An Introduction to Asana
Asana has positioned itself as a work management platform. It can be used by teams to help them stay on top of their assignments, whether those are project tasks or daily tasks for everyday business. This isn’t an especially unique use-case, so naturally there are a number of viable Asana alternatives.
Asana Features for Project Management
Let’s briefly review Asana’s project management features.
- Task Lists: A basic task management tool that allows project managers to assign tasks and set due dates.
- Asana Timeline: A simplified version of a Gantt chart that allows to map tasks over a project timeline. Handy for project planning, but not as robust as Gantt charts.
- Kanban Boards: A popular agile project management tool due to its simplicity. Kanban boards are a user-friendly way to manage work.
Of course, Asana doesn’t own the patent on productivity. There are many Asana alternatives that offer project management tools to help teams stay on track and control their work—without the downsides of Asana.
The Drawbacks of Asana
Asana’s task management software ability is lacking. Task management should be the centerpiece of any work management or project management tool, but with Asana, tasks can only be assigned to one person, which limits team collaboration. While this might not always be a problem, it becomes one if you’re assigning more than one team member to a task.
On top of that, if you want to plan long-term, complex projects with the Asana timeline feature, you’re going to encounter challenges due to its lack of project management features compared to an Asana alternative with a traditional Gantt chart.
If you’re an Asana user who’s hit the wall of what the software can do, or if you’re just looking for work management or project management software that fits your needs, we’ve tested a handful of the best Asana alternatives for you. There’s sure to be one here that has the right project management tools to suit your work.
2021 Best Asana Alternative Software Rankings
ProjectManager is an award-winning project management software that helps project managers plan, monitor and report on projects, while providing teams the tools they need to collaborate and work more productively together.
ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software. That means when team members update their statuses, that data is instantly reflected across the whole program. Project managers get the most accurate information about their projects and team members can work together wherever, whenever on a user-friendly interface and the best team collaboration tools.
Asana vs ProjectManager
Like Asana, ProjectManager has kanban boards, task lists and reporting features. While Asana has timelines for scheduling tasks, you can’t calculate the critical path, set baselines or do other advanced techniques necessary for project managers. ProjectManager, however, is an Asana alternative that takes project timelines to the next level with powerful Gantt charts.
ProjectManager’s online Gantt chart feature can schedule projects and even be used to track a program or portfolio of multiple projects. It has all of the advanced project planning features you’d expect in a Gantt chart, and it’s easy to use. You can quickly get started by importing a task list or by using an industry specific project templates. From there, tasks can be linked and dependencies added to avoid bottlenecks during execution. Milestones can be set to break the project into more manageable phases. You can even assign tasks based on resource availability from the Gantt chart.
Once team members are assigned, they can use task lists or kanban boards to collaborate in real time. ProjectManager has unlimited file storage, so teams can add as many files as they want to tasks and projects. They can also leave comments and tag other project members to bring them into the conversation.
Project Reports with Real Insights
In terms of tracking, project managers can track their team’s work in real time with time tracking and task management features, or if they want to dive deeper into the project progress, there are one-click reports in ProjectManager on resource management, variance, tasks and overall project health. Asana doesn’t have one-click reporting, but manual reporting, which takes up valuable time a project manager can be using for more important tasks.
Manage Your Team and Your Budget
From the project manager’s point of view, having a tool to track project costs is essential to maintaining your project budget. Asana only offers this type of budget tracking through a third party integration. ProjectManager has the project dashboard feature built in, giving you project costs, which includes those spent on resources, supplies and equipment.
There are many more key features that make ProjectManager the best Asana alternative, including online timesheets, resource management and real-time dashboards. We just didn’t have the time to cover all of them. Fortunately, ProjectManager offers a 30-day free trial. Click here to try all of its project management features for yourself.
Workzone is an Asana alternative for marketing teams, ad agencies and other organizations that manage a lot of projects. The software has been around for a couple of decades, which shows that they’ve been doing something right. Workzone has more features than some entry-level project management software solutions and is easier to use than Asana. It offers budget management, collaborative tools, Gantt charts, portfolio management and works best with traditional methodologies.
However, it’s not designed to work within an agile framework, which many teams prefer. There’s also no kanban board tool for visualizing workflows. Workload and time tracking is less than ideal, as it doesn’t display cumulative hours for team members. There have also been complaints about its user interface needing improvement. Workzone doesn’t offer anything like Asana templates to help set up the software, which requires an involved manual setup. But if you find that its feature set meets your niche, give this Asana alternative a try.
Teamwork is a simpler alternative to Asana, which focuses on team collaboration. It’s meant for teams that are more interested in a simple user interface and clean design than a complex project management software. Because of this it appeals to those who work in an agile framework with tools like kanban boards and work management features. Teamwork is not one software, but a suite of different ones, including Teamwork Projects, Teamwork Desk (for help desk) and Teamwork Chat. This creates flexibility, but also confusion.
The software itself often crosses the line from simple to generic. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution that in trying to be everything lacks advanced Gantt charts or other time tracking, task management and project planning features. Also, Teamwork Projects can make it difficult to set up projects, add tasks, set start and end dates and then assign those tasks to team members. If you find that you don’t need specialized project management features, this may be the best Asana alternative for you.
Another Asana alternative is Todoist. As the name suggests, this is a great app for tackling your to-do task lists. Todoist is focused solely on task management, which makes it an ideal tool for people looking to prioritize tasks and get productive without learning to use more complex project planning software. It’s easy to add tasks and recurring due dates. Plus you can view all your tasks at once to get a bird’s eye view. Their favorites function helps users keep key projects, labels or filters upfront, so they don’t fall through the cracks. Tasks can also be shared, which makes this more than a grocery list app.
However, since you can only view tasks as a list, it lacks basic functionality to be an effective project management app. There’s no Gantt charts, calendar view or a kanban board to facilitate workflow. In addition, projects can’t have due dates, only individual tasks, and you can’t mark a project as complete. There is a free version, but it’s limited. The paid version gives you more bells and whistles, which makes this a great free Asana alternative, but if you’re going to pony up cash, then you’d do better with other Asana competitors.
Another work management alternative to Asana is Podio. It’s a great productivity tool that can keep track of client contacts and other key information, such as notes from meetings. There are customizable templates that help users log in the right information. It helps to facilitate team collaboration, communications and organize projects, especially when dealing with external teams on a project. It also acts as a collaborative bridge between team members from different departments in an organization. It tracks tasks and multiple projects, and projects can be organized by group and colleagues. But it’s a very specific project and task management software, which makes it difficult to use or configure for project implementation.
If you’re looking for the best Asana alternative, look no further than ProjectManager. While there are plenty of software alternatives that do what Asana does and more, none of them have the array of features that make ProjectManager the go-to tool for all your work management and project management needs. Manage your tasks on a Gantt chart, kanban board, list or calendar, collaborate with team members and track progress with a real-time dashboard and one-click reporting. Try ProjectManager today with our 30-day free trial and compare it against other Asana alternatives.