Wrike vs Asana – which PM tool works best for YOU?

When you’re making the critical decision of choosing a project management system for your team, there are two names which will come up over and over again – in this post, we will present you with a detailed review of Wrike vs Asana as seen from the eyes of a project manager and team members collaborating on a specific tasks and processes.

As founders of our own SaaS solution for PM, BeeWits, one of our tasks was completely understanding the major players in the industry.

These two of the bigger names when it comes to managing work so we’ll be diving deeply into the features, benefits, pricing, problems and everything else you may need when comparing Asana vs Wrike.

This is a decision you need to get right. The “price” of choosing a service which does not get adopted by your team can be very high. Besides the training costs and onboarding into the service, if the solution does not get traction, you’re going to be facing some very tough situations with your management team.

You really need to get this one. Fortunately, you’re in the right place. We know both of these solutions intimately, and we’re going to bare it all, so you can take your own decision as necessary, with all the information at your disposal. We’ve used both systems extensively, starting with Asana and eventually also testing Wrike when some quirks started bugging us.

Let’s get started.

What is Wrike?

Wrike logo

Wrike is a project management software that enables you to collaborate with your team efficiently and effectively. The service works nicely whether you are a remote worker interacting with your colleagues or whether you are an office employee because it enables real-time task management. It’s UI is easy to use, plenty of thought has been put into creating a simple UX with straight-forward features making this a great team collaboration app. If you’re used to a kanban-style dashboard (which is the hallmark of products such as Trello), you’ll find that this option is also available in the service.

(Interested in reading how Trello compares to Asana? Visit our review here: https://www.beewits.com/trello-vs-asana/)

As a company, Wrike is the provider of a cloud-based work and task management and collaboration software, based in Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 2006 by Andrew Filev, it is today one of the top project management solutions powering thousands of businesses, in fact, the service is today used by more than 12,000 companies worldwide, competing with likes of Basecamp, Jira, Trello, Teamwork and of course, Asana amongst plenty of others.

So far, as it the time of writing, it has received three funding rounds, totally $26M, allowing the company to market and grow aggressively in the last few years.

Wrike Review

Rated at about 4 stars out of 5 on such sites as Capterra, you’ll find that this solution has found itself as one of the providers of choice when it comes to task and project management.

Wrike reviews on Capterra

Product reviews on Capterra

It features a number of unique features in it’s feature-set:

  • Team and task management as core-functions
  • Minimalist UI with multiple panes focusing specifically on work management and team collaboration
  • Task tracking with a dynamic timeline, changing based on progress

In 2012, a freemium version of the product was launched which allowed teams of up to 5 users to use the solution for free.

The beauty of this service is that works equally well for small businesses and enterprises. If you’re looking for task management mostly, then you will be able to do this very nicely.

Wrike Task List

Task List

If you have the bigger tasks of managing large-scale, enterprise-level teams, you’ll find that the depth of the tool will serve you equally well.

The dynamic Gannt chart and timeline can be seen below, which is necessary for a large-scale activity. The beauty of the timeline is that updates in real-time as tasks as completed and updated, so you can see progress moving along as you and your team work on their respective tasks.

Wrike Gannt Chart

 

 

Features of Wrike

Now that we’ve seen a quick summary of the service, let’s take a deeper looker at its feature and how the tool actually works.

Team and Project Management

The primary usage of Wrike, and what is known mostly for, is the team and project management functions. The service organizes itself using folders and projects.

Essentially, you use folders to organize your dashboard – for example, a sensible way to organize your projects could be: by client (if you are a client-facing business), or possibly, by departments within your company (if your work is mostly internal). Whatever your choice, you can create folders and then drag and drop your projects around to place them in their rightful place.

The service uses a hierarchy of folders to help you manage both projects at a global level and their sub-levels. You can keep creating sub-folders as necessary to create the structure which makes sense for your business.

Knowing that most people will also have their own personal activities, both on a work and on a personal level, by default you’ll find a number of already created folders and projects for you to add your personal (private) and any shared work. You’ll have your own personal Dashboard for your personal or private TODOs.

We’ve played around a bit with our trial to set up a hybrid of all of these:

Project hierarchy using folders

Creating a project hierarchy which makes sense for your business

Once you’ve set up your structure, you can start adding tasks into each project. You can create, edit, schedule, assign tasks to team members and eventually delete tasks as necessary. Tasks can be color-coded for an easier visualization and recognition of specific types of tasks, or even the status of the various tasks.

There are various views you can use to visualize the current progress of a project:

  1. List – a list of all of the tasks in the current folder
  2. Board – this is a Kanban-style view of the items/tasks
  3. Table – this shows both the name of the task, it’s start and end date, duration, and status. This view is more suited for project managers
  4. Gantt Chart – again, a view for PMs which allows the responsible persons for this activity to estimate the start and end, the full timeline of the plan
  5. Stream – this is a list of the most recent changes which have been happening on the various tasks
  6. Time log – a list of the times which have been logged on each task (useful for determining effort spent on a project or part thereof)
  7. Workload – this view allows a PM to see which the workload per resource, so that one can determine where resources are overbooked or not being used to capacity
  8. Analytics – this view is a summary of most relevant details pertaining to a project, using charts and other visual cues

This is an absolutely comprehensive way of visualizing a project which works for all of the stakeholders of an activity. While the actual employees and team members are more inclined to work with List and Board views, PMs, managers and other higher-level employees have all the views necessary for them to be able to manage projects effectively.

Each view has been well designed and developed to give exactly the user the information which they need at that point. We particularly like the Time Log (excellent for invoicing purposes) and the Workload view which is great for scheduling resources to be as productive and efficient as possible.

Describing each view in detail is going to be somewhat difficult to explain in an article, so at this point, we highly recommend that you start a trial for yourself so you can have a first-hand experience of these views.

3rd party-integrations

Features and functions of task management is all well and good, and Wrike doesn’t miss out on anything, but they’re not particularly ground-breaking. Where the sweet spot of the services lies is in the integration with 3rd party services.

You might wonder why we feel that this is a particularly important feature?

This we feel is actually critical to the success of onboarding your business’s users. You might have already experienced this before, but people absolutely HATE changing their established ways.

Any introduction of a new way of doing things is going to be met with complaining, grumbling, resistance, lack of co-operation, and possibly a change in the mood of the company, particularly if they feel that the change is either forced upon them, or forcing them to change their ways.

This is why integration with the tools they use already is vital to the adoption of the tool.

And this is where Wrike shines. It supports integration with a large number of major 3rd party apps through the following

  • Native Android / iOS apps
  • Desktop apps for Windows and Mac
  • Wrike TODO – a new Chrome tab where you can store notes
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Extension
  • Outlook integration
  • Microsoft Office integrations
  • Slack extension
  • Wrike for Gmail / G Suite
  • Hangouts Chat integration
  • Chrome extension
  • Salesforce
  • Jira two-way sync
  • Github two-way sync
  • Zapier
  • Document Editor

As you can see, instead of changing the way things are done, it simply places itself within the tools your users already use. This makes adoption of the service a breeze, with little to no resistance to change. Users can keep working in their own way, just slipping in tasks into projects, or pulling tasks from it as necessary.

A particularly sweet feature is the fantastic email integration feature. Essentially, this is a feature where you can add a task to activities via email.

After you’ve set up the email integration (works with most email providers), you can simply send the email to or cc (carbon copy) [email protected] when sending an email. The service will then parse the contents of that email and add it as a task to your project. You can also send tasks to specific folders or assign them to different people.

Neat right?

Create and assign task via email

Create and assign task via email

 

Wrike API

Although we do believe that the integrations of the service are extensive, there’s still the possibility to do even further thanks to the Wrike API. As you may know, the API can be used to perform custom development to connect your own business applications and processes to the service, essentially creating your own custom integration.

The Wrike Developers site – has full API documentation and other necessary functions (such as API keys) and anything else required to create your custom integration with the app.

Real-time Updates and Editing

As the product is a cloud-based software as a service which is fully online, all changes and updates are immediately reflected with the rest of the users and collaborators on the specific teams and activities – this is the real-time aspect of it all.

Given that everybody is working on the “latest version” of the project, there’s no need for any guesswork. All the team members are seeing the current status of the plan and their own tasks, while the PO (Project Owner or Manager) and other stakeholders can asses the progress of the schedule – no need for any guesswork, or estimates.

Whether changes are to the status of a task, descriptions, comments, people assigned or time worked, any change, whether large or small is immediately available for the rest of the team to see.

Which brings us to the reporting aspect.

Real-time and Interactive Reporting

We found that by using real-time Reports, a typical marketing team of 10 can save at least 10-15 hours per week on status updates and account management work, effectively giving you back an entire workday. ~ Dmitry Petrashev, Product Manager at Wrike.

A strong requirement in most project managing tools is the need for excellent reporting.

Most times, there are two aspects to reporting

  1. Current status of a plan (latest updates)
  2. Point-in-time reporting (status at a certain date, e.g. weekly, monthly, etc)

While most tools will be great at providing the current status of a project, Wrike goes beyond this. One of the more recent features released is the availability of the Report Snapshots. This is essentially a snapshot of the status of work at a specific moment in time.

This is important when businesses require the availability of reports and progress as it happened over a period of time, rather than simply the current state of work.

These reports include weekly status updates, the performance of different teams, activity reports and accomplishments. As this is typically the requirement of larger businesses, this feature is available on Enterprise plans.

Of course, current status reports are also fully available. Some of the plans also allow the user to design their own reports to suit their own specific needs.

Really and truly, the reporting features are extensive and very mature, and we can’t envisage a scenario which is not fully served by the software.

 

Designer overview report

 

Advanced Custom Team Workflows

(This feature is part of Labs – a concept where early access features are released to users for feedback.)

Processes in teams working within different niches tend to differ significantly. What works well for a digital marketing team, is typically very different from what works for a construction team. Teams within different niches, industries, and even in same niches but different companies, will have different ways of working.

The tool has developed custom workflows specifically because they fully understand this requirement.

Once again, rather than expecting the team to fit around the software, it is the software which immerses itself within the processes of the team.

The concept of custom workflows allows certain actions to be performed automatically based on particular conditions.

But how do you define a workflow?

By default, a workflow is made up of four groups:

  • Active
  • Completed
  • Deferred
  • Cancelled

The typical Task Life Cycle

Business and Enterprise accounts are able to define their own custom statuses as necessary for their own needs. Generally, the PO or admin creates the workflows and also has permission to make any edits. Once the changes are saved, your team will be able to see the new workflow created.

Common workflows

 

Next steps are the assignment of workflows to different teams or projects. You do this by clicking on the folder and changing the workflow setting attached to that folder.

Let’s mention a typical workflow that happens in most places of work.

First, you would require approval to a specific plan. Once this has been approved, tasks and content are created to flesh out the plan which needs to happen. While software development work might be defined as “Design and Development”, you’ll find that most other kinds of projects also have a Design and Development phases albeit under different names such as Definition, Implementation, Planning etc.

Once the work is in progress, problems are bound to be discovered, which need to be resolved. While is software development this is called Issue Tracking, you’ll find that this is also required in most other project types. It’s still Issue Tracking though and deserves to have a dedicated section all to itself.

Templates

Another great feature, which is one which helps takes workflows to the next level is the concept of templates.

(We can’t help but feel that this is somewhat influenced by the concept of templates within BeeWits – but enough said about that, we’re glad to have influenced positively the UX and functionality of a competitor product.)

Templates are grouped under

  • General Purpose
  • IT & engineering
  • Marketing

and handle anything from Complex Project with Phases, to Professional Services, Kanban, Marketing plans, Product Launches, Evening Management and many others.

Task templates

Pre-defined projects and task templates

One issue we have with templates is that there is no way to actually customize or create your own templates for your own specific needs (BeeWits actually allows you to define your own templates).

In spite of this, we do believe this feature to be an essential part of any project management service, so we’re glad this has been built into the app too.

Workload management

Given that SCRUM has become an integral part of work management, not just in software development projects, but across much more varied industries, one would expect that such features and functions associated with SCRUM would make their way into PM solutions.

Visualisation of work by assignee is one of the crucial aspects of management.

This is what the Workload View is all about – it allows you to view whether resources are over (or under) worked, so you can schedule tasks to be as efficient and productive as possible.

Workload view

 

Once you find that some of your resources are overworked, or maybe they are absent or otherwise indisposed, within this actual view you can shift tasks around (assigning them to different resources in the process) to reschedule and reassign as necessary.

As you make such changes, assignees who have had changes happening on their tasks get notifications (you’ll also be able to see this in the Stream report).

Dashboard, Analytics, and Reporting Widgets

We’ve already mentioned how analysis and reporting is a key differentiator when it comes to choosing a project managing tool.

Wrike delivers on this aspect in various ways. Various reports we’ve shown so far allow you to analyze work from various aspects, whether from a progress perspective, resourcing and workload, current status etc.

By default, a project Dashboard presents an intuitive view which is intended for people working on a project:

  1. Unassigned tasks (great for the PO or for the team to pick up tasks)
  2. Overdue tasks (to give attention to high-priority items)
  3. Due this week (to schedule time according to due dates)
  4. Completed this week (to monitor progress and maintain pace)
Default Project Dashboard

Default Project Dashboard

But that’s not all there is to it.

The Analytics Widget can be used to get a brief overview of the status of a project and individual workloads within an activity. There’s actually a full list of widgets you can add to your dashboard such that you create a view which makes sense for you, rather than use a generic view.

These are some of the widgets available (most of which are pretty self-explanatory)

  •  Projects Widget (to easily track work filtered by owner, folder or status)
  • Files by Project (for quick access to files from selected activities or folders)
  • Active Tasks by Assignee (list of tasks assigned to a specific person)
  • Tasks by Status (to track the status of work)
  • Tasks Assigned to Me
  • To DO Today/This Week
  • My Overdue Tasks
  • Overdue tasks I created
  • Tasks I Follow
  • My Pending Reviews
  • My Backlog
  • Conflicts Monitor
  • Activity Stream
  • Custom Widget

As can be seen, the various widgets with various views available can allow you to define a custom dashboard which makes sense for each individual on the team. Each widget is named, parameterized and can be filtered further to create an appropriate view.

The custom widget is also interesting. This is an “open” widget, which can be completely parameterized and filtered to create a view of what you need based on the data of a project.

Analytics

Besides customizing and creating dashboards and widgets to suit your needs, there is also a very thorough and visual Analytics dashboard.

This is another way of viewing the project, but this time, it’s all based on charts and other visual cues.

Once again, the beauty comes from the customization options available. You don’t have to stick with what comes out of the box, you can tune and create your own charts as necessary for you and your team.

Overview chart

Performance Chart: Using this chart you can quickly find outliers and problems with your team and measure progress effectively. You can create your own filters to have an effective performance chart based on

  • All tasks,
  • Planned tasks,
  • Completed,
  • Due by this week,
  • Overdue,
  • Total Tasks

A performance chart looks like this:

Performance chart

 

Baseline chart: This is a view which is typically very valuable for managers and other stakeholders. It is a comparison chart between the current state of the project and the original plan.

Baseline chart

Work progress: As the name clearly implies, the is a holistic view of the progress of individual team members – essentially to be able to monitor the productivity of your team (both from an underperforming or exceeding expectations point of view).

Work progress chart

 

Gantt Chart: For PMs, a Gantt chart is the default way in which they look at a project.

Simply explained, a Gantt chart is a visual view of tasks scheduled over time – and this is exactly what is presented in this view, but for a PM who is looking at things from a resourcing and work perspective, this gives them a bird’s eye view, something which is critical to their work. This view will help managers or work owners to understand whether a project is progressing when it is scheduled to end, and how tasks or sub-activities are impacting each other when running simultaneously.

If you’re looking for a more detailed understanding of Gantt charts, this is an excellent read: What is a Gantt chart?

What makes up a Gantt chart?

  1. Timeline showing days, months, years
  2. How tasks depend on each other (using lines and arrows)
  3. How long (full durations) each task is planned to take
  4. Color codes associated to task status (scheduled, on schedule, complete etc.)

See below a Gantt chart based on the example we’ve been using:

Gannt chart

 

Wrike for Enterprise

We’ve already mentioned that this service is actually a service which works nicely for companies of any size, from a few users to tens of thousands of users.

In fact, one of the niches which the service caters for is for larger sized companies through Wrike for Enterprise. In reality, as we’ll discuss below in the pricing section, the tiers are planned for

  • Free (1-5 users)
  • Professional (5, 10, 15 users)
  • Business (5 – 200 users)
  • Marketers (5 – Unlimited)
  • Enterprise (5 – Unlimited)

The Enterprise tier, in fact, has a number of features which are not available on the lower-tiered plans. From a governance and management point of view, the below are a necessity for large organizations, who typically need to be able to prove that certain measures are in-place (to be able to use specific software services)

  • Active directory integration (to be able to use your own Authentication mechanisms, usernames, and passwords)
  • SAML 2.0 SSO (Single sign-on)
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Password policies
  • IT Administrator enforced permissions policies
  • User audit reports
  • Network access and compliance policies
  • From 100Gb of storage + 15Gb of video uploads (per month)

The above are features which are over and above the standard features included with the other places. Below are a few highlights of features available.

  • Easy collaborations
    • Live editing (updates are seen in real-time)
    • Single source – Tracking documents, images and everything on one workspace
    • Real-time reports, work statuses and activity streams
  • Project Management
    • Full PM capabilities – Manage everything like portfolios, individual work and large programs
    • Easy tracking with Enterprise task management software
    • Resourcing: Assign tasks, track time and schedule work
    • Advanced Analytics
  • High-end Security
    • User groups and custom permissions
    • OKTA & SAML integration
    • SSL 128 Bit Encryption
    • SSAE 16 Certified Data Centers
  • Professional Services and Support
    • Chats, emails and support over the phone
    • Planned and Extended consultancy
    • Implementation and change management consulting
  • Business-oriented and Personalised view
    • Easily fits any team’s workflows
    • Custom fields and statuses for effective budgeting, prioritizing and customizing workflows
    • Integrations with Salesforce, Google apps, Box, Dropbox, and other popular tools

The team actually promises a growth in productivity by 20%-55% for an enterprise which is currently not using a PM service or tool.

How Wrike can help businesses manage their Work

Besides plenty of other companies, one of the businesses using this PM tool is Hootsuite – a social media marketing and management tool. Hootsuite was struggling to find a way to manage their tasks as the company kept growing, due to the increase in the task volume and consequently a lack of visibility.

The service provided a centralized location to handle the large volume of tasks and report on productivity.

“We’ve got a specific structure that we’ve set up in Wrike so we can look at our campaigns and releases by quarter, and compare quarter over quarter what we’re doing,” says Chalmers, “I report quarterly to executives on how many projects we’ve done and how long it takes us to go to market. We’re constantly wanting to make sure we’re remaining stable or getting faster at what we do.”Kate Chalmers, Director of Marketing Operations

Particularly for marketing agencies, who do a lot of video production, the tool includes an extension for Adobe Creative Cloud, so integrates directly with the tools of the team. Of course, it also features tools for projects and tasks that require managerial supervisions like reviews and approvals.

Features which make sense for an agency include:

  • Resource and Workload Management
  • Document versioning
  • Task templates
  • Time tracking and budgeting

Besides supporting such agencies, the tool has specific solutions for project managers.

TGI Friday’s (a company with a world-wide workforce of more than 74,000 employees) has also used the tool to improve their work management workflow.

Prior to using the service, their large, cross-functional activites were managed through Word and Excel, which was greatly overwhelming for them (managing large numbers of tasks with Excel is a nightmare).

“At one time I was managing one file with 15 tabs, but I wasn’t able to understand how projects overlap and understand the critical path of projects. Things were lost in email. We couldn’t find the latest attachment, or it was out of date,” says Kimberly Otte, Menu Innovation Project Manager.

“Wrike takes things to another level. Keeping track of every detail and every task to ensure all elements are in place on launch day was a challenge; it enables us to do it more accurately, thereby decreasing our costs.”

Merdith Selden, Director of Process Integration

The project manager has tons of work to divvy up, but individual team members don’t have to be stressed. Wrike takes complex activities and makes them simple for the people on your team.

For project managers, the tool has developed a robust and practical solution to foster success and a collaboration loved by all. Some of the features included which make this happen include

  • Timeline with Critical path (Gantt Charts)
  • Resource and Workload management
  • Cross-team collaborations
  • Custom status and workflows
  • Real time status updates
  • Visual dashboards and interactive reporting.

Wrike Pricing

When it comes to price, Wrike is pretty flexible to the needs of various businesses and their needs and gives you four plans to choose from.

Small companies who are looking to improve their working processes can start with the FREE plan (this up to 5 users).

Beyond 5 users or if you are looking to access sme of the premium features, the paid plans start from $9.80/user/month. Priced quoted here are on a per user/month bases (if billed on an annual basis).

All plans have free trials for 14 days.

  • Free
  • Professional (can be bought in steps of 5 up to 15 users – $9.80/user/month)
  • Business (from 5 up to 200 users – $24.80/user/month)
  • Marketers (from 5 up to unlimited – $24.60/user/month)
  • Enterprise (from 5 up to unlimited – custom pricing)

Wrike Pricing plans

We would recommend that you visit the website to be able to compare the various features which are included with the different tiers.

 

Overall Summary

We do strongly believe that this is a robust solution for any company who requires any sort of task and project management whether they are marketers, project managers, agencies, and/or team leaders. The UX is clean and intuitive, the features is advanced and very mature and it clearly has been designed specifically to help you eliminate bottlenecks in collaboration and managing work.

We think this is one of the strongest contenders out there and highly suggest that companies looking for a solution to their project headache start a trial with Wrike.

Now that we’ve discussed the main contender of this article, we’ll move on to the next strong competitor – Asana.

This tool is also of roughly the same age and maturity, given that Asana has gone into the market roughly one year before its competitor.

Also, one of the most popular ways of managing tasks and projects, Asana has built a strong reputation for it ease of use and great feature set.

While we believe Asana is great, we are still of the opinion that Wrike has taken the edge, but let’s compare these two tools head-to-head in detail.

Wrike vs Asana

Asana’s core feature set is based around task management. There are plenty of features which are common to both are:

  • Task management
  • Reporting on tasks and work progress
  • Document management
  • Available on iOS, Android  native apps

How Wrike is better than Asana

Wrike’s has a number of features such as

  • Time Tracking,
  • Budgeting,
  • Resource Management and support makes it a complete winner in a Wrike vs Asana.

Asana does not have the option to track the duration of a task or project is taking. You can schedule tasks, edit as necessary and tag people, but you cannot use a time to calculate the exact amount of time a task is taking. The work timer on Wrike making it possible to understand work duration and plan tasks accordingly.

Also, the colour codes for statuses makes it very easy to understand what’s going on at a glance. Asana only has checkmarks only to show the completion status of a project/task.

Enterprises can track budgets on Wrike – budgeting is not available on Asana. Budgeting and forecasting is a necessity in large companies and this makes the former a winner in this regard. As a PM or executive, you can configure each project’s budgets. Of course, visibility of budget tracking can be restricted to specific team members, hence keeping it secure.

If you compare Asana vs Wrike when it comes to tasks, both enable you to create, assign, reassign, edit and schedule tasks. However, Wrike also offers an additional Workload view. This is an essential view for PMs and POs, even team leaders and managers – you wouldn’t be able to figure out whether specific team members are overloaded without this view. Asana does not offer this visibility.

Finally, there is phone support offered by Wrike only. Of course, both tools provide support, Wrike also has a premium support (at an additional fee).

Now that’s we’re done from our extensive Wrike review, let’s move to one of its strongest competitors: Asana.

Overview of Asana

AsanaBefore we start our actual comparison of these two top PM tools, let’s have a deep look at what Asana can offer in terms of its features and functions.

We’ve already discussed how Wrike has focused a lot on creating a great user experience, but Asana also features an excellent and intuitive UX. One can go from being a newbie, to be productive with Asana in a matter of minutes, the onboarding experience is dead-simple.

Here is one of our clients being managed on Asana.

Asana project list view

  • Task Management – Create, schedule, assign and review progress – with task management being its primary focus, you can rest assured that anything around tasks can be very easily done.
  • Inbox – the Inbox is a personal point of contact for each user, it features important daily updates such as tasks newly assigned to me, and current tasks pending, and any other updates that concern the individual currently logged in.
  • Checkmarks –  to indicate task completion, and know which tasks are done and which are In Progress
  • Customised workflows
  • Hearts and bookmarks – to give a social look and feel to the tool, to mark important or priority items, or give thumbs up or ‘like’ to certain items.
  • Document management (integrated with cloud storage services) – within items you can add attachments from your own computer, GoogDriveive, Dropbox, Box and others
  • Comments and collaboration with direct commenting on tasks and tagging with @mentions
  • Powerful search capabilities
  • Easy to understand and view dashboard.
  • Calendar view to know when a work is done or due
  • Gallery view to see files that have been attached or find them individually.
  • Collaborate with external entities such as vendors, contractors, and partners.

Asana has also been competing strongly with Trello, and for that reason, a recent introduction has been the new Board view – which of course, is very reminiscent of Trello boards (Read our complete review of Trello vs Asana here).

Asana board view

Besides the basic features available with the standard version of Asana, premium account holders will also benefit from the following additional functionality

  • Private projects – activities which are only visible to select members of a team
  • Task dependencies – an essential feature for project managers which set the order of tasks (i.e. specific tasks have to be completed before or after others)
  • Unlimited dashboards
  • Up to 15 members in each team and unlimited guests
  • SSO and SAML
  • Data export

Just like its competitor, Asana also has integrations with a number of popular 3rd party tools – common integrations to both tools are:

  • Slack,
  • Dropbox,
  • Box,
  • Chrome,
  • Google drive and more.

Asana’s full integration list can also be found if you need to check whether integration is provided with your tools of choice.

Asana for specific niche teams

Just like the other PM tool’s varied solutions, Asana also has solutions designed for various company teams, but are particularly focused on marketing, Project Management and executives. Besides these though, Asana has been proven to work in these departments:

  • Company-wide
  • Design
  • Product
  • IT Departments
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Engineering
  • Event Planning

In reality, any team which works based on projects and/or tasks will find benefits from working with such a tool. Asana also provides templates for starting an activity, so that rather than starting from a blank slate, you can have a number of tasks already created and then you can customize as necessary.

There are the following templates already defined

  1. Asana Onboarding (a set of tasks to learn how to use the tool)
  2. Meeting Agenda
  3. Company Goals and Milestones (Premium)
  4. New Employee Onboarding (Premium)
  5. Event Planning (Premium)
  6. Product Launches (Premium)
  7. Editorial Calendar (Premium)
  8. Custom Templates (Premium)

As you can see, their real power comes with being a premium user. But for a moment, let’s dig a bit deeper into 3 specific niches.

Marketing Teams

As with most management needs, you can track your activity from the start until it has been fully completed.

  • Running marketing campaigns are easy and smooth using tasks and due dates
  • The Editorial calendar gives an overview of the entire content planning for a blog or website
  • Event Management is helpful when you need to plan an event for your company or one of your clients

Project Management

In terms of the needs of PMs and Project Owners, Asana enables planning in such a way to take note of the work progress, create a roadmap and manage such stuff as successfully planning a launch of any type of product.

Asana keeps managers stay on the ball, by:

  • Setting goals and outline a strategy to be followed
  • Create custom reports to track team performances and work insights
  • Plan smartly using one-on-one meetings and tracking individual’s professional development in the team

Asana API

Given that this is a Wrike vs Asana article, both products are head-to-head here since the latter also has a RESTful API interface. The API also has the concept of Asana connectors,  a secure way of granting API access to third-party apps without divulging your username and password, or other important credentials. As with any API, this gives a lot of strength to the platform, because it gives you the flexibility to cater to your specific needs.

Asana Pricing

When it comes to Asana vs Wrike in terms of pricing, the former has very straight-forward pricing plans, unlike the other tool which has a number of different tiers.

It’s either free (up to 15 people) or you pay if you want to go for Premium plans and features.

The FREE plan is for teams having up to 15 members, so anything above that and you’ll need to go premium. The Premium plan is priced at $9.99/user/month (billed annually) or $11.99 (if billed monthly) which is slightly more expensive than its competitor (billed annually).

Asana plans and pricing

There is a bit of an issue in that you cannot purchase the Premium for less than 5 accounts. This means that freelancers and small companies who have less then 5 members, need to purchase the 5-member plan if they want to go premium.

Having said that, the beauty of Asana comes in the fact that it is free up to 15 members with excellent task management features available.

Alternatives to Wrike & Asana

Considering Wrike vs Asana as your service for managing your teams is great. However, these are not the only tools available our there. We’ve already discussed Trello above and also compared it Asana. There are also quite a large number of PM tools available, which we have featured in our Project Management software article.

Even when considering other options, one must make this important note.

Capterra, a service which is focused on testing and providing reviews of SaaS services has given the top spot to Wrike, after Microsoft Project (which is not strictly SaaS).

Infact, it has even edged out other task management tools like Basecamp and Asana. The graphic below from Capterra shows the top 6 tools:

Top 6 PM tools

Even given the above, our recommendation would be yes, try out Asana, but definitely make sure you run one of your projects on Wrike, before you make your final decision.

Summary of Wrike vs Asana

While when comparing Wrike vs Asana at first glance, you might feel that both of these tools are mostly similar, when digging deeper you’ll discover that the former has a much broader set of features which allows them to cater specifically to a much larger audience than Asana. The extensive customization features also allows you to define “your own Wrike” and make sure that you make it work the way you need it.

Although both tools are a great choice, we do feel that Wrike has the edge when it comes to an overall evaluation of both tools.