Asana and ClickUp are two project management tools that appear very similar to one another at first glance. But as you begin to look closer, you will be able to discover the key differences between them and identify which tool suits your development team/development agency the best.
To help you differentiate and pick the perfect project management tool for your org, here’s a quick yet comprehensive comparison of ClickUp vs Asana.
Quick Overview of Asana
In 2008, Asana was founded by former Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein. But it was kept in private beta for 4 years and finally launched to the public in 2012. Today, Asana has become a popular choice, especially among non-IT teams even though it caters to IT teams as well.
Asana takes the task-oriented route to project management where everything revolves around tasks and projects. This means you create tasks and subtasks for every project that you create and handle them.
Team collaboration is one of Asana’s key USPs. This is why apart from traditional collaboration functionalities such as assignees, descriptions, and tags, you can hold conversations related to them.
The plus points
- Intuitive user-interface that aims to make work a fun experience
- Flexible and can be customized to suit your software team/development agency’s needs with its custom templates, custom statuses, custom tags, and custom fields.
- Provides multiple views, namely, board, list, calendar, and Timeline to help visualize your projects.
- Also has a workload view that allows you to view what work and how much work is assigned to whom and thus control your team’s workload.
- Plenty of integrations with third-party apps are available for streamlining your workflows
- Team communication and collaboration capabilities enable keeping all your work items and related conversations in one place.
- Unlimited tasks and projects for teams to get work done even on the free plan.
The minus points
- A steep learning curve, which makes the user experience hellish, due to far too many features than required.
- Not an agile tool as it lacks agile capabilities other than a simple kanban board
- Doesn’t support a single nestled view for viewing tasks and subtasks.
- Pricing is too costly
- Can’t assign multiple users to a single work item
- Doesn’t support markdown and
/commands to get work done quickly
Top user reviews
“The project plans are fairly straightforward and flexible. Great for workflow management and collaboration. The price is also relatively reasonable. We use this for simple projects where there are less sophisticated teams collaborating and where communication and simplicity are the main objectives.
This platform is only good for the simplest and most basic of project management tasks. It lacks more sophisticated features necessary for real project management, such as time tracking tools and other features. Also, it's lack of structure proves challenging when it is implemented without a lot of strategic planning and / or forethought.
If you are looking for a simpler tool this can fit the bill, just requires forethought as to how it is being implemented. For more complex product/project management this is not the platform to use.”
“Some teams use Asana for project management and perhaps it's good for that. For me I feel it isn't very useful for technology teams. We can't paste code, we have no auto integration with build processes like Jenkins and it's incredibly slow to wait 5 seconds to load each asana task. It's not easy to pass around a task #... as Asana creates these long tokens for every task. Several of us have asked for these features on Twitter with the Asana team and we just are told it's not something that they're interested in adding.
Pros: I guess it's an easy interface to make a task
Cons: It really doesn't offer what Jira or other software packages offer... there's no enforced flow for bug / defect tracking, there's no easy way to pull tickets up (i.e. it's not a simple task identifier such as CR4478, instead it's a 20 character random string. When you pull up an individual task it takes nearly 5 seconds to load it, and you get the Asana splash screen while you wait. You can't easily put code into the Asana tasks. Asana doesn't have 3rd party API connecting (like Jira) to automatically link to Jenkins or other products. As a defect tracking system it's entirely lacking. This may not be what you intended it to be used for, but that's how we use it (for everything) and it's incredibly lacking. We have to be creative with Asana to make it sorta work and it's still not very appealing from the QA or Dev side of things.”
You can compare Asana vs Jira to check out the differences between the two PM apps.
Quick Overview of ClickUp
Founded in 2017, ClickUp is an all-in-one project management platform that aims to replace all the tools in the market via feature add-ons. You can most likely find any feature in ClickUp that your development team/software development agency needs and can add it to your account, right from task management to time management.
And for those functionalities that this feature-loaded software lacks, you will most likely find an integration for it. That’s why ClickUp is preferred by companies of all sizes from any industry and not just a niche audience.
A highlight about ClickUp is that it has a huge fan base among solo users for managing daily activities and not just teams.
The plus points
- Provides a library of functionalities for any company pertaining to any industry
- Supports a long list of views, namely, board, list, gantt, workload, box, table, calendar, activity, and mind maps.
- Customizable to serve your software development agency’s needs from custom tags and custom statuses to custom permissions, where you can control who sees what
- A massive number of third-party apps to integrate with.
- Good customer support and makes a continuous improvement to the app and its user experience based on customer feedback
The minus points
- Feels bloated due to the ton of functionalities that it provides, which is more than what's required, overwhelming and cluttered
- Way too many customization options which add to the overwhelming experience that this app radiates
- User interface is intuitive but very complex and so has a steep learning curve that makes onboarding a nightmare
- Initial setup is incredibly challenging with high risks of messing up processes due to the complex design
- Offers agile capabilities but lacks the finesse of a dedicated, full-fledged agile tool
Top user reviews
"I like that it has all types of tools to be able to work with the different ways people approach things. I liked that there was an inbox feature.
I felt it was a bit overwhelming and had a steep learning curve. I also wish that I could add more than one person to each area for free. I run a small business and want my clients to see only their projects with my team members without having to create a new space entirely.
I found it tedious to have to tag myself in everything if I wanted it to show up in my inbox."
"Easy to use. Clear and intuitive interface. Easy to assign tasks for the week and update it. Calendar view is very efficient for planning weeks.
Limitation for saving views (for Guest AND for Member) in unlimited plan. To get all features we need to upgrade to Business/Enterprise plan and convert Guest to members: way too much expensive. A full import/export (JSON?) feature, not the current limited csv format, could improve compatibility with our internal custom tools. Moving a small bunch of tasks over the time is easy, but moving many tasks is quite annoying."
Key differences between Asana and ClickUp
- Getting Started: Asana and ClickUp are equally complex and thus you’re going to experience difficulty while getting started. Due to the plethora of functionalities they provide, you can easily get overwhelmed.
- Features: Asana and ClickUp are both feature-packed and both include customizable automation triggers and actions. But when it comes to agile capabilities, ClickUp has more to offer such as burndown charts, cumulative flow, etc., than Asana.
- Developer-friendliness: ClickUp offers comparatively deeper integrations with GitHub, GitLab, and other developer-favourites than Asana. ClickUp also supports Markdown for getting work done quickly while Asana doesn’t provide Markdown support.
- Team Collaboration: Asana allows you to hold all your team conversations in one place, making collaboration efficient. ClickUp also offers a similar conversations platform. It goes a step further and provides a documentation feature akin to Google Docs with real-time editing functionality.
- Pricing: Both Asana and ClickUp offer free plans. Asana’s free plan limits you to add only 15 members whereas ClickUp enables you to add unlimited users. But both the tools’ free plans come with feature restrictions. Asana’s paid plan starts at $10.99 per member per month billed annually while ClickUp’s paid plan starts at 5 per member per month.
- Customer support: Asana provides support to its customers via email ticketing whereas ClickUp offers live online support via their webchat. In terms of quality of support, ClickUp offers better support than Asana.
Final Verdict of Asana vs ClickUp
Asana is best for non-IT companies for handling projects pertaining to marketing, sales, and so on. And so, if you're a software development company and scrum is your priority, you must consider other free project management software tools that have all the functionalities of a scrum tool.
Truth be told, ClickUp is a great PM software for your development team/software development agency of any size and any sector. But much like any application that tries to be an all-in-one solution, ClickUp is a jack of all trades, master of none. That might work for a non-IT agency but for a software development org looking to implement agile extensively, it is better to consider other project management apps that are built specifically for agile.
4 Alternatives to Asana and ClickUp
Monday.com is a project management solution that is a great alternative to Asana and ClickUp. This app is also loaded with utilities but in terms of agile, it lacks powerful capabilities. Because of far too many functionalities, it is easy to get overwhelmed and the learning curve is steep.
- Loaded with functionalities and multiple views, namely, calendar, gantt, forms, and so on
- Customizable notifications and reports
- Supports the automation of certain tasks
- Plenty of templates for any department
- Many integrations with 3rd party apps like Slack, OneDrive, LinkedIn, Google Calendar, and more
Monday.com’s pricing plan is quite complex. There isn’t a free plan. You get a 14-day trial post which you must choose a paid plan that starts at $10/member/month.
Non-IT agency and departments pertaining to marketing, sales, etc.
Basecamp is a solid task-management tool that is quite a popular choice in the market. The USP of this app is its ability to bring all members of different departments together efficiently. However, Basecamp lacks agile capabilities.
- Messaging platform with a forum-like view for real-time group chats
- Automatic check-in questions for frequent status updates
- Controlled client access
- Hill charts to track progress
- Supports sharing files and documentation with a storage of 500GB
Basecamp offers a straightforward plan with a 30-day free trial. At the end of the trial, you will need to pay a flat fee of $99/month for unlimited users.
Remote, service-based agency that doesn’t require agile methodologies.
Wrike is a PM app that caters to agile product development orgs. It offers templates for setting up your agile workflows. But Wrike does not offer an intuitive user interface as Asana and ClickUp do. The learning curve is also very steep, making onboarding a hassle.
- Customizable workspaces
- Templates to set up agile workflows
- Easy to share visual dynamic reports that are insightful
- Boards, gantt, and calendar views to track progress and plan deadlines
- Workload and resource administration
- Shareable task lists and dashboards
Wrike is free for up to 5 members. The paid plans start at $9.80/member/month.
Agile product development companies that are small in size.
You might be interested in the detailed comparison of Asana vs Wrike.
Trello is another notable choice to Asana and ClickUp. Trello is a kanban board software that is incredibly user-friendly and perhaps the easiest PM app to get started with. It takes barely 10-15 mins to onboard your entire org. But if you expect Trello to be powerful with agile capabilities to implement scrum, and other frameworks, you will be disappointed. And that’s why teams look for trello alternatives.
- Straightforward kanban board software with sticky note-like cards
- Flexible with plenty of customizable templates
- Fast, responsive, and simple user interface which makes onboarding painless
- Ability to add on ‘n’ number of functionalities as power-ups
- A huge catalog of integrations with 3rd party apps like Zapier, Hubspot, Dropbox, and 100+ similar apps
Trello's pricing plan is extremely simple. Trello offers a free plan that enables you to collaborate with unlimited users but with functionality restrictions. So if you want to access all its utilities, power-ups, and integrations in the future, you must sign up for a paid plan that starts at $12.50/member/month.
Non-technical IT squads such as marketing, sales, etc.