Good project management can save you a world of stress and headaches. Two years ago, we wrote about Trello and Asana, premiere project management software, to try and find the definitive best project management software for everyone – no matter if you’re a freelancer, an office manager, or a big corporation with a lot of tasks to track.
Since then, some offices have gone remote, some have opted for hybrid, and what project managers want from their software has evolved accordingly.
Let’s look at Trello and Asana again and see what’s changed, and which project management software works best in 2022.
Trello is a web-based, Kanban-style, board builder that allows you to create and track projects with other users. Each workplace you create gives you three categories of ‘boards’ to build, titled To Do, Doing, and Done, and all your tasks fall under these subheadings. It is less feature-heavy than Asana, but easier to use.
Trello is also image-based: your workspace will show you all available deadlines and tasks at a glance. If you’re familiar with Kanban, this is one of the biggest strengths of this method: it’s a clean-cut, easy method that allows you creative freedom while keeping track of your progress. Collaboration on Trello is seamless – users can tag others, comment on tasks, add images, and use a checklist to keep track of who is doing what.
The workspace also allows you to filter your view by table or by calendar. Trello allows you to automate certain tasks – for example, setting up email reports – and to integrate other apps like Google Docs and Dropbox.
Trello is ideal for small teams who find Asana too complex, freelancers looking for good, free software to track their tasks, or project managers who need simple project management software to supplement other methods.
Asana is available both for web and mobile, and it is a dense project management software designed specifically for teams who frequently work on projects together. Once a project is created within Asana, tasks can then be assigned to different teams or individuals within Asana. Individual members also have access to a task sheet that lists their tasks in order of which is due the soonest. Asana also allows for detailed reporting, portfolio management, and a goal-setting section that can keep track of your aim for the project.
Asana is ideal for small or large teams who need more detailed information on tracked projects than Trello can provide.
Trello vs Asana: Changes since 2020
Both Trello and Asana have changed slightly since 2020. Here is a breakdown of the most valuable features added.
Important Features added to Trello:
Trello’s security requirements for cloud apps have been updated, and will come into effect on October 31, 2022. This is to bring their security measures in line with the latest cybersecurity recommendations throughout the industry, and to make sure that their customer data is protected. Some of their new measures include validating all untrusted data and reducing data access if not necessary.
Important Features added to Asana:
Partially in response to COVID-19, Asana has added a significant number of new features to address the changing dynamic in team and project management.
- Workflow builder: people can create workflows with drag and drop automation to rope in team members as needed.
- Subtasks are now included in the project dashboard.
- Additional widgets help you track what projects were assigned to who.
- Integration with Google Chat to create Asana tasks from within Google Chat.
- Integration with Figjam.
For workers looking for a project management tool that works especially well for teams, Asana’s 2022 updates are key features to look out for.
How to Use: Trello vs. Asana
Both Trello and Asana have a similar initial setup.
Here’s how to get started with Trello:
- Create a workspace – you can use one of the premade Templates, or create your own.
- Add tasks to the boards.
- Add other team members to the same board.
- As tasks are complete, move them from the ‘to do’ or ‘in progress’ boards to the completed section.
Here’s how to get started with Asana:
- Create a project.
- Create sections for each part of the project.
- Populate each section with tasks. You can also add sub-tasks if it involves various other team members.
- Add a deadline for each task.
- Tag other team members if needed.
Trello and Asana are both project management applications, so it stands to reason that setting up projects within each is similar. Trello’s set-up is slightly faster in that there’s less detail to fill out for Trello: all you need is a task list to start with, whereas Asana requires a project, different sections, and tasks and subtasks. This can prove to be very involving at the beginning of a project, and can put pressure on teams to have every aspect of a project loaded onto Asana immediately, which takes time.
Winner: There is no clear winner here – it depends on if you prefer simplicity first, or like the structured approach Asana provides.
Pricing: Trello vs Asana
Price is always a concern when it comes to investing in software. Prices for software can cut into your profits, however this should not be a concern when you invest in the software that’s right for you. Good software that works with you can help boost your productivity, which in turn boosts your output and increases your return on investment.
Both Trello and Asana have user-based pricing, where adding additional users reduces the price that you pay per user. For organisations, this is an excellent bargain, especially if you’re in the process of expanding your team.
Pricing for Trello
Tier 1: Free.
Trello’s free tier comes with a lot to recommend it: you get unlimited cards, up to 10 boards per workspace, unlimited storage, two-factor authentication, and both iOS and Android mobile apps.
Tier 2: $5/user/month
Trello’s standard tier builds on the offerings in the free tier: not only do you get everything above, but you also get unlimited boards, advanced checklists to keep track of your projects,, saved searches, and the ability to add guests to one of your boards.
Tier 3: $10/user/month
This one is best for teams up to 100 people, and you get additional reporting benefits, such as dashboard, timeline, and workspace views, priority support, and data export.
Tier 4: $17.50/user/month
Trello’s Enterprise module adds administrative capabilities to your boards: you still get the unlimited workspaces but now you have organisation-wide permissions to consider, multi-board guests, public board management, and attachment permissions.
Trello’s free version is definitely usable if your team is on a strict budget or if you don’t want to pay money for features you might not use, however the paid versions are infinitely more useful for organisations looking to track their projects accurately.
Pricing for Asana
Tier 1: Free
Similar to Trello, Asana offers a significant array of features in its free version. Users get unlimited tasks, projects, messages, and activity logs, unlimited file storage at 100MB/file, and free collaboration with up to 15 team mates. It also includes multiple view times, assignees and due dates, a project overview, and integrations with over 100 apps. The iOS and Android mobile apps are also included in the free version.
Tier 2: €10.99/user/month
In addition to the features above, Asana’s premium tier gives you a timeline view, access to their new workflow builder, unlimited dashboards, advanced search, and reporting across all projects. At this tier, you can also add start dates and times, task templates, and milestones, as well as access to the admin console.
Tier 3: €24.99
This tier adds integration with Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, and Power BI, but even if none of those are programmes you use, there is more to recommend it: here, you get access to portfolios, goals, and a custom rules builder. You can also customise forms, create an approval system, and adds a proofing option to your task list.
Tier 4: Enterprise – custom pricing
If you need extreme security, this tier will best suit your business needs. The Enterprise tier adds user provisioning and deprovisioning, custom branding, priority support, and data export capabilities to Asana, as well as SAML.
Winner: Trello and Asana are both priced very similarly, though for the free version, Asana’s features are superior.
Teams and Collaboration
Both Asana and Trello have collaboration built into the app.
However, Trello has unlimited team sizes even in its free version, something which Asana limits. Both allow for unlimited file sharing, although there is a limit per file.
Both apps are designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Each has a clean, uncomplicated interface that is easy to read and understand. However, Trello limits the information available to you. By comparison, Asana might seem cluttered with options, however menus and additional text only appear if the user decides to click into a project or to refine their settings as such.
Trello, on the other hand, is built for speed and ease of use. There’s no detailed UX to worry about: all you do is sign up to Trello and get started.
That said, Trello can make project management a little more confusing. Asana’s sections and subtasks simplify the project you’re working on, and this is missing in Trello, regardless of the fee paid. Asana also offers tips while you’re working within Asana, so if you’re ever stuck, you don’t need to hunt for an answer for very long.
Ease of Use
Asana’s detailed breakdown can prove difficult to keep track of for some people. It can also take a little more time to set up projects, as each can be split into several different subtasks and sections.
In that regard, Trello is superior: Trello is built like a big white board where you keep all your notes, and easy to read at a glance. It’s hard to be easier to use than that! Anyone, no matter their level of experience with tech, can grasp how to use Trello easily.
Integrations with other apps
Both Trello and Asana allow integration with other apps and third-party software. The full list of Asana’s integrations can be seen here, and includes Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Tableau, several Google products, and more. Asana supports over 200 apps in total.
Trello’s full list of supported apps can be seen here. They also support 200 apps. There are additional steps to take for both Trello and Asana for integration, but both work seamlessly once implemented.
Pros and Cons: Trello
In 2022, these are the pros we consider important for using Trello as your project management tool:
- Trello’s flexibility is by far the biggest asset to using Trello.
It allows you to create your own system of project management and to adhere to it as strictly or as loosely as you want. If you are a person who has recently started working from home or switched to hybrid work, the flexibility that Trello offers can go a long way towards helping you keep track of your projects with minimum effort.
Asana’s free version is very limiting, whereas Trello allows you near-unlimited everything besides the amount of workspaces you can have – though you’re still allowed ten on the free version, which is more than enough for a freelancer or a smaller business.
- Visually engaging.
Trello’s image-based set up has an additional layer of involvement that Asana lacks: the physical act of moving completed tasks from one list to another is very satisfying and genuinely helps you see the progress you’re making on that given job.
- Multiple real-time updates.
Many users can work on the same board in real time without causing problems to the system – in fact, any updates made to any given board shows immediately across all platforms, no matter if they’re accessing the Trello board from laptop, tablet, or phone.
- Familiar organisation system.
The Kanban method of project management is familiar to many people and this might make it easier to work with. The system makes it super simple for anyone to create projects by breaking them down into small tasks.
Although very similar to the pros we noted back in 2020, these benefits have taken on new importance as people pivot to working remotely. However, Trello is not without its flaws. As we saw in 2020, Trello’s cons are minimal, but still worth mentioning.
Here are the cons that we foresee from using Trello in 2022:
- User-dependent system
Although templates exist, Trello is still mostly dependent on users creating a system that works for them – which can be a lot harder to make than you’d think! If your users already have a system they prefer, porting it over to Trello isn’t an issue, but if one of the things you’re looking for in a project management system is an in-built way to project manage, Trello might not be for you.
Trello is easy to use precisely because it’s so linear: task progression is simply organised from A to B to C. For short tasks, this is perfect as the card system shows you everything you’re working on with no limitations.
However, as your projects become more complex, you might find that the earliest cards you’ve created have been pushed further down in your page, and finding them will take you a little longer than just scrolling up until you see something familiar. For businesses with a lot of multi-stepped tasks, this might not be a system that works for you.
Every project you take will need you to create the requisite tasks from scratch, which means a little bit more time setting up and a lot of repetitive copy and pasting if you have projects that undertake similar tasks such as web design or copywriting.
- Difficult to understand multiple cards
As your tasks get bigger and you add more cards to your board, you might find that – visually – your board can be difficult to understand. Trello is ideal if your tasks are relatively constrained and you only need to create a small number of sub-tasks, however an increase in information will lead to an increase in cards – and an increased effort to understand what you’re working on, especially if you share your Trello with other members of your team.
Who would benefit from Trello?
Trello’s lightweight design and simplicity makes it ideal for project management purposes, however if you tend to deal with multi-layered tasks within the same category, Trello might become difficult to use depending on how often you clear your tasks.
For this reason, we suggest that Trello is ideal for small to medium enterprises and freelancers who have tasks that require no more than five subtasks at a time and relatively short turnaround times for their projects.
Pros and Cons of Asana:
Asana has a lot to recommend it, but here are the pros we find most important for 2022 and the future of work.
- Built for projects
Asana’s UX is designed entirely around project ecosystems, which means that everything you need to know about what you’re working on is located in just one place, and it’s pretty easy to find your way around. The UX for Asana is incredibly intuitive, and tasks can be colour-coded for even easier access to information.
- Flexible to work with
Asana does have a specific task ecosystem, however what you do with it is entirely up to you. If you’d like to add additional subtasks to your projects, add deadlines, create templates and more, Asana allows you to do all that in one space, and it makes it very simple to walk back changes that are no longer needed. Furthermore, the duplication of templates saves a lot of time, especially when you have the same basic set-up for all projects.
- Robust tagging system
Teams that have a variety of projects to work on can benefit a lot from the tagging system: not only does it make it easier to find the project you’re looking for, it can keep all the related tasks together so that if you need to cross-reference an older piece of work, you can find all the relevant information quickly just by looking through the tags.
- Dedicated personal task space
While Asana is mostly built for teams, each member of the team has access to a personal task list where they can follow along with the projects they are specifically tagged in, and complete their portion of the task. There’s even a section where you can add a due date, and organise task lists by due date to make it a lot simpler to figure out what you’re working on and when.
- Includes multiple integrations
From Dropbox to Google Drive, Asana supports several third-party apps and can even integrate them into the same product.
Here are some of the cons we’ve found with working in Asana in 2022:
- Delay in email notifications
If there are updates made in a task that you are tagged in, it could take a while for an email notification to appear in your inbox. Any additional updates will also send out separate emails to your connected account, which not only means that your inbox will be full of emails from Asana, but also means that those emails might be slightly outdated.
- Involved set-up
Asana takes a little bit of getting used to. Although the program is very intuitive to use, it’s mostly intuitive for people who have used similar programs, which means that those new to the field might struggle to see the most time-efficient way of using Asana.
- Too many features
Asana is overpowered for small and basic projects, and comes with features that could become overwhelming if all you need is a project management tool that keeps track of what you’re doing and in what order those tasks need to be done.
Who should use Asana?
Asana’s features can be very useful for teams that are on the larger side and have a lot to keep track of or work on complicated projects.
Which program should you use?
Trello and Asana function as very different project management tools, so it really depends on what kind of projects you’re mostly going to be working on. Simpler projects with brief tasks are probably a better fit for Trello, whereas more involved projects with several subtasks will benefit from Asana’s structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you use Trello and Asana together?
Absolutely – and you can integrate Trello and Asana using Unito, which you can try for free.
- Are there any other alternatives to Trello?
There are many other Trello alternatives you can look at if you’re not sold on Asana but Trello doesn’t quite meet your standards. Among them are Hive, which has the Kanban board-style view and five additional views, and the capability to move your tasks around to fit your workflow.
Other alternatives include:
- Are there any alternatives to Asana?
Asana is a popular project management tool however there are several others you can use if Asana is too complex and you want something you can tailor the use of. Notion is also a free program that can be tailored to fit the exact way you structure your projects and is very intuitive to use.
Other alternatives include:
I don’t know which project management software is right for me
If you’re struggling to pick a project management software to work with and you don’t know where to go from here, drop us a line, and we’ll see how we can help you!