way up to $30.49 per user per month.
3. Lack of Developer-Friendly Capabilities
If you’ve got developers using Asana, then you’ve probably heard them being unhappy with the tool. After all, Asana doesn’t support markdown and lacks deep integrations with GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab.
4. Missing Agile Capabilities
While Asana’s board view is great, it still lacks some key agile capabilities if you want to use it as an agile project management software. For example, it lacks a dedicated sprint view that scrum teams can use. This makes Sprint planning, getting an estimation of how your sprint is progressing very hard.
5. No Functional Reports
Of course, when you’re building software products you’re likely following some form of agile methodology. If you’re one such team, you’ll notice that Asana doesn’t provide reporting capabilities such as burndown charts, burnup charts, cumulative flow diagrams, and more.
10 Alternatives to Asana for Project Management
It’s impossible to write a best Asana alternative article and not mention Trello in it. Before Trello was acquired by Atlassian, they were one of the biggest Asana competitors.
Trello took the project management industry by a storm when they came out purely because of its ease of use. When it was first introduced, Trello was one of the easiest Asana alternatives to get started. It’s simple and pretty much anyone with any use case can use it.
The problems with Trello is that they don’t scale that well for a growing organization. With little to no first-class reporting, limits on the file uploads, and the lack of advanced features such as marking dependencies between work items makes growing teams end up looking for Trello alternatives.
Key features of Trello:
- Simple and easy to use
- Kanban boards with a limit on the file attachment
- A host of integrations to connect to other tools
- Free to use for 10 boards. Has limits on feature usage.
- Standard plan costs $12.50/member/month.
- Enterprise plan costs $17.50/member/month.
Monday is a popular alternative to Asana since it’s also a work management tool.
Thanks to the templates and automation that you can set up, Monday is widely adopted by non-technical teams. This makes it effortless for teams to collaborate and keep teammates/clients always in sync.
Another unique aspect of Monday is their customizable reports that are tailor-made to fit teams like marketing, sales, customer success, and human resources.
Key features of Monday:
- Several views - Tabular columns, calendar, Gantt, forms, and more.
- Ability to automate certain tasks.
- Customizable reports that match the needs of certain non-technical teams.
- Several apps to connect with.
- No free plan. Offers a 14-day free trial.
- Pricing starts at $10/member/month to $20/member/month.
- Has restrictions on what features are available depending on the plan you choose.
If you want to switch back to using a spreadsheet as your project management tool, then you should consider Smartsheet as an Asana alternative.
As the name suggests, Smartsheet is what you’d likely get if spreadsheets had native project management capabilities. It’s packed with features like multiple views, reports, admin centre, and integrations. With all the features packed in, one disappointing thing note would be its outdated design that could leave a bad first impression for many teams.
Key features of Smartsheet:
- Multiple views (Gantt, Grid, and Calendar)
- Activity feed
- Resource management capabilities that are ideal for client services teams.
- Reminders and integrations
- No free plan. Offers a 30-day free trial.
- Pricing starts at $14 per month to $25/member/month.
Wrike was started in 2003. It’s centred around the concept of folders and nested folders.
As an alternative to Asana, one of Wrike’s best aspects is its flexibility. It enables everyone to work the way they want and provides several views to help them do just that.
A unique capability of Wrike is that it provides not only file sharing, but also editing capabilities. This makes it easier for teams to share knowledge internally and collaborate.
Key features of Wrike:
- Real-time activity feed
- Task management capabilities
- Time tracking
- Visual proofing of documents
- Gantt charts and Kanban Boards
- Free for 5 users.
- Pricing plan starts at $9.80/member/month to $24.80/member/month.
nTask manager is a free Asana alternative and it comes at an affordable price.
nTask manager has everything you’d expect in a project management tool — assignees, team-specific workspaces, and Gantt charts. What’s unique about this project management software is that it also has support for managing meetings and timesheets. This is particularly helpful if you’re a freelancer.
A downside to this tool is the lack of Kanban Boards that you’d expect in an alternative to Asana.
Key features of nTask:
- Team specific workspaces
- Convert comments tasks
- Gantt charts, projects
- Timesheet & meetings management
- Free with limited features.
- Pricing starts at $3.99/member/month to $7.99/member/month.
Nifty looks a lot like Asana in terms of its design. The colours and to a certain extent, even the layouts.
Nifty is a good Asana alternative since it has capabilities to help your team manage projects, track milestones, goals, and even your files. Apart from the usual features you’d expect in a project management software, a couple of Nifty’s key features include the integration with Google Docs for easy collaboration and its ability to send group and individual messages.
Key features of Nifty:
- Gantt charts
- Reporting that allows you to manage workload
- Time tracking
- No free plan. Comes with only a 7-day free trial.
- Starts at $49 for 10 members per month with limited features.
ClickUp is the all in one productivity tool. It’s got everything from mind-mapping capabilities to advanced project management features. This means you can customize the tool to any extent and have your team’s requirements met.
While some consider ClickUp’s buffet of features a positive sign and a great Asana alternative, many also find it overwhelming and sometimes confusing. This is possibly the only thing that you may have to watch out when considering ClickUp for your team’s needs.
Key features of ClickUp:
- Tasks and subtasks
- Gantt charts, list view, mind maps
- Kanban View
- Time tracking and due dates
- Free plan with feature limitations.
- Pricing starts at $9/member/month to $19/member/month.
8. Teamwork Projects
Among many other products that Teamwork has, Teamwork Projects is one of them and are a solid Asana competitor.
Teamwork is ideal for marketing teams, IT teams, universities, and agencies. It has kanban boards with time tracking and the ability to manage resources. With the dashboard, project updates, and filters, Teamwork makes it easy for managers to stay on top of the team’s progress.
Key features of Teamwork Projects:
- Task history
- Time tracking
- Kanban view, Gantt chart, and Portfolio management
- Free for up to 5 members and 2 projects
- Paid plan starts at $12.50/member/month to $22.5/member/month depending on the features you choose to use.
9. Toggl Plan
Toggl Plan is built around two main views — Kanban Boards and Gantt.
As an alternative to Asana, one of the things that Toggl plan lacks is the list view. Apart from features such as assignees, due dates, and file attachments, Toggl also comes with private projects, milestones, and capabilities to manage workload.
Key features of Toggl Plan:
- Kanban Boards, Gantt charts
- Private projects and milestones
- File attachments, recurring tasks
- Time tacking (it’s a separate product of Toggl’s)
- Free for up to 5 members with restrictions on features.
- Standard plan starts at $9/member/month to $15/member/month.
Workzone is a great example of a project management software with plenty of features that don’t overwhelm you.
Workzone comes with a project dashboard, Gantt charts, calendar view, and personalized to-do lists. As an Asana competitor, Workzone also has project request forms that you can customize to your needs.
A disappointing aspect of Workzone is its lack of a free plan or even a trial. Also, its search feature requires improvement as believed by many of its users
Key features of Workzone:
- Project dashboard
- Customizable forms and reports
- Todo lists personalized to each member
- Gantt charts and calendar views
- Workzone doesn’t provide a free plan or a free trial.
- Paid plans start at $24/member/month to $43/member/month.
There you go. These are the top alternatives to Asana software product teams use today.
While Asana has remained a popular tool, it has fallen behind its competitors in many areas.
Before you decide to pay, no matter which tool you select, make sure you:
- Import your own data from Asana
- See how your data looks in the new tool, and
- Use it with a couple of your teammates