Most people need some assistance when it comes to managing large-scale projects and day-to-day work. Project tracking, task management, and collaboration are just a few of the important components that go into getting projects over the goal line on time and under budget. There are a variety of software solutions out there that promise to help professionals manage their project load in the most productive way - two of which are Asana and monday.com.
The question is, which one is better? The answer, as with so many technology questions, is that it depends. Each platform has different strengths and weaknesses, along with different pricing structures, task management features, integrations, and set up. There isn’t one that is universally better - only better for you and your business. Here, we’re breaking down what you need to know about these popular project management platforms so that you can make an educated decision.
How are Asana and monday.com Different?
As much as the two platforms promise to make project management a breeze, there are some important differences between them. At a basic level, Asana offers more granular task management while monday.com provides greater flexibility for work management.
Both options make it easy to organize projects, manage tasks and generate reports to view the data your company needs to make informed decisions. However, Asana tends to be better for smaller, tech-savvy teams who don’t need a lot of support and are more likely to use integrations. It offers the user more control and the ability to break projects down into smaller components. Monday.com, on the other hand, might be better for people who will need more support with a focus on task management. It’s particularly helpful if you need multiple people to be assigned to tasks for collaboration.
Asana offers a more robust set of task management tools overall, and it has a better free plan. When it comes to using Asana, more individuals and small businesses are able to rely on the free plan and still have access to integrations. Monday.com offers a bit more flexibility, thanks to a work management platform that can be tweaked to meet more work management needs. Some users feel it also offers more out-of-the-box solutions than Asana, but again - that depends on what you’re looking for.
It’s worth noting that monday.com has a max of two users for the free plan, while Asana has up to 15. Both offer free storage plans, but Asana’s is unlimited while monday.com has 500 MB. Finally, Asana can be accessed offline using an iOS or mobile app, but monday.com can only be used in the mobile app when not online.
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An online work management software, Asana focuses on project management and task management feature sets. All of the Asana plans let users manage as many projects as they’d like, and it’s also easy to break down projects into tasks or even subtasks. You can even create multiple levels of subtasks, dividing projects into very granular parts that are easier to keep track of.
Asana also has other highly useful functionality like task dependencies, task approval, and batch task actions. If your job entails managing and tracking lots of moving parts, Asana’s task management features might make it the best tool for you.
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The Pros and Cons of Asana
Asana is one of the more popular project management tools, and for good reason. Here are some of the reasons Asana is often chosen.
- Good user experience - You can tell there’s been a lot of thought put into Asana’s interface. The platform has a UI that is easy to use and relatively simple. Users say they can find what they’re looking for in just a few minutes and the learning curve is not very steep.
- More work efficiency - With a bird’s-eye view of all the week’s tasks, team members can better see what is urgent and needs to be acted on. This makes it easier for groups to organize and revise objectives in real-time, boosting overall productivity.
- Improved collaboration - Asana is a great platform for increasing collaboration within a team. Users can invite other people to their workspace, and new members can view things easily. It’s also simple to communicate in real-time and share files, and users get notified when tasks are assigned or revisions are made.
- More integrations - There are lots of tools that can be used alongside Asana. If you want extra features that are unavailable in Asana, you can extend its functionalities with an extension, add-on, or power-up.
- Reliable security - Asana can help you to protect the data associated with sensitive or confidential projects. You can also add third-party tools that can further improve Asana’s reporting and exporting capabilities.
Browsing reviews, there are a few notes on things that could stand to be improved on the Asana platform, including:
- Steep learning curve - One review even called the tool “unfriendly” to new users. With such a robust feature set, Asana can take some getting used to and may not be easy to use right out of the gate.
- Inability to assign multiple people to the same task - Asana allows one person per task, which can lead to confusion about who is actually responsible for the work. It’s also an annoyance when you’d like to assign the task to someone else.
- Complexity - As mentioned, Asana has quite a robust feature set. That’s great most of the time, but it does mean there are so many configurations that it can actually add to your workload. Try keeping things as simple as possible, especially on smaller teams.
- Lack of advanced time reports - Although Asana enables users to track their time on various tasks, it doesn’t offer more advanced time reporting or analysis capabilities. The tool is more focused on task management and collaboration, with less emphasis on in-depth time tracking.
- Limited importing and exporting functions - When you need to take data outside of the Asana platform, things can get tricky. Asana only allows you to export files that are in JSON and CSV formats. To export files in PDF or Excel format, you must incorporate a third-party solution.
monday.com markets itself as a “work OS”, or a platform that can manage workflows for several aspects of business, from HR needs to software development. The system includes lots of project management tools but can also be used as a CRM, workflow automation tool, or collaboration enabler.
Many users leverage monday.com to create custom dashboards and workflows. They also offer pre-built templates that limit the need for setup, and products like monday Work Management come out of the box. They have lots of options that come out of the box and work in specific verticals, but it’s also easy enough to tailor monday.com for all kinds of business needs and project styles.
The Pros and Cons of monday.com
Monday.com isn’t suitable for every person or company, but those who enjoy using it mention the following benefits.
- Great for multiple users - The tool supports more than one user when it comes to collaboration. Multiple people can edit a list at any time, or send each other messages which is particularly valuable for remote teams.
- Robust tracking features - Whether you want to track a task’s progress or get a list of issues, monday.com performs these functions well. Visual boards and an intuitive user interface provide information at a glance, and alerts are color coded so users know when attention is needed immediately.
- Alternative views - monday.com provides a timeline view that many users find helpful. It also enables teams to track progress and be aware of upcoming deadlines. You can also choose from a kanban board or a calendar view.
- Strong communication tools - It’s easy to invite guests to view boards or timelines, even those who are external to your team. Communication is centralized and it's easier to ensure that information does not fall through the cracks.
- Project organization - monday.com helps teams to organize their project information, resources, schedules, and tasks in a very accessible workspace. Plus a variety of notification and automation tools eliminate a lot of administrative work and enable teams to focus on more strategic work.
Even with a large set of helpful features, monday.com has some drawbacks that cause people to choose a different platform. Those are:
- Per-user pricing limits - All of the tiers rely on per-person pricing, and if you want to collaborate with more people, you will need to pay for their use. Plus, the more desirable features are in the higher-priced plans which could deter those with smaller budgets.
- Trickier time and expenses - Some people have said they found it difficult to track time against each task and understand the cost for all related tasks within a particular client.
- Cluttered interface - It’s been mentioned that some users found the interface to be more convoluted than other systems. Some of the visualizations, such as the kanban board, could use some improvements, and it can take a bit of extra time to get comfortable navigating the platform.
- Limited mobile app - Some reviews comment that the mobile app, especially the iPhone native app, doesn’t update well. The dashboards also don’t have an equivalent view on the mobile app.
- Integration issues - monday.com integrates with a lot of important programs and apps, including Dropbox, Google Calendar, Slack, etc. However, users say they would like integrations with more options including Salesforce or SharePoint, and that the API integration should be improved.
Category Comparisons of Asana and monday.com
Let’s look at a few of the most important criteria when choosing a new technology platform. We’ll cover some of the most commonly addressed decision points and make a recommendation based on each.
Asana has 3 plans while monday.com has 5. Both have a free plan with varying functionality, and the next tiers (Premium in Asana and Basic in monday.com) are $10.99 per user per month and $8 per user per month, respectively. Many users will find the free plan of monday.com too basic, so it’s best to compare the paid plans. As far as mid-tier plans, the prices for each are comparable with neither having a clear edge. Asana might get a small advantage for a more workable free plan, but monday.com offers the cheaper advanced plan.
Asana and monday.com both use software integrations to add more features to your project management software and sync it with other commonly used apps that are important to you. Asana offers more than 200 integrations, including popular options like Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Teams. On the other hand, monday.com has about 50 integrations, and some plans limit how you can use those integrations. Asana is a clear winner based on the fact that it integrates with more tools than monday.com, and the integrations work across all of their plans, not just the pricier premium ones.
Every team uses workflows in a different way. Both platforms let you customize the way you look at your workflows, as well as break down projects into smaller portions. Generally speaking, you want to simplify and streamline your team’s workflows whenever possible. As far as workflow functionality goes, it’s really a draw between Asana and monday.com. If you care more about managing the nitty-gritty of each project, Asana gives you more control. However, if you prefer a higher-level view, monday.com offers additional project views that will be helpful. Their higher-tier plans also provide more automation tools. This aspect really comes down to the specific way that you like to manage workflows and which one is more aligned to your style.
Both options allow you to tailor the software to your team’s way of working, but obviously you want to get up and running as soon as you can. Both Asana and monday.com have extensive help centers with plenty of guides and resources to get you started. Beyond that, they both have templates ready to go (though monday.com has more). That being said, monday.com has a slight edge when it comes to setup. They let you rely on prebuilt products that require less setup, and they have more templates as well as customer support if you choose to create your own workspaces on the platform.
Ease of use
Both softwares are relatively easy to use, and there is support available if you run into issues. That being said, Asana has a design and interface that is slightly easier to use for people who leverage the tool a lot. Once users were familiar with the software, they say that it was easy to navigate and intuitive. On the other hand, though, Asana has so many options that things can become cumbersome the more you configure. Furthermore, monday.com has more support options. While Asana has a forum that you can search, it’s easier to chat with a real person through monday.com.
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As with most technology comparisons, the one that’s right for you is really going to come down to your unique scenarios, team structure, needs, and budget. Both Asana and monday.com have powerful functionality in an interface that users enjoy while boasting some unique features that could be perfect for your team. If you want to learn more about project management tools - and especially how to be more productive when using them - make sure to check out our past blog posts. We cover the latest trends, tips, and tech reviews that can help you to do your best work, every day.