Last updated Aug 14, 2019

Brief Idea about Trello & Asana:

To start with, it can be said more concisely that marketing project management is difficult. To maintain a clear project summary and balance tasks, you will need the right task management software to do so. Trello and Asana, both are very popular options, but between the two which one stands out uniquely on top? 

If you’re looking out for the best project management app for your projects, where one can use the cloud-based services, then you will probably come across two of the most prominent options in the market - Trello & Asana. But on what basis to choose the right option is a difficult task to do! As both of these established tools possess strengths as project management software, so which one is the best project management app for the business is tough to crack.

In this post, we’re going to dive deeply into these two cloud-based apps to uncover their strengths & weaknesses and will conclude which comes out on top by making the comparison between them head-to-head. One should be very careful while choosing amongst the two, keeping in mind the individual or the team needs. Choosing the right project management software that ‘fits’ perfectly with your business is not a child’s play.

Well, you’re at the right place as the below comparison, in brief, will foster you to choose the best pick for your business.

Content:

Trello vs. Asana:

Trello is a card-based task management tool that can be utilized for projects and for which team collaboration is required. Whether it is about doing project management for websites or for managing your home interior designing project, Trello impersonates real-life boards to manage the projects. Trello is an incredibly visual, changeable, and versatile tool that can be utilized to solve a comprehensive range of problems revolving around getting people on the same page, and which differentiates Trello from other project management tools.

Likewise, Asana is also one of the top project management tools, which practices a task-oriented approach. It is designed for projects which have a systematic process. It is typically practiced by small teams managing the projects altogether. Asana helps the users in making high levels of connectivity and interaction — that exceeds both personal and business communication. It supports organizations to move faster by making sure everyone is aware of the team’s plan, process and who is doing what and when. 

Trello is simple to get started with as Asana has a more extensive set of features. When you start beating limits on Trello, Asana seems to become a better alternative. 

A Quick Glance at Trello

Trello - logo

Trello was established by Joel Spolsky, the CEO of StackExchange and Michael Pryor, who is currently also serving as the CEO of the company. Atlassian took Trello in January 2017. Atlassian is the company that also produces software development management software known as Jira.

Among the few of them, Trello was one of the first project management apps that took an extremely different method in terms of the working process. Project management software typically works around tasks and projects, with a particular UX to satisfy the needs.

Trello practices a very different approach; it focuses on task operations but from a UX point of view. 

Furthermore, Trello exerted a card-based or board-based approach. Trello relies on the Kanban approach (sticky notes type) – a visual way to handle tasks. The team at Trello simulated a pinning board where each task is inscribed on a sticky note and pinned to the board. Minutes and alliance then befall around this “card” pinned on the board. The founders of Trello impersonated a brainstorm session on the board, with tasks allotted to different people.

Dashboard of Trello

Trello - dashboard

Digital Version of a Sticky Board

Sticky board

The following are the Pros and Cons of using Trello:

Pros:

  • Trello depreciates the confusion around project distributions since teams can utilize boards and cards to coordinate tasks and track development with specific performance lists.
  • Users can also make their lists, i.e., they can track metrics which they are working with most and can use notifications to keep themselves updated on all changes and alterations.
  • All team members can participate in relevant discussions, such as group gatherings and one-to-one chat concourses. Team members can also send minutes, share files of all forms, and even can comment on individual tasks.
  • The team can upload files right from their Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive accounts.

Cons: Trello doesn’t bolster regimes that show links between tasks and projects. Users have also complained that Trello could have added more versatility and personalization for arranging cards, rather than simply lining up in a straight fashion. Trello is not well-fitted to projects with infinite tasks because it is not easy to visualize using boards.

Besides this, Trello does not possess time tracking inclinations. Although, it gets integrated with the Everhour add-on, which helps companies easily track the time of the employees spending on each task and also in knowing about how long the tasks last.

A Brief Overview of Asana

Asana - logo

Asana is a project-based software in which teams and lists of tasks are classified and organized around projects through which groups of an organization can collaborate. For instance, you can break a project into various sections. In each section, you can then form a list of tasks linked with that particular “section” of the project.

Each assignment then can have sub-tasks of its own. It will thus be helpful to you if want to create a nesting of tasks. The below-dashboard images will give an idea of  how Asana manages the tasks:

Asana -dasboard

Asana - dashboard3

Once it is decided that on which project you will be working on, then you can simultaneously ‘Add Task’ for particular sections on the left-hand side top corner. Later on, users can choose amongst the task so as to add descriptions, tag team members, comment, attach files or create sub-tasks.

There are few more features included like calendar, files, the progress of a project, due dates, conversations around tasks. For getting the particular updates, there are specific views such as My Inbox and My Tasks, which assists the user to get the idea of their particular projects.

Take a look at the pros and cons of Asana -

Pros:

  • It allows the user to add custom fields to projects and tasks by making it simple to pursue what’s necessary for them.
  • Once the setup is done, Asana eradicates the demand of using email or third party applications for in-house teams to communicate.
  • Let us assume that users automatically get notifications in their inboxes when tasks are allotted, or revisions are made.
  • It provides real-time communication that allows prompt responses from team members and reduces the need for time-consuming meetings.
  • It does take regular backup of the data and stores it behind firewalls in protected data centers with restricted access.

Cons:

Asana gets slow while loading tasks and workflows, which can impair productivity, and it gets a bit difficult for individual users. Moreover, task assigning to multiple people is not possible with Asana.

Since Asana is densely text-based, it gets easier to break the structure rashly, to remove a task or to change its name.

Likewise Trello, Asana doesn’t have a way to track the time. Asana also blends with the Everhour add-on, so users can track hours and estimate the span of tasks.

One of the disadvantages of Asana can be described as below:

  • It gets costly and Some of the features only get activated with premium plans.

Trello & Asana Having Key Similarities:

Many similarities can be seen between both the PM software management platforms, Trello & Asana which are described as follows:

  • They both offer free plans which will also satisfy the solo bloggers’ needs.
  • Trello & Asana are web-based but some of the features can be accessed via the app. 
  • Both of them possess helpful information in their support sections to guide the users in understanding how to use the tool.
  • Both of them allow you to comment and to have a conversation internally within the platform itself.
  • Attaching the files is simple and easy in both software. 
  • Both tools allow to prioritize tasks and color code them. 

Features: 

Each PM management software allows commenting on tasks, managing conversations stored at a single location. The process, as stated above, enables the users to get involved in a conversation whenever they feel necessary & also can make quick decisions even if they are not engaged in it at an initial phase. 

Trello’s workflow is based around pulling tasks from one column and leaving them to another to display transitions between stages. As a “live” Kanban board, you can make changes to each board by using specific columns and labels. The members get a notification whenever a task is assigned to them, or the task is updated.

Asana organizes the tasks in the same way as done by Trello. But, working with the larger groups, Trello gets cumbersome. Whereas, Asana has calendar and timeline formats that give an idea about the pending tasks on the particular dates or due dates for completing a project.

Some of the features can be described as follows:

Trello:

Grouping of Similar Items: Let’s start with the first way of using lists, which is to group similar items. For instance, one has a board on Trello labeled “Ongoing random tasks.”  Basically, that board is a catchall for everything the person wants to do but couldn’t do flawlessly and quickly. Thus, a person can divide the board for managing time-related for a particular task. The image below gives an idea about grouping:

Trello -grouping

Now, whenever a person has spare time which occurs rarely, then one can visit Trello and choose an option from the pending tasks. One more example of this type of board is the “Monthly Projects” board in Trello. On this board, each month is displayed as a list. Later, the cards mentioning the task for a particular month are listed, for example - sponsored content, freelance content, etc. This type of grouping is indeed beneficial to get a clear picture of the schedules for the particular month. 

Series of steps: The second way of using the scheduled task-list is to make a series of them. For instance, you want to publish a blog post, you need to break it down into smaller steps; each of which needs to get completed within a stipulated time and in a specific order. Each step you make becomes a ‘list’ on Trello. Let’s have a look at a few generic examples of boards  & lists:

  • Project Board: blog post conceptions, the content of a post in progress, post outlined, social media images sketched, post cataloged, different ideas for brand, finding contact details, initial email sent, follow up of email sent, contract secured, no deal – follow up again later, ideas, in process, illustrated, finished.

Hence, within each of those lists, you will have cards that need to get finished, so that you can shift them over to the next list when they’ve reached that step.

Asana:

Asana is a slightly similar project management platform as Trello. It demands a bigger learning curve, but it also offers a little more functionalities for people working in a more extended group to collaborate.

There are two foremost types of project settings in Asana:

a. Board format: It almost has the same kind of set up as Trello. One can see the columns in which the tasks can be added. Just like Trello, the tasks can further be assigned to someone along with the documents.

b. List format: This project management tool is something different from that of Trello. Here, Asana offers a list format in which everything is itemized from start to end like a document on a piece of paper. For the people who do not like the ‘sticky note’ format offered by Trello, this itemized list showcased by Asana can be of great help.

In this itemized format, one can give a title to the project by adding various sections to it and sections can be added in each task list. For example, here’s a screenshot of a document you might use for new client on-boarding if you offer plans.

List dashboard -asana

The project board shows uncertainty as it fluctuates from project to project. Let’s imagine that you want to put together an e-recipe book which you want to launch for your audience. Then for this, your project board might show lists like recipe ideas, a recipe emerged, recipe illustrated, writing a blurb, content drafted in Canva, making the final page of the recipe.

Moreover, if you are working with a team or assistants, then it makes it possible for you to delegate the duties, upload the files, and customize the calendars with deadlines and publishing dates. However, Asana can be useful even if you are working alone, but then it does have a lot of things that may not be as relevant to you as they would be for a team.

Pricing:

The price of a solution is still an essential aspect of the whole comparison. However, pricing should not work as the be-all-end-all part of your decision. Subscription models usually give multiple subscription tiers, with restrictions flinching as the price rises.

Starting with the free tier, your team will earn necessary access to the platform but with restraints placed on particular factors like - the number of users supported by the group, or the number of projects hosted by the team. Oftentimes the pricing difference between the two solutions will be more, with different providers assembling at various price points. The following image will give a clear idea about the pricing of both the project management tools.

Trello -pricing

Asana pricing

Design:

A design that one person may find appealing may not work for another! Design is not something that can be shredded off to factual bullet points and compared from apples to apples. However, the graphical user interface of an app does have two essential functions: 1) Certainly to look good 2) Guide users through the app for easy access. 

When it is the question of the PM tools’ design, the most important thing is how the information is presented. If you want a simple canvas to scribble on, then there are other applications like whiteboards for that. Whereas, here, the thing is to keep the track records of tasks, projects, and teams in a simple yet effective way. 

So, let’s see how these two solutions work in terms of designing:

Asana’s Design:

Although, well-planned out design, Asana looks a bit cluttered;  whereas, Trello’s design is clean and bright. The uniqueness of Asana is that one can quickly jump from a traditional list-based view to a visually-focused card-based view.

 However, with many options available for personalization and organization, Asana can become a little complicated and cluttered for users.

Asana design board

Though some may find the design as positive since it offers the capacity to control the view, employ different layouts for varying projects and gives full benefit of the customization. The overall design is not bad, however, it does include a few complicated elements which need to be taken care of. 

The best part of the design is that it fuses clear and accessible menu sections, indicated by solid color tablets on the left side and top of the screen. The main menu on the left side showcases more choices, including “Favorite” projects and tasks, reports, teams, and many others. 

Moreover, the top menu incorporates more navigation related to the content window, with options like Board, Conversations, Calendar, Progress, and Files. One can notice that there is a bit of tautology here, which makes the user confused because of the cluttered design. The main content window displays either a text-based view list of the projects, and tasks, or simply gives a visual-based card view like Trello.

Trello’s Design: When exploring different project management tools, the most significant difference you will come across is the different organizational approaches utilized by different companies. Asana, for example, is considered excellent by many if only a simple list is required. Trello, on the other hand, has one most important method: a visually-focused approach for the projects of different organizations.

Trello design

Users are primarily equipped with a blank canvas, nearly like a large bulletin board, in which the team can pin different tasks. That teams can then pin different assignments too. Overall the design is amazingly clean; different colors and shapes are applied to separate various sections without any uncertainty. 

Once the selection of different boards or teams is made, Trello also uses blank pages to store your information. By clicking on board will give you a new blank canvas, where you can store all the projects and tasks in the list which will visually appear as ‘Cards.’ 

User Experience:

Design is not just putting a fresh coat of paint on your app, or to add ostentatious animations to make it cooler. But, the main aim of the design is to guide users throughout the app and to manage how they interact with solutions. 

Because of this, the design presents itself directly to the user of an app.

The UX of an app will eventually make an app more attractive than the UI. If the app is easy to manage, familiar, and easy, then the users will be more than happy to spend time there. But if your app is complicated, cluttered, stuffed with redundant buttons, and is having too many options, then many users will drop it for a simpler one. 

Using Asana: Asana starts to get more confusing at this stage because one can easily find themselves lost due to its different options, menus, and now, this is where Asana begins to get a bit more complicated. With so many distinct options, menus, and views to pick from, it can be easy to find yourself lost. The tasks will only appear if they are assigned to the person. Overall, Asana does some powerful customization, but it will take some time for a person to familiarize themselves with it. 

With the ability to bounce between a visually-focused board and a more conventional text-based approach, the experience changes as well. Overall, Asana’s visual Board function is similar to that of Trello: a blank canvas that can be loaded with lists, which can later be filled with cards for each individual project. Clicking on a card will give more detailed information. But, it gets a little different when it comes to the List approach.

Check the video for the benefits of Asana - https://youtu.be/jhj7VNPB7x8

Using Trello: In Trello, 'you'll be given a blank board to start, and the foremost step of any organization is to execute the board. The board will just like a blank canvas, which can be later on filled with ''lists'' and ''cards''. Lists can be used to manage different projects, tasks, or priorities. The files will then be populated with cards, each of them having a different task mentioned on it. Since Trello is visually-focused by its characteristics, these cards can highlight particular information, like who is allotted to the topic, any attributed images, and a brief description. 

'Trello's strongest point is the level of management it allows, without pressurizing the user. Discussions are left to each individual task, and all the data a user will require can be viewed at a swift glance. With only one menu section, users can bounce around the app whenever they want to - by utilizing an exceptional search function. They can even quickly change the fairly in-depth board's menu to shift between different teams and cards. 

From tutorial link below you can have an idea of how to use Trello: https://youtu.be/xky48zyL9iA

Integrations: 

Project managers need a tool that outfits within their established ecosystem. So with this understanding, both platforms deliver essential Integrations. Integrations in business solutions are incredibly crucial to any team. It saves time and offers a colossal boost to productivity. Users can connect two or more applications to streamline every process they manage. Hence,  when it comes to searching for a solution, integrations should be your priority. 

Since every single solution is competent enough to link with other applications, it isn’t enough to assure that a solution is open to integrations. The teams should check if new solutions are supporting integrations for the other tools on which the team is already relying.

Both Asana and Trello have lengthy integration lists; however, if the amount is your measure of interest, then Trello has specific useful integrations. Asana’s official database is 63, whereas, Trello’s list elongates to an almost remarkable 152. But, it doesn’t mean that Trello gives better integrations; it is just their official “power-ups” list is lengthy. The most notable thing is that Trello includes some necessary feature unification as “power-ups,” while Asana remains more focused on integrations with other apps.

However, overall, both Asana and Trello offer the influential integrations you would require, like Slack, Salesforce, Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, and MailChimp.

Supports & Services:

When it's the question of any cloud service - level, and availability of support, the team experiences can drastically affect your team’s perception of that solution. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, and thanks to the creation of the cloud, when things go wrong, they are not manageable. Now, this can be considered to be a blessing and a curse, as it’s part of the reason the cloud is so lucrative. 

Support image

Before you entertain a legal contract with a service provider, it will take a little bit of research on the support that is available. From different options like self-help options, communication channels, and sometimes even dedicated support representatives, the most reliable providers make contact support as easy as possible.

Both Trello and Asana give extensive self-help models, FAQ lists, and tutorials on their respective websites. Both Trello and Asana also give new users best-practice models to aid everyone gets started on the right foot. Relying on different use cases or needs, users can select from various models for their project organization. Sometimes it doesn’t help when something goes wrong; that’s where the previously mentioned FAQs and tutorials can be helpful.

FAQ

Both Asana and Trello only provides email-based technical support in the basic plan. Both of the tools guarantee to acknowledge the queries within 24 hours on a business day.

Therefore, if the team needs some hands-on support, upgrading packages for both PM software also upgrade their support levels. Both PM software - Trello and Asana provide “priority support” for their premium/business class patrons, and of course, renewing to the enterprise level earns your business a dedicated support spokesperson.

Reviews:

Both Asana and Trello aid teams to stay composed and effectively collaborate on projects and tasks. Trello is excellent for small or midsize businesses while Asana is expertly fitted for enterprise-level companies. Some of the reviews obtained for both Trello and Asana at GoodFirms are displayed below -

Asana:

Asana review 1

Asana review 2

Trello:

Trello review 1

Trello review 2

Verdict

As from the detailed above-written blog, one can have an idea about both of these project management tools and can make good choices. Check which ones work best for you. Whichever PM tool you prefer, your project management will enhance significantly. As both of these platforms are of high-quality and even get matched in many of the critical areas.

However, when it comes to easy access, Trello makes it simple for a new user to get started and to earn the best benefits from the platform. The layout is simplistic, and the drag-and-drop mechanics are expressly simple to understand.

If project managers are looking for a plain project management tool, they can opt for this tool and quickly execute it within a team, which will be of great benefit. 

Asana exhibits a higher range of more advanced tools. Mainly, its timeline feature includes a Gantt chart, which can be of great help to project managers in tracking the progress of their projects. The general organization of tasks done by Asana is also good. Team members are given a clear list of preferences, while in the case of Trello, its homepage can be a bit complicated and cumbersome.

On both platforms, the free options are restricted. They’re given especially to be tried before you buy them based on the previews. The free version of Trello accouches more functionality in comparison to Asana. However, both platforms have numerous integrations and applications, but Trello is cheaper and offers more options for small teams. Whereas, if you’re planning something more significant with your large group, than you might find Asana to be of great help and a savvier choice.

Nathan Sebastian

Nathan is a Content Writing Expert at GoodFirms.co, a dedicated research & review firm for digital marketing companies, showcasing their genuine portfolio and clienteles to service seekers. Nathan has been in the content development of marketing & technical spheres for two years now. His focus stays occupied with SEO friendly content for the web to assist GoodFirms in making its' IT research reach millions.

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Comments
Somnath Jadhav
August 9, 2019 08:32

Very detailed comparison between Trello and Asana. Both are the great project management tools. But asana UI is more intuitive than Trello. I am big fan of Asana. Thank you for sharing.

Reply
GoodFirms
August 9, 2019 10:41

Hey Somnath, Glad to know that you found our blog useful. And thanks for sharing your opinion with us! You can even leave your feedback for Asana here: https://www.goodfirms.co/software_reviews/add/asana

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